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Jolene goes to Stars on Ice 2019

If you've been following along with my adventures since last year, then you already know at least a little bit about my figure skating past and my ever-living love for the sport. This year, I chose to attend Stars on Ice again, since my experience last year was so positive.

While the cast wasn't as large this year (I definitely missed Adam Rippon's sass), the show still did not disappoint. The skaters performed a variety of routines, ranging from dramatic and contemporary to lighthearted and fun. If you've never been to a show like this, it's nothing like an actual competition - it's full of spotlights, fun routines and is much more informal. The tension normally permeating competition air is noticeably absent, as is the harsh fluorescent lighting found in most ice rinks.

I'd like to interject here and apologize for my lack of photos! Long story short, I did not take the time I normally do to check my settings due to some things that occurred right before the show. I was flustered and thought my photos came out okay.... They didn't. SO I'm trying to make up for it with gifs and videos! Shoutout to my mom for taking these videos on her phone!

We had great seats, and I highly suggest buying your seats as early as possible. You can go to the Stars on Ice website to sign up for alerts and find out when tickets are going on sale. We also had meet and greets again! There is a funny story related to that - financially, I couldn't swing an extra cost, so I waited until the last minute to purchase my passes. When I went to the website, they were SOLD OUT. I was absolutely devastated, but my mom swooped in to save the day. It turns out that there is a waitlist you can get on, in case anyone cancels their meet and greets.

PRO TIP: If meet and greet is sold out for your show, simply contact Stars on Ice directly. They handled our situation wonderfully - when a spot opened up, we were notified and sent a special link to purchase the passes.

Why attend a show like this?

Figure skating isn't always accurately conveyed on your 2D TV screen. Watching skating in person is a very different experience. The audience is able to get a better grip on the skater's speed, the true magnificence of a jump, the real-time blur of a spin, and the passionate intensity exhibited by beautiful choreography. There's something inexplicable about witnessing the final product of years of training, hard work, and unique creativity exhibited by these legendary athletes.

It would be utterly impossible for me to list all of my favorite moments. My heart ached during Charlie & Meryl's more serious program, but I was dancing in my seat during both of Ashley Wagner's toe-tapping performances. I always love seeing Nathan Chen skate in a setting that isn't all about the quads, and seeing our new national champ Alysa Liu was a treat! It goes without saying that I was internally flailing during the Shib Sibs' programs!

And of course, I was absolutely thrilled to meet these skaters again. I put together a similar art project to what I brought last year, but this time I introduced the concept of floriography - a Victorian era development where flowers and their arrangements carried particular meaning. I painted every skater as I did last year, but this time, I matched them all with a flower based on its meaning and my perception of that characteristic in each skater.

I have nothing but great things to say about the skaters. These are the same beings that have appeared on our television screens for years, the same ones we rooted for at the Olympics. It's always surreal to come face-to-face with the people you've admired for so long, especially after watching such great performances.

Alex and Maia were first, and let's be honest, we all knew I'd fangirl. Surprise: we were all correct. They were as gracious and genuine as usual, and it was so lovely to wear the shirt I designed as part of their Amazon line during this meet & greet. Almost exactly a year ago, they asked me to be a part of what they were doing, and to this day, I am still flattered! We literally came full circle, and my heart is full of warm fuzzies as I write this post. If you're curious, you can view my design on Amazon here.

I got to chat with all of the skaters - Stars on Ice does not particularly rush the meet and greets. I find them to be fair, lengthy, and such an incredible experience. I'm grateful that fans get to interface with their favorites, but also that the skaters enjoy meeting the ones who have been supporting them. It's beyond amazing that Stars on Ice offers this kind of unique experience.

It was such a wonderful show, and such a fun night! I definitely recommend a visit to the Stars on Ice tour when it comes to your city!

Until next time,

Happy wandering!

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