Ice dancers from around the world dazzled fans with their storytelling art form during the winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, still fresh in many viewer’s minds.
While many of us probably don’t know what a “twizzle” is, we still enjoy the fancy costumes and perfectly synchronized movements, set to breathtaking music.
Two-time Olympian ice dancers John and Sinead Kerr are a brother-sister duo that wowed crowds for years before their retirement in 2011. The Scottish siblings represented Great Britain in the 2006 and 2010 winter Olympics, and earned a smattering of international ice dancing titles during their career.
In the skating world, the pair was known for pushing boundaries, striving to surprise their audiences with fresh, unique dance themes.
One of their most beloved dancing moments was in 2008, when the siblings donned kilts at the World Figure Skating Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden.
The pair danced to the popular New Year’s tune, “Auld Lang Syne.” Sinead’s bright red top was an enticing pop of color against the white ice, and both skater’s kilts stood out as an unusual sight for an ice dancing costume.
“We wanted red to stand out on the ice and something light enough that it wouldn’t weigh down the costumes,” Sinead Kerr later told Golden Skate. “A full kilt is eleven yards of material.”
The pair began the skate set to the music of a melodic, lyrical bagpipe. They soared around the rink, dazzling the audience as Sinead hung completely upside down, while both of John’s arms were raised freely in the air.
As the tempo picked up, the crowd began to clap along to the Kerr’s electrifying footwork. It was apparent the pair was thoroughly enjoying their performance, and so was the audience.
As the performance came to a close, the audience roared with delight. They gave a well-deserved standing ovation to the kilt-wearing skating pair.
While the choreography certainly looked daunting to most of us, the Kerrs said it felt natural. Having grown up in Scotland, the moves were already in their heart and soul.
“You don’t have to work so hard on the dances if Scottish is in your heart,” Sinead explained. “The dances aren’t something you go to learn.”
“It’s something that is always done at weddings and school parties,” Sinead continued. “When you’re young, you go to the cèilidh and do the dances. It’s just part of the culture.”
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