Tea & Water Ltd.
Get up and skate
Barbara Kopeloff


by Barbara Kopeloff
January 19, 2017

Filed under Thoughts

Get up and skate

There are so many cool sports out there: football, tennis, lacrosse, ballet, gymnastics, capoeira, parkour. Even more if you count Pokémon GO and Just Dance 4, and we do! And then there’s the fabulous, mysterious figure skating. To non-skaters, it may look like a world of glitter, tight pants or maybe just something you do during the holidays for fun. But to those of us who are really passionate about the sport, figure skating is a serious display of incredible strength, mental focus, and grace. We see far beyond the sequined stereotypes to the place where gritty athletes defy the laws of physics on a daily basis.

After interviewing skaters and watching them intently in the rink, we discovered that there is something about this particular sport that builds resilience and a quiet confidence in those who practice it. It has a lot to do with the fact that ice is slippery and that figure skating forces you to gain mastery over it. After all it takes a lot of spunk to wipe out and act like nothing happened. Falling is inevitable. To skaters it is what you do after you fall that matters the most: They get up; over and over and over again.

The skaters we spoke to take this lesson—which is so deeply ingrained in them after years of training—and apply it to every part of their lives. Does that make them stronger than ordinary non-skaters like you and me? Heck yeah!

Director Rob Chiu captures this glorious on-ice and off-ice athleticism in two short films. The actors for the films are real skaters, and they depict characters very much like themselves: teenage skaters who struggle with challenges in and out of the rink. As their skills grow on the ice, their overall confidence grows.

The film’s director of photography used a special crane enabling us to move at high speeds with the skaters and see that endorphin-generating experience up close. The sounds of skating—the distinct hissing and scratching of blades on ice—were also captured beautifully in the audio tracks. It’s an intimate view of figure skating you don’t often see. No costumes; no makeup; Just brave and determined athletes in the process of gaining mastery over their sport.

You can see the film for yourself and join the conversations it has generated at wegetup.com. You may end up falling in love with figure skating yourself if you don’t already. And after you fall, don’t forget to get up.


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Barbara Kopeloff
Written by Barbara Kopeloff
January 19, 2017
Filed under Thoughts
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