2009 NHK Trophy – Cathy Reed’s Blog


Sunday, November 8, 2009
Competition Day 3

CR-NHKblog3-703831Well, 2009 NHK Trophy has come to a close, and let me tell you, it’s been such a long day! Very long! My day started at 5:15 a.m. to fix my hair and makeup for practice. Then we took the 6:30 bus and had our practice from 8:00. It wasn’t as early as the other mornings, but it still was early. After the dance practices finished, the top four finishers in the other disciplines had their exhibition practices, and all the dancers were envying them!!! They were done with the competition, but we all still had our free program left to do!!!

So after practice, I went back to the hotel and had breakfast and relaxed a little watching my favorite TV show on my iTunes, “Sex and the City.” That show always makes me laugh and puts me in a good mood. My brother loves to laugh too and always watches episodes of the TV show, “Whose Line is it Anyway?” Hahahahaha, lots of laughs there, too!

After resting (and laughing), I retouched my makeup and hair and we were off to the rink for our free dance competition. Everyone skated very well and it was a very fun competition to watch. My brother and I skated very well and everything clean, so we are very happy with our performance today. I really enjoyed skating every second of it. It’s a fantastic feeling. Overall, we had a great competition. Now we got our scores and levels and we know what to improve on and change.

But our day wasn’t over yet! The top four skaters in each discipline and all the Japanese skaters had to participate in the exhibition, which took place just two hours after our event finished. So we had to quickly get ready, remember our routines — without a practice on the ice — and also learn the complicated finale! The exhibition was a success and a lot of fun. The arena was filled to the brim and everyone was so enthusiastic. The finale was a mess, though! Haha! No one knew where to go or what to do and everyone ended up in the wrong spot, but we all just had a lot of fun. And the crowd just roared and cheered! No matter what we do, they will love it!!!

After the exhibition, we had to quickly shower and get ready for the banquet which commenced at 8:00 p.m. It was a lovely banquet with a huge buffet and all different kinds of food, including Japanese sushi, tempura and cold soba noodles! Yummy!!! And of course wine and beer, and beautiful cakes for dessert. The top five finishers were awarded their prizes and camera flashes were flashing everywhere. We also had an exciting show of ninjas showing their fighting moves with spears and samurai swords. That was so cool and exciting!

Well, now I’m back in my room packing and getting ready for tomorrow morning’s bus to the airport. Then a long 13 hour flight back to New Jersey! Yikes!!!

Take care everyone and thank you so much for reading my blog!


Saturday, November 7, 2009
Competition Day 2

Hello folks!!!!

We dancers woke up bright and early this morning — or rather dark and early — as we caught the 5 a.m. bus! With some fruit and some little Japanese goodies from the skaters’ lounge and definitely some caffeinated coffee, we gave the judges some early morning folk dancing!

After the practice, we all went back to the hotel for a nice breakfast, and I’m sure most of us took naps. I took a short one-hour nap, and then got up and talked with my dad and my little sister, Allison, over Skype. Skype is such a lifesaver when it comes to traveling all over the world. You can talk and see your loved ones on the computer for free!!! And it always helps to hear their voices before you skate. =)

The original dance competition commenced at 12:40 p.m. and there were quite a lot of people in the audience. The Japanese fans, I have to say, are the best fans in the world!!! They support figure skaters so much and love to cheer, clap with your music, give you presents and ask for autographs and pictures. They just love figure skating so much and appreciate all of our hard work and effort!!!

I think the competition went very well and all the teams displayed wonderful folk dances from all over the world. In ice dancing, it is always fun to see everyone in different costumes and with crazy make-up! What can I say? Ice dancing is a show! We have to dress the part! Anya & Sergei in colorful Russian dress, Paul & Vanessa in her long polka dotted flamenco dress, Kerrs in their cool cowboy shorts and jeans, and Meryl and Charlie in pretty Indian outfits and more! My brother and I skated great in our yukatas (summer kimonos which are made of cotton so they are lighter than silk kimonos) with our Japanese fans. It is quite a challenge to be skating in a yukata as it is very big and the sleeves sometimes get in the way and cover our faces. But the costume is just as important as our skating! It was the first time we performed this program at a competition and in front of the Japanese audience, and they seemed to really like and enjoy our program, so we are very pleased!

Now it’s onto the free dance and exhibition tomorrow!!! The last day of NHK Trophy!!!

I’ll write again tomorrow after the event has finished!

:-)Cathy Reed

Friday, November 6, 2009
Competition Day 1

CR-NHKblog1-796431Minasama, Konnichiwa! Hello everyone! Welcome to my blog of the 2009 NHK Trophy in Nagano, Japan!

The weather here is just beautiful and the view of the mountains is just breathtaking with its array of autumn colors. It is such an honor to be here in Nagano, the location of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games and the 2002 World Championships and to skate at the Big Hat Arena.

Sorry I’m a day late writing. Official practices started yesterday and most of the teams did their original dances in the morning and their free dances in the afternoon. It was such a long day with practices starting at 7 a.m. and then in the afternoon from 12:50 p.m. and then the entire Japanese team had a press conference in the evening. We dancers have the earliest practices times this entire competition some from 7 a.m., and tomorrow is even worse, from 6 a.m.!!! I wondering who made the rule that ice dancers should have the early morning practices?!?!?!? Ice dance is the only division in figure skating that has to dress up for practice meaning the whole ensemble: hair, make-up and costumes. Do you know how much time it takes to prepare for all of that?!?!?!? It takes me at least an hour — if not maybe a little more — to get my look completely ready! Then we need to be at the rink at least an hour before we skate to warm up and put our costumes and skates on. It’s a lot of work!!!!!

I guess the only good thing about the early morning practices are the quick bus rides and getting it done early!!!! The hotel is just ten minutes away from the arena, but in the day and evening time, there is a lot more traffic and it takes 20 to 25 minutes. This is actually not sooo bad at all, but it is when you have finished practice and you are starving!!!!!!!! And I guess, I’m used to everyone driving so fast in the States, but here in Japan everyone drives so slow…….(hayaku–hurry up!!!!)

Today is the compulsory dance competition with the Tango Romantica, one of my favorite international dances that I’m glad I was able to learn and compete before they take away compulsories from competition. It is so sad, because to me, compulsories are the essence of ice dancing. It will be so weird without them, but there will be some advantages too, like having only two programs like all the other disciplines!!! And spending more time on our original dance and free dance, and not having to worry about all the different costumes. But still, it will be sad…..

So I hope everyone enjoys the ten Tango Romanticas today starting from 2:25 p.m.!!!! I know I will!!!!!

“You know why I love to tango?”
“Because of its funky beat?”
“Nooo…..Because it takes TWO to tango!”
“Oh…I’ve never done the math on that!”

I’ll check back again later for the Original Dance!!!!

Until then, I’ve got some photos posted at http://photography.ice-dance.com/2009GP-NHK/Blog/Friday

:-)Cathy Reed