Sunday, February 7, 2010

Ode To The Baby Ballerinas

At the turn of the century, God bestowed some of the most fabulous ladies skaters ever on the US. There were fabulous in a way that the Europeans would bitch about because they could never be as thin or attractive. The requirements for being a baby ballerina:

(Must meet at least five of the criteria.)
-Have an old famous coach who is sarcastic.
-Have a fantastic spiral, layback and ina bauer.
-Wear dresses that Peggy Fleming drools over.
-Have tremendous expression and artistry.
-Flutz like Nicole Bobek
-Reel off triple-triples, quads or unique elements---as flawed as some jumping technique would be.
-Have a mother who is batshit crazy.
-Have a family member with some sort of serious illness.
-Demonstrate and/or voice a clear reverence for the Kwan.
-An utter inability to compete with MK.
-You qualified for a world team but were too young and thus, replaced by Angela Nikodinov after she delivered another forgettable performance at US Nationals.
-You had an army of gays and eventually became BFF with Timothy Goebel and Johnny Weir.
-'Keri Lotion' counted as one of your 'first major competitions' and you skated well but still lost to Kwan.
-The media ate you up like one of Oprah's Favorite Things after a single performance.
-You did Pilates before it became a fad.
-You have a penchant for getting filmed talking on your cell phone---either to your choreographer or the President.

And the most important:
-Develop a serious hip injury that breaks the hearts of your millions of gay fans.

Sarah Hughes was around at this time, but she is not a 'baby ballerina' because she had already broken through and was not truly fabulous. Tanith Belbin, Jamie Silverstein and Tiffany Stiegler were contemporaries, but they are not true baby ballerinas because the baby ballerinas are all singles skaters.

The baby ballerinas:

Jenny Kirk, 2000 Junior World Champion

Naomi Nari Nam, 1999 US National Silver Medalist
(she may have fallen here, but the musicality and choreography is beyond words.)

Sasha Cohen, The Jewish Princess, 2000 US National Silver Medalist

Deanna Stellato, 1999/2000 Junior Grand Prix Final Champion

Ann Patrice McDonough, 2002 Junior World Champion

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