One Step Closer
March 27, 2010
By Tim David
Photos © One Step Closer
The day was sunny and chilly in the morning and after only having 2 hours of sleep I felt energetic to start the day. Brian Mancuso, my partner/Executive Director has been working on last minute details with me the night of the show.
By mid-morning our performers started to arrive. Angela Maxwell was on the ice warming up her backflip, Sean Rabbitt flying into triple toe-loops, Parker Pennington preparing his prop for his exhibition, Anthony Rapp (original cast member of the musical RENT) testing out the sound system for his performance with Michael Quadrino, Melissa Bulanhagui doing the same with Lauren Hertsenberg, and Daniel Quadrino warming up the mic for his star spangled banner. Everybody was enjoying the day and getting used to do the sun and wind at Lasker rink.
Showtime: Dan Schwartzman of ESPN sports radio welcomed everybody and handed the mic to Daniel Quadrino for his acapela performance of the national anthem. While Daniel was singing Brian and I looked each other and could barely contain our pride and tears of happiness as all of the hard work we had put in was finally coming to fruition! Terry and Faye Zealand, the founders of AIDS Resource Foundation for Children spoke and welcomed everybody. I sat back and enjoyed the show and was treated to my cast members performances; Olivia Yao with You Raise me Up, Aaron Gillespie to Josh Groban’s version of Romeo and Juliet, Sam Gordon to the soundtrack from Ragtime, Brady Chin skated while Daniel Quadrino sang Imagine from the Beatles, Heidi Vanderhoof - my former mentor skated to KD Lang’s Hallelujah. Introduced by former US and World champion, Elaine Zayak, her student, Amelia Xu – skated to her long program. A playful rendition of “I’m the King and Queen of the Ice” Angela Maxwell and Parker Pennington – and it ended up Angela winning the battle with her signature backflip. Catching the audience’s eye, Anastasiya Konokenko with her amazing flexibility, performing to her short program, The Mask of Zorro. The next skater, Michelle Hanabusa was introduced by former professional skater Lorna Brown. Michelle is a US National Showcase gold medalist. She performed One Moment in time by Whitney Houston. US pairs legend Tai Babilonia gave a speech to the crowd before introducing former US Senior Ladies National competitor, Alizah Allen. Alizah decided to perform her old long program to Don Quixote as a tribute to Olympic champion John Curry. Closing up the first part of the program was 1994 Olympic champion, Oksana Baiul - performing a number from her musical, Cold as Ice. Stacie Bono sang and accompanied Oksana on the ice.
The second part of the show was greeted by Sharon Cohen, the founder of Figure Skating in Harlem. She then introduced her synchro-team and wowed the audience. The Lasker Skating School also performed for the crowd and their parents. Lucinda Ruh, a legend known for her spins, introduced Sean Rabbitt. Sean landed a beautiful triple toe and double axel to Michael Buble’s rendition of Feeling Good. Melissa Bulanhagui performed with Lauren Herstenberg’s vocals to, “I hope you dance”. Melissa riled off two huge double axels which drew awes from the audience. Anthony Rapp, Broadway legend sang Chasing Cars while Michael Quadrino skated. Charles Butler the 1998 US Ice Dance Silver medalist, World and Olympic team member spoke to the thanked and spoke to the audience before introducing Angela Maxwell. Angela performed her signature Michael Jackson routine and fired off two backflips. Elaine Zayak returned to the podium to introduce, Joelle Forte. Joelle skated and impressed the skating aficionados in the audience with a clean debut to her short program, landing a triple lutz/double toe combination, double axel and a solid triple salchow. Another program debut by Parker Pennington to an exhibition medley of Michael Jackson hits. Parker used props such a makeshift door, smoke-fog and a guitar. Parker playfully entertained the audience and did a solid triple lutz. Closing up the show was a group number to rent, choreographed by Michael Quadrino and Brady Chin.
At the end we raised $5,700 in ticket sales and silent auction. All proceeds went to The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children.
One Step Closer – HIV AIDS annual benefit is presented by OMNIGAGE and supported by M&CSAATCHI. One Step Closer is a non-profit organization benefiting The AIDS Resource Foundation for Children.
For photos and more information, visit www.OneStepCloserNYC.org