It is cold in Antwerp!

Text © Mireille Geurts & Titia Tolsma
Photos ©

It is Thursday November 17th, around 9 o'clock. We are in our hotel room in Antwerp, Belgium. We are exhausted yet psyched. Why? We have been watching skaters all day. Not just regular figure skaters, but Olympic Champions and World best. Yes, we have visited the practice for the Proximus Stars on Ice 2005.

Today the skaters started practicing, but not everybody is here yet; Barbara Fusar Poli & Maurizio Margaglio and Tatiana Navka & Roman Kostamorov are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.

All the skaters have been doing a try-out of their own programs, except Emanuel Sandhu; he did arrive but his music did not.

Emanuel Sandhu, Brian Orser

Group of skaters

They all also learned the first steps of a group-number, which we assumed to be the opening of the show.

Guided by Brian Orser, who is a participating skater as well as the choreographer, they were making a program out of chaos on the ice. Of course every show number starts this way, but it is always an amazing process to witness.

We can't spill too much of what we saw, but when you hear the first notes of this program you will immediately feel the Olympic atmosphere.

After the strong start the skaters will be performing some steps and figures on a variated composition of mixed music styles. A short presentation of all skaters is inter-mixed in the choreography. When it ends, it flows over into a very funny part, leaving only Ilia and all the girls on the ice…

Speaking of the girls, one of them we didn't expect to be there. Nor her partner either for that matter. Of course we know they like Antwerp, they have been here twice already. Any ideas yet?

Margarita Dobriazko, Ekaterina Gordeeva

Ilia Kulik, Povilas Vanagas

The skaters had been trying out their programs when they walked in. Because we are so used to seeing them here, we didn't immediately make the connection they weren't supposed to be. But yes, they really are here! The lovely Margarita Dobriazko and Povilas Vanagas.

They, as all the others, were really troubled by the cold in the actual ice rink. Fluctuating between 5 and 6 degrees celcius, that's as hot as it got. So it looked like winter on the ice. Shawls, gloves, hats and winter jackets, we have seen them all. Sometimes it was even hard to recognize the person in the clothes. Luckily, we were sitting in the cafeteria behind glass, next to the heating. Not that is was working, and we were cold, but looking back we really couldn't complain. We are afraid it will be a different story in the days to come…

But the cold and long waiting time didn't seem to spoil the atmosphere. The skaters were relaxed, enjoying themselves, joking around on the ice. Who knows what the Riverdance in Russian-style looks like? Ask Ilia!

Povilas dances one hell of a disco dance, to classical music.

Who needs music anyway? Not Emanuel, he makes his moves in complete silence.

Ilia Kulik

Kathryn Orscher, Garrett Lucash

Kathryn Orscher, Garrett Lucash, Emanuel Sandhu

If you ask us, Katie can play the lead role in the next Pink Panther movie, without rehearsing, and not just because she wore pink gloves.

We wished we could have overheard some of the conversations between Kevin and Susanna - a good laugh is never wasted.

Susanna Pöykiö

Kevin van der Perren

But back to the programs, the show and what you will see. Well, we saw some very sexy stuff, uptempo dance moves, dreamy romantic programs, swinging Arabic and many more. Who will perform what? Come and see yourself, its just one night of sleep away.

For more updates and news about the shows, check the messageboard, we will try to keep you posted!

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