2019 National Showcase

by Mary on November 6, 2019

Here’s my long-promised post on National Showcase. This year it was in Wenatchee, WA, close to home for me. I’d randomly qualified for National Showcase with my Bronze Dramatic skate at Sectionals, so it was a no-brainer to sign up. Coaches Steve and Sharon Baker were going to the competition and said they could help me out.

It’s a really fun competition to watch. There’s creativity from everyone and it’s skated in a show format that moves quickly. There are no on-ice warmup groups, everyone warms up on a small area of ice behind the curtain. Since it’s artistic skating that isn’t judged technically, there’s no wait for scoring.

This was my first time ever skating under spotlights. I had spotlight practice on a smaller ice surface about an hour before my performance. That wasn’t too helpful because the spotlights were pretty low in that rink which made them a bit blinding. At the time I was having some big problems with my knee and could hardly skate. I topped up with some Aleve and that tided me over.

For National Showcase you are allowed to submit a sentence or two describing your program to be announced as you take the ice. I’d done that, but for some reason my intro was not announced, though it was for everyone else in my group. I’d never skated in spotlights before and I had some wrong-way problems, nothing too severe but I headed toward the curtains instead of the opposite way about halfway through my program and I ended my spin facing away from the judges. Once my vision cleared I realized I was facing empty stands and quickly turned around. At first I was pretty bummed about those aspects of my performance.

But once I got back to the stands I got a nice boost. Richard Dwyer, aka ‘Mr. Debonair,’  was sitting near me and he turned around and said, “Good job!” That really gave me a boost! He is the longest-performing professional skater and at 83, he still does his program including axels. Everyone agrees he’s the nicest guy. He certainly was nice to me.

My placement was eight of nine and I felt bummed again, but then I got another boost. I got a Wendy Bear! Wendy is a skater (and knitter) who uses her talents to make wonderful ‘tossies’ for other skaters. She was in my group and gave me a cute little stuffed panda bear with his own little 2019 National Showcase sweater.

Since my performance was early Saturday morning I got to relax and enjoy everyone else’s skating for the rest of the weekend. My husband and I also enjoyed dining and shopping at the Public Market in Wenatchee, and stuffing ourselves at Sunday brunch at the Wild Huckleberry Cafe. 

Sunday night had the Parade of Champions and the Gala. Richard Dwyer did his classic routine along with several of the competitors and landed two axels. Everyone was so excited to have him there and watch him skate, he really brought down the house. 

All in all it was a very satisfying weekend of skating. I had a lot more fun than I usually do at a competition. Makes me interested in competing in National Showcase next year, when it will be in Fort Collins, CO. 

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo November 12, 2019 at 7:25 am

Mary, I love the post and especially the picture of you with Mr. Debonair himself. He is such a lovely man and a class-act skater. A belated round of applause for your National Competition–that is really inspiring and I know you looked great out there. Sending you and your newest tossie pal kudos!


Mary November 14, 2019 at 2:48 am

Thanks Jo!! Sounds like you too have encountered Mr. Debonair. He’s brightened a lot of lives!


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