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Kurt Browning's Blog about the Ice Theatre of New York Tribute

The Ice Theatre of New York honored Kurt and his wife Sonia Rodriguez at their 2013 Annual Benefit Gala and Performance on Oct. 25, 2013 at Chelsea Piers in New York. The theme was Ice:Dance. Here is Kurt's blog reflecting on the evening.


At some moment during my speech I had this wisp of an idea in the back of my head and while trying to keep my mouth moving in some sort of speech way I tried to make sense of this idea so that when that idea came out into the room it would be simply amazing... well that was the plan and it did not work that way.

Instead of saying that this event was my coming of a certain age party, it sounded more like, " This event is my coming out party! ". For a moment, it must have seemed like - at the ripe ole age of 47 and after two children - that I had just 'outed' myself at my own party. ( Which of course I didn't ) Other than that slip-up, which was ultimately another good laugh, it was a perfect evening.

So, back track a little bit, and of course I am talking about the Ice Theatre Of New York honouring myself and Sonia, my wife, for our contribution to skating and the arts. For me, it was a bit of a coming of age evening as I have known about these events for years and thought about what my evening might be like if I ever had one and actually saw it all playing out long after I was done skating. As it turned out I did skate at the event but I certainly was not comfortable about it. My summer was wonderful, too wonderful as I am as far out of shape as I have ever been or can remember from recent memory at least. I was fighting my old skates and should have just kept the fight going but I started a new pair and usually there is no going back. It was only my 4 or 5th day on the new skates, silly I know, so I was thankful to skate as well as I did actually. By taking out any triples, it was my party after all, it made the evening much easier. Moira North, the catalyst for the Ice Theatre Company, insisted I also skate a number in hockey skates so I improvised one on the spot. Skating to People Are Strange by the Doors, I was hoping that whatever weirdness I put into that solo would blend with the lyrics. Having not been on my hockey skates since December I thought a double axel was out of reach, but while in the moment and after a successful single axel and double salchow, I went for it. I would not call it quite a fall, but I certainly would not call it a landing either? Let's just settle for exciting and leave it at that. Hey, I didn't get hurt at least. Sonia skated, oops, danced a solo with 3 gentlemen and it seemed as though she just glided over the ice without touching it. That is because that is exactly what happened. John Kerr, Brent Bommentre and Joel Dear carried Sonia as she created amazing shapes above them. Sonia found the music and Doug Webster put the piece together in about an hour. After she finished she stayed on the ice on a bench and I skated Singing In The Rain which included her in the beginning and again at the end.

Some applause and it was time to party.

Sonia looked amazing and I looked amazed and we stood for pictures just like the Hollywood stars with the Ice Theatre Of New York backdrop. Super Famous !? Sandra Bezic sent a message and Dick Button was there and Scott Hamilton showed up on video being charming and funny as only he can be and it went on and on. Sarah Hughes was endearing and funny as the host of the evening, way to go Sarah! Quite the love in with friends coming all the way from Rocky Mountain House in Alberta, Canada. It was a cozy evening with glitz, great skaters, better friends and memories enough to swim and even drown in. There were tears, laughs and watches. Yes, Sonia and I were given ice watches as gifts.'ice' is the brand name, cool eh. And so there you have it.

Thank You to Moira North and certainly to everyone who sent messages, worked so hard and gave a crap along the way. You know who you are...