Professional figure skating is alive and well, in one part thanks to Pro skaters like Brian Boitano and Kristi Yamaguchi who continue to push the limits of artistry and athleticism, while still delivering great entertainment. They have also joined the Board of Directors of the Professional Figure skaters Cooperative (PFSC), an organization that strives to promote Pro skating worldwide.
Ice Skating has gone through many changes in the last ten years. When I was competing in the amateur ranks, there were many rules and regulations about skaters making money in their sport. It is not that way anymore. Skaters can make millions of dollars and still maintain their “eligible” status. Because of this, Pro skating declined as less of the top athletes actually had to turn professional. The past pro skaters did not join together to make an organization of their own until 1997, when Scott Williams and Charlene Wong created the PFSC. Today, the PFSC has a following that reaches five continents. Many top skaters have become members, which in turn, encourages other skaters to join the “team” of dedicated pro skaters to create a safe and comfortable environment for pro skaters in the ice skating industry.
I joined the PFSC at the very first meeting in Los Angeles, where it was born in 1997. I became President a few years later and have remained in that position for the last four years. We have gone through many changes and adjustments. Member recruitment was slow in the beginning since there had been nothing like this, but once skaters saw the benefits, membership was on a roll.
Pro skaters used to keep producer information “secret” from each other so that their jobs would remain secure. Pro skating was a difficult industry to break into, especially if you did not have an Olympic gold medal around your neck. Today, skaters are able to go into a “members only” area of the official PFSC website at www.proskaters.org where they can find casting calls and producer information. There is also a newsletter archive where many inspirational articles, ideas for living “on the road,” news updates, etc., can be found. The PFSC fills the void that has been missing over the last few decades and it gives hope to the future skaters who wish to make a career out of their talent. Whether one has an Olympic gold medal around his/her neck, or simply a passion and desire to perform in skating shows for a living, the PFSC is the glue that holds everyone together. I predict great thing for the PFSC over the next ten years and beyond. We have made tremendous strides thus far and our message is spreading like wildfire across the globe. For more information please visit our website at www.proskaters.org