The Inside Edge with Sarah and Drew - July 8

Jeremy Ten, summer treats and more music choices

Jeremy Ten poses for the camera earlier this year in Vancouver.
Jeremy Ten poses for the camera earlier this year in Vancouver. (courtesy Jeremy Ten)


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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to
(07/08/2010) - Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins are back with another edition of "The Inside Edge."

We are great fans of Jeremy Ten's hilarious Twitter feed, and if you don't follow him (@j3r3bear), you should! We thought it would be fun to get to know the real Jeremy a little, so we called him the other night and had a nice long chat.

"My first tweet was to Perez Hilton because I was featured in an interview on TV and his Web site," Ten told us. "That freaked me out so I re-tweeted it. I started to get messages from fans I didn't even know I had! So, I thought it would be fun to let fans have a look at who I am off the ice. I like having a way to be in touch with them. It's such a blast reading people's responses to what I have to say."

Ten, the 2009 Canadian bronze medalist, told us he trains in the outskirts of Vancouver, British Columbia, in Burnaby. His training partners are Kevin Reynolds, Kathryn Kang and 12-year-old Nam Nguyen -- the current Canadian junior bronze medalist and three-time Canadian champion (juvenile, intermediate and novice).

"I'm so lucky to live in Vancouver," Ten said. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world. I've traveled quite a bit and nothing compares to Vancouver. From the mountains to the beaches, everything is so accessible. Aside from the weather sometimes being disgusting with all the rain, it's gorgeous in the summer. And the culture is so diverse. You get a little bit of everything, and the diversity makes it feel like home."

Ten shares with Drew a passionate love of dance, and they dived right into it. "The rink is only ten minutes outside of Vancouver," Ten told us, "So I'm always in the city. I take dance class in the city -- contemporary lyrical is my favorite genre. It's so addicting! It's something that you thrive on."

Ten told us that dance is incorporated into the off-ice training at his rink but that he started taking dance classes at the Harbor Dance Center in Vancouver a year ago.

"I've always been a more artistic type of person, more outgoing and extroverted, so the way you can express yourself through your body, without any words, I've always loved that. And I love music so the connection all comes together."

We wrote a blog last summer about Ten and his high school friend Alex Wong, who just missed a chance to compete on So You Think You Can Dance last year. Wong made the show this season and impressed everyone with his brilliant dancing.

"When I saw his routine they just blew me away," Ten said. "Even after reading the rave reviews nothing could have prepared you for it. He's also a very nice person outside of dance."

Unfortunately, after we spoke to Ten, Wong ruptured his Achilles tendon and may be off the show.

"I am so so heartbroken for Alex," Ten emailed us. "I know how much he wanted this and how hard he's worked. I hope he has a very speedy recovery. I'll be sending him as much positive energy as I can muster. I know what it's like for an injury to take away something so close to your heart away from you so quickly, it's never easy."

Ten told us that dancing definitely influences his skating.

"I think I've always been more of an artistic skater, so I do a session every now and then where there's nobody on; I put on my music and skate around and do my own choreography. Even if there's no one to see it, it helps me figure out if I can do on the ice what I do off the ice."

From dance to... shopping, naturally. Ten works as a sales associate at Armani Exchange, lucky boy.

"I totally love shopping so I knew I wanted a job to do with clothes, and I like it because it's such a different venture from skating and sports. I love the people I work with. We have this crazy sale going on right now and people just tear the store apart so we're there until late, cleaning."

This will be Ten's third season on the Grand Prix circuit, and he is very excited about his event, NHK Trophy. He said that the Japanese fans are some of his favorites.

"The fans are amazing; they make you seem so special. Every now and then you get fan mail from Japan and it means so much that fans halfway around the world support what you do. Our sport is so lucky to have them."

When he was last in Japan, he, Paige Lawrence and Rudi Sweigers went to visit a temple and got swarmed by masses of enthusiastic fans.

"They're really respectful though," he said. "I remember one time we were waiting at the bus stop and a lady asked really politely if she could have my autograph and then she started hyperventilating. I was like, 'Oh no!'"

It occurred to us to talk about skating. How is his skating going?

"My skating has been going all right," he said hesitantly. "I kept it really under cover last season but I was injured: it was one foot at first, then both feet, from November on. I did Nationals injured, which was unfortunate since it was the Olympic year. I strained some metatarsals in the left foot, and I had an alignment issue with the right foot. Both were over-training injuries. Whenever I would pick in my joints would grind into each other."

"When I was a little kid I had an alignment issue in my right leg and I had to wear a brace for over half a year. I never really had any issues with it but I think that my new boots were super-strong and I was overcompensating. We're fixing it with a lot of physiotherapy. Even my walking had to change -- I was walking on the outside of my foot instead of the ball. So I'm focusing on walking properly, and doing strengthening exercises. It's feeling better. When I got back on the ice I couldn't even do single Lutz or flip."

Ten told us he took two months off after the world championships, and he only got back on the ice a few weeks ago. He started doing triple Axels again on the very day we talked to him.

This week, choreographer David Wilson and 2008 world champion Jeffrey Buttle are choreographing a new short program for Ten in Toronto.

"I'm really excited about it," Wilson told us. "Jeff asked me to choreograph two new show numbers for him, and in the meantime he's become quite the choreographer himself. It's no surprise to me, because I always felt that I was collaborating with an equal."

"I started working with David Wilson in 2006, the year I won the junior national title," Ten said. "It's such a pleasure to work with someone so amazingly talented, to put the music and moves together so it becomes one cohesive unit."

"Jeremy has always idolized Jeffrey," Wilson added. "Now that kids like Sébastien Britten and Jeffrey are on the next phase of their life, it's really inspiring to collaborate with them. It's joyous when you're working with like-minded people."

More Music
We have a few more music selections for next season's competitive programs to report, from some Boston skaters. Ross Miner's free skate next season will be to Casablanca, which he skated to a few years ago as a junior.

Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir said they were going to wait to reveal their music choices until they competed, but they are graciously allowing us to share them with you. The short program will be to "Money," by Pink Floyd, and "For the Love of Money" by the O'Jays. They will skate their free skate to the Avatar score.

Jason Wong is keeping his short program from last year, and his new long program will be to The Truman Show score, choreographed by Jamie Isley.

We all scream...
You know how much figure skaters like ice cream, right? We've been doing a little summer survey to find out their favorite flavors. Here's what some of your favorite skaters said, by text and email:
Adam Rippon: VANILLA. It's classic.
Agnes Zawadzki: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.
Alex Johnson: Vanilla ice cream crushed up with Oreos, and Chubby Hubby from Ben & Jerry's. It's all so good though that I can't restrain myself!
Alex Shibutani: Ben & Jerry's Half Baked.
Amanda Dobbs: Cookies and Cream.
Jeremy Abbott: Haagen Dazs Fleur de Sel Caramel. They may have discontinued it, but it's the best!
Jeremy Barrett: Chocolate Fudge Brownie! Yum.
John Coughlin: Drew's ice cream, that I steal when he isn't looking.
Marissa Castelli: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. I also like having vanilla ice cream and breaking up Oreos in it.
Meryl Davis: Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey! It's got Chocolate aaaaand fruity goodness! Since those are the two major food groups, why wouldn't it be the best?! Coldstone's cakebatter ice cream is a close second! You get all the satisfaction without that whole "I'm licking a bowl" feeling...
Richard Dornbush: That question has a lot of implications... once you give an answer it's definitive. You can't go back. I'm going to have to say Gold Medal Ribbon, from Baskin Robbins.
Simon Shnapir: Cookies 'n' Cream and also Oatmeal Cookie Chunk from Ben and Jerry's.
Taylor Toth: Butterscotch dipped vanilla cone.
Vaughn Chipeur: Peanut butter strawberry jam flavored! It can only be found in Vancouver at this tiny little ice cream shop! It's so good!
And us:
Sarah: Ginger
Drew: Oreo

We hope you're having a fun summer!
Sarah and Drew
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