'Dancing on Ice' pros stage their own skating tour
Veterans of TV show set to perform The Professionals on Ice tour in U.K. rinks
|Suzanne Shaw and Matthew Evers, 2008 Dancing on Ice champs, are reuniting as creative directors of the Professionals on Ice tour. (courtesy of Matthew Evers)|
With the tour not happening this year -- it promises to return in 2014 -- several of the series' featured pros will be showcasing their talents in a tour named The Professionals on Ice (theprofessionalsonice.co.uk/). The show is being produced by Tristan Baker Productions (producer of the U.K.'s version of Footloose the Musical), with Matthew Evers (one of only two pros who has appeared on every season of Dancing on Ice) and his season three partner, singer/actress Suzanne Shaw, as the creative directors.
"I wanted to take the show to local ice rinks, to basically go where the market is," Evers said. "The premise behind this tour is the promotion of ice skating ... I really want to continue the promotion of figure skating here in the U.K. because we've had a resurgence of the sport over the past eight years. I want to give back to the community."
Since the debut of Dancing on Ice in 2006, there has been a significant rise in attendance at rinks around the United Kingdom.
The tour debuts April 27 at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham, hometown of Torvill and Dean (they will not be appearing), and concludes June 2 in Dundee Ice Arena, where several members of the British national team train. All the skaters will perform as couples: Evers and Frankie, Vicky Ogden and Sylvain Longchambon, Maria Filippov and Mark Hanretty (the one ice dance team), Jodeyne Higgins and Sean Rice, Robin Johnstone and Andy Buchanan, and Alexandra Schauman and Lukasz Rozycki.
"The audiences have received the professionals so well," Evers said. "It's definitely going to show the thrill of real professional skating."
Each couple will perform two programs, and there will also be some ensemble pieces, including a guys' number featuring a video of Evers' season eight partner, Pamela Anderson (they were eliminated week one).
Staging this tour is very much a part of Evers' new life in the U.K. The 1998 U.S. junior pairs champion has been embraced by British audiences throughout these eight seasons -- winning Dancing on Ice in 2008 with Shaw and being a finalist in 2006 and 2012. For the foreseeable future, he's making it his home base year-round.
"What's nice is, over the past couple of years, the entertainment industry has welcomed me into other facets of the entertainment world," said Evers, who has been involved in modeling, acting and hosting as well as TV production in the U.S. "I'm working with a lot of different television production companies doing my hosting, doing a little bit of acting. I did a play at the West End last summer. I'm back out now hitting the pavement, auditioning.
"It's been incredible," he added. "I think the English community has welcomed me with open arms. It just comes down to work ethic. How passionate I am about [Dancing on Ice] and everything I do."
That passion encompasses British skating in general, and Evers hopes The Professionals on Ice can become a familiar name.
"I'm looking down the road," he said. "I want this to be a brand that can continue on for many years."
You can follow the tour on Twitter @prosonice.