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“My husband bought me skates and lessons for Hanukkah one year.”

they were getting into.

Little did she and her husband know what “I was in my learn-to-skate program and I

knew [Burgess] was a pairs skater, so I asked him if he would skate with me,” Cooper said. Burgess admits he was a little skeptical. “I lifted her and she was really strong, so it

was about working on some basic skills, but other than that she’s a good partner.”

Her goal soon became to come to the U.S.

Adult Championships. She and Burgess trained 14 hours a week so she could pass her tests. “It’s been pretty painful [taking] all those

tests,” Cooper said. “Tat was the hardest part: one test after another after another and not get- ting a break.”


All that hard work, however, paid off in “I was so happy,” Cooper said. “We’re third,

but I feel like we won.” Jan Calnan (Individual Member) and Mark

Stanford (Te SC of New York) took home the pewter medal, scoring 41.48 points. Tey skat- ed a stylish program to a combination of “Black Machine” and “Johnny’s Mambo,” which they jokingly labeled “Black Magic Mambo.”

CHAMPIONSHIP DANCE By Barb Reichert Stop me if you’ve heard this one: An Olym-

pian and an Indy car driver meet one day on figure skates. Tey team up as ice dancers and qualify for nationals. At that event, they face a Nobel Prize winner. All three medal. Of course, this could only happen at the

(l-r) Michelle Goodnetter/Christian Wilson, Trisha Hessinger/Chuen- Gun Lee, Katharina Gravenstein/Anthony David, Amy Engeler/Robert Engle

Trisha Hessinger and Chuen-Gun Lee

U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, where diverse lives intermingle all in the name of skating. Trisha Hessinger (Body Zone FSC) and Chuen-Gun Lee (SC of Wilmington) mixed

speed with intricate steps to earn 73.74 points and win the dance title. Michelle Goodnetter (Skokie Valley SC) and Christian Wilson (Skokie Valley SC), collected the silver medal with 60.45 points.

Te bronze went to Katharina Gravenstein

(Georgia FSC) and Anthony David (Georgia FSC) who scored 49.73 points. Amy Engeler (SC of New York) and Robert Engle (SC of New York) took the pewter with 41.39 points. Admittedly, this dance field featured an in-

teresting cast. Hessinger, 59, is an Indy car driver who for

more than a decade represented CART World Series sponsor PPG as a member of its Pace Car Team. She was featured on the Nashville Net- work’s “Ready for the Road,” which aired before NASCAR events. In 2002, Lee, 32, and partner Yang Tae- Hwa became the first South Korean ice dancers to compete in the Olympic Winter Games. He now coaches in the United States. And then there’s Robert Engle, 70, who won

the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics for develop- ing the ARCH system, which of course stands for AutoRegressive Conditional Heteroskedasticity. Engle proudly lists his adult skating accomplish- ments in his professional bio. With so many overachievers on the ice, the competition was fierce. Hessinger and Lee were by far the most athletic and technical team. De- spite a fall during a lift, the judges rewarded the team for its many risks and ability. Te fall surprised them. “In that moment, when he was on one foot and I was getting into position, the balance and angles weren’t quite perfect,” Hessinger said. “It should have been five rotations with a change of position after that. It was planned to be a Level 4 lift, so we lost a lot of points.” “It was both of our faults,” Lee said, “but

neither of us were injured, so we are fine.” Te team’s next competition, only its third

together, is the ISU International Adult Compe- tition, May 15‒18, in Oberstdorf, Germany. So what’s their goal for Germany? “Don’t fall,” Hessinger said with a laugh. Goodnetter and Wilson, who are both coach-

es, showcased a romantic and sensual number. “I think we do our best with that type of music, rather than aggressive; something a little more subdued and mellow,” Wilson said. Gravenstine and David turned in an ener- getic barn dance. “We love this program because it’s just fun,”

Gravenstine said. “Sometimes it’s hard for me to do the presentation, but when we’re out there and the music is fun and we are having a good time together, it’s easy to smile.”

22 JUNE/JULY 2013



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