Former Olympic champion Robin Cousins said it is now the creative process of putting on an ice show rather than performing which makes his world spin.
The 1980 figure-skating champ visited Cheshire Oaks outlet village to open its new ice rink and talk about his new Holiday on Ice production, the joy of watching youngsters take to the ice and being a TV ice judge.
Cheshire Oaks had invited 30 pupils of Our Lady Star of the Sea Primary School, Ellesmere Port, to try out the new ice and meet the skating star.
As the children raced on to the ice, Robin said it was great to see more temporary ice rinks giving children a chance to try out the sport.
Robin said: “The kids don’t have a fear of falling, while some of the adults tend to stiffen up. I always say if you feel yourself going to go – just let it happen.
“It is great fun to see the children’s faces and look at the concentration as they are trying to skate.”
He added: “It’s all about getting more youngsters at grass-route level into the sport – you never know, we could be hiring one of these kids in 10 years time for Holiday on Ice.”
The latest ice show production is coming to Liverpool’s Echo Arena in January and artistic director Robin says it promises to wow the crowds.
He said: “The show is called Spirit, it has earth, air, fire and water as a base.
“The music and dance comes from around the world – from the mysteries of the East and Chinese fantasies through to a bit of hip- hop, with music by Christina Aguilera and Seal to a little bit of Indian pow wow.
“It is a brilliant excuse to have lots of extravagant costumes and to have some wonderful skating.”
Robin said his performing days are over and he now much prefers directing the show.
“I love the creative process, I really enjoy putting the shows together,” he said. “After nine months of gestation and playing with a small creative team to then actually sit in an audience while they are watching the show and see people react the way you wanted them to – there is nothing like it.”
Robin said the Echo Arena is a great place to show off the skills of the dancers.
“I think Spirit will look very nice in the arena,” he said. “There is not many venues in the UK where the big Holiday on Ice extravaganza will sit the way they were constructed.”
The ice skating star is also preparing to go back to his judge’s seat in January in hit ITV show Dancing on Ice.
“The celebrities will be announced at the beginning of December, there are quite a few dotted around the country who are training in the hope of being picked for the show.
“I don’t want to know who they are or what they’ve done or what they are famous for or infamous for, I just want to watch them as skaters and see if they a have a journey – but it’s going to be tough to beat last year’s stars.
“I think its a bit of a false sense of security because people look at these celebs and go ‘oh, if they can do it, it must be easy’ and it really isn’t.
“They are very committed to working quite hard and I think it’s like when people come and see Holiday on Ice, the sport is in the training, the art and the execution. It wants to look effortless and easy but it takes a lot of hours and a lot of brain power and a lot of training to get as good as the kids we have in the show.”
Holiday On Ice presents Spirit at the Echo Arena, Liverpool, from January 28-31. Tickets are available from the box office on 0844 8000 400 and at www.echoarena.com. Child tickets are £10.