Meryl Davis who is partnered with Charlie White in ice dancing has practically been dancing on ice all of their lives together. The duo started individually skiing when they were 5, but has been skiing together for 16 years. The secret to their success is that they know each other well and have a mutual respect.
In a phone interview, Davis talks about their team motto, partnership with Derek Hough of “Dancing with the Stars” and Alex Wong of “So You Think You Can Dance,” and what it’ll take to win in the Sochi Olympics next month.
Examiner: Do you have a team Motto?
MD – I don’t think that we have a consistent team motto, but before we take to the ice – Charlie and I like to go over things and just reminding ourselves to have a wonderful time and enjoy the moment. We feel so fortunate to do what we do on the ice that we don’t want to miss [anything].
Examiner: What advice would you give to young people who want to be a figure skater or dancer on ice?
MD – One piece of advice that I would give to any young athlete or performer is remember to thank your mom. [My] mom has been such an invaluable part of my career. Just remember to be grateful and thank the people who are there and support you along the way is a great start to success.
Examiner: Besides your mom and family is there anyone that you admire?
MD – I think that we’ve been really fortunate to have been teamed up with each other. Outside of our family, we’ve spent the most time with each other. I think that we’ve really rubbed off on one another as we’ve grown up with each other.
Examiner: What is the key to your partnership with Charlie?
MD – We talk about respect being the key to our relationship. I think that, in so many ways, that component has shaped me as an individual.
Examiner: Since you work so closely with each other, what is something interesting that you’ve learned about the other?
MD – It’s hard to narrow it down, but something I thought of is his role as an uncle. His role as an uncle to his niece and nephew brings out the best in him.
Examiner: Can you discuss your partnership with Derek Hough (“Dancing with the Stars”) and Alex Wong (“So You Think You Can Dance”).
MD – Yeah, we worked with Derek on our short dance and Alex on our free dance this year. We felt lucky to have worked with both of them. They’re both unique talents and great people. We had a boot-camp with Derek in the spring to prepare for what we want to put on ice for our short dance. The theme for [short dance] this year is quickstep foxtrot. We wanted to make sure that we have an understanding of the dance and feeling before taking it to the ice. Derek was able to help us achieve that character and put it together. [Derek and Alex] inspire us with what it is that they’re able to do. It can only make us better in what we take to the ice.
Examiner: Since there has never been an Olympic gold win by the U.S. in ice skating / dance do you feel pressure, and how are you preparing?
MD – We do feel pressure, but I don’t think it’s a result of a lack of success in that particular [challenge]. I think we feel pressure just because it’s something that we want, and we’ve been working for years now. American figure skating has been on the rise, so we would love to make that accomplishment for U.S. figure skating, but I think that the pressure comes from within us.