Ice Network

Addition of Davis, White gives Weiss' show a boost

Olympic champions to participate in 'Ice Champions Live!' for first time
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Meryl Davis and Charlie White will perform their new "Dog Days Are Over" exhibition program at Michael Weiss' 'Ice Champions Live!' in Laurel, Maryland, this Sunday. -Getty Images

Charlie White vividly recalls the first time he met Michael Weiss. It was at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, where White was competing in both singles and ice dance.

"I remember walking into an elevator at nationals and Michael was in the elevator by himself. He was in senior men's, and I was just a novice skater, but he cracked a joke and made a fantastic first impression," White said. "It's something that I really try to incorporate in my life now.

"Something I learned going through the world of figure skating is that it's a great honor to compete and represent your country, but it doesn't put you above anyone else. It doesn't give you the right to be off-putting or presumptuous," White continued. "At the end of the day, you can't take yourself too seriously."

Even with an Olympic gold medal, and having gotten a taste of Hollywood life with a turn on Dancing with the Stars, White continues to live by that mantra.

On Sunday, Weiss will be the one who feels privileged to be in White's company.

White and longtime partner Meryl Davis will make their first appearance in Weiss' long-running production, Ice Champions Live!, in Laurel, Maryland. Now in its 13th year, the show has raised more than $610,000 in scholarships for skaters around the country.

"We became friends with Mike when we were on the Stars on Ice tour in 2010, and he's invited us every year since," Davis said. "We've always felt so badly because, for one reason or another, we haven't been able to go. We took a look at our calendars and were really excited we were able to make it happen this time."

The lineup of Ice Champions Live! is dotted with skating stars, including Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano and three-time U.S. champion Ashley Wagner, but the addition of Davis and White to this year's cast has certainly ramped up the interest level -- the show sold out a month and a half ago, and only standing room tickets remain.

"The fact that no Stars on Ice show has come to D.C. for the last three years also created demand," Weiss said. "People want to see some skating."

Those who got a hold of tickets will be able to see Davis and White's new exhibition program to "Dog Days Are Over." The couple debuted the routine, choreographed by White's Dancing with the Stars partner Sharna Burgess, during Shizuka Arakawa's Friends on Ice shows in Japan less than two weeks ago. Burgess previously choreographed their "Say Something" show program.

"She choreographed a short piece for Charlie and me on [DWTS] as well," Davis said. "She's very creative and has a wonderful eye and is able to create moments."

Davis and White have participated in shows for any number of causes, from tsunami relief to cancer research. This will be the first time the two will perform to benefit fellow skaters.

"So many skaters go through so many trials and tribulations in financing their skating, so we are really grateful to Mike for doing all that he has done to help," Davis said. "I've given away some of my costumes to quite a few skaters over the years, and we've done a lot of charity shows, and it's always special. We love skating no matter when or why."

One perk of doing the show is that the skaters have the chance to enjoy some down time with one another; many of them even sleep over at Weiss' home. (For White, a passionate Detroit Red Wings fan, another potential benefit is the looming possibility of a pickup hockey game among cast members the night before the show.)

Not surprisingly, Davis and White have been busy recently. They just returned from touring in Japan, and Davis is in New York this week for Fashion Week, where she took part in designer Carrie Hammer's "Role Models Not Runway Models" initiative. The show features women who are inspirations in various walks of life -- professional modeling not among them -- sporting Hammer's fashions on the catwalk.

"It's such a cool concept," said Davis, who had her fitting Wednesday and was in the show Thursday. "Each role model is wearing an original design."

On tap are several other events, including the Japan Open, Carnival on Ice and speaking engagements. Davis will be a guest star in SWAY: A Dance Trilogy 2.0, a show created by her DWTS partner Max Chmerkovskiy.

Davis said, "Put it this way: I'm never without a suitcase in my laundry room."