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The Inside Edge: ITNY skaters filled with 'Glee'

Group including Kerrs, Navarro and Bommentre films Christmas Eve episode of hit FOX show

(L-R) Kim Navarro, Chris Colfer and Brent Bommentre huddle together during the taping of an episode of <i>Glee</i> in Bryant Park.
(L-R) Kim Navarro, Chris Colfer and Brent Bommentre huddle together during the taping of an episode of Glee in Bryant Park. (courtesy of John Kerr)

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By Sarah S. Brannen and Drew Meekins, special to icenetwork.com
(11/21/2012) - We have been big fans of the TV show Glee since the very first episode, so it was with excitement and envy that we heard that six figure skaters taped an episode of the show Monday night. Sinead Kerr and John Kerr, Kim Navarro and Brent Bommentre, Line Haddad and Jon Hunt spent from 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on the Bryant Park ice rink in New York City, filming the show's Season 4 Christmas Eve episode.

All the skaters are part of the Ice Theatre of New York.

"They had requested three couples for a 'White Christmas' number," Navarro told us. "The scene was two of the main characters singing; there was an outer circle of public skaters and us in the middle. The stars were in the middle with us, and we were doing our best not to crash into them."

"We're big fans of the show," Sinead Kerr said. "I'm guessing it was about some kind of a re-connection between Kurt and Blaine. They wanted to have skaters on the ice -- three couples breaking out into some kind of dance. We started off as part of the crowd and then the music came on, and we were to break out into a dance. It was kind of a challenge not to knock the stars down or bump into the cameras."

Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt Hummel on the show, tweeted early Tuesday morning: "Eleven hours in ice skates! We're ready for the Olympics...or the hospital."

Colfer included a fetching picture of himself in figure skates and Darren Criss, who plays his character's love interest, Blaine Anderson, wearing hockey skates.

"They were both really good!" Navarro said. "Chris took one belly flop, but he recovered quite nicely. Darren really got into it; he requested to be lifted by Jon and Brent. Someone suggested they try an airplane spin, so we showed them what it was and they were like, 'No!' "

"Off camera, [Colfer and Criss] were extremely nice and they wanted to know about skating," Kerr said. "We tried to teach them a spin. They were really interested, which was nice, because it was, like, 3 a.m."

The episode was directed by choreographer Adam Shankman, who has directed several episodes of Glee as well as many movies, including the big-screen adaptation of Rock of Ages. Shankman is also one of the judges on So You Think You Can Dance.

"It was fun. We had a really good laugh," Kerr said. "It won't be the biggest part, but I think it will be a main scene."

Kerr said that while she and her brother have been avid watchers of the show from the beginning, they have missed some of the current season due to the amount of traveling they have been doing.

"When it first came out, for the first couple of seasons we watched every single episode," she said. "We are big fans."

"All the extras and the stars were really nice," Navarro said. "We got the giggles too many times. If you catch our faces in the background on the show, we might be laughing really hard."

Navarro got to sleep in Tuesday morning, but Hunt had to get up early and coach, and Bommentre had to catch an early train back to Philadelphia for a chemistry class. But all the skaters enjoyed the experience.

"It's always great fun for us to do anything a bit different, and there's nothing like skating in New York outside at Christmas time," Sinead Kerr said.

Training challenges

Samantha Cesario, who won the senior ladies event at Eastern sectionals last week (watch her short program here), had quite a lot to cope with as she prepared for the event. Cesario lives on Long Island, in one of the communities greatly affected by Superstorm Sandy.

To add to the challenge, Cesario had only recovered from a pulled hamstring injury a couple weeks before.

"I only had a week or two of training before sectionals and then Sandy hit," she said. "I missed the beginning of the week of training; the bridges were closed, and I couldn't get to the rink. It was really rough here. We had no power for more than two weeks, but compared to everybody else around me, it was nothing. We had a small generator for the first week, so we could do a lamp and a charger. Then my dad got us a bigger one, and we could hook up the heat, which was good because it was really cold. We got power back on Friday while I was at Easterns."

We'll have more about Cesario's skating at Easterns, along with much more news from several sectional champions, in our next blog. We'll also have an update on Timothy Dolensky, who was hampered by a stress fracture in his left ankle and, unfortunately, wasn't able to qualify for the U.S. championships.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sarah and Drew

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