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Fashionable Society Now Busy with 6 6Ice Teas99 and
((Dansants a Glace99 and Not Enough Skating Rinks or Instructors to Meet the Demand ICE skating, or rather dancing on Bkates. Is the newest fashionable amusement. There is every indica tion that the new craze, which already is country-wide In extent, will be taken tup by people of all ages, and In all walks of life, with the same <>tithuBlasm that has converted men, women and children into fox-trotters and tango-ex perts during the past three or four sea sons. Skating on ice is considerably more difficult for adults to learn than dancing Dancing on the ice is a feat which only export skaters dare to tackle. Never theless, the difficulties of the new fad Beem to have had little effect on Us popularity, and the rlnkB throughout the country are now crowded morning, noon and night with debutantes and society matrons who are determined to become expert skaters and Ice-dancers In the shortest possible time. The dauceB which expert skaters are able to execute on the ice Include the old-fashioned waltz, the ten-step, another form of waltc, the fox-trot and various modifications of the other dances which have become popular in recent seasons. While these ice-dances look extremely difficult to perform, the accomplishment follows easily enough after the funda mental figures of figure-skating ha\o been acquired. A good figure-skater can learn new figures with as much facility as a dancer learnB new steps. The miin thing that is necessary is to become adept at ordinary figure-skating. Danc ing on Ice will then follow easily r-noueh, although, of course, it will require a good deal of practise. The foundation of all figure-skating is the ability to use the four edges of the skates?the Inside left, the outside left, the inside ri?ht and the outside right, and to be able to skate backward on either of these edges Just as readily as forward. Dally practise on these funda mentals is essential to progress in ice dancing. The fact that the new amusement has already taken a firm hold is evidenced In many ways Four of New York's most fashionable hotels have already planned ice rinks ;"or the use of their patrons. The Hill more is the first to open Its rink to the public. The Wal dorf is 6aid to be investing in the neighborhood of a million dollars in rink on the roof of its new annex. The Hotel Astor and the McAlpin are now arranging similar facilities. Some of the rostaurantB and cabarets which have hitherto made their dancing-floors their principal attraction are preparing to sub stitute ice for hard-wood so that those who havt danced may hereafter skate instead. Most significant of all. perhap-. is the thorough manner in which New York, Boston and Chicago society has taken the lead in adopting the new fad. In New York, a club was formed several weeks ago by enthusiasts and its mem bership includes most of the debutantes of the season, the girls who are to come out next year and some young married people. Among subscribers to the club are Mrs. John .lacob A&tor, Mr. and Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Mr. and Mrs. Ed win Gould. Mr. and Mrs. Irving I3rokaw and a host of others whose names are Terv well known In the most exclusive social circles. ThiB club has engased the St. Nicholas Skating Rink for .Monday afternoons for the entire season, which lasts until the end of April. Professional skaters and Instructors have been engaeed to In struct the members in the intricacies of Ice-dancing. In Boston, expert Bkaters have been engaged by the Boston Skating Club, an exclusive organization, to teach society the new fad. Mr. and Mrs. A. Windsor Wills. Miss Eleanora Soars and Miss Edith Rotch are. perhaps, the most promi nent of Back Bay fashionables who are leading the movement In New England. In Chicago, the Sherman House some time ago anticipated the present craze and installed a skating-rink In the Col lege Inn, In the basement, in place of the dancing floor. Tt was foreseen that danc ing was losing its hold and that ic.e-skat inz was Koing to take its place. The change has met with great success. That the general public Is goine: to follow society's lead and make skating the principal diversion this Winter Is in dicated plainly bv the unusually large number of people who have already taken up the snort at the rinks. At St. Nicholas Rink, for Instance, rec cord crowds have Ifeen in attendance at every session since the opening of the season on November 1. Thir. rink ac commodates S00 people on the Ice at a time and there are three sessions a day. Men and women of all aees arc clamor ing for instruction or for a chance to practise and perfect themselves in the new skating dances The same situation ,prevails at the other rinks throughout the country. There are two large rinks on the Const, one at Seattle and the other at Portland. Both are dolnn a record business, and similar enthusiasm is evident in Detroit. Cleveland. Pittsburgh, and Chicago. * The new amusement will not score its greatest triumph, perhaps, until freez ing weather arrives, when the limited capacity of the indoor rinks will be augments^ by the unlimited facilities of the park lakes, BtreamH and out-door rinks. Then. of courBe, there will be sufficient outlet for all the pent-up enthusiasm which the craze 1b hound to arouse in the meantime. Evidently that is what the manufacturers of sporting goods und apparel are relying upon mainly, for although the indoor skating season is now a month or two old, the large skate factories are still run ning on a twenty-four hour schedule in three shifts in an effort to cope with the tre mendous demand for skates which they are confident will materialize within the next two or three months. Up-to-date skating has brougnt with it Its own special styles of wearing ap parel. All the costume makers and manufacturers of wearing apparel have vied with each other in getting out at tractive skating designs and the big re tail stores have given considerable spate in their advertising to the beautiful creations which have been made avail able for followers of the new c^aze. Thi<* factor, in itself, it is believed, will insure the popularity of ire-dancing. Indeed, it has been suggested that women may be tempted to take up skating in order to wear the new garments rather than to purchase the new garments for the sake of skating. in liiiQ with this phase of the situation, a series of weekl> fashion shows de voted to garments specially designed for skating has been arranged at the St. Nicholas Rink. Already several of the well known women'* specialty houses have exhibited their models at these dis plays. and the remarkably effective cos tumes which skating has developed are certainly not calculated to deter women irom lulling into hue. The social opportunities wiiich the new craze affords are considerable. Al ready two elaborate Ice-Teas or "dan sauts a glace" have been given by Mr. and Mrs. Irving Brokaw, in which the skating stage of the Hippodrome was engaged. On these occasions, the guests of the Brokaws to the number of about 100 participated in the general ice-dancing and were then entertained by Mr. Brokaw. probably the most accomplished amateur figure-skater In the world. Lawrence Waterbury, of polo fame, and Raymond Townsend, of New Haven, who gave a special exhibition of fancy-skating, their partners being the famous Hippo drome professionals Charlotte, Katy Schmidt and Lllen Dallerup. A largo contingent of Boston society folk were present, bringing with them Mr .and Mrs. Muller. the Herman professional skaters, who have been engaged by the Boston Skating Club to teach Back Bay folk the new accomplishment. The New York guests included Mrs. O. H. P. Belmont. Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Harrinian. Mr. and Mrs. Klbert H. (Jary. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Scot; Burden. Mr. and Mrs. \V. K. Vander bilt, Mrs. r.argcr-Wallach, . . ? w .iufi ?%%!..?? l nn^rxrooo. Miss Leila Burden Mr. Irving Broka K'l I'nilorwocri A Ciulcriimal Mrs. Cass Ledyard and Mr. J. H. Alexander Mr. Foxhall P. Keene, and a host of others equally prominent in social circles. .lust how tho now era'/'1 startrd :io one is able (l?'iinitely to explain. Per haps the largest single factor it> arous ing interest in skating, however, has heen the wonderful exhibition given by Charlotte and her associates at the Hippodrome. The Ballet on Ice was brought from the Admiralpalast, at lb-r liu, by Mr. Dillingham and has been uni versally admired. The Shuberts have helped to foster Interest in the new diversion by converting the "Castles in the Air" cabaret, on top of the Forty fourth Street Theatre, into an Ire Palace, where every evening a skating troupe dis plays its skill on real ice. Particularly significant is tho fact that some of the most accomplished of the professional dangers who have hitherto been featured at the Hroadwuj cabarets, sensing the drift of things, have taken up dancing on ice and are not only giv ing exhibitions but instruction. Kiloen Molyneux and Clifton Webb, of the Town Topics Company, for instance, who made such a hit as professional dancers, have shown equal skill at fox trotting on skates in the rinks. Norvel Hnprie and Isabel Mutler, at the Castles in the Air. have similarly forsaken the old-style hardwood dancing for the more graceful and more diflii-uit feat of ice dancing. Preparations to accommodate tho thou sands of skate-mad enthusiasts who will bo clamoring for a chunco to display their skill, or lack of it. as soon as the first freezing weather sets in. have been Kathleen Pope and George Kerner made at the various public tennis courts in different parts of Now York City anri the vicinity. A two-foot embankment has been erected all around these courts and as soon as the temperature drops sufticiently to justify a hope of freezing weather, these grounds will be Hooded. The problem of providing sufficient in door rinlis to accommodate the enthus iasts when the weather is not sufti^ciently cold to freeze the lakes and out-door rinks is not a very difficult one. The ease with which the Hotel Hiltmore in stalled its rink, using the regular refrig erating plant for the purpose, will point the way for other institutions. It is not unlikely, too. that the imitation Ice u:a*d by certain vaudeville performers for their skating stunts and which consists of a certain composition which is laid down in blocks, may bo utilized by roller skating rink proprietors to convert their houses into ice-rinks. This imitation ice is said to he almost as good as real ice for figure-skating and dancing purposes, although it retarfis speed to some extent. "Don't, worry about lack of facilities ? or ice-skat inf.." declared Mr. lirokaw, when thi.4 i h??:o uf liie present craze was suggested to him. "The sport has aroused such a trem endous storm of enthusiasm 1'iat it is not unlikely that too .many rinks will spring up over night. Kver.vbody seems suddenly to have gone ice-mad. "For years I have tried to arouse en thusiasm In this most graceful of sports and now that the boom has ei me I'm al most afraid the thing may be overdone. There tore so many people who ,iro tak ing up skating now who will never really amount to anything.. They are going at It in the wrong way. "You see them at the rinks going around and around like so many mice on a tread-mill Instead of endeavoring to (C) I'mlerwood *x ru'lcnvocl. v Miss Katherine Dahlgren and Mr. R. 5. Emmet. I*.') I inloi'Wixiil ?& Uiulrrwood. u Mrs. Alice Roosevelt Longworth At Robert Goelet's Skating Party perfect themselves in the only feature of ice-skating that is really worth while? figure-skating. "Of course. I realize that we must learn to crawl before we can walk, but when ! ?.(?)> skaters who haVe been able to i-kate for years and are stil! content to roll around in tii<- ceaseless grind of rink-skating instead o! trying fo accom plish something in the way of llgure skarin;, it makes ni ? a little discouraged. "Plain ska.ing is a very important preliminary !?> figure-skating. Unless ih'> f'iii'ii! ? i:t *t- of good skating are ac quired r-lit. i rom the start, graceful li.: r ? .1 fo ever out of The nues lien, it Is almost impossible to correct the bad habits which faulty skating brings ?. i ;i it. So many skaters never get no ond the preliminaries. That is unfortunate. Perhaps the renewed in teres!, in this most graceful and health ml of all sports may bring about a gen eral improvement in this respect." Mr. Hrokaw lias made skating his hob'); lor years. He is the author of t'.ie only ?luthoriiatlvc work on tlie art of skating, and he has always been active in every movement to further the inteiest of the sport. He is an active member of the new society skating club at the St. Nicholas Rink, and he gives frequent amateur exhibitions. Copyright, 1015. by the Star Company Great Britain Rights Reserved.