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    Pasha Grishuk took to the ice again, this time as a singles skater. She performed in a benefit show in Boise, Idaho alongside Brian Orser, Yuka Sato, Caryn Kadavy and Nicole Bobek with the show's choreography designed by Lea Ann Miller. This benefit show at the Bank of America Centre and Arena on March 2 was designed to support Idaho's Olympic hopeful athletes in all Olympic sports and was a near sell-out. "I also met Idaho's governor, Dirk Kempthorne in his office and he came to the show and post show reception. It was an honor to meet him and we did some TV interviews for the show together," said Grishuk.

    This show was promoted by IMG and Diamond Sports Entertainment according to her agent Jay Ward, may be televised at a future date. During this show, Grishuk took part in three group numbers choreographed by Miller. "Working with Lea Ann Miller was just amazing; she is such an incredible choreographer," she said. Miller included three group numbers, a western, a waltz and a contemporary piece for this show.

    "Lea Ann got a piggy bank for me for good luck and all the other skaters added money to it for me right before the show started. It was so cute and so nice of them that it moved me to tears," said Grishuk. She felt a little nervous as she took the ice but Grishuk felt the reception from the audience helped her. "At first I felt like a five year-old kid going out for the first time but once I heard the audience I didn't feel alone out there anymore. he people were very supportive and the whole atmosphere was wonderful," she said.

    Grishuk performed two solo numbers in this show. Her first number she describes as a classical and dramatic piece called "One L for Love" by Richard Clayderman and then for a complete change of pace she performed to her energetic Jennifer Lopez medley. According to Grishuk, "I didn't miss a jump or have a spill so I am very happy. It turned out better than I hoped for the first time around."

    She did not try her triple Salchow under the spots lighting but did double Axels, double Salchows and double toes within her programs but she thought the show had spectacular lighting effects. "They did a wonderful job with lots of colors and star patterns on the ice," she said. According to Grishuk , it felt different to be skating again in a lovely dress instead of her regular practice clothes but she was thrilled to be back performing again. "It was an awesome experience and very exciting for me to skate for an audience again," Grishuk said.

    "I began my career as a singles skater at age four and for almost eight years did my double and triple jumps (in Russia)," said Grishuk. She was born in the Ukraine and earned two Olympic and four World titles for Russia with her partner Evgeny Platov. Platov now skates professionally with third class skater Maya Usova, who is nearly 10 years older than Pasha. Grishuk lost her Olympic eligibility competing with Usova's former partner, Sasha Zhulin during the 1998-99 season.

    Presently Grishuk prefers to skate as a singles skater. "I love the freedom of single skating. I love the freedom of only relying on myself and the freedom of movement it gives me on the ice," she said. "I am making plans for next season and will follow my manager's plan for me. Skating makes me happy and I would really like to skate in more skating shows." She has more new numbers prepared and has other programs "in the works" and looks forward to skating more next season. "The whole skating routine tells a story. I am an entertainer and the audience always comes first," said Grishuk.

    "I really want to thank my fans for encouraging me and bringing me back on the ice with their support. I also want to thank my manager, Jay Ward. All the letters and emails from my fan really helped me. Grishuk mentions her official web site address as



    Grishuk said she currently trains five hours a day for five days a week in California and has no plans to take a break from training as this year's skating season draws to a close. "I was off the ice for a while with my sprained ankle last fall so that was my break." She also continues to take acting classes three days a week and was heading to the movie theater to watch a movie for a class assignment at the conclusion of our interview. "Single skating is what I want and I am willing to do whatever it takes to be successful," Grishuk said.

She would like to travel to Germany later this month to visit her mother, aunt and other family members if scheduling permits. She celebrates her 28th birthday on March 17 and is this month's Blades on Ice Photo of the Month.



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