Fenimore on Ice Symposium

Fenimore on Ice - Symposium
Saturday, July 15
Fenimore on Ice Symposium (2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.)

Tickets for the Fenimore on Ice Symposium are sold out but the public is welcome to join us for the Tablaux Vivant public performance at The Farmers' Museum (11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.), and book signings with Dorothy Hamill (11:00 a.m.) and Dick Button (4:00 p.m.) at Fenimore Art Museum.

Join us for a special retrospective/symposium on figure skating over the last century with a guided discussion with panelists Dick Button, JoJo Starbuck, and Dorothy Hamill. The Fenimore on Ice Symposium is moderated by Douglas Webster, Artistic Director of Ice Dance International, and include screen clips from past Olympics, highlighting performances by the panelists, and an audience Q&A.

Admission to the symposium is $60 members, $70 non-members. Reservations are required; find tickets at fenimore-on-ice.eventbrite.com.

Before the symposium: Figure Skating Performance/Demonstration

There will be a Tableaux Vivant public performance before the symposium (11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.) featuring members of Ice Dance International Events skating on glice - a warm-weather alternative to ice. The performance will be across the street at the Louis C. Jones Center (5775 State Highway 80) and is included with regular museum admission.

Sponsored by the Leatherstocking Credit Union.




Figure Skater Bios:

Dick Button is widely considered one of the premiere male figure skaters of all time. He dominated the world of figure skating for a seven-year period, winning two Olympic gold medals (1948 and 1952), five consecutive World Championships, seven U.S. National titles, and four North American and European Championships. Button has since had a long and illustrious broadcasting career spanning fifty years (1960–2010), becoming the first winner of an Emmy Award for “Outstanding Sports Personality—Analyst” in 1981. In December 2015 he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame as the first honoree of the “Sports Analyst” category. 

Button’s legacy in the sport extends beyond competition, performance, analysis, and production. He has built a diverse and distinguished collection of paintings, prints, posters, sculptures, costumes, and folk art that honors the long history, evolving artistry, and cultural impact of skating. 


JoJo Starbuck is a two-time Olympian and World bronze medalist, three-time U.S. Pairs Skating Champion with Ken Shelley and a member of the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame.  

After starring in Ice Capades and many television specials, JoJo’s professional skating career experienced a “rebirth" when Olympic Champion John Curry asked her to partner him in his Broadway show, Ice Dancing.  They were choreographed by some of the leading dance choreographers of the time, giving her a new sense of music and artistry on the ice.  They performed at the Metropolitan Opera House in NYC, Royal Albert Hall in London and many other venues worldwide.

JoJo has also produced many live and televised skating events and has greatly enjoyed coaching Olympians and beginners alike.

She is married to architect Jeffrey Gertler and resides in Madison, NJ.  She is also the proud mom of 21-year-old twin sons, Abraham and Noah Starbuck Gertler.



Dorothy Hamill captured the Gold Medal at the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria at the age of 19.  Overnight, she became one of those rare champions who transcended her sport and captured the country’s imagination. Still, she has said she is most proud of her World Championship title in Gothenburg, Sweden, which followed her Olympic win.  At that time, everyone had advised her to retire from amateur competition, saying that even a second place finish would tarnish the luster of her Olympic gold.  Characteristically, once she set her mind to it, she would not be dissuaded, and won.

Hamill has been inducted into the Olympic Hall of Fame and the Figure Skating Hall of Fame. She was very proud to run the torch into the Olympic Stadium in Salt Lake City in 2002 and skate the closing ceremonies with vocalist Harry Connick Jr.  For the last Winter Olympics, she co-hosted coverage with Billy Bush for “Access Hollywood” and is slated to be a correspondent for the upcoming Olympics in Soochi, Russia in February 2014.

For more than a decade, Hamill has suffered from osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic joint disease in her neck, hips and knees.  While it takes her more time to warm up and get moving, Hamill has not let OA stop her from being active. 

As a professional, Hamill has skated with many productions, including the Ice Capades and Stars on Ice.  Four ABC primetime television specials have been produced in her honor and she has produced and starred in her own touring productions of “Cinderella — Frozen in Time,” “Hansel, Gretel, the Witch and the Cat,” and “Nutcracker on Ice.” She won an Emmy Award for her lead role in “Romeo and Juliet.”

In March 2013, Dorothy joined season 16 of "Dancing with the Stars" where she received the highest marks and most press of any of the contestants in the first week.  However, in the second week of rehearsals she severely injured her back and had to bow out of the competition. 

She has created fantasy ice skating clinics in Nantucket, Vail and Lake Tahoe, and does many motivational speaking engagements for women, medical and health organizations.  Also, Hamill is involved with many charity organizations, including the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, the International Special Olympics, Big Brothers & Sisters of America, the American Cancer Society, Ronald McDonald House, March of Dimes, and a variety of AIDS foundations.

Hamill released her memoir "A Skating Life: My Story," which made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2007.



Douglas Webster has been involved in figure skating since he grew up in North Conway, NH and trained in Augusta, Maine and Fairfax, VA when he was in his early teens. He is a graduate of The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.

Douglas co-founded Ice Dance International (icedanceinternational.org) in 2014 with Edward Villella, Dick Button, Linda Villella, and Debbie Gordon.

In its third year, IDI is bound for success as an internationally recognized ice dance company with the mission to create classical and contemporary ice ballet with a professional company.

In the fall of 2016, IDI completed its’ first National US tour to standing ovations and rave reviews.

From 2011-2014 Douglas served as the Artistic Director of Ice Theatre of New York (ITNY) bringing the company to new heights. Between 1991 and 2011, Douglas worked with Ice Theatre as Associate Artistic Director, Resident Choreographer and Ensemble Director, along with his professional partner Judy Blumberg.

In addition to his current work with IDI, Douglas serves as the Creative Director for Shall We Dance on Ice, an ABC tv special that features ice dancing and ballroom. The third installment of the series aired in February of 2017. He worked on the first episode with Edward Villella.  He has worked as a choreographer for all the major skating companies in the world, including Disney on Ice (10 shows, including High School Musical); Holiday on Ice (3 shows); Stars On Ice (2); and The Sun Valley Ice Show (3). He has also choreographed many television shows, including ITNY’s participation in Winter Solstice on Ice; Skating with the Stars for ABC TV; and Sterren Dansen op Het IJs in The Netherlands.

Douglas currently serves on the board of the Young Artists Showcase and is on the staff of “Grassroots to Champions.”  He also serves on the Board of The Dance Hall, in his hometown of Kittery, Maine.

In 2015, Douglas was nominated by the Professional Skaters Association (of America) for the F. Ritter Shumway Award given to a person in the skating world who has earned distinction for unending dedication and significant contribution to the world of figure skating.

In 2017 Douglas was nominated for the Gustave Lussi award given to a male professional who has brought recognition to the sport in a positive and favorable manner.



Ice Dance International (IDI) exists to share the beauty of ensemble ice dance with the world. Founded just over two years ago by Dick Button, Edward Villella, Linda Villella, Debbie Gordon, and artistic director Douglas Webster, IDI has created a full show of touring repertory with work by Mr. Villella and Mr. Webster. This show, Ice/Dance, traveled the country in the fall of 2016 to rave reviews. In September, IDI will conduct its’ third annual residency in Sun Valley, Idaho where they will shoot a public television special to air in April of 2018. The special will feature company repertory as well as documentary style footage about the history of ensemble skating. In June of 2018, dance luminary Trey McIntyre is on board to create a new company work for IDI at a residency in Portland, Maine.

Along with its’ touring repertory, IDI has created significant community engagement programs, taught national clinics that share the joy of skating, and participated in special events that help build and support the foundation of its’ touring repertory company.

These special IDI Events include live discussion, unique performances, and outreach. During IDI’s first couple of years, IDI Events have presented shows at Fenway Park, Rockefeller Center, and the Strawbery Banke Museum, and conducted a live discussion presented by Words on Dance at the San Francisco Ballet Studios. In addition to this exciting weekend at Fenimore Art Museum, upcoming IDI Events will be held in Sun Valley with two live discussions featuring Edward Villella, Dorothy Hamill, Judy Blumberg, and Douglas Webster.
For more information about IDI, please visit IDI’s website at www.icedanceinternational.org