Rudy Galindo interview with ChicagoPride.com
Wed. May 2, 2007 by Scott Foval
Q: Tell me about the Champions On Ice tour this year.
RG: Well we started in Richmond, VA, and opening night came after a long week of rehearsals. My program is set to a "Dreamgirls" theme, and I'm really excited about it.
Q: Have the all the performers gelled as a group yet?
RG: Well we have a really talented group this year, and yes, I would say we're gelling. Its my twelfth year on the tour, so I'm kind of the senior man here.
Q: What do you think has led you here, to this point, where coaching is half of your focus?
RG: I've always had a passion for skating, my coaches have been great models for me, and have made it easy for me to see myself as moving in this direction. I love working with the kids I coach, and I can see myself coaching for a long time. I'll keep performing, though, as long as my body holds up.
Q: What is different now, compared to earlier in your skating career?
RG: I'm more mature now, I have a better sense of what the audience wants. I feel I'm more polished at entertaining, and my experience has allowed me to develop a higher professional level, at artistry, entertaining, and being professional in general.
Q: What effect is touring with the younger performers having on you, and on them? What about being 30 years into skating, but still touring--who is the real Rudy Galindo now?
RG: They do come up to me about my costuming, and I give some coaching, advice on enhancing certain aspects of performances. That's just part of having been on it so long. People do see me as being a fixture, having been on it so long, working with the kids, and making a lot of money...
Q: What do you hope people are getting out of your performances?
RG: When people see the final outcome, people don't always realize how much goes into it. We have 12 to 14 hours a day of practices, and numerous tech dress rehearsals. I just want people to enjoy themselves and my performances.
Q: Shifting gears, you've received a lot of attention and accolades here in Chicago, especially since the Chicago Gay Games; how do you feel about being a role model for the community?
RG: I don't know, I kind of think of it as being an expectation now. I don't try to see myself that way but I accept it and I'm proud of it—I guess I just expect it now.
Q: Do you feel comfortable with that moniker?
RG: Yes, I am now...it has been since I won the National title that I've been referred to as "out" by newspapers, etc. I don't try to put myself out there that way, I just try to work hard, keep skating and coaching, and do my thing. It is funny to me, because its only been since 1996. I thought I was out there before, but I just try to be a helper...not a role model. Its just funny, that label. (Laughing)
Q: What does the future hold for you as a skater and a coach? Will you be involved in the Gay Games in the future?
RG: I think that in the future I have a lot to offer to younger skaters, and I love working with the kids I coach, so I see myself still doing that in the future. I hope so, in the future I would love to be involved if they ask me.
Many thanks to Rudy Galindo for taking the time to talk to ChicagoPride.com. ~SF
Interviewed by Scott Foval
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