John Kerr along with sister Sinead Kerr-Marshall (interview here) are one of our favorite ice dance teams and seven-time British National champions. They are known for their creative choreography and being the coolest siblings in figure skating. We got a chance to chat with John Kerr at the taping of the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family skating Tribute 2016.
Kari: All right John, so what do you love about getting to do the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute?
John Kerr: It’s always super fun because obviously all the skaters have been a family. We get to really enjoy… It’s much more relaxed than a lot of the other shows. Their a little bit more “on it” where here you’re a little bit more obliged to take it a little more relaxed, you know make the kids feel comfortable. Play around with them and everything. It’s always a very special kind of atmosphere in the show.
Kari: It’s always very fun he [G] always loves it, but he loves figure skating.
John Kerr: Cool!
Kari: What are some of your favorite family traditions? Especially for the holiday season.
John Kerr: Well, I used to… We used to always try to go home all the time in Scotland. Like my parents and everything. We didn’t do too many family traditions or whatever, but that was always something… trying to get home for Christmas, being together and everything.
Kari: I bet Scotland is so beautiful.
John Kerr: It is, but it’s like anything. If it’s a sunny day it’s beautiful, if it’s pretty crappy weather…
Kari: Some of my ancestors are from there, so I’ve always wanted to go there.
John Kerr: Yeah, you should.
Kari: I know! It looks so beautiful. I think when he’s bigger we’ve got to just go and see Scotland and Ireland and places where we have history.
John Kerr: Or go now, and just carry him on your back. Take him when he’s young enough and you don’t have to pay for a ticket.
Kari: That’s true!
What are some of your favorite holiday foods? Is there anything about the holiday season that you love to eat, look forward to eating every year?
John Kerr: I used to always love turkey, and stuffing. All the stuff you wouldn’t have the rest of the year. I think that’d be the thing, turkey.
Kari: We were, no joke, talking in the car about it’s just a few weeks away and then we get to have stuffing! It’s such a great thing!
John Kerr: Why don’t you have it in summer? No, no you can’t have that it would be awful.
Kari: We have summer birthdays. It would be weird. People would say, “why did you have stuffing for your birthday?”
John Kerr: It’s like a Christmas tree in summer.
Kari: It is. What is your favorite family recipe? Do you guys like to cook in your family?
John Kerr: I always see myself, I take my dad’s lane on this, I feel like there are great cooks and great appreciators. I feel it is my role to appreciate what everyone is doing. So pretty much, I feel like that’s my role. I’ll clean it all up. I’ll tell everyone how great it is what they’re preparing, and that’s important.
Kari: No, that is important.
John Kerr: If you don’t appreciate what they’re doing, then they’ll let you know.
Kari: I’m the cook, he’s the dish washer so that works out great.
John Kerr: That’s my big part in all the turkeying.
Kari: So we always ask a few crazy rapid fire questions. Are you ready?
John Kerr: Okay, Go.
Kari: Clear your mind. Skeeball or Ping Pong?
John Kerr: Ping Pong
Kari: Football or Basketball?
John Kerr: Football.
Kari: Peppermint or Chocolate?
John Kerr: Chocolate.
Kari: Orange or Apple?
John Kerr: Orange
Kari: Pumpkin or Apple?
John Kerr: Apple
Kari: Okay, very interesting.
RJ: I have one interesting question for you. You say you like football.
John Kerr: Yeah.
RJ: How do you feel about the NFL doing more and more closer to your home in Scotland?
John Kerr: Oh yeah, like there was all this talk if there would be a team in the UK? I don’t know if it will ever happen. I think there’s a certain… It’s almost like when they bring the show there and it’s the biggest show in town and everybody comes. I think if there was a team there all the time, I’m not sure it would keep that… You know because that’s the thing, it’s kind of like a one-off. I think that’s why they get such a big crowd. I’m not entirely sure they could sustain that if it was an NFL team, but who knows. They could try it.
Kari: We have a few other questions we always ask everybody. You’re in the car, and have to get ready, what is the song you turn on to get you ready for your day?
John Kerr: This is like early morning or…?
John Kerr: “Thunderstruck” from AC/DC. Or there’s another one called “Song 2” from this British band Blur, which you would totally recognize if you heard. They play it all the time at hockey games. These guys must make so much money off that song.
RJ: I always ask people if you could be one superhero, which one would it be and why?
John Kerr: I think it’d be Batman. You get to be a little dark and everything. It’s kind of a little questionable is he a good guy or not, but it’s a little bit more interesting than your classic Superman, godlike. The thing about Batman is that he doesn’t really have any super powers, he’s really just kind of a badass. That’s kind of more fun.
Kari: He’s just gadgets and a car.
John Kerr: He’s got gadgets and a car, but he’s just a person. In theory we could all be… no we couldn’t. In theory, at least.
RJ: Given billions of dollars and all the time.
John Kerr: Right, given unlimited time and money
Kari: We also always ask: We have a little guy here who wants to be a skater already, what advice would you give him as a skater or for us as skating parents?
John Kerr: Just have fun with it. You’ll learn a lot more, I think, once you teach them how to skate to just let them play around with it. As long as they’re safe and there’s not too many people flying around, I think just let them grow a little bit. I think when people are too over-taught sometimes you don’t have that ability to find out some things. And play with some of their friends because sometimes actually they show each other stuff and you’ve got to get better by imitation.
Kari: His ballet teacher was telling me the other day that sometimes during exercises they won’t do anything, but then when they’re playing at the end, they’ll interact and we’ll see like an arabesque pop up or something.
John Kerr: Yeah!
Kari: And we’ll be like whoah you weren’t doing that a minute ago! And now it’s fun so…
John Kerr: Better than when you taught it to them.
Kari: One last question. What’s your favorite program that you’ve ever done?
John Kerr: That I’ve ever done? Oh man. Probably one of our Scottish ones. Definitely the first one we did back in 2009 because that’s what got us kind of a following. You know how you have skaters that wind up being known for one program and it just becomes, that’s what starts it off. So that’s what I’d refer back to I think.
Kari: You guys have done some crazy things. How do you do the crazy lifts you do and things? It’s insane what you all are capable of.
John Kerr: It’s a lot of trying off ice and playing around with it and looking at videos, and analyzing it and everything. It’s always fun to do new elements. Because people see the same thing all the times, so if you can put a new spin on it then it’s pretty cool.
RJ: You talk about the neat stuff you guys do. I’ve heard Penn and Teller, the magicians talk about when building a trick it’s more about knowing what they can’t do and then working backwards to what they can. Would you say that’s how you approach?
John Kerr: Sometimes you see somebody do something and they you take inspiration from it. You think, “maybe I can do this.” It likes add on to it. It’s like what scientists do. No science comes out of thin air. It builds on what came before it, and that’s the thing. You see something that somebody is done and you maybe try to adjust it a little bit and make it your own. You can take inspiration from anyone.
Kari: You guys are always creative!
Thanks so much to John Kerr for chatting with us. He may be right that it would be chaotic if everyone was Batman, but there’s no denying that Sinead & John fly across the ice like superheroes! You catch Sinead Kerr-Marshall & John Kerr, Nancy Kerrigan, Paul Wylie and more in the Musselman’s Apple Sauce Family Skating Tribute airing on ABC at 3:00pm EST November 27th and re-airing on December 11th at 3:00pm. For more information about this show, click here.