It was Valentine’s Day 2016 at the conclusion of the Port Richey, Florida, Presidents Day Invitational when Jack Greer and his coach, Melissa Quinn Cropley, took the floor for their warm-up. It had been three years of training and cross training leading up to this moment with an audience of friends and coaches there to support him. Seven international dances were about to be successfully skated in order to complete the most difficult and final RSA Team International Dance test.
Jack passed his American Team Gold Medal test in 1958 with his then Senior Dance partner, Linda Jo Baker. They also took the Bronze Medal in 1959 and went on to capture the U.S. Gold Medal in Senior Dance in 1960 and 1961 at the U.S. Championships.
After leaving the sport for more than 20 years, Jack fell in love with skating again after seeing the World Class Dance teams performing the international style dances. He was partnered with Cecile Moran Raposa and took the U.S. Bronze Medal in 1991 in Masters Team Dance. Eventually, the opportunity presented itself and Jack began testing in the International Dances with Coach, Melissa Quinn Cropley. In describing her, “You would have to skate with Melissa to realize the power it takes to become a world champion. She made my dream possible as she is not only a great coach but also a wonderful human being who respects the efforts of older skaters. Age was not to be a factor as we focused on the training and skills needed for the international style dances. We treated the final test as an athletic event and as a team going all out, nothing held back and no excuses.”
“Thanks to Melissa who skated every step with me along the way, my dream came true. I got to relive my youth of 1958 again in 2016. I hope that if there is any message in this for older skaters, it is not to let anyone discourage you from your dreams at any age. It’s not over yet. Just surround yourself with positive people, always work hard and never give up.”
Jack is thankful to all that have gone on this journey with him going back to his father and first coach, Ernest Greer, Joe Baker in Atlanta, Cookie Crumbock, Pinellas Park, Karen Miller, Sarasota and especially Melissa Quinn Cropley, Port Richey, Florida.