At 3 years old, I was on skates.  My parents, Gladys and George Werner, were pros at the Mineola Skating Rink; and, after Mineola closed, they moved on to the Levittown Arena.  I remember being at the rink most of my life with them and feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to learn from the best.

   At age 7, I started skating seriously and taking lessons several times a week.  I loved skating and did free style and dance, including pairs.  Of course in the days that I skated, in the free style events,  figures were 60% of the mark; so you had to practice them over and over and over.  I loved to practice and even enjoyed all of my 6 am morning lessons.

   In 1958, I won Juvenile Ladies Singles and went on to win Sub-novice Ladies Singles, and Novice Ladies Singles.  In addition, I won sub-novice dance and pairs with William Lessne and Novice Ladies Pairs with Linda Klein.

   As I grew older, my true love of the sport was the dance competition.  My father was a genius when it came to choreography, and my mother always made sure we were technically correct, so I excelled in the free dance portion.  My first World Competition was in Miami with James Gaglio.  We did not place, but what an honor it was to have been picked to be on the team.  And then in 1965, I placed Second at Nationals in Senior Dance with Larry Adams and we continued on to the World Competition in Madrid, Spain placing 4th, which was the highest placement the U.S. team had ever accomplished in a Worlds.  It was such an exciting time and I was so proud that my father was the Coach of the World Team.  It made me try even harder to do my very best.  My father was a expert when it came to free dance, exhibitions and interpreting movements to the music.  In fact, he choregraphed all of the Mineola and Levittown Carnivals and also the Macy Day Parade events.  I will cherish having participated in these events. 

   I did teach skating for two years in Connecticut and in New Jersey, but found the commute to be just too much.  I went on to work 18 years at McGraw-Hill in the publishing division and Broadcasting division.  Currently I work for an attorney in my home town and also own two WE THE PEOPLE franchises which handles the preparation of legal documents for those individuals that cannot afford attorneys.   

   I must say that my life has been so rewarding and fulfilling due to skating and I am so blessed to have wonderful and talented parents, Gladys and George; a terrific son, Larry,  who excelled athletically in all he did, and now a most beautiful grandaughter that loves to ice skate.  (We'll see where that may lead)

   Thank you, Jim, for taking so much of your time to put this magnificent web site together.  And, if anyone would like to contact me, my email is:

Cheryl Werner Zeranti
                     GEORGE & GLADYS WERNER'S SKATING ERA (1940-1970)


       I have to begin with how we started to skate when we were 15 and 16 years old.  I always went to Hillside Rollerdrom in Queens, New York, on Saturdays with my girlfriends and we always had a great time.  One Saturday, a man by the name of  JOSEPH CARROLL  (who on ice had produced Senior Dance Champions for many years)  and wrote the "Carroll Swing Foxtrot" and "Carroll Tango" happened to come into the rink and he called George and myself over after we did a "Couples Only" number.  We did not know any dances, how to turn, or even skate backwards, but he explained to the both of us that he would like to teach us FREE for 2 hours each day and then we had to practice 2 hours that same day also.  He wanted to prove that he could "make roller dance champions in Senior Dance on the rollers as well as on ice."  We asked him why he picked us out and he said, "I want someone who knows nothing and Gladys, you have had ballet training as I saw the pointed toes in your free leg positions and George, you are very powerful and look like you have skated previously."  George was an ice hockey skater for Jamaica High School.

       Just imagine the workouts we had as we had to take tests on all the lower dances to skate Senior Dance and learn all the Gold Dances as well.  Mr. Carroll stressed posture and power very much in everything we did, and he was so fussy on turns that they be really good.  We even had to pass some figure tests to satisfy him.

       Well, we worked out every day 4 hours and it was amazing how we progressed.  He made us enter the Senior Dance Championships in 1941 against all the great Mineola Skating Rink champions and other good teams and to our amazement we won 5 firsts in Senior Dance.  What an upset that was!

       Not only did Mr. Carroll make us champions that year, 1941, but also 1942, and 1946 after George got out of the Army Air Force in 1945.  The years in between George was over in Europe flying 50 missions in a B-17.

       We also were the first ones to take our GOLD MEDAL PROFICIENCY TEST on the ice or rollers in 1942 in Twin City Arena in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  We had all ice judges and it was a marathon as they did not want a roller skater to be the first Gold Medalists but they passed us after about 3 hours of heavy skating.  Then, you had to skate every dance 3 minutes and sometimes alone also.

       When Mr. Carroll passed away in 1946 with pneumonia because of his ice teaching, we then turned Professional ourselves in 1947 and were teaching in Mineola Skating Rink.

       We started teaching at Mineola Skating Rink and we were 2 of the 5 Professionals there.  We not only taught private lessons but CHILDREN'S CLASSES (with over 100 children), GIRL AND BOY SCOUT BADGE CLASSES, PROFICIENCY TEST CLASSES, and a FIGURE CLUB on Sundays.

       One thing that we did which many Pros didn't do, we even taught sometimes in a session how to stop on rollers and an easy dance FREE to the public to get them interested and come back.  We also skated at least 2 sessions a week in the evening and most of our lessons would come down as we helped them FREE then.  At Mineola Skating Rink, if you were in the Figure Club, you had to purchase 2 session tickets a week to skate as you could then come down and practice any time in the rink FREE.  Our evening sessions had about 1,000 skaters and about 4 Floor Guards employed always keeping the crowd skating safely and not fast.

       We especially liked putting on shows (Carnivals, skating shows at Jones Beach State Park, and even Macy Day Parade shows on Thanksgiving).  Our skaters enjoyed this the most as they could display their talent without being judged in a meet.  Our shows at Mineola Rink got so popular that we had to put bleacher seats up.  The money that was made helped to send our skaters to Nationals.  The Rink was always closed on Monday evenings and that was when the shows were put on. 

       George was appointed COACH OF THE WORLD TEAM for many years and, of course, I helped out.  We went to Italy, Spain, England, etc. and met many great skaters and professionals from all the European countries.

       I want to mention one thing that I enjoyed doing even more than making champions and that was helping a cerebral palsy young lady skate and helping her in her basement on a cement floor, a pupil with one arm, and even a private lesson with a blind girl.  To see how much these pupils enjoyed doing something that they thought they never could do was so rewarding to me.

       I'll close before I write a book but I must say in closing that SKATING WAS OUR LIVES AND WE ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. 

       We want to especially thank Jim Kohl for restoring all these wonderful moments and it is so great to view his superb web site.  THANK YOU JIM FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK!
Cheryl and the light of her life -
grandaughter Alexis Noelle Adams.
George & Gladys were inducted into the 1992 USARS Competitive Judges Hall of Fame