Bill Kipp

William (“Bill”) Robert Kipp, born in 1932, was the youngest child of Martin and Wilhelmina Kipp. Bill grew up with three older brothers and two older sisters in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He first learned to skate on the ponds and creeks near his home, and later joined the Penguin Figure Skating Club and trained at the Albeth rink. There were no permanent coaches at the rink, so he traveled to Philadelphia and Lake Placid to train with coach Bill Swallender. Bill Kipp was a gold medalist in figures, freestyle, and ice dancing. He went to his first Nationals in 1950, competing in silver dance with partner Theda Beck. After recovering from an injury, he competed at the Nationals in gold dance with Janet Williams, placing fifth in 1953 and fourth in 1954. Bill and Ginnie Hoyns went to the 1955 North Americans as alternates and won the bronze medal.

Bill retired from competition in 1955. He had an opportunity to perform in Ice Follies, but instead followed his dance coach, Jean Westwood, to Los Angeles to teach at the Iceland rink in Paramount, California. His students won the 1956 and 1960 U.S. gold dance titles. Bill regularly returned to Lake Placid for summer teaching, and he and dance partner Jean Westwood were the stars of the Saturday night shows. In September 1960, he began working with a new dance team, Dona Lee Carrier and Roger Campbell; they placed second at the 1961 Nationals and second at the 1961 North American Championships. Bill also taught pairs and singles. His most prominent student was Rhode Lee Michelson. She placed third at the 1961 Nationals, but had to pull out of the competition in Philadelphia due to injuries. Bill had become senior professional at Iceland when he left for Prague.