Class of 1947
Douglas H. Breniser
Michigan Regional and National Roller Skating Champion
While touring as a professional skater he was presented to the Queen of England
Appeared as ice skater in Sonja Henie movies
Skating performer and instructor in Las Vegas
Inducted into Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame, 1996
Douglas H. Breniser graduated from Royal Oak High School in 1947. As an "Acorn" he participated on the varsity swim team as a diver. While in high school he also won the U. S. men's novice figure skating crown at the Arena Gardens in Detroit.
Mr. Breniser began competitive skating at the age of 8. At first he joined a speed skating team, but he soon discovered he got more enjoyment in doing jumps, spins and dances. By the age of 13 he was winning first place medals in individual and pairs roller skating events.
After high school he became a professional skater and joined the Skating Vanities where he teamed with Gloria Nord. In the show he skated as the Prince in a lavish production of Cinderella and was called the "Galahad on Skates" by the local press. He displayed his versatility by performing as the principal clown in a circus sequence and as a soloist.
The show appeared in 29 cities in the United States as well as performances in Canada, London England, Paris France and Havana Cuba. In London he was formally presented to the Queen of England. He received rave reviews for his performance in Canada, and a French critic dubbed Douglas Breniser the "Nijinsky of the Skates" because of Breniser's majestic leaps looked like those of the Russian dancer had made famous.
In the 1950's Mr. Breniser was drafted into the U.S. Army and served with the Special Services performing at camp shows. After being discharged from the Army he returned to professional skating and performed in the Roxy Theater and in several movies as an ice skater with Sonja Henie.
Douglas Breniser moved to Las Vegas, where he performed at several casinos including the Stardust, the Mint, the New Frontier, the Freemont and the Aladdin. He culminated his professional career skating for nine years in the show Fire and Ice at the Hacienda Hotel and Casino.
In 1996, Douglas H. Breniser was inducted into the Royal Oak High School Hall of Fame.