Thursday, July 11, 2024

July 115º - No problem!

 Down in the valley for a few appointments from the White Mountains of Arizona where it’s much cooler.  It’s been over 110ª every day reaching 113-115 at our house.

Skating is a great way to beat the heat!  I didn’t skate great today and it was really early in the morning for me .. 7:00 am.

Friday, June 28, 2024

Summer Lesson w/Vitali

 In town for a few days and was able to snag a lesson with Vitali.  I don’t want to forget the steps of these dances being gone so long.

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

Last (regular) Dance (lesson) for the summer

Ok .. this is IT.  I’m off to the land of no ice rink for a month or so.  I’ll be back home a few times over the summer but won’t be able to take weekly lessons or skate much until fall.  Hate to lay off skating as it makes coming back that much harder but that’s the way it goes sometimes.


Thursday, May 30, 2024

But Wait .. There’s More

 Able to squeeze in a few more lessons.  Thought I might have been done for the summer, but some of our plans have changed.

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Season 12 (of Adult Skating) Finale Parts 1 & 2

I’ve been really falling apart on the ice the past few weeks.  After my big disappointment of not passing my American Waltz dance test ~ I  feel like I have kind of succumbed to a sense of failure.  My ongoing knee issues, blades issues and some busy off ice schedules have contributed, but I have only myself to blame.  There are lots of adult skaters older than I with more ailments who are “getting it done”.  

Maybe it’s time for a break and a reality check.. and maybe some new blades.  I’m also really missing freestyle and I just can’t do a darn thing on dance blades.  I’m going to dwell on this over the summer and find a solution.

Meanwhile these are my final lessons with both Naomi Lang and Vitali Vakunov for the season.

I may get a few scattered lessons over the summer when I am in town but we plan to be up in the mountains most of the time ~  enjoying life ~ off the ice.

~ Stay tuned.  Or change the channel.  💕 

Edge lesson with Naomi

Silver Dance lesson with Vitali

Thursday, May 9, 2024


 I didn’t skate at all since last Thursday so I guess I get what I deserve in the lack of progress department.  I am just so frustrated over not turning  a corner on these dances.

Thursday, May 2, 2024


This is me with my tail between my legs.  Starting over on the American Waltz after failing my virtual test a couple weeks ago.  Coach Vitali isn’t happy about it but I get it now.  That three turn is what is the signature of this dance and while we keep the pattern in control my steps are clearly not AW Three Turns.

Wide stepping is the #1 problem for skaters who dance with freestyle backgrounds and for adult skaters to overcome.  Wide stepping is akin to  “training wheels”.  Going for the balance point but having the security there in case you miss.  The solution is to build stronger edges and I need to practice both alone and with coach Vitali getting my feet back together after every step.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

We Interrupt This Blog

So last Thursday - April 18th - I skated a virtual test of one of my Silver dances: The American Waltz.

We sent it in and the jury is still out!  My last test we got the results within a few days so this has been a hard wait.   Hopefully I will know and post the test by the next entry.

Meanwhile .. back at the ranch as they say; my coach noticed that my blades looked off.  The tail of one of my blades didn’t even pass the heel of my boot.  We had a long discussion of trying a new blade.  Which I would be more than happy to try .. but trying means spending $400-700 dollars and then what?  It’s one of the many quandaries of the sport.  Everything is merely a recommendation from a coach or fellow skater.  Feet and skating are SO UNIQUE to each individual - especially adult skaters -  it’s impossible to have a best boot/blade combo for every scenario.

Just like golf beginner and mediocre skaters want the best equipment they can afford even if it’s an advanced boot or blade.  (Guilty) I bought custom 3 ply boots and Phantom blades as an adult skater doing only single jumps.  But I ‘had to have them’.  I was denied good skating equipment as a child since we had no money.

Frustrated from not being able to spin as well as I could on my freestyle skates I decided to go on the hunt for new blades.  Kind of like when you desperately want to cut or color your hair but your regular stylist isn’t available so you just say “what the hell”.  

I took my boots and blades (all 3 pair) to a Pro Edge Sports/Discount Skatewear in Phoenix and showed them to their tech Kelly.  He is pretty sure the blades are not too small for the boots but that they were mounted incorrectly. The boots are custom from Horlick and he says one of my boots is larger/longer than the other.  He felt that foots’ blade should have been set back 1/4” and the other foot he said was not centered.  He is going to pull the blades, plug the holes, remount them and sharpen them.  

I will give them one more chance before throwing in the towel on MK Dance blades.

So today I skated my lesson on my Phantom blades.  Yes I tripped while just skating around about 3x on the toe pick, but didn’t fall.  And I didn’t fall during the lesson and the lesson went pretty well.  🤔 

I have been in this dilemma before.  Wondering if I should just keep skating on FS blades.

Well this was a very long post.  My apologies.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Re-Working the Free Dance

After last weeks lesson - my coach made some changes to the character step sequence and now she is changing the opening poses and the ending!  1 step forward 2 steps back.  I wish I could learn choreo faster.  

She thought the opening had repetitive movements so she softened it up and removed one part.

She thought my arms in my Twizzles look like goal posts so she hopes to get me to pull them up higher and clasp my hands during them if possible.

She moved my short edge element from after the character sequence to much earlier .. which is good.  I like the new placement.  I’m doing a spiral but hope to get my spread eagle back.

She took out the solid stop at the end of the character sequence and told me to keep the flow going so I can get to my ending spin on time.

She tried to teach me how to do a side spin - in lieu of a layback .. that’ll take loads of practice.

July 115º - No problem!

 Down in the valley for a few appointments from the White Mountains of Arizona where it’s much cooler.  It’s been over 110ª every day reachi...