On The Edge... Again

The last time I skated regularly, you needed 2 pair of skates, a scribe and skated patch. Triple jumps were almost unheard of, so were Bielman spins. Twizzles were only done by ice dancers and Ronald Regan was just elected into office.


Fast Forward 32 years. Starting January 2, 2012, I am back on the ice doing something else that was unheard of .... Adult Figure Skating. We had "coffee club", which was like adult swim, but there was no opportunity for testing or competition.


It has now been 8 years since I got back on the ice. I have not competed since 2016 , but my blog is still going. My YouTube channel has over 1600 subscribers. That’s just crazy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Busy Week - First Skate Since Last Lesson

 That’s never a productive session.  No time to practice in between lessons.  My Thursday coach couldn’t make it last week and golf kept me off the ice Monday - so I hadn’t skated since last Wednesday.  

Nevertheless - I think some repetition and some of the words are beginning to sink in.  I think I am making a little progress on those nasty three turns.  At least while I practice them outside the context of the dance pattern.  Once I go back into trying a full scale pattern - the wide step rears it’s ugly head while I try to keep up the tempo of the dance.



Friday, January 8, 2021

On The Ice This Week

Here’s a couple of sessions of Ice Café. Two different rinks. One in Chandler the other in Scottsdale. The latter comes with a group lesson. 

The video is pretty choppy on Scottsdale - I had to cut out a skater who prefers not to appear on my YouTube channel. 

Working with Naomi Lang Strong is helping me make small but incremental improvements in my dance skills. Huge difference in my awareness- correcting the problem will take longer. 




Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Last Skating Day of 2020.

 With 2 weeks off for Christmas and New Years - I decided to take on a 2nd coach for ice dancing.

I’m really lucky to be getting instruction from our two top ice dance coaches in Arizona: Todd Gilles and now Naomi Lang Strong.  Most of my lessons with Todd are spent working on partnering and not on fundamentals.  I think they both will have a lot to offer me.  Whether or not I can take the information and put it into better skating ... is yet to be seen.

My first lesson 12/30/2020 .. my last skate of 2020 was with Naomi.  We have wonderful dance sessions at this rink with hardly any skaters on it .. no excuses right?  Our first lesson was my biggest problem.  My sloppy three turns.  Both coaches have told me about this “5 step” breakdown of a good dance three turn.

1. Bend and press into the ice

2. Stroke forward

3. Rise and feet in a T or together

4. Turn whilst keeping feet together (the hard part for me)

5. Bend and press into the ice before the back edge

Sounds simple .. but if you have seen me trying and trying and trying .... it’s not.

I think I need to think about turning on the rise and coach Naomi says to squeeze your legs together - then turn and hold the squeeze before releasing and sitting into the ice ..  She makes it look effortless.


Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Trifecta Skating Day

 Strange day.  I started my skating day with figure blades (aka patch blades) - I wanted to work on my edges and three turns without the ability of lurching forward !!  No can do with figure blades !!  Watch me almost fall.

Secondly I put my “regular” FS skates on and worked some more on the three turns .. not much progress and I felt a bit sore and tired .. so I left and headed home.

On my way home I decided to stop by a local farm/bakery/event center about a mile from my house that was supposed to have an outdoor rink.  Turns out .. they did and it was open - so I just paid $8 for a 10 minute skate on a tiny holiday rink.  I somehow drummed up enough energy to skate about 10-15 minutes.  It was sooo hot out .. about 80º .. not even Sun Valley is that hot in the summer.








Monday, December 7, 2020

Ice Dance Practice on Private Ice!!!!

 I was on a dance session but the other skater was off ice doing an adjustment to her skates with her coach...so I jumped at the opportunity to try my dances with overhead music.  I don’t normally do that since I can’t yet keep up and haven’t been able to remember all the steps.  Today was no different but it gave me a better idea of the tempo I need to catch up to.

These three turns are becoming my nemesis.  My feet should not be a giant wide step every time and I am consciously trying my hardest to improve them.  My coach reminds me to enter them almost in a T position but the urgency to complete the turn on time forces me to get them done any way possible.  

I have to correct this before I will ever be able to test these dances.


Thursday, December 3, 2020

Ice Café and a Dance Lesson

Ice Cafe is always fun for me - plus it's a great warm up before a lesson. Grant always has a plan of edges and skating fundamentals but including expression of arms which is the hardest part for me. On my lesson with Todd afterwards, we worked on three turns and all three Pre-Silver Dances. We both agree they are making progress. The sooner I can get comfortable with the steps the closer we will be able to skate together. I still tend to push him away if I fear I don't have the steps down or if I am not stroking efficiently enough to keep up with him.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

F-f-freestyle??????

 Yep... just a bit. At the end of working on Moves in the Field... the XMAS music got to me!


Monday, November 30, 2020

Solo Dance Practice - YAWN .....

 So I have this beautiful ice.  Only 1 other skater.  Dance session - no Lutz corner or wild free stylers darting across the rink....  yet it seems nearly wasted.

Practicing ice dancing alone (when you are not a solo ice dancer) is really hard for me.  I can’t seem to stroke with enough energy to bring the dance into the proper tempo - nor am I doing all the steps correctly.  Of course it’s a learning process, but by now after testing 9 dances, I should have better skating posture.

My big areas of fault are;

1. Not skating through my hips.  I lurch my upper body forward and the hips and feet are late to the party.

2. Not staying in dance hold posture and keeping my body underneath.  See above.

3. Not sitting low enough in my knees.  Partly due to bad knees and partly due to lack of quad strength.

4. Not keeping feet together - especially during three turns and back chassés.

What do I mean by all that ... this video is a prime example of it all


   

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Dance Lesson on the European Waltz and Hold fixes

 2nd lesson with Todd Gilles - These three turns are killing me.  I know I need to keep my foot closer - and sometimes I feel as though I am ... but I see the video playback and I see I am still lurching vs skating through my hips and wide stepping vs having the feet together during the turn and before the step down onto the other foot.  


Thursday, November 19, 2020

Pre-Silver Dances ... Here We Go

 Had my first lesson on Pre- Silver dances today. I’m going to need to acquire some strength and better glide ratio to keep up, The Fourteen Step is easy enough but it’s fast. The Foxtrot opens a whole new can of Mohawk worms for me plus some tricky cross behind steps. The European Waltz will be a huge challenge. Maybe it will force me into fixing my Three Turns!!! Time will tell. 

We attacked 2 of 3 dances today and talked about the dance three turn.

My coach Todd Gilles is real easy going and gives me lots of space between runs to catch my breath!