Sunday, August 30, 2020

Bronze Ice Dance Tests

Finalizing my extraordinary week in Sun Valley for the adult skating week 2020 - was testing my three Bronze Ice Dances:  The Hickory Hoedown, The Willow Waltz and the Ten Fox. 

Back in 2017 the last time I came to Sun Valley during the solar eclipse - I took a lesson with Brent Bommentre and he reviewed the steps with me for the Hickory Hoedown.  I took another lesson with Chris Obzansky and he attempted to teach me the steps of the Willow Waltz and the Ten Fox.  After that I didn’t have any coaching for ice dance and I really didn’t put any practice in on the dances.  I find practicing the dances solo quite difficult.

Toward the end of 2019 at my winter residence in Arizona, I found a new coach Sue Burdick who worked with me on all three dances.  Maybe 3-4 lessons.  I also went up to Scottsdale Ice Den once and took a long lesson with Todd Gilles so I could know what these dances felt like partnered. That was March 6, 2020 just before all the rinks closed during the COVID19 pandemic.

With no practice until July of 2020 - without a coach I attempted to recall what I learned from those few lessons and I showed up at Sun Valley determined to test at the end of the week.  I signed up for a daily lesson with Brent Bommentre - Masked up due to COVID19 protocol we hammered out the dances as best as we could in 5 days.  Skating at nearly 6,000 feet with a mask ... need I say more?  It’s difficult to breathe and relax .. 

During one of my tests he said .. BREATHE ... honestly I think I held my breath for the entire Hickory Hoedown!  

Results are in:  I passed all three even with some honors points by some of the judges. I am happy and of course also regretful that the errors I did make showed their ugly faces!

Thanks to all the coaches mentioned above - you were all part of my success this week.

Hickory Hoedown

Willow Waltz

Ten Fox

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Sun Valley Adult Skating Week 2020

 It’s Saturday August 29, 2020.  Sun Valley Adult Skating Week 2020 has come to and end. My week will be over this afternoon - after the test session.  As always Sun Valley Adult Skating Week did not disappoint.  All of the group classes were both fun and very helpful when returning home to continue practicing.    

Due to COVID there are some changes this year.  Smaller attendance obviously, but most people are wearing masks on and off the ice.  It’s required on ice only if you are in a partnered pairs or dance lesson, but you will notice more skaters wear a mask than not in the group classes.  I find it very difficult to skate with a mask on.  It’s terribly uncomfortable, hot and humid.  I know I am not being oxygen deprived, but it feels as though I am -so it affects my stamina... which is waning by the year anyway! Masks are also required on the benches outside the indoor rink - which is where we are putting on our skates and leaving our belongings. Outside we use the bleachers to lace up and we only pass through the chalet to check in for sessions and classes.  If you take a private lesson you are also required to have your temperature taken just beforehand.  For the record I was 95, 95, 96, 96, 96 !  

This year I decided to try and test at the end of the week.  I have been taking a daily lesson with Brent Bommentre on the indoor ice every day late in the afternoon.  I never feel completely “ready” for a test, but having a professional skater and coach propping you should take off some of the pressure.  I’ll be testing the Hickory Hoedown, Willow Waltz and the Ten Fox - the Bronze level ice dances.

Sorry the indoor videos - they are difficult to see - It’s impossible to capture ice dancing without someone following you with a camera.

In summary, COVID or not.  Sun ValleyAdult Skating Week is worth the splurge.  The energy, love, camaraderie and scenery are all icing on the cake to a great week of skating.  Thank you Scott Irving and Pam Farr for putting it all together once again.

Patch 7:00 am Monday!

Coffee Club Monday with Frank Sweiding

Arms In Space with Stephanee Grosscup

Spin to Win with Craig Heath

Lesson 1 with Brent Bommentre

Advanced Edge Class with Erin Reed

                                                                    Lesson #2 with Brent Bommentre

Group Photo during Wednesday Coffee Club

Edges and Extension with Erin Reed



Lesson #3 with Brent Bommentre

Wednesday morning patch 8:15


   Program Dance Session

MIF with Anita Hartshorn

                                                                    Lesson #4 with Brent Bommentre

                                                                 Friday morning last patch of the week


Coffee Club Friday with Stephanee Grosscup

Edge Jumps with Jonathan Hunt

Lesson #5 - Last lesson with Brent Bommentre before my test!

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Peek a Boo Skate before Sun Valley

I’ve been skating about 2 times a week for the past couple of months. It’s been slow going. I haven’t had any coaching. I have been concentrating on the Bronze Ice Dances and Gold Moves in the Field. 

At the end of today’s freestyle session I decided to video a few clips - I am very out of shape still and have lost a lot of skills. 

Sunday I’m heading to Sun Valley for Adult Skating Week 2020 and plan on daily lessons with Brent Bommentre and testing 3 dances on the 29th  (if he thinks I’m ready).

I think we have to wear a mask 😷 for lessons adnd testing!!!

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...