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!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

2 for 1

 I put Wednesday and Thursdays practice and lessons on one video this week due to time constraints.

Wednesdays lesson was on edge control with Naomi.  Thursday with Todd we partnered the Pre-Silver Dances.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Partnered Lesson with Todd - Making Progress

 Today went better than yesterday, but I was more warmed up for my lesson having just completed Ice Cafe’s group lesson with Grant.  We focused on the Fourteen Step and the Foxtrot today and worked on fixing my Mohawk so the heel of my right foot hits the instep of my left foot and I transfer the weight.


Every Missed Day of Practice is a Setback

 Is it really mid February of 2021?  Where does the time go?  When I got to Arizona and started getting regular ice time and coaching (2x a week now) I thought I’d be turning those corners faster.  But only skating 3 days per week - 4 on occasion I cannot put in the hours of practice and repetition necessary to learn new skills with much noticeable progress on a day to day basis.  

I’m pretty frustrated with my three turns.  I just can’t seem to find the balance to hang onto the turn in the dance form:  

Posture:  head - shoulders underneath - hips under shoulders - feet under hips and legs extended ....

Which I just learned (or it just clicked) YESTERDAY that my free leg should not be bent or coupe like in ballet or how we did it in figures.  In order to do this you have to really feel yourself stretching tall on the turn and squeeze the ever-loving you-know-what out of your legs together while still keeping your feet in a T position ... which after the turn needs to be right next to your skating foot - STILL TOUCHING boot-to-boot!   I can do this at a very slow pace, but add a little speed and poof.. wide stepping and lurching body! Grrrrrr.  

I could get a lot from doing more compulsory figures where you have to train yourself to stay under your head and shoulders.  And lurching or over rotating of the arms will cause you to go off your circle - but the speed of ice dancing will never come out in figures.

Anyway - todays footage is what I took after my lesson (which did not record) on the subsequent session.  I worked on the things mentioned above and did a few runs alone of my 3 Pre Silver Dances.  All were skated without music so when I dub over .. I am not at the right tempo.  Yeah!  



Thursday, February 11, 2021

Thursday Lesson Day

 I was so excited when I started getting regular partnering lessons with Todd Gilles.  Since my last batch of Bronze tests were also not up to par leading into the test session after Adult Week in Sun Valley last year .. I thought .. oh 5 or 6 lessons with Todd and I’ll be nearly ready with these Pre-Silver Dances.  Not so.

I don’t know if the steps are that much harder or if I just find them more difficult.  I can punch out a vague pattern on tempo of all three dances at this point - but executing the steps correctly, with good posture and extension whilst staying connected to my partner .. so much harder than the last set of dances.

On the plus side:

My stamina is increasing

I’m having to think less about the actual steps of the dance and more about placement of my feet

Coach says I am improving in my hold although I still need work on not rounding my shoulders and giving adequate resistance in our frame

He says my three turns are improving - although to be honest he can’t really see my feet - the video doesn’t lie.

On the frustrating side: 

I can see that I am fighting to keep up with him and doing so causes my three turns to go wild

All dances need more work on the end patterns 


Prior to the lesson I did a full run of my Gold MIF for the first time in months.  First run - lots of mistakes as you will see.  


Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Busy Week - Combined practices

Busy week - and I didn’t have time to do much editing.  Skated Monday for 2 hours on ice dance sessions practicing mostly Twizzles and Chocktaws.  That’s a lot of Twizzle and chocktaw practice!

On Wednesday my lesson was cancelled so I showed up late for the adult session and after a bit of dance element practice I popped out a couple of jumps and spins.  I’d love to get back into freestyle but my knee tells me otherwise.


Friday, February 5, 2021

Friday Fun in Gilbert

 Rather than spend the hour of the session on freestyle, I decided to put myself to task on the Twizzle and Chocktaw exercises coach Naomi gave me this week.  I think it helped.



Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Adult Figure Skating Ice dance elements lesson

What a frustrating lesson.  Some days it’s like that.  No matter what you do you cannot translate the coaches words into your body’s actions.  Primarily the reason I started this video journal of my skating.  I will get to relive this lesson over and over and hopefully on another session some of it will come together.