Thursday, December 28, 2023

Auld Lang Syne 2023

 Well I sadly did not get my Silver Dances up to snuff before the year ended and I will have to continue my slow progress in getting them ready to test.  There comes a time when working on things that you are SO DONE with it all.  I’m nearly there.  I don’t like it that I can’t crank out these pattern dances in short order.  My solo skating skills in dance are not good.

So enough whining.  Here’s my last tango (of the year) with coach Vitali.  After this I am off to the islands for some post Christmas fun in the sun and the rain forest of Kauai and the Big Island. 

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Last Before Christmas Dance Lesson

Today was good but a little sloppy on my part.  Trouble with tempo and matching leg positions.. 

That’s it till next Thursday.  Merry Christmas to all and to all NO LACE BITE !

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Catch up on videos…

 I have gotten behind in posting my vids over here on this blog.  The holidays are here and we are busy getting ready for our new house in February.

So below are a few sessions - most of which should be during lessons.  The last one is the best.  I got to skate with Doug today and we tried a little pairs skating. (In dance boots and blades!)

Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tango - Tango - Foxtrot

 No .. not an aviation call sign.   Lots of repetition on patterns today.  I had a 45 minute lesson vs my usual 30 this year and it enabled us to get to work on the Rocker Foxtrot as well.  Longer video today. No close ups. Full rink view.

Tango. I still need more expression in the dance and the 3 turn at the end needs work.

Rocker Foxtrot.  Just getting started again this year.  Need more flow.  We are shrinking our patterns to allow me to skate more naturally until I can do it without falling behind or making him work hard to keep us together.


Monday, December 4, 2023

Working on the Rocker Foxtrot Rocker… It’s a Thing

Time to get back to work on the Rocker Foxtrot. I asked for some help on the rocker during my lesson. Hard turn for me on my own.

Thursday, November 30, 2023

Cold Toes

 That is my excuse of the day for not skating my best!  More Silver Tango 🥱 

Monday, November 27, 2023

Thanksgiving Aftermath !

Kids are gone. Turkey leftovers have been consumed. Nothing left but the calories that stayed behind! My lesson today was at the start of the session for both myself and coach Naomi. So rather than telling me to warm up .. she led me around and I tried to shadow her in the warm up exercises. It was more fun than the rest of the lesson! Afterwards I ran dances and my free dance a few times but the video get too chopped with other skaters. So I just put a few tidbits of my accomplishments on the reel following the lesson. 1. Trying to increase my twizzle count from 2 to 3 2. Trying to get my spread eagle back 3. Spin practice

Monday, November 20, 2023

Gobble Gobble Turkey On Ice

Only skate of the week - Monday before Thanksgiving.  Too busy to find any more ice time until next Monday.  I can only imagine how that will go!

Had a technical lesson with Naomi today on some of my trouble spots on the Silver Dances.  Vitali cannot see my feet when we are partnered and my Mohawk, Three Turns and Swing Threes needed some attention.

Afterwards I had some time to practice ~  never enough time.

Happy Holidays

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Happy to Report a Good Lesson Today

 My lessons so far this year are just 30 minute lessons.  It’s hard to make great strides but today left me feeling like I am making some progress toward these dances.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Silver Dance Struggles

 Another great lesson with Vitali.  I really love my lessons with him.  There is literally no way I can do these dances solo.  Thanks to the adult skating rules - we don’t have to test these dances solo any more.

My American Waltz.. is really off.  My swing 3’s are hopping and skidding and not at tempo.

Monday, October 30, 2023

One Week Later …

 So my Thursday skate didn’t record for some reason. I’m actually grateful because I was a wreck on the ice.  Wednesday I had a flu shot and a Covid 19 shot and the side affects showed their ugly faces to me the next day.  I had zero energy and my heart rate was high even sitting at a chair.  I had to cut my lesson with Vitali short and even sit down at one point from nausea.  By Friday I was ok and even swam some laps ~ which is what I am doing now to help my cardio and stamina without putting more stress on my fragile knees.

Today on the other hand went pretty well.  Much better than my last lesson with Naomi.  While we stuck to the basics during my lesson, they were important points that needed going over and should help a lot going forward.  I have my FS skates on again (I did also last Thursday) and even though I didn’t feel well that day my coach agreed I was skating stronger in the FS boots and blades.  Not sure where all this is leading..  but since today after my dance lesson I found myself wanting to try some freestyle …. 🤔 

Switching back and forth between those styles of boot/blade combo is not easy for me.  

So after all that rambling.  Today I broke my vids into two segments.  

1) My lesson with Naomi

2) How I spent my time on the ice after my lesson. I managed to do some little jumps..  my weight is still sadly up too high to get off the ground and my knees aren’t appreciating the pressure it takes to push into the ice to get airborne nor the forces of my extra pounds when I land.  Spinning, while far from perfect .. especially the Camel is arguably better in these skates.

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Square One with Naomi

 Much anticipated lesson with coach Naomi but I was on 3 hours sleep and my skating legs are nowhere to be found. We spent 1/2 our lesson catching up and the other 1/2 working on the most basic things.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Tango Time

 Today’s lesson was all Tango.  I warmed up this time for about 15 minutes before the lesson which helped but I will be happy when I can just get on the ice and know where my knees, ankles and feet should be without thinking so much.

Thursday, October 12, 2023

First Lesson in 4 1/2 Months with Vitali

 Nuff said.   I was shaky at 8:00 am no warm up.  We did some warm up exercises and worked on the Silver Tango.  

Looking forward to getting my legs and feet back under me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Return To The Ice After 4 Months

 After four months plus a week off the ice I skated for the first time.  To say I felt like Bambi is an understatement.  

We moved from Washington to Arizona and the process required my full attention.  No time to skate.  I skated a little in April and May and hung up my skates May 31st.

Now that I am here I can finally get back to the ice.  Not only did I feel wobbly and feel awkward, but I have forgotten many of the steps and rhythms of my dances.  I have a partner lesson with Vitali on Thursday and I’m really nervous about that.

On the plus side - I didn’t fall or get hurt.  On the minus side - my boots hurt because I spent the summer out of them and in flip flops.  🩴 Bunions worst enemy are flip flops.

Monday, May 29, 2023

Adult Gold MIF Test TRIAL

 Knowing I was not ready for this test my coach asked me to make a run at it. “Put on a skirt and run them without stopping as though you are skating for the judges or a virtual test”  This way we can visually see where my weaknesses are and maybe a few strengths!

This test would not have passed - even at Adult 50+ but it is getting closer.  I won’t be on the ice much this summer after today because I am moving and we have a busy schedule this summer.

I’ll keep posting any practices as they happen.  

Happy Summer.

P.S.  Thank you coach John Saitta for never giving up on me.  So many words of wisdom come out of every lesson.  It’s difficult to remember them all and put them into everyday practice. But little by little progress comes.  I’ll miss you most of all … to quote Dorothy!

Monday, May 15, 2023

Another Monday Lesson with the Master!

 I got an extra 15 minutes today and we worked a long time on back eights, double threes and a little on brackets.  I can’t figure out why I am struggling to make progress on these.  So much GREAT INFORMATION yet executing it is another story.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Moves In The Field Practice Day

 I finally forced myself into a practice session to work on my MIF so I don’t show up on Monday without any solid effort since my previous lesson.  I found them to be super challenging without my coach reminding me what to do or not to do.  45 minutes isn’t much of a session.  I will have to try much harder.

Monday, May 8, 2023

Monday Morning Mishaps

 So great lesson last week.  I learned a lot.  Wrote it all down.  Watched the playback.  Then got busy packing for our big move and didn’t get another chance to skate until TODAY.  Ugh 😩.

Of course it shows but we press on. Coach John is so understanding.  He just keeps feeding the good info and well.. we do what we do.  Sometimes it pays off.  I hope to make some good progress this week as I hit some practice sessions.  

You may notice (or not) I am back on my dance blades.  Turns and twizzles are easier but ooooh the spinning.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Summertime Skating ~ Good bye to the Inland NW

 Home for my last summer in the Inland NW.  We’re making the move to Arizona permanent and heading South as soon as we sell our home and tie up loose ends.  

So glad to get a chance to get some lessons with coach John Saitta (not Santa as I wrote on my video typo) for a few months more.  

Goal:  Adult Gold Moves in the Field.  Live or virtual I hope to take this test before I leave.  I’d love to get a place on coach John’s Gold Medalist Wall of Fame!

If time allows I will get some lessons with coach Kendall for ice dancing as well.  

Monday, April 17, 2023

Squeezed in One More Lesson

Last Dance (session) with coach Vitali until I return at the end of summer.  Thanks for the last minute lesson .. 1 hour at 7:00 am.  Whew!

Monday, April 10, 2023

But Wait … There’s More

Two lessons - same day - different rinks.  

And to top it off .. I skated my butt off on the 2nd session.  That’s the reason for the extra long video. I never .. ever skate multiple runs of a program  the way I did today.  I was so tired at the end.

So this is it. My final lessons for the summer ~  I’ll be skating when I can up in Spokane while we are there for the summer but not too much as we are selling our home and preparing to move permanently to Arizona.  Lots of work ahead and I probably won’t have much free time for skating.

…. Until then.

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Last Lesson for a While

We’re leaving soon for Washington.  I may be able to squeeze in another couple of lessons but it’s unknown at this point.  

Looks like I won’t be testing before I go either ~  There’s just no way my dances are good enough yet.

Looking forward to coming back and settling into full time Arizona life.

Tuesday, April 4, 2023

Wait Didn’t I Just See You Yesterday?

 Skating version of cramming before a test.  I don’t actually have a test date yet but I know I am leaving for the summer very soon and I am trying to get in as much practice as I can.  I just hate the idea of doing all this work and just leave the dances till fall.  

Yes I can practice while away .. but it’s just not the same doing it solo.

Today was lesson 2 of 3 with coach Vitali this week.  We had 1 great run on the Tango.

Thursday, March 30, 2023

Learning a Side Lean Spin

 Today in my weekly lesson with Naomi we worked on putting the ending together for my free dance. We recently revamped the required Character Step Sequence which needs to use up the short axis of the rink.

Monday, March 27, 2023

Still Dancing on Freestyle Blades

 I’m still skating in my Freestyle boots and blades.  Some edges feel less secure while others more so ..

Today we didn’t get much past the Silver Tango.

Thursday, March 23, 2023

Moving To Arizona

 Big news.  We have decided to make the move to Arizona permanent and give up our big beautiful home in Liberty Lake.  We’ve been loving it for 10 years but it’s big and a lot of work.  So we will start 2024 as new full time residents of Arizona probably escaping northbound as Reverse Snowbirds.. like Canadian Geese!

With all that on my mind it was difficult to skate well this week.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Foggy Lesson Day

 Special affects?  No just some Arizona rain and building humidity.  It created a foggy foggy rink with some bumpy drips in the center of the ice.

Still on FS blades working on a decision to stay in them or go back to my dance blades.  There were several instances today when my blades “clicked” … spinning feels better but speed across the ice is lessened.

In my lesson we changed the ending choreography putting the long edge (spread eagle) after the character step sequence on the short axis … it’s ALWAYS a challenge.

Monday, March 13, 2023

Marching Into Spring on Freestyle Blades!

 I did it.  I tried going back to my old skates this week.  The jury is still out.  I was skidding quite a bit at first.  The blades are not set exactly as my dance blades and I feel like I have to work harder on things like stopping and stroking .. however everything else felt fine while in partner.  I didn’t get a chance to do the spin in my program run.  I know I will be able to do a better spin in these skates.  Will try again Wednesday.

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Last Lesson On Dance Blades (for a while)

 I’ve grown increasingly frustrated on my dance blades.  They are working great for preventing tripping on the tail of the blade during partnering but I cannot get comfortable doing solo spins and I am nearly to the point of going back to square one.

Next week I will try both lessons on my freestyle blades and see what comes of it.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Back from (watching) Sectionals

Watching Adult Sectionals this past weekend was inspiring.  It was great to see everyone skate and especially nice to be just watching and not sitting there with butterflies worrying about my event!  

My lesson with Vitali went pretty good on Monday after a long drive Sunday.  I was tired but tried to give it my all. 

I only have till mid April to whip these dances into testing shape.  I hope I can do it.  The American Waltz and Rocker Foxtrot are giving me trouble.  Practicing these dances without a partner are virtually impossible so far.  Trying to do the swing 3 turns alone just throws me off balance and the rocker isn’t happening at all.

Monday, February 27, 2023

Dynamic Duo Lesson Day

 Two lessons today due to a scheduling conflict.  My coach is off to Synchro Nationals - so we squeezed in  two lessons on Monday  

UGH…   I wish I could just show up each week and show significant improvement .. but there is always that 1 step forward .. 2 steps back. 

I do feel like the dances are coming around but I am my own worst critic!

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Practice and Lesson on FD and Pattern

 Jumped on the adult session for practice before my lesson.  Worked .. reluctantly on spins before my lesson since I have been unable to pull off any good spins on these MK Dance blades.

This am during a morning pickle ball session I strained my back a bit and I really felt it during the spread eagle .. so I dropped it from practice today and threw in a spiral instead.

Felt better about the runs today as I am getting closer and closer to finishing ON TIME!!  Not there yet.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Back to Lessons on Silver Dances

Had a great 1/2 hour lesson today with Vitali in Gilbert.  Hockey took over my rink this weekend and we had to do a little juggling of ice time and lessons.

I feel we are making progress on these dances although I wish I had the energy and time to work on them more in between lessons. I just can’t seem to get the balance and flow and proper posture of these dances when I do them alone.

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Back To Skating

 We took a short trip to Cabo for a friends daughters’ wedding. Had a blast - drank too much tequila and got ZERO exercise unless you count going from the room to the pool and back or a quick few dances at the wedding.

Back in AZ on the ice on my first day back and of course a lesson day I cautiously stepped on the ice.  It’s always colder than I remember.  I didn’t think I would accomplish anything but I think I had a good lesson.  I even got through 1 complete free dance run and almost ended with the music!

I know my videos are longer than they should be for anyone’s attention span, but I don’t keep the blog or my YouTube channel for the viewership.  That has just become a added bonus to my way of holding myself accountable and analyzing my skating.  I think it helps to know that what you feel you are doing on the ice isn’t what you look like!  That is a double edged sword… it does lead to a lot of disappointment and self loathing!!  But once in a while you yourself .. or me myself .. will see some actual progress.

After doing this for 10 years now - skating as an adult and blogging and vlogging about it I can see and have documented my progress and set backs.  I wonder what it would look like on a chart or graph?

That was a lot of alliteration.  Today I had a lesson.. here it is.  Vid #2 is the same skate of the free dance but with more close ups trying not to show the other skaters in the rink.

Same free dance

Monday, February 6, 2023

Taking Off For a Week After This

 Heading to Cabo for some fun in the sun.  First a rearranged dueling lesson.  45 minutes partnering followed by 45 minutes with Naomi on my Free Dance.   One word. EXHAUSTING.

The Silver dances are making baby steps of progress.. with an occasional step back!  The free dance is still a work of choreography in progress.  Today we made some changes that will help me eventually be able to finish with the music on time.  This program is still a year away from being a test program.

Monday, January 30, 2023

Last Week Video Fail - This Week I Tried Skating with Guards On !

 If you have skated long enough it has happened to you.  I was on the ice today and the rink music wasn’t working.  So off I went to inform someone at the front desk and when I came back onto the ice …. 

… you know what happened next.  Nearly did the splits and lucky not to have bruised anything but my ego.

My practice ice didn’t go great .. maybe I will look at it later and post a few moments but my lesson went pretty well.  These dances are not getting any easier.  There are lots of quick steps in the Tango and partners shift positions quite a bit.  The Waltz is well.. swingy to say the least… that’s all it is.  Swing rolls and swing 3’s .. it can get out of control pretty easily.  Hard for me to keep my hips under me on that one. The Rocker Foxtrot has trouble in just about every step.

Monday, January 23, 2023

Not In Synch Today

 I really look forward to my lessons on Monday partnering the dances I am working on with coach Vitali. Usually I walk away feeling like I can do this!    But today I didn’t skate the session leading into my lesson with him and he had already been on the ice for an hour.

We did a short warm up of two foot forward and backward pumps and slaloms and got into the Tango. Suddenly I am cutting myself off after the cross-behind step and making it impossible to keep the dance on pattern.  We stopped and restarted so many times.

When we finally moved into the American Waltz  the same thing happened.  I was not swinging to the wall and not re aligning with my partner after each swing.  Again start-stop-start-stop.

At the end of the session we had no time for the Rocker Foxtrot but did a couple of lengths of the rink doing the rocker exercise.  Again .. that rocker isn’t being executed correctly.  

Hopefully next week will be better.  I’ll try to get some solo practice done.  You know things are bad when your coach is out of breath and you are not.  It made me aware of how hard it is for them to “prop” you when you are learning the steps and the cadence of the dances.  I can’t imagine how hard this would be with two “student” skaters both trying to learn the dance.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Another Choreo Lesson

 Putting the final outline of the program together today including the edge element, the choreographic character step and the spin placement.  What kind of spin.. TBD.

Coach is off to skate at Masters Synchro next week so I will get 2 weeks to work out the kinks.  

Monday, January 16, 2023

Lesson Day - Repetition is the Name of the Game!

 Sometimes there is forward progress.  Sometimes you take one step back.  Most of the time you keep practicing until everything starts to click … and I don’t mean blades!  When a dance is done properly and you and your partner are in the correct dance hold and your posture is good and you are skating on the correct edges and you are making clean turns with legs properly extended … 🤯 it’s pretty amazing. 

You don’t even run out of breath.  The dance flows and you feel such a sense of “I’ve got this” 

Well… that isn’t the case quite yet for me on these Silver Dances.  It’s going to take a lot of REPETITION.    

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Choreo Part III

 Bit by bit we’re putting this program together.  I could use 2-3 sessions of practice in between all these days of lessons but I just don’t have the energy to stay on the ice beyond one session.  Earlier this week I skated 2 sessions on Monday.  One before my pattering lesson and that didn’t really pay off.  

Today I had a little warm up time before my lesson, but things weren’t really working.  Especially my brain while trying to learn new choreography.  I felt pretty off balance too.  Who knows why some days are like that.

Monday, January 9, 2023

Lessons on All 3 Silver Dances

 I got introduced to the Rocker Foxtrot today.  Yep.  Tricky dance for me.   

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Building Blocks. Part II of New Choreography

 Great lesson today with Naomi.  She helped straighten me out on a few of the Tango steps I didn’t understand.  The end pattern is tricky.  That closed Mohawk (ugh) and I know I will need to get my boots much closer together on the XB’s. 

She also started me on the Rocker of the Rocker Foxtrot with a Great wall exercise and an exercise down the rink to help reinforce the steps.  

Then we got to work on the new choreography - adding to my new program.  She always is smiling when she does this.  It’s a gift.  How - without any forethought - can come up with great steps that fit perfectly into music she has only heard 1-2 times.  She’s a PRO.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Practice without Coaching - Splat!

 Practiced at Gilbert today.  

Ran my 2 dances … alone!  Fail.  Crash. Disaster.

Ran my opening of my program.  

Practiced some Spread Eagles, Ina’s and Spins.

Monday, January 2, 2023

The Classroom is Now OPEN! First Lesson on Silver Dances

 Great lesson today.  I knew we wouldn’t make it through all 3 dances.  But we got some good practice in on the American Waltz and I am trying to learn the complicated (to me) steps of the Silver Tango.  So many cross behinds!!!  Such a different feeling trying to do these steps alone vs with a partner.

Next lesson we will finish the Tango steps and start on the Rocker Foxtrot.

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...