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.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

Next Week TEST (trial)

 Last lesson this week before we try and lay this down in virtual test style.  We'll video and do full runs and see where we are at next week.

I see them as close but not passing.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Wednesday - Practice Between Lessons

 Tried to get a little practice in between lessons this week.  My knee was giving me a little trouble as always and I wasn't able to warm up very quickly.  I did manage to at least try and run all my dances and even did a little bit of work trying to get my spread eagle back and find some balance on my spins . which have also left the building! 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Monday Solo FD Lesson

So Im back skating with coach Naomi on Mondays. Today we worked on my solo free dance.  I think it's Adult Intermediate.  I've lost my Spread Eagle and my spins and feel pretty insecure about the rest of the dance.  I got scolded from my coach about being so negative.  I'll try to be more positive next week.

Monday, April 1, 2024

Back to Monday Lessons

 I finally have some free time to dedicate to more skating and lessons.  Had my first lesson today with Naomi Lang in a few months.  Today we concentrated on the trouble spots with the Silver Tango.

I never realized I was stepping like chicken instead of nicely tucking my foot behind the other in the XB (cross behind) steps.  Neat feet as they call them in ice dance are very difficult and conjur up all kinds of fears of tripping and falling both real and imagined!

Another trouble area I have is step #7 for the lady/follower - my LBO XB is not on a curve or the proper edge so I am usually blocking my partner.  I think that finally sunk in today.

The closed Mohawk into the 3 turn gives me trouble too.  I tend to lurch forward - giving up all my balance and power.  Hopefully I’ll get some practice on Wednesday before my Thursday lesson with Vitali.

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Good 1 Hour Lesson

Feeling a bit better after last weeks wobbly legs.  I skated on Monday too so I was ready to go today.

Took a 1 hour lesson.  Would have been 45 but we spent 15 minutes off ice during an impromptu ice cut that should have taken place prior to my session.  The guy forgot.. oops.  But we used that time to talk about some tips for my turns that can be practiced off ice.

We did so many runs of the American Waltz today I just sped them all up to 3x speed to avoid a lengthy video.  I only kept the real time of the dances we skated to overhead music.


Thursday, March 21, 2024

Here’s What 7 Weeks Off Looks Like

 Too busy moving to try and skate here and there so I just too a hiatus. Today was my first day back. Luck me private ice! 

Vid 1 is my nervous warm up.  My legs were shaking

Vid 2 is me attempting to do Gold Moves in the Field.. AKA Adult Gold Skating Skills

Vid 3 is me attempting to run 1 pattern of each of the silver ice dances without music playing followed by my free dance without music (I dubbed that in later)

Friday, February 2, 2024

Getting busy on these Silver Dances

I have been working on these silver dances too long!   Planning to go all in on them until I can test them in the next few months.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Silver dance lesson ….

Same old same old.

After today’s lesson we are going to work on just the American for a while and get it test ready.  Tackling them 1 dance at a time.  I’m a little disappointed in myself.  I used to get them all done in one session but my progress has slowed immensely and there isn’t enough ice time or practice time.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Hello 2024

 Hi Skating Peeps:

Back from vacation in Hawaii and out of my flip flops and into my skates again.  I really should not be wasting my time and money on lessons without getting any practice in between them.  

I am going to reconsider my ice time in the coming weeks.  I hate to quit taking lessons from either of my coaches but I am literally the only one out there not getting any practice time in.  🤨 

Lesson today was so unproductive because I was out of sync with skating AND my blades need to be screwed in permanently.  I still am wearing the screws put on when I mounted the blades 1 1/2 years ago.  They finally started slipping.  

I’ll take care of that before I skate again hopefully 🤞 and try and figure out a sensible schedule for practice going forward.

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...