We just started working on the program for our audition for Holiday Show. We're a bit behind by my calendar, but provided this program has no overtly new elements in it we should be okay.
Basic Skating takes on a whole new dimension when you're doing it with someone else. I have a deep respect for good Pairs Skaters, because the most simple of elements morph into something totally different when you have to hold hands.
Forward Stroking, Hand in Hand >becomes> Tug of War
Someone is going to push off harder than the other party, and tug them, making them the Pullee. When you try again, the Pusher will try to lessen their push to accommodate the Pullee, who has now decided to push harder to keep up, and the Pullee now becomes the Pusher and so on. Repeat until the Coach pinches his brow and asks you to stop.
Backwards Crossovers, Hand in Hand >becomes> Crack the Whip
Everyone has their own Back Crossover style. Invariably, One Partner will have a different tempo of crossover, thinking that sheer mania equals speed when it comes to crossovers. Hold hands with this person on the outside of the circle, and suddenly you're being flung around faster than than a tetherball, the coach is saying something about toepicks but you can't hear him over the scraping, and you see your life flash before your eyes as you realize how close to the boards you are.
Side by Side Power 3 Turns >become> HOLY GOD WHERE ARE YOU
Power 3's are a tricky beast. Seemingly simple, involving just a 3 Turn>WideStep>Crossover, they actually involve a fair amount of physical discipline. You have to do the 3Turn on whatever beat the Coach has established, not when the mood strikes you. And now that you're next to someone, you're trying to make sure you don't nail this person and he won't nail you as you wide step, but you've lost sight of him as you actually made the turn. Coach is yelling about getting your hands back together so you just flail out and hope he's there. He isn't.
Side By Side Jumps (any variety) >become> A Game of Chicken
No Pairs Routine would be complete without a Side By Side jump, and if you thought you lost your partner on a Power 3, be prepared to get out your GPS tracking device on a jump. Working on your own, you can take up space on a jump, but now there's someone not only two feet from you, but planning on being airborne at the same time you are. So, you just go for the jump and say a little prayer that you don't jump into him. When you land, there's a moment of relief, followed by a panicky, "Where did he end up??!" Once you locate him, one of you is racing to catch up to get to the next hand-in-hand nonsense. (I have landed a toe loop on my boot in an effort to not hit my partner. He did not care about the resulting scar on my nice boots.)
Oh, and all this stuff? You have to be doing it together. Don't forget about that part.
But what about Lifts?
We've tried lifts. They aren't so bad. Properly prepared, I actually kinda like them but they are not without hazard, both on and off the ice. We are planning on actually doing a lift this year on ice. I will get to lifts at another time, as they are their own Beast.