Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Revenge of the Three Turn

For the longtime readers of this blog, you know that 3 Turns were a big deal for me. As in, six months of long drawn out drama involving fits and tears and angry words all stemming from my frustration with simply flipping my blade around from forwards to backwards. But as with all skating, everything happens in due time and I got three turns figured out. FO and FI, with my outsides much stronger and easier, and insides happening with good regularity, if a little slowly still.

With the show over, I pressed Coach Fab to move on to the next level of testing; Pre Bronze Freeskate Test and Bronze Moves. So we did Moves.

Bronze Moves are more fun than Pre-Bronze. Power Stroking, 5 Step Mohawk, Power 3's, Back Edges and a Figure 8. I was pretty sure I had most of this under control, just needed it cleaned up. Coach Fab apparently disagreed with my summation of my skillset. First he tore apart my Power Stroking. I need to push more and better, and the backwards power stroking is all off on the tempo and lobe. "No, stop. Come here. Let me show you. Watch me. Stop. Stop it. Stay still and watch," was a pretty good summary of that portion of the lesson.

"What's next?" he asked me after all that torment.

"Power threes!" I was all so super confident about these things. Yes, I can *do* power threes.

Until I couldn't. "You get four," he said, looking down the length of the rink. "Right now you're doing five and a half."

"Just four?" And I watched as he drew out just how I was going to do only four down the length of the rink on the long axis.

The trick to four is as follows: widen out the lobe, take the three turn as fast as possible, check out like there's demons on your inside shoulder, push on the step down, and push, push push on the back cross without turning too much into the lobe. It's complicated, and I failed miserably. My major error? Failing to fully check out of that three turn, and being so fearful of the speed I took it too slow.

On Patch Ice this morning, I repeated the same fault on 3's to Center. "You need more push," Coach Yoda said again. "And check the turn."

I'm just going to get t-Shirts made for my coaches to wear so they don't have to keep repeating themselves.

Once again, three turns have become a hurdle. Now that I can do them, it's time to work on making them better, faster, bigger and more precise. Much like crossovers, 3 turns are apparently one of those skills that you never stop learning. "They're pointing the wrong way," Coach Yoda indicated, standing over the tracings of dozens of side-pointing threes turned too soon and too slow.

"I got one," I indicated one lonely little 3 that was dutifully pointing down the long axis. "That's something."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Your Typical Ice Show Rehearsal

What the skating kids think they look like

What the Coaches are doing

Moms in the stands

Dads in the stands

Kids on the boards waiting to go

The Kids who just can't get the choreography

The Costumer upon seeing more feathers and Glitter Tulle.  

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ice Show Update!

"Go by the glass, audiences love it when you go by the glass..." Coach Fab points down by the hockey glass as I'm hurtling backwards with my blade in my left hand. I Vogue with my right hand in my best Catherine Zeta Jones Bad Girl face. "Yes, that's great, I love that," Coach Fab says from somewhere.

I pitch into the waltz jump-toe loop, then step forward for some cross strokes. God I love program skating. More vogue-ing, spin with arms up, tap toe out and then vogue the hell out of it before I do my new favorite move, a high kick with big arms and jump again. I have a tendency to over-rotate this one, which gets my hopes up that maybe an Axel isn't an impossibility for me but that's not today. I touch down this one like a feather.

From there I beeline it back to my Tango Partner before we hit the kickline for the ending sequence. The Kickline is a moving thing now, and when we break it I have to slow down a lot to avoid hitting the glass or my fellow skaters before we reassemble into a Lunge Line towards center. As if this wasn't fun enough, I learned last night there will be a Grand Piano in my jumping pattern.


I also got invited to skate the Finale for the show, and now I'm the unoffical line captain for the Stage Left side of FS4 &5 kids. I guess the coaches figure since I'm older I must have some idea of what I'm doing. Which might be true somewhere but right now my directives are, "GO!" and "KEEP GOING!" When we make our circle to rotate clockwise, I didn't realize the higher level kids would be circling counterclockwise outside of us. When we put everyone together, I glanced up and realized I was in some kind of horrific whirling carousel of blades and kids and shouting.

I did the only thing I could do. I laughed.

Yes, it's chaotic. Yes, this rehearsal process has been rushed and cramped and not what we're used to. No, I wasn't happy about putting more yardage of glitter tulle and fake fur through my freshly cleaned sewing machine. Yes, I'm tired, and we've still got to make it through the weekend.

But I have to say, when our finale group is tearing back to meetup with the other skaters to make our circle, and I see two girls with big smiles and laughs reaching for me, I don't even care about the chaos anymore. Just go, it's okay. And when we're back in the costume shop exchanging gossip and dirty jokes while we sneeze feathers and shake glitter out of the hair of the new baby who is being passed around, everything that was terrible ten minutes ago falls away.

I've put together a few outfits for girls where we didn't have anything to suit their numbers in the shop. The moms asked me what they owed me, and my reply for ice show work is "A Snickers bar and a Diet Coke and we're even." The way I see it, it's sewing experience which makes me better, and we're in this big ShowBoat together anyway.

The show is this weekend, and I've got my fair share of jitters going on, but for the most part I'm excited. And the fun thing about skating is that once you get done with This Big Thing, you're immediately onto The Next Big Thing. Testing, anyone??


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

If you can't do it off the ice...

Working on my show program this morning. Trying to add a little Sexy into the Skating. Because it's a sexy number and I'll be wearing fishnets. Because hell yes fishnets. Coach Fab has told me to wait until we get the entire number down and then we will add the Spice, but I'm impatient. And it never hurts to try, right?


 Yes this is Sexy Kitchen Tiem.
And I realized that the image I have in my head is something I've never done on dry land, much less while in skates. The addition of Ice did not suddenly make me perfectly choreographed. Pretending to be Beyonce while cooking dinner is one thing, but actually putting it all together in show choreography is something totally different.

I'm cookin' fishes people...
Did you know that when you throw your hips it throws your balance? Let's see those three turns now, with one arm up and the other on your hip... and when you bunny hop, throw your arms up because Awkward needs redefining. Actually whipping your hair back and forth? Harder than it looks.

Fortunately the morning hour isn't too populated.

I finished up, stepped out to the lobby, and realized I'd have to dedicate some time this holiday weekend to doing the program on the ground. Once my body figures out the drill, it might be easier on skates. I hope...