"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??