Why couldn't that be me?
Not that I could be transformed into a fabulous skater who lands triple jumps without the aid of Disney Magic, but I did begin to think about the idea of taking skating lessons again.
So I began to do some research to see if it was even possible for someone of my age to even take lessons. I'm somewhat older then the character in the movie who had similar ideas. Heh. After much searching of the local arenas in Winnipeg I found one which had it's year-sessions starting just one week previous. I sent off an e-mail to the Century Figure Skating Club
telling them my current level of skating (which, at the time, involved forward skating, some pretty sloppy crossovers, and the ability to get up properly when I fall on the ice) and asked how I would go about taking lessons again. It was recommended to me that I look into getting a private coach because of my age (27); I would, they said, probably not want to take lessons with the little kids...although I could if I wanted... heh.
I took the private coach route. ^_^ The following Thursday I bussed across town to the rink and met with the club membership coordinator who introduced me to Esther, a Chinese-Canadian woman exactly my age, who had time open in her schedule to take on another private student. So I signed up for the year (Oct-March 2010) and paid for my weekly ice time even Thursday from 5pm - 545pm. I have a half hour lesson with Esther and then 15 mins of personal practice time afterward.
I'm the oldest person at my rink that I know of (at least during my ice time). I wish there were other adult skaters taking lessons then too. It would be great to meet some other women who are getting back into the sport like me. I know they're out there! If anyone happens to read this blog entry please feel free to comment and I'll e-mail you back!! ^__^
Let me just say that I seriously adore my coach! <3 She is the sweetest person. Always encouraging me to try new things. And kindly not beating my head against the ice each of the numerous times she reminds me to "Keep your head up!" and "Bend your knees...but keep your back straight!!" every lesson. Heh. She's incredibly patient with me. ^_^
So, over the last three months before the Christmas break, what have I been learning? Here's a rundown on what Esther's been teaching me, some elements of which I can perform better then others. ^__^;
- skating on my 4 edges:
right/left inside and outside edges (yes, before I started taking lessons again I was unaware that the extremely fine edges on my blades actually meant anything specific, but knowing the edges and when to balance on each of them for certain elements is important I've learned).
- proper forward crossovers
- backward skating:
I'm still very nervous about falling and/or running into people when we practice this. But I'm much better then when I started trying to do it again back in October. This is very important to get confident in since I next need to learn backward crossovers so that I can start learning more complicated jumps!
Doing this front-to-back or back-to-front turn on one foot which follows a patter on the ice that looks exactly like the number 3 (hence the name) is extremely difficult for me. I always need Esther to hold my arm so that I don't do a faceplant when I attempt this turn. I've done one or two by myself which were halfway decent but this element still needs a lot of work. It's also another move that I need in order to do fancier jumps.
- 2-foot spins:
I'm getting halfway good at these. I can get up to 3-4 revolutions now, when I remember to keep my back straight and not lean forward/backward and thus throw off my balance.
- 1-foot spins:
I'm still pretty bad at these. I can do 2 revolutions on an extremely good day. Heh.
- Sit spin:
I still don't get very low in these spins or get more then 1-2 revolutions.
- basic front-to-back
and standing still 360 degree jumps:
I can do these pretty well. This was the lead-up to me learning the waltz jump, getting comfortable with throwing my body into the air.
- Waltz Jump:
I'm getting better at this. It's my very first jump and is basically gliding forward on my left foot and then jumping and turning 180 degrees to land gliding backwards on my right foot. I've done a few good jumps, but more often then not I still land with both feet instead of just my right foot because I'm afraid of falling and need the extra landing balance. Shame on me! >_<;
- Bunny-Hop Jump:
I'm not bad at this.
I'm not good at these either. I've only had one lesson on them, and it wasn't with Esther since she was out of town. It was with Erin, another coach a little younger then me but very nice. I can't get my forward knee to bend low enough, quickly enough, so that I can drag my back leg's skate boot on the ice without my blade catching on the ice...and all while maintaining my forward leg's balance while I bend my knee. It's very percarious and I suck at it. Heh.
- Swing Roll:
I'm getting pretty good at these, and when I practice the DW I feel really graceful. ^___^
- the "Dutch Waltz":
This is a preliminary ice-dance, one of 3 dances required for the preliminary ice dance test. I'm getting pretty good at this dance and really enjoy performing it to music when time allows during my lesson. Music is played in the order requested at my rink. I usually end up practicing this dance at the end of my ice time during my personal practice while another one of the younger girls has requested the music already, so I just join in and skate behind her. The other two are: the "Canasta Tango" and "Baby Blues". I'm hoping my coach will start teaching me one or both of these remaining dances in the next 3 months.
- RFI = right front inside edge
- LFO = left front outside edge
- SR = swing roll
I went skating with my twin sister and our 6 year old niece at Christmas this year in Saskatoon and had a lot of fun. I have videos which I'll try and upload later. For now here are some pictures. ^_^
Me doing a spiral. My free leg is embarrassingly low. O_oMy twin sister doing a spiral. She's so much better then I am. ^__^ Although her arms are too low.
If we were to combine my arms and her free-leg then we would make a lovely spiral.Me helping my niece skate. She was very determined.
It was only her second time skating since she got her skates for Christmas!My sister and Me. ^__^
Strike a pose!
Back in October 2009 I was watching the movie "Ice Princess" (2004, Michelle Trachtenberg) and as I was watching the magic of Disney transform a teenage girl into a fabulous skater in a few months, starting with her taking lessons with the 8 year old girls, I had a thought.