jo skates

Skating in the key of life



So I think my skating is improving! I had a lot of fun on my last set of lessons. Laurie had me working on loop figures again, creating tighter edges and smaller loops. It’s really cool, kinda like being on a runaway train (only slower, ’cause it’s me skating). Whoa!

Ari started out with an inside mohawk, inside-outside change edge exercise that I could actually do (been practicing!), which made me feel pretty good. But then, of course, as I got halfway down the rink with that, he immediately started on a different exercise.

Wouldn’t want me to get a big head! That would throw off my balance!

Both coaches have been demanding actual edges from me, so there’s no danger of my being over-confident. Now that I am bending my ankles more in terms of forward and back, I realize how important also using side-to-side foot and ankle pressure is.

So the upshot is that I am trying to hold my feet to the fire (and ice, haha) by practicing each move with much more awareness of (a) ankle bend and (b) foot and ankle pressure. And that means each and every move, from warmup swizzles to stroking to progressives and chassés in a circle to edge pulls to cross strokes to various turns to compulsories.

Makes time fly! Before I know it, practice is over. Today I barely got through half of my stuff.

(Dang, forgot to work on brackets today. I knew there was something. . . )

So Madison Chock and Evan Bates are doing this season’s free dance to a version of David Bowie/Queen’s “Under Pressure”: one of my favorite songs and very apropos of my situation. This song should have a warning label about the bass line becoming the ultimate earworm. But since it will run through my head all day anyway, I’m going to watch it again paying particular attention to Madison’s most excellent use of her ankles and feet.

Lesson notes:

  • Inside mohawk, change edge, step forward inside, repeat (make sure the change of edge really makes it onto an outside edge).
  • Push back, back outside, change to inside, rise. Don’t rush, get correct timing on rise.
  • Three cross steps, then tight circle; repeat. On the tight circle, make sure you are on a deep edge right away. Don’t use upper body to tighten circle; use ankles/feet; make sure your back faces into the circle on the tight outside edge. Do this backwards as well.
  • Inside mohawk, back three, small edge pull.
  • Forward inside edge, change to outside, cross in front (again, make sure the change of edge actually creates lobes).
  • Progressives with deep edge transition, facing outside of circle on the outside edge. Again, this forces you to use your ankle/feet to create edges, not upper body or hips.

A different kind of lesson:

Love’s such an old-fashioned word
and love dares you to care for
the people on the edge of the night
And love dares you to change our way
Of caring about ourselves
This is our last dance
This is our last dance
This is ourselves

Under pressure.

Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Pressure

  1. Hooray for progress! I definitely do those cross strokes/hold into tight circle exercises too (forward and backwards, insides and outsides). Here’s to slow, but steady improvement for both of us! 🙂


  2. Eva, toasting you and those tight circles from afar!!! 🎉


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