Most of the sessions I’ve done this week have been pretty busy. There seem to be a lot of skating parties, even during the week–probably a number of them would be outside, but it’s been cold and snowy here.
I have been pretty steadfast in getting to the rink, even if it means that I am confined to a fairly small part of the center, and have to spend time dodging falling tots and reckless young hockey skaters.
You would think I’d be used to this by now, but even as mellow as I am (ha!) I spend way too much time being distracted. I’m fairly okay with screaming children (what skater doesn’t feel like screaming, at least once in a while?) but what gets me are the completely clueless adults. You know, the ones who let their young beginners skate without helmets, and who shuffle out on the ice after their children without skates on and who even carry babies around the ice! And these are not experienced skaters, but beginners. I have seen too many head injuries on ice (fortunately no dropped babies yet) to just ignore this. But I’ve also had folks give me the “mind your own business look,” so I don’t always butt in.
Usually in spite of these distractions I hunker down and try to work on keeping my own body in line. This meant two things this week. One was to focus on moving my ribcage over into the circle rather than “crunching” my torso down on my edges, especially the left outside edges. Since hers is way better than mine (haha!), I will let Tessa Virtue demonstrate a strong left outside edge, with the skating side beautifully lengthened.
The other was to keep my pelvis in neutral and my hips as level as possible as my free leg moves in and out. Laurie told me to imagine that I was wearing a harness that ran around the tops of my legs and pulled the front of my hips up–kind of like this picture that I found online of a climbing setup.
Whenever I get out of line, I just imagine pulling up on the blue loop and voilà!
Speaking of loops, I’ve added forward inside loops to my practices. These are super fun, too. This means I have another set of things to practice on crowded sessions. Oh well, at least my skating friends are not deterred by a few more people. Here we are!
If I were more artistic, I’d figure out a way to make some of these photos fit into paragraph loops–but I guess just having them here is reminder that skaters are loopy enough. Hahaha!
Here’s a classic for our listening pleasure–can’t be beat!
Just direct your feet to the sunny side of the street!
- “Lean” means moving ribcage over into circle rather than pressing down through skating side. This is particularly true of my back outside edges.
- Three turn, change edge (first part of “creeper” exercise), step forward. Work on bending/pressing action on inside edge, and on establishing real back outside edges.
- Practice moving free leg and skating leg independently of one another (especially backwards).
- Forward inside loop (practice entry into backspin on both sides).
- Forward outside loop: not too much twist of upper body–simply move arm in front.
- Mohawk, change edge, cross in front, step forward, repeat.
- First part of “creeper” exercise again: mohawk, change edge (look over new shoulder), step forward, repeat.
- Creepers (just starting with forward outside), toe through and repeat.
- Same thing with additional steps in between: mohawk, push back, back outside three in.
- Chassé, swing change edge with free leg back (like in the Fiesta), inside three, cross in front, step forward, repeat. Skate into the skating arm and keep this in front through the inside three turn.
- Three turn, back outside, step forward, two-beat edge, repeat on other side. Keep skating side strong and skating side arm forward as you change to inside and push to repeat on other side. Free foot comes in behind skating foot.