I usually keep notes on my lessons, but forgot to this week. So I’m sitting here trying to remember what the fuss was all about. I do know that it was #$%@&!!! amazing!
Laurie corrected something very basic: my tendency to keep my left hip and leg forward. Just slightly, but enough to really screw up my alignment, especially when I push into my left outside edge. I do it on other moves as well.
Once we identified that issue, I knew immediately that this is related to two things: my left hip imbalance and my right ankle problem. The former is way better; I can get my hips lined up nicely on command now (after three years of working on it, thank you very much!) The latter is harder. I still have limited mobility in that ankle, though it has been improving. I spend time stretching, flexing, and massaging it everyday (handy list of exercises and videos here). My toe pointing is way better than it was, though my ballet days are long over.
But I still have limited right ankle range of motion while skating. This affects my ability to do clockwise slide chassés. When I try to slide from the right outside edge to the left inside edge, my right foot simply does not slide forward. It’s like I’m stuck in bent-ankle mode.
I spent the latter part of the week working on this motion (sliding the right foot and pointing the toe). Oooh, my ankle feels so stiff! I think the motion is getting better, though, which is good because I noticed that it comes in quite handy. There are quite a few cross-behind maneuvers that I’ve complained about on this blog (Silver Tango, Kilian). Now I know why they felt so wonky for so long.
Okay, that’ s enough about the diagnosis of the week. I’ll share a picture of the inimitable skating team of Doug and Sonia, in blue for their Blues.
And here’s an absolutely beautiful rendition of “Duo des Fleurs” (Flower Duet) in Delibes’ Lakmé. Ah, so smooth . . . .
- Exercise for back push to outside edge: from both feet together and parallel on the ice, concentrate on only turn out heel of pushing foot to push (can do this with back chassés).
- Counter-clockwise forward progressive or chases (make sure left hip doesn’t sneak forward).
- Slide chassés: concentrate on smooth and quick transfer of weight and right ankle action.
- Kilian: work on the cross behind-slide out motion. Make sure you give equal time to all the steps.
- Starlight inside mohawk sequence: turn happens immediately as you bring your feet together–no pause!