Goth on Ice: Thinking about Competition.

Spoke to my instructor after class about possible future competition. The purpose was twofold. First was a sanity check. Is this something I can do with a reasonable expectation of some success at it. (Not talking national championship or Olympics of course, but maybe a few trophies I can show off and maybe even a trip to nationals in my age group just to be there). The word was “yes, that’s not beyond the pale.” The second part was to make my instructor aware that competition was a goal so we could keep that in mind while doing my training and keep me pointed in the right direction.

Class was…a rather bad day for me. Well, it happens. You can’t be at your best every time you get on the ice (more on that in a moment). Still, I did the forward outside three-turns well enough that the instructor started me on forward inside three-turns, a more difficult challenge (one I need for Adult 6). I didn’t actually do any inside three turns. This was near the end of class and the exercise was simply to do forward inside edges on a fairly small circle. And I did say I was having a bad day and…yeah. Normally I can do half circle inside edges with no problem but today…I just kept blowing them. Oh, well, work on the practice sessions for next time.

One of the things I found out is that in competition you have to test for various levels which determine which competitions you are permitted to enter. The starting point for adults is “Pre-Bronze.” There are two tests. One is for figure skating skills and you have to demonstrate:

Jumps: Two different jumps,
either one-half or one full revolution Spins:

  • A one-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions in position)
  • A two-foot upright spin (minimum three revolutions in position)

Steps:

  1. Forward and backward crossovers (either direction)
  2. Lunge or spiral

Of those I can do the crossovers and the lunge. The first jumps one learns with rotation is the Waltz Jump (a half rotation jump, take off going forward and land going backward):

The half flip jump:

And the toe loop:

For spins, well, I’m working on the two-foot spin. I’ve gotten a little better than I was here. (Note, that a lot of the intervening month since I posted this, I was in quarantine with COVID, so not as much progress as I might have had):

In addition to those, there’s a “moves in the field” test that’s basically how you can move around the ice and do the various steps, turns, and what not that tie the various elements together. (In competition you’ll see “step sequence” and “choreo sequence” as a scored element for this kind of thing.) That includes:

  1. Forward Perimeter Stroking. (Basically skating around the perimeter of the rink with good form).
  2. Basic Consecutive Edges (the inside and outside edges that I’ve talked about before.)
  3. Forward and backward crossovers (this, at least, I’ve got pretty much down).
  4. Waltz Eight. Now this one’s a problem. It’s supposed to look something like this:

That one, I’m well short of, I’m afraid. But…we’ll get there.

Finally, (this would be item “5” but apparently I can’t set a start number other than “1” for an ordered list). There’s forward right and left foot “spirals”. That’s the ballet move of an Arabesque, only done on the ice. Like this:

That requires flexibility that is a…challenge for me right now but, again, working on it.

So, I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me but…it doesn’t look impossible.

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