Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Ode to My Spirals

"A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame and money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well."
-- G. K. Chesterton

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cha Cha Stumblado

The post title is really for comedic effect because I thought today's lesson with the new dance coach went really well and I didn't stumble a lotto, or at all really. There is a lot to work on with this dance (Cha Cha Congelado) but the steps overall aren't hard (pattern, timing and tracking are hard).

We also worked on Rhumba and after the lesson I worked on it quite a bit solo and feel like I made some progress. I wanted to work on Austrian but I think these two international dances along with novice moves are enough for now. Maybe we'll walk through the Austrian at some point. These two dances are actually do-able and even test-able some day whereas Austrian probably would not be testable without a lotto work.

I am very pleased with myself for trying something new - two new coaches in 3 days and all new things to work on - it feels good.

When Tim gets back I hope that all of this makes me a much stronger and easier-to-skate-with partner. The stronger and more stable I can be for him the easier his comeback to the ice will be.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Moves and More

I have been doing the Tuesday night Lloyd Center group MITF class taught by Coach R. Last night was all twizzles - strangely similar to the twizzles I need for the Austrian Waltz. Perhaps this is a harmonic convergence? Most of the other skaters in the class are not ice dancers. There is a nice range of ability in the class, mostly adults, some beginners but mostly advanced beginners, then me (I don't know how to categorize myself). Coach R does a great job giving everyone something challenging for their level. I love the class because I don't have to worry about kids in the way or moving for kids who are jumping while practicing moves.

So I am going to get up early on Friday and have a private MITF lesson with Coach R. I'm not sure if I should just work on skills I may need for dance (mostly Junior MITF) or work on Novice so that I can test it some day. I guess we'll see. I am looking forward to a lesson from a non-dance coach.

It is now 16 weeks sans partner (not that I'm keeping track or anything). Hard to watch other teams picking music and working on choreography. I shouldn't complain, at least I'm able to skate. This has recently become a blog about me and my own skating vs. the team of Tim and Terri, but it does help keep me motivated when I write about it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

It's not the heat, it's the humidity ...

I'm just back from the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships. I guess this could be considered a "scouting" trip since Adult Nationals will be at Lake Placid in April. I had to check out the venue, restaurants, party scene, etc. It was a good plan, but since I barely got to leave the rink I didn't get to do much scouting. I did verify that the rink contains ice, which is comforting; we should be all set for Adult Nationals.

After spending 14-hour days in the rink Thursday and Friday, I finally had some time off Saturday morning to stroll downtown and actually see the lake, although I found out later the lake I saw was NOT Lake Placid but merely Mirror Lake, which is smaller and not famous. Anyway it was a body of water adjacent to a nice park where I sat in an Adirondack chair (NOT comfortable I might add) and pondered the scene for some time before returning to the rink.

We did scratch from our open events since Tim is still not able to put on a boot due to swelling and he decided not to come to Placid. I kept myself busy judging and encouraging the 7 teams who did enter adult events here. I stayed at a bed and breakfast which was affordable and quiet but lacked air conditioning which I realized a bit too late would have been nice to have. It really is the humidity.

Sunday consisted of getting up at 4:30 AM and driving with Mike R. to Lake George, where we skated and were filmed for an introduction to ice dancing DVD for adults. After sitting for long periods and eating the very delicious catered food for several days it was nice to get out and skate for 2 hours. Of course my outbound flight was delayed out of JFK for several hours and contained a baby who screamed non-stop for 5 and a half hours along with the obligatory seat kicker/grabber behind me, so real sleep eluded me until I got home exhausted at 2 AM. I caught a cold the very next day thanks to the kindness of strangers sneezing and coughing on the airplane without bothering to cover their mouths and noses.

Despite all this I hope we make it back to Lake Placid in April somehow this season. There is something magical about the place, and I am sure that skating on olympic ice must be inspiring. After judging the Open Austrian Waltzes I think that's the international I want to work on if only I can find a coach to help me out until Tim gets back on the ice. Sounds like a good plan for now.