Posts Tagged ‘Freestyle’

Hopefully by now you’ve tried ice dancing … and love it!

Now, if you’re like me, remember why you started ice dancing: to improve your freestyle skating.

Next, put some of your ice dancing elements into your freestyle program.

I know, what a good idea. It’s not mine.


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A freestyle session is usually an expensive hour-long practice session for figure skaters who have at least started to learn the moves in the Freestyle test tracks. There are no cones on the ice, no skate guard and jumps and spins are not limited to center ice like on most public sessions.

A freestyle session can be filled with Olympic-bound skaters, like in this scene from “Ice Castles” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2lqGM5ge1Y&feature=channel_page (starts at 3:51) or, crowded but tame like this session http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bFKRwIQj90, or it can be just you. Imagine that!

A freestyle session can be intense. It can be frustrating. And it can really help you advance your skating. But is it right for you?

This is a tough question so I’ve brought in two fellow adult skaters to answer it. One is pro skating on freestyles and one is con. (I can’t make up my mind.)
I can’t skate on freestyle sessions anymore. A few years ago I could handle it, but lately it seems skaters don’t play by the rules.*
If I was an awesome skater then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, but since I’m a slow adult skater I get “the feeling” the younger skaters feel I should always yield to them. Once on an almost empty session a young girl asked me if I could do “that” at the other end of the rink because she wanted to practice a jump where I was practicing my jump. (I looked around but no Ashton Kutcher.)
And I don’t know if it’s confidence, arrogance or ignorance but there are so many skaters of all ages and levels are not watching where they are going. It’s just too risky for me.
Also, and I hate that this bothers me, but I can’t stand some of the parents sitting off the ice. The ones flailing their arms, coaching their little ice angel from the hockey box. They’re irritating. 
I personally won’t pay $10 an hour for the aggravation.
*Basic Freestyle Skating Rules
1. Skaters, coaches and parents are expected to show courtesy and good sportsmanship to others.
2. The skater whose program is being played has the right of way. All skaters and coaches are expected to yield to the skater whose program is being played. The second priority goes to the skater taking a private lesson.
3. The ice is for practice, not for socialization.
4. Skaters or parents may not interrupt a coach who is giving a private lesson to another skater.
On a freestyle session the same group of skaters are there each week for the most part. Skaters who consistently get their lessons on the same schedule so you know what to expect, barring any upcoming testing or competitions. This eliminates the dismay of a ruined session when you see the school bus parked out front of the rink when you arrive.
Knowing the other skaters is a plus because you know what their skill levels are and they in turn know yours. This helps when navigating around other skaters, you know what moves they might be working on, if they’re going to crash and slide into your path out of that attempted double loop, and you know if they’re a lower level skater that you should take care to give them the right away and navigate around them as the more skilled and mobile skater, in a perfect world.
Skating a freestyle session forces you to have pride in, and commit to your skating. It shows you are serious about your skating and that what you’re doing matters, no matter if it is working on simple edge patterns or honing in on that elusive axel.
Skating amongst other focused skaters allows you to see what others are doing. Often times by watching another skater I am able to learn new techniques and apply them to my own skating, or simply to gain inspiration.
If you are competing or planning on competing, a freestyle session is a great way to get used to skating around others who may be just as good or better than you. Better to face this and learn from it in practice than to be shocked and knocked flat at a competition when confidence may be a bit shaky anyway.
Keep in mind at a freestyle, no matter how skilled others are around you, that you’re there for the same reason they are, to work on getting better at your skating. Keep your confidence high and don’t let others force you into working in a small box of ice in the corner. Your skating is just as important to you as anyone else’s is to them. Get out there – skate. Don’t let anyone stop you. It’s all about confidence, carry it with you and others will get out of your way!
You Are Not Alone:
The 2008 cast of Smucker’s Stars On Ice did a great job interpreting the frustrations of a freestyle session in “The Warm-Up” where you get to hear what the skaters’ are thinking as they warm-up for the show. Here’s a clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qTatLqV9yo.

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Some rinks allow skaters to play their own CDs at public and freestyle sessions. And I really question this.

I’m not talking about skaters’ program music, I’m talking about the girl who pops in her Snow Patrol or “High School Musical” CD for the entire session.

There is little you can do or say to make the kid change the music, everyone’s taste in music is different and the kid won’t understand that “Fabulous” isn’t.

I think it’s rude when people just change the CD on someone but I also think if you’re going to play a CD it is rude to play a whole CD from the same artist. A mix CD with some slow songs, some fast, some oldies, some instrumental is the best way to go.

Just in case you get on a session with the kid who loves country music (I like country music, but it’s not the best skating music.) get yourself an iPod Shuffle. It’s about $75, it’s really tiny and clips onto your jacket. Perfect for skating.

Or if you beat the kids to the CD player one day here are some songs for a good mix CD:
Somewhere Over the Rainbow – Kathrine McPhee 
Journey to the Past  – Disney 
Something – The Beatles
Sway – Micheal Buble  
Oh Darling – The Beatles  
Everything – Micheal Buble   
Home – Micheal Buble  
Fever – Micheal Buble  
One Week – Barenaked Ladies 
I’m A Believer – Smash Mouth    
Friday I’m In Love – The Cure      
Light on – David Cook    
A Thousand Miles – Vanessa Carlton 
SOS – Rihanna 
Gimme More – Britney Spears
The Way – Fastball
Love Song – Sarah Brelis
Dance – Jamiriquoi 
Dr. Zhivago theme 
Love Story – Piano Instrumental 
Firebird Suite Finale – Igor Stravinsky    
Godfather love theme      
Peer Gynt Morning Mood – Edvard Grieg
Meditation – Thais      
Paper Planes – MIA 
One Jump Ahead – Disney
About A Girl – Nirvana
Love Fool – The Cardigans 
Since You Been Gone – Kelly Clarkson   
The Way You Make Me Feel – Micheal Jackson 
Circus – Britney Spears
Round Round – Flo Rida
Gives You Hell – All-American Rejects
I’m Yours – Jason Mraz
Hot N Cold – Katy Perry
Fabulous – High School Musical (I like this song, but not the rest of the album.)

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