1. High and low: for this month, they came within ten minutes of each other. I passed my Fiesta Tango ice dance test about 5 minutes after I failed my Swing Dance ice dance test.
2. Where I put my energy this month: this is a frustrating month for skaters in my skating circle, because our go-to risk closed down at the beginning of May and won’t reopen till mid-June. There are other area rinks but they don’t have ice time that is as plentiful or as convenient. So, I’ve also tried to use the month to start to get back on track with a little bit of running (three times a week at a painfully slow pace) and hiking (once a week for the last couple of weeks).
In terms of skating, for ice dance, there is obviously the Swing Dance to still conquer and particularly my back edges (swing rolls and chasses) to be improved. My coach Russ is letting me dip my toes on the next two dances, the Willow Waltz (which I think looks so pretty) and Ten Fox (which will require the learning of a new turn - the outside Mohawk).
For free skating and moves in the field, moves have pretty much been sidelined for the sake of free skating. My first program, which performed for the very first time in March, has been upgraded by my coach Melody (more about that in my early June blog post), so that it now has two single jumps (waltz jump and salchow) and two single combinations (waltz jump-toe loop and salchow-toe loop) as well as three “hops” (my term) — mazurka, ballet jump and falling leaf. Getting it all in requires more speed, which is very tricky for me.
3. Improvements and continuing frustrations: on the frustration category one word: spins! I have SUCH a hard time with them. Although my jumps might only feel better to me, they are starting to come together better. I think a huge key for me is learning to actually bend my skating knee in the approach to a jump, rather than scratching to an abrupt halt. Tons of work to do, but progress. In ice dance, I think turns are starting to improve — Inside Mohawks are going pretty well, outside three turns getting a little less sluggish and outside mohawks, which I had been terrified to even try, seem within reach if I keep practicing.
Since the goal of this post is just to set a marker for where I am at the end of May, I think this is a good stopping point. The next will cover what’s coming up, and what i hope to work on (and improve) for the month of June.