I've been a lot less regular about posting on my skating progress than I meant to be, and that is largely a function of the fact that progress is going so sloooowly (see note above about patience). But since the year is a third over, I think it's time to assess where things are at, so here goes. I have three areas where I'm trying to improve this year, and only in one of them (ice dance) do I have anything tangible to show for my efforts. But I like to think that at least I'm developing character, so here's where things are at right now.
1. Ice Dance: my one clear piece of progress: passed my fourth dance test (the Cha Cha)! Now I've moved on to start work on two that feel a lot harder -- Swing Dance and Fiesta Tango. The Cha Cha was the last of the dance patterns that goes only forward; the two I am working on now are skated partly going forward and partly going backward, and the transitions between the two (with a partner in tow) are a new skill to learn in themselves. Still, I was excited to have passed the Cha Cha and happily, here's the video to show for it. For testing, you dance the pattern twice, and at least at this very low level you can do it on your own or as I have here, with my ever-patient ice dance coach, Russ.
2. Free Skate: The first Adult free skate test Pre-Bronze Free Skate) is a simple affair: two jumps of 1/2 to one rotation; a two-footed spin; a one foot spin, forward and backward crossover and either a spiral or a lunge. The simplicity is made even simpler by the fact that I passed two of these elements (crossovers and spiral) over two years in ago in a Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Test. Yet I'm stuck. My first jump (a Waltz jump) is more like a hop, and on my second (Toe Loop), I fail to actually make the jump (hop) about half the time. Spins are only slightly better. Each has to have at least three rotations, which isn't a problem for my two-footed spin, but definitely still is on one foot. I think the spin will come with more practice (that is, patience), but the jumps have me more frustrated. Jumping on ice just scares me, and I need to figure out what to do about that to get past this place where I'm basically stalled out.
3. Moves in the Field: This is the place, where on paper, I had advanced the most, but now my progress is on hold. This is true for two reasons. First, I have to catch up a little in the other two areas, and second, the next test, the Adult Silver Moves in the Field is really, really past my abilities. Every single move on it feels very challenging. My initial hope was to start with some of the less daunting parts like cross strokes and power pulls and spirals, and save the really hard Mohawk sequence and forward and backward three-turn parts for later, but until I get some progress on the very simple jumps and spins I am trying to learn, that's where most of my lesson and practice time and energy is going.
So bottom line, progress is going much slower than I would like, but at least it's going. Happily, my coaches, Melody and Russ, are both unfailingly patient and encouraging so there's that. Hopefully in August I'll be able to take my first Adult Free Skate test, and at least one of my next ice dances. And in the meantime, I'll keep chipping away, and writing about, hopefully both on a more regular schedule.