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  1. #1

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    Learning new programs

    I just wanted to vent and say that as much as I like the finished product of having a new program, I'm learning disabled when it comes to footwork and connecting moves. I think my coach had to remind me about 5 times that she wants me to do a left inside mohwak to 2ft change of edge. Not a right mohawak. "No, your other left mohawk. OTHER left." Same thing goes with inside or outside turns and how many crossovers to do into a spiral. I'm sure this will get better and I like the fact the program has lots of transitions, but I do wish I could just learn choreography. Instead of plodding through it in the early stages.

    On the bright side, I haven't gotten sick of the first 30 seconds of my music yet, which is a good sign. Anyone else have trouble learning choreography? People who manage to just 'grasp' this quickly, please keep quiet .

  2. #2
    Watch me move
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    Haha, I have exactly the same problem. It takes a LOT of repetition and a lot of reminders/corrections. But sometimes I accidentally do something that looks better than what my coach intended, and then I have to remember not only the original program but the mistakes I'm supposed to leave in
    Who wants to watch rich people eat pizza? They must have loved that in Bangladesh. - Randy Newman on the 2014 Oscars broadcast

  3. #3

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    I think I might be one of the lucky ones in that I do remember my choreography and in the past have made late minute changes that I can deal with. But then for me using the music is probably the strongest aspect of doing a program.

    As Overedge says, it is repetition and repetition. You have to keep doing it again and again.

    At the moment I am working on a new program, but I don't have a coach as such who does it with me. I tend to take suggestions and ideas that others give me, but then try to put my own stamp on it. As what someone thinks may not necessarily work for you. And to me this is quite crucial when working on a program. I decided I would use my last lesson with my dance coach to work on the program and I really didn't like some of the stuff he gave me. So I will keep some of the ideas but tailor to what fits for me.

    The other thing I think which is really important is to tailor a program to the music. I have to use the music. A coach can put all the choreography they want into a skater's program, but if the skater can't find the nuances, rythmn or phrasing themselves, the interpretation is really not going to be effective.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  4. #4

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    Oh, I'm the clumsiest clod when learning a new program. It helps to learn and repeat little bits and pieces and do them SLOWLY (I have this tendency to rush, and I want it all to look polished NOW!). Generally I fall all over the place. I'm starting to learn the value of just marking jumps and spins as I get used to the pattern and placement of various linking moves and footwork and then gradually adding them in to work on stamina and memory.

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    Draw the program out on a piece of paper, and write down the footwork sequences. It helps a lot.

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    I'm bad in learning a program too. If I connect known elements to a new routine, I stumble at every element and it takes weeks until it looks smoother but I just made one program yet maybe this season it will be easier (?)....

  7. #7

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    I have the same trouble learning steps for ice dances. I often skate around w the diagram until it is memorized. Even after many trials, I forget and have to go back to the diagram. I recently started doing dances again and realized I forgot all of the steps and had to relearn them.

    Kay
    www.skatejournal.com

  8. #8

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    I've found that the more dance/choreo you do, then with time, it gets easier to remember. So that's one idea - do *more* choreo, either on ice or via dance, so that you get that sort of head-to-muscle learning to happen more frequently, and perhaps with time, it'll all get easier.

    Until then, it's repetition. *Thoughtful* repetition. I also draw diagrams with notes in my skating notebook. And I'll walk the choreo that I remember when I'm not on the ice, and visualize it in my head during times when I'm not able to get up and walk it.
    And so, dear Lord, it is with deep sadness that we turn over to you this young woman, whose dream to ride on a giant swan resulted in her death. Maybe it is your way of telling us... to buy American.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    The other thing I think which is really important is to tailor a program to the music. I have to use the music. A coach can put all the choreography they want into a skater's program, but if the skater can't find the nuances, rythmn or phrasing themselves, the interpretation is really not going to be effective.
    That's an ice dancer talking . I never quite managed to get the counting on beat aspect down, but for someone at my level, as long as you can hit a few accents and match the tempo reasonably well, you should be all set. The program is coming along much better now. I look like I'm skating the first half minute or so. And then it's back to having two left feet, but hopefully that should change in another few weeks once it's all choreographed and I can start getting comfortable with the rest of the program.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ioana View Post
    That's an ice dancer talking . I never quite managed to get the counting on beat aspect down, but for someone at my level, as long as you can hit a few accents and match the tempo reasonably well, you should be all set. The program is coming along much better now. I look like I'm skating the first half minute or so. And then it's back to having two left feet, but hopefully that should change in another few weeks once it's all choreographed and I can start getting comfortable with the rest of the program.
    How did you guess? But it is also the musician in me talking too.

    I find the easiest part of a program to put together is the first minute and then after that it becomes much more difficult.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    But sometimes I accidentally do something that looks better than what my coach intended, and then I have to remember not only the original program but the mistakes I'm supposed to leave in
    One sign of a good coach!

    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    Draw the program out on a piece of paper, and write down the footwork sequences. It helps a lot.
    I have a Word doc with the hockey circles and lines on it. PM me if anyone wants it.

    Have you considered wearing different colored gloves? That might help with the R/L confusion. I'm not suggesting that you can't tell R from L (my DH can't ,) but just that it will give you a visual marker for the points at which you forget which you are supposed to do.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sk8er1964 View Post
    Draw the program out on a piece of paper, and write down the footwork sequences. It helps a lot.
    I have a student who has the same problem as the OP. For her first program, I wrote the steps in a single column Word document, with the abbreviations in bold on the right. She was able to learn the step sequence from the doc, and then we just had to iron out the pattern on the ice. I offered a diagram also, but she didn't think that would help.

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