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  1. #1

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    Test Chair Help! How long for dances?

    I have a huge mixed test session in February with a lot of dances. How much time should I allow for the different level dances?

    Thanks!

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    Check out page 9: http://www.usfigureskating.org/conte...st%20Chair.pdf

    Keep this doc handy. It has a lot of useful info.

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    THanks!

    So, would I be able to do a 5 minute warm-up group with two gold dances and two pre-gold? One minute no music, then one minute each of each type of dance? Giving 6 minutes per dance, total group would be 24 minutes.

    Also, this is tricky because in my lower dance groups, I have one coach taking about twelve skaters through their tests. If I can figure out the gold dances, though, I think I'll be okay.

    This is why kids need math in school.

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    If it's 6 min per dance, plus a 5-minute warm-up, that would be 29 minutes. From what the guide says, it sounds like the warm-up structure is fine, but if the same coach is taking all the skaters through, you might need to allot an extra minute in there to allow the coach to move between students.

    For Prelim and Pre-Bronze dances, you can put two out at a time, starting from opposite ends, since those dances only require 1 judge. But if they all need the same coach, that won't work, obviously.

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    In my area, they give enough time on the warmup for the partner to run through with everyone w/ the music. When it's the same partner for everyone, that often takes more time. On the other hand, Almost always, it will not take as long for the actual tests as it says in the book. Just so you know, if you allow that much time you'll probably end up running early.

    Also if there's any way to give the guy who's doing multiple partners a break here & there, he'll greatly appreciate it!!

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    Competition rules (ISU) for Pattern Dances are 1 minutes without music, 3 minutes with music. That is how we run our dance tests here.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    I have 13 dance tests so far, and 10 of them are with the same coach/partner, 2 are with another coach. I talked to the test chair at our sister club, and she said this is fairly typical, and that he's a workhorse and smiles through the entire session. Maybe I'll put together a preliminary schedule, and then run it by that coach as well to see where it may need adjusting. I'm allowed to do that, yes?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozet View Post
    Maybe I'll put together a preliminary schedule, and then run it by that coach as well to see where it may need adjusting. I'm allowed to do that, yes?
    Showing the coach the specific schedule is a little tricky. You might just want to run the basics by him w/o giving him the details of the actual sched.

    In the test sessions I have attended/assisted with, usually each dance coach has multiple students testing. If a dance coach/partner knows he's going to be at a particular session, will try to get other students there. The more students come to the same test session, the fewer test sessions he'll need to show up to. So dance coaches are used to being busy at test sessions. In fact, they usually like their tests to be concentrated in a certain time window rather than spread out, so they don't have to be there all day.

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    You might just want to run the basics by him w/o giving him the details of the actual sched.
    Okay! That makes sense. Thank you!

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    Okay, here's the dance tests I have so far. All but TWO are the same coach. IOW, one coach taking 20 kids through dances. If anyone has any guidance on how to groups these and warm up times, I will send you a bottle of good (cyber) vodka. This is my fourth test session, but I've never had this many dances.

    Viennese Waltz
    Westminster Waltz
    Viennese Waltz
    Quick Step
    Quick Step
    Starlight Waltz
    Blues
    Paso Doble
    Paso Doble
    Kilian
    Silver Tango
    Rocker Foxtrot
    Fourteenstep
    Ten-Fox
    Ten-Fox
    Ten-Fox
    Willow Waltz
    Willow Waltz
    Cha Cha
    Swing Dance
    Canasta Tango
    Rhythm Blues

  11. #11

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    So by "20 kids", do you mean that each kid is only taking 1 dance? No skater is testing more than 1? If so, I would just group them by level - depending on when your ice cut is, you could start at the lowest level and go up, or start at the top and work your way down (if ice cut is right before the dances start). It looks like you have 11 dances Pre-Silver and lower and 11 dances Silver and up. I would divide into 2 groups for each - 5-6 skaters per warm-up.

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    Well, actually several kids are taking several dances. For example, I have one skater testing three pre-gold dances (all with the same coach.)

    Can I put 5 gold tests on the same warm up? For gold tests it *is* all different skaters,

    Then, for pre-gold, there are five tests taken by two different skaters (same coach). Should I just put both girls on same warm up, or bring one of the gold tests onto that warm-up....

    IOW 4 gold skaters in first warm up and 4 tests. 3 skaters on second warm-up (gold and pre-gold), but 6 tests.

    omg, this is like a Rubik's cube. My head is going to explode. Thank you for talking me through this.

    What is the limit for number of skaters on a dance test session? How many tests could one skater be reasonably expected to warm up in one session?

    I feel like I have a grasp on moves and freeskate now, but dances have me flummoxed.

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    Gee I don't envy you at all. Here I am usually the one everyone consults because I know the most about how dance is run.

    Not sure how it is done in your part of the world but if I was doing it these are my thoughts on how I would handle it.

    Senior dances first as they are most difficult. The coach would be able to cope better with the easier dances later (less tiring).
    Each individual dance needs it's own warm up as the music has to be played for that dance (that is what we do here).
    For an individual dance (eg Vienesse Waltz), if there were two or three coaches doing the same dance, then you could warm those up together as they need the music played. However if it was the same coach doing more than two different students on the same dance, then each student would need their own warm up.

    I have probably confused you all the more but I hope some of what I have said makes sense.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    I have probably confused you all the more but I hope some of what I have said makes sense.
    No, no! That helps! All of this helps. I don't think anyone else in our immediate area has fielded bigger test sessions, and like I said, to fir everyone in, I now have two sessions running on two different rinks. I'm okay with that, as once I get them set up, they usually run themselves. But these dances are new for me.

    So, for example, can I put four gold tests on the ice? That is, there would be a one minute warm-up during which all four skaters would warm-up. Then, I would play a minute of Viennese Waltz, and coach would do warm-up with first skater.

    Would other skaters stay on the ice and continue warming up? Or do they get off while music is playing if it isn't their test music? And, okay, now I get is that if another coach and skater also doing Viennese Waltz, they practice at the same time.

    I think I'm almost having an ah-ha moment. Thank you again for everyone holding my hand through this.

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    Yes, you can put all the Gold tests in the same warm-up. 5 skaters, right? That is not too many, but just be sure that each skater gets a chance to warm up with the coach. So each dance should be played once for each skater. If the same coach is taking all 5 skaters through, then you'll need to play each dance being tested for each separate skater testing it. Yes, all skaters stay on the ice for the entire warm-up time (unless they choose to get off early). After the first min of warm-up, the coach will start to move among the skaters to warm-up each individual dance and the other skaters will continue warming up on their own while staying out of the way of the coach-student 'team'. So if you are going to play each separate dance for 1 min, plus the 1 min of general warm-up at the beginning, that would be a 6-minute warm-up for the Gold group.

    Maybe you could combine the Pre-Gold with the Silvers, or are they all with the same coach? If there are only 2 skaters testing Pre-Golds, then you can fit other skaters on, but if it's the same coach for all, then you would need to expand the warm-up time accordingly.

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    Debbie S, THANK YOU!

    Okay, so I put all 5 gold tests on together. Done!

    The pre-gold is 5 tests, but only 2 skaters, same coach for both (both will do Paso Doble). The silver and pre-silver is three tests, but one of the pre-gold skaters will also be skating a silver.

    Uh oh! Is this like MIF/FS? Will she have to pass the silver before she can take the pre-gold? If so, she'll have to do that test first, yes?

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozet View Post
    Uh oh! Is this like MIF/FS? Will she have to pass the silver before she can take the pre-gold? If so, she'll have to do that test first, yes?
    Yes, she will need to pass the Silver test first before testing the Pre-Gold. This is actually fairly common in dance - skaters will usually test multiple dances, esp at the lower levels, and it is not uncommon for the dances to be from different levels. That's why it's usually better to put the lower-level dances first, but at the same time, the higher-level dancers would probably appreciate clean ice - can you do an ice cut before the dance tests start? At least then there won't be holes in the ice from the FS tests.

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    Okay, what about this:

    Start with gold dances (fresh ice, first thing in the morning). None of those are contingent.

    Then, I can start from bronze up, since I have two skaters with contingent tests. Pre-bronze can wait until after ice cut. After ice cut, I have one Senior, one Junior, and one Novice moves test. I'll put the few pre-bronze dances after that, then I have three mid-level free skates.

    Does this sound like a plan? This is better than sudoku.

  19. #19

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    Yes, that sounds like a good plan for allocating the ice time and partner availability and allowing for continency tests.

    Then you just have to make sure you have the right judges available at the right time.

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    Just a thought - if the contingent tests don't pass (I hope that doesn't happen) your test session will be running ahead of time. You can adjust the schedule or allow a longer warmup for the next level (probably best).

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