UPDATES ON MY DREAM TO LEARN TO ICE-DANCE...WISH ME LUCK!!

FSWer

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Another image that might help is to pretend you have a table in front of you. Pretend you're putting your hands on the table, not straight in front of you, but towards the edges. That's about the right level and location for your arms--bellybutton level and not straight to the side OR straight in front but about halfway between those two points.

Just keep practicing, FSWer. Skating takes a LOT of patience and a LOT of practice. And you'll trip and fall a lot; goodness knows I do!! Just keep getting up and trying and listening to your coaches' advice.

PS: And yes, "stroking" is a general term for that pushing and gliding you do on the ice. EVERY SINGLE SKATER, from beginner to world champion, works on stroking every day, doing just what you are doing, making sure you're not using their toepicks to push, putting their arms in the right place, and so forth.[/QUOT
FSWer - I hope this might help you get the best arm position while stroking or gliding - "pat the dogs."

It's a technique I was taught and I used to use when I helped teach. Imagine that while you are on the ice, you have two large dogs like, say, German Shephards in front of you, one on the right, one on the left. Your arms should be in front of you and out to each side. Basically, your arms should be out in front slightly to each side at about waist/hip level where you could easily pat the dogs on the head without bending over.

My students always knew that if I skated up to them and said "pat the dogs" their arms were not in the right position or they were flailing them all over the place.

And I will reiterate what others are saying here. This is not the time to be concerned about getting a partner or worrying if you have "what it takes" to be an ice dancer. It's time to learn to skate. You might be getting tired of hearing us say this over and over, but you must learn to skate FIRST. Partnering comes much later.
GEE Jen...That just MIGHT WORK For ME!!!! I will try "Pat the Dog" when I see Nick after the New Year in Jan. I'll let you ALL know what happens. Please pray for me.
 

FSWer

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Say,another question...should I be leaning a bit away from my Partner when Stroking, and my free hand out? Also,I was wondering about something else. How do you control how far your arm goes out,without pulling your Partner over? Like when you hold onto a wall,your arm can only go to arms liengh. But how do you control were your arm stops holding a Partner?
 

Clarice

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No, you don't lean away from your partner when stroking. You need to stay balanced over your own feet. You're not supposed to pull on your partner.
 

overedge

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@FSWer you don't lean away from your partner or pull on their arm. That could pull them off balance and be very dangerous for both of you.

When you are stroking next to a partner and holding their hand, you should be able to drop their hand and right away keep skating on your own. You shouldn't rely on your partner to hold you up or to keep your balance.

When skaters skate together, it is really important for them both to be able to skate well on their own. This is why you need to work on basic skating skills. You will not be ready to skate with a partner until you can skate safely by yourself.
 

FSWer

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So basicly if I'm doing it right,I should to hold my Partner's arm out for balance,and only hold my free-hand out. Unlike balancing like a scale?
 

overedge

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@FSWer if you're doing it right, it should be like skating by yourself, except that you are holding someone's hand. You shouldn't be using your partner's hand or arm for balance at all.
 

FSWer

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So I should just feel like I'm Skating the way I usually do? Should I KEEP in mind that I have a Partner OR pretend I don't?
 

overedge

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@FSWer when you are skating with a partner, you always have to be aware of them and watch what they are doing. That is very important for your safety and for their safety.

You won't feel the same skating with a partner as you do skating by yourself. You have to watch your partner and be careful that you are not skating too close to them, or too far away, or too fast, or too slow.

But what we are trying to tell you is that you shouldn't be skating with a partner if you are not able to balance or to move without holding on to them, or without them holding you up. You should be able to skate side by side with your partner without touching them at all, and still be skating well. That is why it is important for you to work on basic skating skills.
 

Yazmeen

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FSWer: I am going to be blunt here, and please understand that we at all trying to help you.

Everyone here was trying to find good ways to help you understand arm positions for basic skating; but you keep turning the discussion to skating with a partner. I don't know how we can all be more clear about this; you CANNOT skate with a partner until you develop good basic skating skills on your own. You have to go way beyond being comfortable skating on one foot; you must be able to easily do forward and backward skating, crossovers, edges, turns, and other moves before a coach would consider allowing you to partner with someone or before anyone would consider partnering with you.

We are all supporting you and believe in your dream to ice dance. But please understand that we are trying to help you become a good skater ON YOUR OWN. Once you develop good basic skills, you may be able to skate with a partner. Please let us help you become the best skater you can be. Partnerships can be addressed later.
 

Skittl1321

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I agree with Yazmeen, you cannot skate with a partner until you can skate well on your own. Partners don't help make things easier, they actually make it a lot more complicated!

But about arm positioning, leaning and pulling your partner- at least for the first dances, you should be able to hold your arms where they go with a partner, and do exactly the same dance even if the partner isn't there. So even when I am holding my partner's hand, I am not putting pressure on him in any way. If he were to leave, I would be doing exactly the same thing as if he were there.
 

Clarice

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I totally agree with Skittl! This is why beginning dancers can, and should, practice by themselves without a partner. You need to be able to skate and do the dances by yourself, without help.
 

TheGirlCanSkate

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But about arm positioning, leaning and pulling your partner- at least for the first dances, you should be able to hold your arms where they go with a partner, and do exactly the same dance even if the partner isn't there. So even when I am holding my partner's hand, I am not putting pressure on him in any way. If he were to leave, I would be doing exactly the same thing as if he were there.
I think that is a very good way of describing it - skating the same alone as with a partner. You can't skate with a partner until you can skate it on your own. And it is more of having contact with another person rather than "holding".
 

FSWer

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@FSWer if you're doing it right, it should be like skating by yourself, except that you are holding someone's hand. You shouldn't be using your partner's hand or arm for balance at all.
So,it should feel like I'm holding onto air? BTW. I go to Newington Sat. to work with my Girl Coach...and she's about the same size as me. Wish me luck.
 

Yazmeen

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FSWer - working with your "girl coach" is not the same as skating with a partner even if she does do some skating with your where she is holding you hand. My coaches have held my hand many times to help me with a new skill. In fact, my main coach has skated with me learning dances; but he's not my partner considering he competes with a much more advanced woman skater at the international level!

Can I ask you something? Could you possibly let us know your female coach's first name? You're not revealing anything too personal about her by using her first name, same as you do with Nick. I guess it's because I've done some volunteer coaching that I would prefer my students refer to me by my first name rather than "girl coach." Thanks!
 
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overedge

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So,it should feel like I'm holding onto air? BTW. I go to Newington Sat. to work with my Girl Coach...and she's about the same size as me. Wish me luck.
It shouldn't feel like you're holding onto anything. You should feel balanced and centred on your own, just like when you walk by yourself.
 

FSWer

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Ok,my Friends!!!! Here is my Report.....My Girl Coach worked with me more on my One-Foot-Glide. She was even impressed that I did it once on my own!!! She also taught me about what foot to use,when Skating holding onto a Partner's hand, and how you and your Partner use the same Foot. We also tried my 2-Foot Hop,and I did the BIGGEST Hop....EVER!!! LOL. I just have to figure out how to land without falling. LOL.
 

overedge

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@FSWer if you think about holding onto *anything* while you are skating by yourself, it is much harder to keep your balance. You need to concentrate on finding your own balance and strength, and being a strong skater on your own.
 

FSWer

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Awwwwwwwwww,thanks Purple and tree. Say....btw. I was texing Nick today,and he suggested that I try going to the Rink more then once a month to practice more...and reminded me that the Skaters I admire go about 6x a week, and he suggested picking me up one Fri, and giving him money for gas. But according to my aid, I don't have the money to go twice a month. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get the equivalent training needed? I just want to tell you that I really DO feel trust in you guys enough to tell you all this,and to share my life with you. My Meeting is on Tues. of next week. So I'll let you all know how that topic goes. Chow!!
 

overedge

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@FSWer if you have your meeting next month, is your budget discussed at that meeting? Can you ask at the meeting if there is a way for you to have more lessons?

Also, even if you can't have more lessons, you can practice things off-ice that will help you when you do have your lesson - like balancing on one foot.
 

FSWer

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That is true. But, don't I need to get the equivalent training on-ice too? Am I the only Skater here who is a misfit (if you can use it that way) when it comes to money, and who trains only once a month?
 

overedge

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@FSWer more time on the ice is always a good thing. But a lot of skaters can't afford all the lessons or practice time on the ice that they would like to have.

Anything you can practice off-ice is going to help you to do better during whatever ice time you have.
 

purple skates

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@FSWer, on my Synchro team we spend about the same amount of time on off practice each week as we do on ice.

As for dance, tonight I spent about an hour doing off ice practice because I haven’t been able get on ice at all this week for dance due to my work and synchro schedule (plus having a cold slowed me down). It helps.

ETA: The off ice I did on my own tonight was just in my hotel room (I’m at a work conference). Nothing special.
 

treesprite

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A person doesn't have to have a lesson every single time he or she is on the ice.

Are you sure you can't afford to just go to practice at least once a week, when you only have to pay the admission fees, not for a lesson? I am wondering how much of the staff refusing to take you is really about money, and how much is actually about staff not being willing to adjust their schedules so they can take you (I am a staff for similar agency, and I know most staff will not adjust their schedules, they just make up other excuses to not take clients to activities). If you have skating in your IP, the staff need to adjust their schedules to take you to the rink, and if they can't, the program manager needs to find staff for you who can do it. If staff can't do it, then they at least could try to find a volunteer to take you to the rink just to practice (without the cost of lesson).

I probably sound kind of harsh here, but it is because, as someone who works in the same type of job, I know the standards of service the agency and staff are supposed to follow. I go way out of my way, change my schedule week to week when needed, to make sure people get to do activities they want and need to do. I even left my family over Christmas to take a client out of state for a few days so she could have a good holiday. Maybe my standards are just so much higher that most staff just can't live up to my own expectations. I really wish you could skate more, if that is what you want to do.
 
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Clarice

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I hope they are able to find a way for you to skate more. You don't have to have a lesson every time you skate. It is good to have time to practice between lessons. You should ask Nick to help you set goals that are a good match for the amount of time you are able to skate.
 

Skittl1321

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It may help to ask Nick to write out a practice plan for you. That way when you go to the rink without a lesson you can go down the checklist to make sure you practice each skill you are supposed to. (I would go to the rink 3 times to practice for every 1 lesson I took. Some adult skaters do 5 practices for every 1 lesson.)

You can tell him how much time you have at the rink (30 minutes, 1 hour, etc) and he can come up with a plan that will fill that amount of time. He can also help you with an off ice plan to strengthen yourself to better perform the skills

Skating is way too expensive to have a lesson every single time you are on the ice. Every adult skater I know has struggled with the cost of skating- budgeting whether they should use the money for their skating vs. another need in their life; how much to spend on lessons or equipment, etc. You would have to be very wealthy to not need to think about the expense.

My coaches would tell us we were wasting our money on lessons if we did not practice, both on and off ice, between them. Otherwise you spend each lesson going over the same skill you did before- because you never practiced it.
 

Yazmeen

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FSWer: absolutely get a practice plan - or have Nick help you write some notes down about each of your lessons. I've always done that with my lessons with Damian, and since we can't get together as often as I'd like, I'm starting with another coach closer to home that Damian helped me find. I plan to write down what happened after every lesson just like I've done before and what I'm supposed to work on, both on and off the ice, so I don't forget.
 

FSWer

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A person doesn't have to have a lesson every single time he or she is on the ice.

Are you sure you can't afford to just go to practice at least once a week, when you only have to pay the admission fees, not for a lesson? I am wondering how much of the staff refusing to take you is really about money, and how much is actually about staff not being willing to adjust their schedules so they can take you (I am a staff for similar agency, and I know most staff will not adjust their schedules, they just make up other excuses to not take clients to activities). If you have skating in your IP, the staff need to adjust their schedules to take you to the rink, and if they can't, the program manager needs to find staff for you who can do it. If staff can't do it, then they at least could try to find a volunteer to take you to the rink just to practice (without the cost of lesson).

I probably sound kind of harsh here, but it is because, as someone who works in the same type of job, I know the standards of service the agency and staff are supposed to follow. I go way out of my way, change my schedule week to week when needed, to make sure people get to do activities they want and need to do. I even left my family over Christmas to take a client out of state for a few days so she could have a good holiday. Maybe my standards are just so much higher that most staff just can't live up to my own expectations. I really wish you could skate more, if that is what you want to do.
Ok...Treesprite has broken into my thoughts,and I do believe that all you guys have earned to hear about my true life. Which makes me feel soooo good. So hear it is....I am part of a Supportive-Living Program run by the State that has lost a lot of it's Staff from cuts and a lot of them Retiring because of Connecicut's economy being so bad. In which case,it has left the Staff that are left with more work to do,and less time to do things with people. They now only do things when they have the time. Staff also just work with their own people. So,unless a day comes were they CAN get an extra Staff for me,then it's not guaranteed. We also try to be as independent as we can be,as some people in the world make fun of Disability people. In my money Department....we can only have a curtain amount of money in our accounts ($1600). Which is just enough to pay bills. We also used to have to spend down way back when we had Roomates. But the Staff have said too,that what it is..is the Rent. Staff say we all (including me) make very little extra money,and our Complex takes all our extra money for the Rent,and doesn't use all the money they get from the Rent. I have tried to get more hrs. at my Store (Shoprite). But it's not in their budget at the time. I also want to say that it was my Case Worker that bought my to the Rink 3 years ago,and helped me sign-up for Ice-Dancing...and...uh....I don't know if you guys know what an IP. is. But that's the ONLY reason I go Skating, (because,it's in my IP.),and according to Staff and my Case Worker....anything in my I.P. (Individual Plan) is protected,and can NOT be taken away from me. In short...they have said,that IF Skating was NOT in my IP., I would NOT be going. So....that's me. I am so glad I was able to you all about my life....Bexause,I know you ALL can be 100%... trusted.
 

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