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
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 - 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.