Today was the big day, the John Zimmerman and Silvia Fontana "Reach Your Dreams" clinic hosted by Polar Ice Tucson
. We started with a warmup at 6:45, then a little after 7 we got started on-ice. The on-ice part probably lasted an hour and 45 minutes, then we had a break while we got our skates off etc., then an off-ice workout followed by Q&A and an autograph session.On-Ice
: We started with some stroking routines, basically quick stroking and crossovers down the rink both forward and backward. I found these quite difficult; it's one thing to do this stuff at a leisurely pace, it's another to do FI edge-->crossover-->FI edge-->crossover down the rink at a quick tempo. After that we did another exercise consisting of alternating FI3s down the rink... eep! I did my fastest-ever RFI3s, they were not that bad actually. Of course the LFI3s are still nascent.
Next we worked through single jumps: waltz, salchow, toe loop, loop, flip & lutz. Of course I can only do the waltz jump. If I remember correctly, feedback from John was to bring the right side through more (I could be wrong, it's a blur). I had a nice compliment from one of the coaches about my waltz jump, which was nice. For the other jumps it was a combination of working various exercises to improve the setup/entrance plus watching people do the jumps and get specific feedback. I did work the entrance to the salchow and the toe loop since they are fairly simple (LFO3 and RFI3, my best turns anyway).
Next we worked briefly on spins. John spent a couple of minutes with me looking at my spin entrance -- feedback was to get a better tension on the back (right) arm before the step forward, and to keep the free leg back on the step forward. All stuff I'd heard from Anna, of course, but good to hear again.
We finished up by working on musicality and expression. Silvia choreographed a mini-routine for us to slow music ("Fallin'" by Alicia Keys I think, although there was another song before that that I don't remember), and then to faster music ("Footloose"). On both of these we'd do the routine and then improvise. It brought to mind that either I just don't have enough elements in my arsenal, or I have few ideas on how to put them together. Probably both! Still, it was good to loosen up a bit and try to work at thinking about how to feel the music and how you might express it.Off-Ice
: We went next to some off-ice training. This part totally kicked my butt! A number of exercises, including grapevines, grapevines with a kick in the middle, running/hopping sideways, a bunch of jumping exercises (including one where you jump a 1/4 rev, 1/2 rev, 3/4 rev, and full rev in quick succession), and of course some good stretching. By the time this was done I was sweating profusely and got a little dizzy even. I was fine after resting a bit.Q&A
: A number of good questions and discussion. They showed us a video of their 2002 Olympic performances and commented on how they felt during the routine. It was interesting to hear John say how tired he got toward the end of the routine and how he worked through it. You know skaters feel these things but it's rare to hear them talk about them. They asked us about our goals and some of us shared them. Lisa M wants to land an axel (I'm pretty sure she'll get there); Patricia wants to do a particular move and to compete. I just want to pass the @*!&%$! Adult Pre-Bronze Moves!Impressions
: We had a pretty good turnout of adults -- actually I'd not realized we even had that many adults (17 in all including some coaches)! They were both very, very approachable and generous of their time. While many of the moves were totally beyond me, I did learn a fair amount. It was a lot of fun. It was also really the first time I'd seen most of these adults doing anything interesting (and probably most of them could say the same for others and for me). It was nice to have the adults out there bonding.Kodak moment
: At the end of the on-ice portion, John did a quick Rhythm Blues around the rink with Marge. It was awesome to watch!Bonus
: There was a drawing for goodies between the Q&A and the autograph session, and I won tickets to Stars on Ice! Yea!Quote
It's hard to be sensual at 8:30 a.m.! (Silvia Fontana)What I learned
: A number of things --
- I still have a lot to learn (big surprise), and in particular to be more comfortable on the ice to be able to put elements together readily.
- People learn and do things at different levels. Even some of the "good" skaters had problems with specific elements that you would somehow think wouldn't be a problem.
- I have a fairly good foundation. Obviously there's a lot to learn (see above) but I can actually do some basic elements better than skaters who have lots of jumps.
- I really am not in good enough shape yet. I need to do more off-ice training if I want to really get the most out of my on-ice time and effort.
All in all it was a great experience and I'm really glad I did it. Hopefully I'll get a chance to post one of the pictures with John & Silvia.