Gordon's Sk8er Boi Blog

My adventures as an adult male figure skater in Tucson, Arizona Portland, Oregon Chandler, Arizona.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Waltz-8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club, as usual.  I had just gotten through my edges when Lynne came on the ice.

Today's lesson:
  • FO8 -- a little wobbly (I was still warming up) and my circles were on the smaller side, but Lynne said they were acceptable.
  • FI8 -- pretty nice, actually.
  • Waltz-8 -- mm.  The R side is actually not bad, I'm doing a better job of holding the BO edge around more.  The L side not so much, and I'm tending to be a bit forward on the BO edge there so we worked on making it a more "normal" LBO; this helped a lot.  Also we realized that while I'm holding long enough before the FO3s, I am placing them out too far (circle is too large at that point) which distorts the rest of my circle.  So I brought them into the circle about a foot and that helped a lot.  I need to dig out my scribe and start using it on these I think.
  • Serpentines -- finished up with these.  Disappointingly (but not surprisingly) I could not replicate my success from yesterday.  My changes of edge were just not as smooth as they were; I'm leaning out of the circle slightly when I bring the free foot forward and that pulls me off the edge just enough to slow me down a bit and cost me momentum.  Grr.

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice as usual.  I warmed up with the Preliminary test... I'd not skated patch for a week and it was a little ukky at first, but it improved.  On to BO8 (surprisingly good!), 3s to center and a little BI8 at the end.

The highlight of the day was definitely serpentines, where I actually got all the way around on the R foot not once, not twice, but 4 times in a row! (all I had time for)  Not sure where that came from.  While the push was better I think I had a much better change of edge and that made the difference.  Alas the L foot was not as good.

All in all a good skate, yay!


I skated the 8:15 FS at Chandler.  As usual ice was fairly gross after a morning of FS, but I had the ice to myself most of the time so that was nice.

I warmed up with Moves, then into my practice routines.  I worked a lot on spins but for the most part couldn't get myself into the groove I was in with Kelli on Friday; I think I was not getting myself to wait and hold the free leg back.  I did do a couple of decent spins at the end of the session, which was kind of surprising.

I ran my program twice, so YAY me!  They were okay.  Spins not so great, but at least I'm getting it done.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spins & Program

I had a lesson with Kelli on the 8 a.m. FS at WSC.  I was running a bit late but since I was nicely warmed up from my session at Sherwood it wasn't a problem.

Today's lesson:
  • spins -- I really wanted to work with Kelli on spins; I've worked with so many people on them but never really Kelli, and I was hopeful she had some words of wisdom to impart on these.  She did!  We worked on them just from a standing start, and she focused on holding the free leg back longer and getting a longer and deeper edge before the 3-turn.  The point was to get me over my left side and keep me from forcing the turn.  That seemed to help a lot.  She also emphasized getting the left arm out and around and not worrying too much about the R side.  I did some pretty good spins (for me!) in this format but when I tried it from BXOs I wasn't able to duplicate my success.  I need to work on this more but I have some thoughts about it.
  • program prep -- we worked on some elements from the program as prep; Kelli reminded me to look up during the toe loop ("look confident!") and to not short-change the prep on the salchow entrance.
  • program -- we were almost out of time, but had time to run the program once with music.  It was okay; the last spin was actually pretty good.
I had not skated at WSC in quite some time.  Ice was decent (not as nice as Sherwood's or Gilbert's but better than Chandler's morning ice); there was a young dance team working which was pretty cool to watch.

Back home this afternoon and no skating until Monday it looks like.

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Sherwood Homies!

I skated the 6 a.m. (yes, 6 a.m.) FS at Sherwood this morning.  As always there, the ice was BEEEYOOOTIFUL!  Very quiet session, just myself, Madison, Bree, and Coach Leone.  I had a pretty good skate and it was fun to see my homies :-)  Ran my program once (eh), worked on jumps and spins and some moves, too. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Since I worked on figures this morning, I took my freestyle skates to Chandler coffee club.  I had a pretty good skate, except that it took me *forever* to get warmed up.  Not sure what's up with that :-( Ran through spins and jumps, and ran my program with music just once.  It was a pretty horrible runthrough :-( I don't know quite why.

Waltz-8, BO8

My figures lesson with Lynne.  Due to work travel we moved this week's lesson to the 8:15 a.m. FS at Chandler.  While the ice wasn't great, it was uncrowded (2 skaters, 2 coaches).

I warmed up with the Preliminary test, and Lynne came on the ice just in time for my favorite part (yes, that's sarcasm!).

Today's lesson:
  • Waltz-8 -- bleah.  Okay they are sloooowly improving.  We worked today (like last week) on getting the BO edge the right length and centered appropriately so that the top of the circle is in the right place.  Some progress.
  • BO8 -- yuck.  The first several were really awful; couldn't get a good push and couldn't hold a good position.  I finally made some progress after a while, but it was very frustrating.
After my lesson I finished up with 3s to center and serpentines.  Next week we are back to Wednesdays.

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Monday, February 20, 2012


I skated the 4:15 FS (it started late, at 4:30, due to the hockey tournament running over) at Chandler.  As I expected, it was pretty zoo-like.

Despite the zoo-like conditions I made myself work on all my usual stuff, except that I didn't do any runthroughs :-(.  Jumps were okay, sals were a bit better than they have been, even in the waltz-sal sequence.  Spins... uck. Entrance feels better but I'm not getting any good ones :-(.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ice Dance Class

I dropped-in to the ice dance class at Ice Den.  Since I am going to be traveling a lot during the next session I decided it would be better to drop-in ($20) to the ones I can attend rather than pay for the whole session and have to try to get some kind of credit for the ones I can't.

3 (!) adults and 3 kids today -- another adult man showed up.  He looked vaguely familiar, but I didn't catch his name, so I assume I've seen him skate here in the area before.  Of course he's much better than me.

We worked on the pre-bronze dances (Fiesta Tango, Cha Cha, and Swing Dance) including some time on the waltz hold for the SD.  Since these dances now have mohawks and backward skating in them, they are a lot more challenging.  We went through them at what seemed to me like warp speed :-( and I was quite confused.

For the last 15 minutes we did a quick review of the Dutch Waltz, Canasta Tango and Rhythm Blues.  Eeep.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Program Prep

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert, as usual.

We warmed up with the FXO-BXO Bronze move pattern -- my time was a disappointing 1:06.9.  After that we ran through the footwork chunk of my program, then ran the program with music.  For some reason in the runthrough I got confused (someone was in my way, which distracted me) and I totally forgot how to do a toeloop.... went around then finished almost on time. Geez. So... we ran through the program again and it was better (not great though).  Bleah.

I was totally whupped after all that, but I still stayed for the next session and worked on moves and spins.  Bleah.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Waltz-8, 3s, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  I warmed up with the Preliminary test and then it was time for my lesson.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- still working to hold the BO edge across the top of the circle better.   I'm doing a better job (usually) of coming back to center.  There has been some real progress... maybe I can test these in the fall?
  • 3s to center -- flow through the turn is improving, but I still feel pretty stiff in the turn.  We worked to get a better down-up-down for the turn, to have it flow better and not be so forced.
  • serpentines -- finished up with these.  I managed to get around on the R foot twice!  Not on the L foot unfortunately.  I probably need to spend some time working on the last part of these, i.e. the FIO change of edge.  
After my lesson I worked on BO8 and BI8 for a bit.

Due to the President's day holiday and hockey tournaments my next figures lesson is Tuesday a.m.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice today.  As usual for Tuesdays we were on the South Pole.  I really don't like that ice, it's harder and although it was nice and smooth for some reason things just felt kind of "off".  Ran through the Preliminary test, then time on BO8, BI8, 3s to center, serpentines, and a little more waltz-8 to finish up.


I managed to get my butt out of bed and skate the 8:15 FS at Chandler this morning.  I had a pretty good skate.  Warmed up with moves, then into my routine -- 20 spins, 5 each of waltz,toe, and sal, and two program runthroughs with music.  First runthrough was pretty good, even the spins.  Second, not so much -- I was pretty tired by then.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Ice Dance Class #1-6

Final ice dance class for this session... 5 kids and two adults.  We spent about 15 minutes warming up with swing rolls, progressives, chassés, etc. then about 30 minutes working on DW, CT and RB.  After that we spent a little time being introduced to the Fiesta Tango (we'd learned some of the steps already, specifically the backward part).  Finished up with a little bit of partnering, I went ahead and worked a little on waltz hold with Patti C, just doing some swing rolls.  Eeep.

Still haven't decided whether to enroll for the next session or not, I need to decide by next week.


Patch Perseverance

I skated coffee club at Chandler for patch practice today.  I had a pretty good skate.  Ran through the preliminary test, then some more time on waltz-8.  BO8, BI8, serpentines, some more waltz-8, and finish with 3s to center.  Nothing exciting but some good practice time.

Program Prep

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert as usual...

Before my lesson (well, really, the first part of it) I talked with JJ at the ice dance class at Ice Den and whether I should continue.  I voiced my frustrations with not having an opportunity to improve my technique.  JJ's question was, what would I be doing with that time if I weren't taking the class?  The answer, considering what time it is, is working and then relaxing (class is at 5:30 p.m., up in Scottsdale, it's a long drive).  It's a fair question.  We discussed the state of dance in the East Valley (Gilbert and Chandler) and whether I could get someone to work with me on those elements; also the upcoming competition and my schedule.  No firm conclusion but some things to think about.

Today's lesson (once we got started!) was all about the program, after a little work on spins.  Ran my program with music; it was "okay".  No horrible errors but lots of things that could be better.  We talked through it and then we were out of time.

 Since I'm skating at lunch (patch) and then again at 5:30 (ice dance class) I didn't stay for the 8:15 FS session.  As it is, it's 2 hrs 45 minutes of skating for today.

PCAS is only 5 weeks away! eeeeep.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Waltz-8, Serpentines

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club as usual.  I was a little late getting on the ice, so Lynne intercepted me as I was just getting ready to warm up.

Today's lesson:
  • Edges -- I was warming up with the test, as usual.   Edges were okay, BI are still a bit small but Lynne says that's okay.
  • F8s -- My FO8 was a little...unsettled?  For some reason I was nervous.  FI8 similar though better.  Probably passable even so, though.
  • Waltz-8 -- we spent a good chunk of the lesson on these.  Placement of the turns is finally about right.  I'm still not holding the BO edge long enough, and I noticed esp. on the R side that the BO edge needs to be a bit straighter.  Lynne said on the step forward I need to lean back into the edge more before I step.  I tried this and it does help... scary though.  Oh well.
  • Serpentines -- finished up with these.  I was getting a better push than in practice yesterday, yay! My transitions were not as clean though.  Lots more work required.
After my lesson I worked on BO8 (had a nice set, finally!) and BI8, and then a little bit of 3s to center.

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I dragged my butt out of bed this a.m. and skated the 8:15 FS at Chandler.  I had an okay skate considering I'd not skated in my FS blades since last Friday (!).  Warmed up with some Moves, then jumps and spins.  I ran my program twice (yay me!).   I really don't feel it's improved much since last fall... except maybe a smidge faster.  It makes me sad, I had really hoped that I had improved my elements more but I don't see it.  Grrr.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Patch Perseverance

I skated the Chandler coffee club for patch practice.  I had an okay skate.. warmed up with the Preliminary test, then on to BO8, BI8, 3s to center, serpentines, and then some more time on waltz-8.

Nothing particularly exciting; my LFO3s are definitely getting better.  Serpentines, I'm still not getting all the way around except very occasionally... gaaah!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Ice Dance Class #1-5

Ice dance class at the Ice Den... 5 kids, 2 adults.  At class time there were only 3 kids and me out on the ice so I thought I was going to get an individual lesson! (we have 3 coaches and a jr. coach).  Alas no, the other 2 kids and adult showed up ;-).

We warmed up with swing rolls, slide chassés, progressives.  Then continued woodshedding DW, CT, and RB... ugh.  It is maybe getting a bit better but I find it soooo frustrating.  I know I'm skating faster, so that is good...  and I am doing a better job of remembering the steps, so that also is good.

At the end of class we had a couple of moments so we worked through a sequence from the Fiesta Tango... RFI mohawk, slide-slide-slide,  cross in front, step forward, repeat.  Eeep.  I think Anna taught me a modified version of this like 8 years ago.  Hmm.

Next week is the last class of the session.  I've not decided how to proceed.  I will be gone 2 of the 6 Fridays for that session.  I also tend to think I would do a lot better if I had time to actually work on the elements I can't do -- swing rolls, progressives, the cross-behind in the RB.  Right now I feel like I'm learning the dances but I can't learn how to do them *right*.  Not sure what to do.


Friday, February 03, 2012

Patch Perseverance

I skated Chandler coffee club for patch practice today.  I was a bit social, so not as productive as I might have been.  Warmed up with Preliminary test, then more time on waltz-8, followed by BI8, 3s to center and serpentines.  I think my BI8 is improving; it's feeling a lot more stable and I actually made it back to center on the L foot a couple of times.  Pushes are still weak and circles a bit small though.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Program Prep

My lesson with JJ on the 7:30 a.m. FS at Gilbert.  I slept poorly and was quite tired, but had a decent lesson anyway.

Today's lesson was all program prep (except at the very end).  We worked on spins and jumps a bit, especially spins.  Some points of my spin technique had regressed (grrr) so we had to recover that.  I swear I would really love to know why I have such problems spinning when it seems so easy for everyone else!  I did some decent salchows though; and we worked on toe loop, JJ says my entrance (RFI3) is a bit weak  so we worked to get a better (more decisive!) turn so that I'd be on a better RBO to set up the jump.

After that we did a runthrough with music.  A bit rough in places but okay.  I really need to work the waltz-sal sequence; when I do a salchow by itself it's not too bad, but coming out of the waltz jump I rush it horribly and it really stinks as a result.

After the program stuff (JJ was *very* generous with his time today) we spent a couple of minutes working on the stroking exercise he introduced last week.  It's all about tempo, getting me to move around quicker and with more strength/speed.

After my lesson I skated the remainder of the 8:15 session and worked on Bronze moves.

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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Waltz-8, BI8, 3s To Center

My figures lesson with Lynne on the Chandler coffee club.  I warmed up with the Preliminary test, but only got through the FO8 and FI8 when Lynne came on the ice.

Today's lesson:
  • waltz-8 -- we continued with these.  Ugh.  My L side circles were really small for some reason and it was causing me lots of problems; it was the transition to the RBO that was the issue (curving in too much).  We managed to get that fixed.  Still much to do on these.  Grrr.
  • BI8 -- Lynne wanted to look at these in prep for 3s to center.  The initial push is so hard!  I am usually making it around on the R side (it's a small circle though!); L side is getting better but my push is still weak.  Grr.
  • 3s to center -- these are about the same.  I did manage one turn on the R foot that was really good; I actually gained speed through the turn!  Not sure how I managed that and of course I couldn't do it again.  Still, something to shoot for.
After my lesson I worked on serpentines (ugh, only slightly better than yesterday) and finished with BO8.  I did the BEST BO8 I think I've ever done!  Great flow, good return to center, good circle size -- L foot was really good too.  Nice way to finish the session!

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