Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Motown Tango Part 5: Footwork and Knitterly weirdness...

After the zamboni break we got back on the ice and began the footwork portion of the seminar. This was a good thing to save for last, because while it is hard, it is not exhausting.

We started by going over the different types of turns (I was interested to see mohawks and choctaws on the list with crossovers and chasses as steps- not turns...) and then set out to a patch that Amber had traced out (the small group meant everyone got their own circle 8 with room to spare.) Here we started with just basic forward inside and outside edges, and then moving onto backward ones. I think my circle was perhaps a bit too large for my height (just a teeny bit), but am ashamed at how weak my back edges are, especially. We are spoiled by the half lobes on the MITF test- getting the full way around the circle, especially on back inside is nearly impossible! At this point, I should have taken a picture of my patch, as all we had done were edges and it was an absolute mess.

-Three turns
Then, we moved onto 3-turns still on the circle. Amber and Alissa had written a "lesson plan" on the rink glass and they alternated through points. Once again my main thing here was that I need to bend my knees. In back 3 turns I was turning fine but I could never seem to get back to the center of the circle (we were still doing these all patch style).
Moving on to brackets I was pleased with my forward inside right bracket and made a good effort at the left one. The outside ones were terrifying and I gave up going from the center of the circle, that had me moving just too fast to even think about turning. Amber just kept encouraging the knee bend, but I think I need a sports psychologist for this one. We did not do backwards ones.
Also only do forward ones here. Here Amber and Alissa talked a bit about telling the turns apart (counter points where you are heading, like a C points to the new part of the sentence, and rocker points where came from, like the curve at the top of an R points backward.) Then we gave them a try. These made A LOT more sense to me then when I've done them in LTS because of the position on the circle- it was easier to tell I had done it right if I ended up on the other side of the circle, with the flag going the right way, then when I had to look for the "S" across the line. Not surprisingly the rocker/counters that correspond with the 3-turn/brackets that I am good at were stronger.
Then we went to the end of the rink and tried forward inside twizzles. We traveled across the rink just trying to do one, then back the other way trying to do a double twizzle on our good side, and a single on the bad side. I think I did one or two double twizzles, though they may have been to slow and would be called as double 3s. Alissa also showed us her twizzles.
-Put it all together
We spent a few moments where we were to take 3 different types of turns and 2 different types of steps and put them together. We needed to have 2 full rotations of direction, and to do all 3 types of turns in both directions. All I can say is I'm glad I'm not at a level yet that needs this sort of footwork requirement!

At the end when we were discussing what the necessary things were to get a footwork level, Alissa demonstrated her straight line footwork, and we tried to call the steps as she went. I would not make a good technical caller. Then we talked about how different footwork is now then it used to be and Alissa took off skipping along frantically on her toe picks in imitation of someone's footwork (someone famous, as everyone else knew who, and I recognized the name but can't think of it now...) It was quite funny for someone who had been pretty quiet all day.

At the end I took a 15 minute private lesson with Alissa. We worked on my backspin a bit, which due to the nerves of working with her wasn't fantastic, but did improve with her suggestions. I flipped to my inside edge once (NO! Do not want that habit) so I was not happy about that. She suggested I move where I am holding my arms when I pull in, and that I go into the entry with more power (yes Courtney, I know you've said that too...) and after a few tries they were noticeably better than the first few I demonstrated. Then we did some footwork- outside mohawks and that pretty much came down to bend your knees. Talked a little bit about the difficulty of the early moves patterns when end patterns show off your bad side, and she said that it's really important to conquer one sidedness early. I think it's too late for that!

In closing, I have to say that the DSC has the best ice that I have ever skated on. This includes Kettering, Troy, Coralville, Cedar Rapids, St. Louis, Chicago, and Dallas. It was soft and silky and easy to get an edge into. Seeing as how I had power pulls that actually growled on inside edges, it was definetly the ice helping me out!

Knitterly weirdness- the Yarn Harlot has had a thing for sock pictures for a long time. It's a way she documents her travels and connects them to her knitting. I also imagine it makes socks more special, as she can trace their journey. As such, many sock knitters have begun taking sock pictures, and it was something I wanted to do. The Yarn Harlot donates to Doctors Without Border's for pictures taken with heads of state, high level politicians, or candidates for such. She also really likes famous people with socks. The SKA group on Ravelry recently had a scavenger hunt (which I couldn't particpate in...) and one of the top point getters was recognizable athletes (most of which were in the background of pictures... say at a baseball game.) I was disappointed it wasn't just a bit later- as I had a chance to get a recognizable athlete picture with a sock. I decided to do it anyway! So here are my sock knitter's with Alissa and Amber. (For the scavenger hunt since Alissa is in her Team USA uniform, I would actually get extra points for the uniform too, haha) Alissa and Amber, apparently both knit- though only scarves. Alissa was asking me how the extra needles work, and since I didn't have the 4th one with me, it didn't really help the confusion. She told me this was not the weirdest request, and that a guy who asked her to sign his chest with a permanent marker was. (When I told Kevin I was going to ask her to sign my boot, he misheard me. When he realized what I had said, he recommended I say "skate" to avoid any misunderstanding...)

For Alissa and Amber's good humor in taking pictures with my sock, I am going to donate to Doctor's Without Border's.

And that concludes the "short" recap of the weekend. Can't wait to go back next year!


Shanna said...

Sounds like you had a great time!!!

Lisa said...

That sounds wonderful! You got a lot of good information and inspiration. I never did conquer all my edges and turns, which is why I wasn't a very good skater, LOL! I could jump, but not do a backwards 3-turn.

I'm really out of touch with the skating world, because I don't recognize the skaters you wrote about. Maybe I'll be able to catch up now that it's almost time for the Olympics again.