Friday, March 25, 2011

Testing my skating skills

As I posted in January I've been working toward taking a couple of skating tests and Wednesday was the day. I took my preliminary skills test first--I was the only one taking this level. From the look of the other girls taking the tests it seemed like mostly older skaters take skills tests (as opposed to the 8 year olds I was on the ice with for the freeskate test). I'm not sure why this is, possibly because the patterns are supposed to be skated to a specific time signature (i.e. waltz-time), which might be too tricky for young kids. Skate Canada introduced the skills tests to replace the compulsory figures, which were last skated at senior level competition in 1990 (at the world championships in Halifax). In terms of comparing this to a piano exam (of which I took several as a child) this is sort of the like the scales and arpeggios part of the exam. I only received 'satisfactory' ratings on the 3-turn and mohawk  patterns, but I received and 'excellent' grade on my circle (or held edge). It's about as good as I could hope for, since I'm not exactly an undiscovered talent or something.

The second test I took was my junior bronze freeskate test (I took my preliminary test in this when I was young). There are two parts to this test. The first part is preforming the skating elements one at a time (i.e. jumps, spins, stroking). I was a bit (or very?) nervous so some of my elements were shaky. I fell on one jump I don't normally (my lutz), and I had trouble with my spins. My spins have always been weaker than my jumps, but I completed enough of my elements (12 out of 14) to receive a pass. I even received a mark of 'good' on several of my elements including my stroking, spiral and salchow-toe-loop combination.

Me in motion, probably about to preform one of my elements.

Preforming my backward spiral. See? Not bad, although I wish my knee was a bit straighter.

The second part of my freeskate test was a 2 minute program. My program started off really well, unfortunately I had a fall on my second last jump--the same jump I had trouble with earlier in the test. I'm not sure why I had so much difficulty with this jump on Wednesday, as lately it's been really strong, but unfortunately that mistake lead to a really bad fall on my very last jump. I was trying to catch up with my music so I rushed through the set up. To make matters worse I fell on my left knee the day before and I'm now still quite stiff and sore. Ultimately I passed, and I even received marks of excellent on the use of music and program composition parts of my program.

Showing off the skating dress my mom made for me. If you look closely you'll notice the pattern is steampunk-style!

This now means that I'm qualified to take the first coaching level course offered by Skate Canada--if I feel I have time (which I'm not sure I do), but I think in the future it would be fun to teach little kids. This also means that if I want to take the next freeskate test I'll have to start landing doubles (in two different types of jumps) and continue to improve my spinning.



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