This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
I suppose it is okay to be proud of the moves you have learned and that you can perform with some skill, grace, and panache. So yeah in your program you are showing off, a bit. After all, your program is a beautiful blossoming flower. At the same time however, a graceful skater recognizes that she is still just sprouting, forever climbing up the long skating-career trellis. Your program is in no way the only blossoming flower, and hence we gardeners request some humility.
How do you demonstrate respect for the sport and deference to the judges? Well for one thing, don't show off so much. Avoid doing a split jump directly in front of the judges. I am sorry but up close this looks ridiculous: it is like a flower spritzing a burst of pollen in your face. Off toward a third point of the ice works just fine.
Performing your best and most difficult jump directly in front of the judges is quite a risk: if it's perfect you are showing off, yet if it is imperfect then you are so close that imperfections are what the judges will remember. A wonderfully colorful and symmetric bird of paradise blossom may look gorgeous from fifteen feet away, but up close the tatters in its leaves are visible.
Treat the judges and the audience equally overall. Unfurl your jumps with a sprinkling around the rink so everybody receives a good view. Share the bouquet with everyone. Perform your spins in the central half length of the ice, centered across the width.
Smile, but it is also okay to acknowledge how much effort your program importunes. Finally when you finish, courteously curtsy to both sides of the rink. And smiling with a slight wave to your dad in the audience is cool too.