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.

Monday, September 17, 2012

- dressy

Does your performance dress do anything to help you skate? To say that competing extends to your costume is intuitively correct, but it happens somewhat indirectly from the way that you might think.

Costumes by and of themselves are not a contest. They might be judged as contributive to score in something like ice theater, where extravagant showmanship carries some weight (I am just speculating here; I've never actually seen how they score ice theater).

In competitive figure though your costume may make little direct difference, yet it probably makes a substantial emotional and psychic impact.

Your dress behaves similar to the way a policeman's uniform signifies authority, or a Caltrans-orange jumpsuit says Pay Attention, I'm out here working. Your competitive skate dress says I'm an Artistic Skilled Athlete that knows her stuff: Watch this.

But aside from what it signifies to the outside world your dress is also both a motivator and a reward for your self.

On the one hand you ask your parents to spend the money on something nice because you've worked hard for it and you've earned it. The flip side of this is that since they're paid for it already, you have an obligation to live up to the expectations set by what you're wearing.

Like wearing a nice suit for a job interview, the sequined dress sets up an internal mindset. A nice dress that is appropriate to your program opens up a portal to another dimension. Costume sets mood. Your competitive dress has to be different enough from your practice tights so that when you put it on, you get the feeling of This Means Business, or Showtime!

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