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.

Friday, October 11, 2013

- palms

Okay one last niggling concern about those parts of your body that don't actually skate: the palms of your hands. I'll accept three positions for your palms while stroking (when you aren't otherwise moving your hands about). Palms down, palms up, or palms forward. Each position expresses something different, yet most of the skaters I watch choose the simple default, palms down.

Palms down is like a plane flying, or a bird soaring. Good for when you want to describe "speediness" or a quiet smoothness. They are also probably easier to manage when you are still working up your shoulder strength. Palms forward (with feather fingers naturally) is like you are catching the wind, trailing a bouquet of colorful streamers. Palms up, the most difficult of the three, is a celebratory showing, carrying two golden orbs, a "ta da."

When you are stroking about the rink for your program take a few moments to consider your palms; what is the music trying to express here? Your palms should match.

Palms in a spin are really a great source for creativity. You can slice the air, you can tangle the wind, you can lift and arise, plus any combination of these. If you're very careful you can rhythmically flutter. Don't feel that you have to constrain yourself to a palm position frozen by the axis of your spin: you can slowly move your palms from one position to another.

Since jumps tend to already push the limits of the possible, palm expressiveness in a jump nowadays is rather an extravagant bit of glamour. If you back off a notch on your rotations however you can then inject some sparkle with your palms. This is easiest on the exit but if you're very careful you can meld them into your takeoff or even your apex. Don't get too crazy here. . . any palm expressiveness at all on a jump is certainly enough.

Edges, stroking, face thoughts, takeoff, timing, grace, arm movements, fingers, palms. Geesh is that enough to think about on the ice? Ya think?

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