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.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

- dynamics

At a local competition a few months ago I saw a vast variety of musical selections, with the typical flavors of styles and mix of cuts. One number jumped out at me however, for all the wrong reasons. Once she was in pose her music suddenly blared with full speed and intensity and she was off, jump, combo, bing bang boom, chaining one element to the next. All was going along fine technically, but after the initial pop out of our seats the audience dissolved into a quiet funk as the music settled into more standard fare. By the end of her program we had mostly forgotten what had transpired.

You need to be careful when you clip together the musical phrases of your program: what seems to work best is either a crescendo toward the end or something bimodal (like a two hump camel). This gives you the chance to gradually work into your routine and the awareness of the audience to capture their hearts. It also seems to mesh well with the natural nervousness and flow of energy that a skater traverses in her performance. Plan your musical crescendos to match your energy dynamics.

The dynamics of your skate involve quite a bit more though than just the simple up and down mountain profile of your energy. As in dancing you can frame your movements within a flow of expressive parameters. See for example this page, which details most of the currently standard thinking.


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