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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

- scoring

IJS scoring nowadays is a big technical stew of a system but if I were the Scoring God I would have a simple (yet remarkably nuanced) score sheet . . .

Women's Score sheet:

- Grace
Feather fingers
Appropriate hand movements
Arms up and graceful
On the music
Musically expressive

- Balance
Center of gravity well managed
Smooth, no jerkiness
Steady spirals
No precession on spins

- Skill
Fluid transitions
Clean landings
Graceful choice of components
Professional friendly demeanor
Fast clickety footwork
Ice pressure command

I differ rather seriously from the general direction that the scoring system has "taken" the sport (if you subscribe to the opinion that skaters are primarily trained to please the judges), but you can read about that in another post.

Friday, July 3, 2015

- musical respect

Earlier I mentioned my preference that, almost without exception, you should skate to classical music. Once in a long while though -- for a novelty skate or a show -- select one of your favorite pop songs that exhibits a wide range of dynamics. After that though please show some respect for the composer and arranger: don't go cherry-picking out just the phrases you like.

For audience members that know the song the missing continuity is too distracting, no matter how well you edit and splice the thing. Select a continuous portion of the song -- fade in the start or fade out the end if necessary -- and skate it end to end.

But mostly, of course, stick to the classical.