Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Joining the Club--Setting some goals.
Up 'til now I haven't bothered with club memberships with either the ISI Team or the USFSA Figure Skating Club at my rink. I was, and still am, taking group lessons under the rink's ISI lesson system but decided not to join anything until I was good enough to consider testing or competing. At Bowie Ice Arena, club and team memberships begin on the first of July and dues are in synch with the reopening of the rink after the annual two month closure for maintenance. The ISI Skating Team seems to mostly cater to kids. The only adult activity I've seen is the adult synchro team. Nothing against synchro, but I'm having enough trouble attempting ice dance with just one extra person. If I was on the synchro team I'd probably be like that first domino that triggers the fall of the entire kit and kaboodle.
With that in mind, on 1 July I sent in my membership application to Bowie's USFSA FS Club. I've yet to hear back from them but one of the coaches said to expect a goodly lag time since membership cards, club magazine, etc. trickle down from the National organization. There's no real hurry. I'm not going to rush off for any tests just yet. However, testing was in the back of my mind when I decided to join up. Another inducement was that for first time joiners, dues are roughly half price for the first year of membership. So, now that I've joined this opens up a whole new testing territory. Time to do the easy part--make up a list of goals for the new skating year and see if I can pick any of them off.
Goal Nr 1 is to pass the USFSA's adult pre-bronze moves test. My ice dance partner was packing to go to the ISI Worlds or Intergalactics (whatever, I can't keep the names of these contests straight) up in Boston this week, so Coach K. and I worked on the elements that are part of that moves test. All fairly basic stuff: forward stroking, front and back consecutive inside and outside edges, front and back cross overs, waltz eight pattern and forward spirals on each leg. Nothing here that an ISI FS-1 skater hasn't seen. Should be a piece of cake, right? Ha. Doing these elements is one thing. Doing them at the level which Coach K. indicated would be the passing standard is another. The waltz eight pattern will definitely require quite a bit of work on my part and elements like the consecutive edges which I haven't bothered with since passing them back in delta and FS-1 will take a bit of polishing. Even my forward stroking needs work to refine extension to qualify as passable . But this, I tell myself, is why I wanted to take tests like this--testing will force me to clean up my foundation skills and in turn become a better skater.
Goal Nr 2 is to pass at least one of the three preliminary level ice dances before the end of the skating year. This goal should directly benefit from the work required of goal nr 1. The rub here is that my partner is an ISI club member but not a USFSA member. I don't know if she wants the expense of two club memberships. We shall see. If not I suppose that I can skate with our coach as my skating partner for testing purposes.
Goal Nr 3 has nothing to do with my new membership. I plan to keep chipping away with free style group lessons under the ISI system and hopefully will pass FS-2 this year. My one foot spin is improving at a glacial pace. At some point I need to come to grips with the various half jumps that are included in FS-2. I think I can, I think I can...