Unlike a lot of rinks which have rules about which skater has the right of way, free style sessions at our rink tend to be like wild west cattle towns--lawless and unregulated. Music will suddenly come on and coaches just assume that everyone in our relatively small community of serious skaters will somehow recognize (perhaps via osmosis) who's music is playing and thus which boopsie is "in program" with the attendant right of way. Well, sorry to disappoint but a lot of us simply don't know which music goes with what skater. As can be imagined with 20 or so fast skaters simultaneously on the ice, things do get a little hairy from time to time. Week after week I find myself wondering why don't the powers that be institute a belt or vest to indicate the skater who's music is playing so that the rest of us know who the hell to stay clear of?
|As seen at most civilized free-style sessions.|
This past Tuesday I had my usual dance lesson during the latter half of a free-style session which stretches from 5:15 to 7:15 pm. The usual crowd was on the ice but I immediately noticed that one young skater was wearing an orange vest. Could it be? Here on my home ice? Well, yes! The music played over the rink speakers and the vested skater went through her program, clearly as the Queen Bee with the right of way. Wow.
Not only that but there was a second orange vest for the next skater such that precious seconds of expensive free-style ice time wouldn't be wasted while the exiting skater handed off the vest to the next in line. Not every coach and skater adhered to the newly instituted vest system but, hey, it's a start. Someday brittle old men will be able to dance without quite so much body armor.
Meanwhile, dance coach and I continued to refine my progressives and tuck behinds. The RB is getting to the point that an ice dance couple, who are streets ahead of your old diarist, told coach A. that she needs to get me to smile more. Apparently my facial expression is a bit grim as we charge down the ice. No doubt an outward reflection of me holding on for dear life while attempting to apply all those coachly admonishments that are racing around in my head. If that's all they can find to pick at perhaps I am making a little progress!