Friday, February 17, 2017

Dusting off the Cha-Cha

It's been two weeks since I passed my last two Prelim dances.  During that time my old computer died and took all my bookmarks to the grave, but regenerating all that will no doubt be a good workout for my aging brain--kinda like Sudoku or a crossword puzzle--but with a useful purpose.

Coach A. and I have been working on getting me reacquainted with the Cha-Cha and also working on my wonky right forward inside Mohawk in anticipation of those steps in the other two pre-bronze dances, the Fiesta Tango and Swing Dance.  Those in need of a refreshing peek at the Cha-Cha pattern can find it here.

After a brief struggle with the inside RFO chasse and following wide step she decided to have me work on the end pattern of the dance (steps 10 through 14)--but without worrying, at least for the time being, about the tuck forward or tuck behind bits.  Little by little I'm stitching the beginning, middle and end parts of this dance back together in my mind.  Transferring all that mindfulness to the ice is of course a different kettle of fish.  It's both comforting and daunting to realize that the Cha-Cha is the last of the "easy" pattern dances to master: familiar Killian dance hold, only fourteen steps to think about, no turns or backwards skating.  Both the Fiesta Tango and the Swing will be much more challenging.  The Swing Dance in particular will be twice the work because each partner has to learn the other's steps.  Unlike dances up to and including the Cha-Cha which have around 14 or 15 steps, the Swing has 30.  Also, unlike the earlier dances, both the Fiesta Tango and the Swing Dance bring transition steps and backwards skating to the party.  Dear Constant Reader:  prepare yourself for lots of reports of "retry" test results!

This weekend marks my rink's annual Valentine's Invitational Competition.  I'm sitting this one out but will be at the rink as a registrar and to watch friends on the ice.  Also this afternoon one of my nieces is visiting from Georgia and we'll no doubt get over to the rink for today's afternoon public.  This is one of the two nieces responsible for re-interesting me in the sport (after a 30+ year lay off) seven or so years ago.  So far her fascination with ice skating has cost me two busted arms and a brain hemorrhage (!) but also countless hours of satisfaction and good exercise, which in turn, has led to this blogspot.   She loves to skate but lives in an area of her state far removed from ice rinks.  We try to bake in some ice time whenever she visits. 

So that's about it.  Nothing too exciting, nothing to prove here at On Thin Ice.  Just chipping away at the next dance, doing my duty with the ISI annual comp, and going skating with the niece.  Slow and steady wins the race.  Until next time, ~Ta.


  1. Because I started ice dancing so long ago, I never really had to learn the Cha Cha (or the Rhythm Blues or the Hickory Hoedown, yee haw!) I actually think those dances are really challenging, especially those successive tuck behinds and those quick changes of edge. The tempo of the Swing Dance is fairly mellow, and I think waltz position feels more stable than the kilian hold. All this is to say that you might be pleasantly surprised by skating life post-Cha Cha. Glad to see you back online!

  2. Don't harsh my mellow! I'm hoping for mellow but that would kinda defy my expectations. Things generally become harder the higher one goes in a given skill set. We'll see. I wouldn't mind being pleasantly surprised!

  3. Hmm, I didn't think ahead like you are to future dances. If I ever pass my pre-silver dances, I don't even know what the silver dances are. Don't psych yourself out! And don't worry about the bookmarks now that Google autofills in urls you've been to before when you start typing them. Having your computer die is always such a pain, this one's overdue for that (big old clunky laptop).

    1. That wasn't a very grammatical sentence for a former English major... Maybe, "Once I pass my pre-silver dances I'll learn what the silver dances are."

    2. Looking ahead always provides a glance at elements that need improving such as my wonky right forward inside Mohawk. I tend to work on the weak links first and then attempt to knit a dance together. I'm married to an English major. English is her second language and she does a better job with it than I do!