Well, yes, like most statements here on the Thin Ice blogspot, the title of this post is a bit of an overstatement. More correctly, "the sun is cooling!" "the sun is cooling!"; But Chicken Little didn't say that so I'm using a small pinch of poetic license. Our sun is approaching the end of an eleven year sun spot cycle. Fewer spots apparently mean less solar flux and distinctly cooler temperatures in North America and Western Europe. Maybe not enough to cause the Thames to freeze hard enough for Londoners to hold ice fairs, as was the case a few hundred years ago, but maybe enough to provide an up-tick in outdoor skating opportunities at a pond near you. But don't take my word for it, I'm no expert. Read about it here or it you prefer a more sensational version, read this one .
OK, enough science for one post. More to the point--what's been happening with your old diarist since the last posting of blather? For one thing I've been hard at work practicing the Cha-Cha and perfecting my wonky CC forward inside Mohawk. For another, ice dance Coach A. and I finally had an alignment of stars and respective schedules/agendas such that miracle of miracles--a coached lesson took place. It was the first since the 25th of July and the first on my newly reopened home ice for the new skating season.
I soloed the Cha-Cha for her and she said that it looked pretty good. I was more or less on the expected pattern and the end of the dance (a forward outside swing roll immediately followed by a tuck behind step and a forward inside swing roll) looked smoother and less hesitant than when we last worked on it. So--practice does lead to improvement!
We then looked at my CC forward inside Mohawk. It's still a work in progress but at least it is progressing. And that's a good thing as we next worked on the Swing dance, which requires that tidy CC Mohawk. After yesterday's lesson I now have a better understanding of pattern placement leading to that Mohawk and also where the immediate back edge and back swing roll which follow the turn should be. Next we practiced with me skating the backwards skating steps of the dance and also the hand change that occurs at the Mohawk (see video above). In the "guys rarely skate backwards department", I need to remember to open my shoulders during those back swing rolls so that they really swing around, rather than to make the upper body adjustment by bending my elbows when in partnered mode--that and a lot of other things! My goal is to be as smooth as the guy in the video (some year).
Ice dance coach and her sister are zooming off to follow the eclipse next Monday and whether she'll be back in time for a Tuesday lesson is uncertain. As for me I'm staying home and practicing all this stuff and maybe it's a good thing that the next lesson is up in the air--more time to digest yesterday's lesson and work on stuff. Besides, you want totality? Just get outta bed at 3 in the morning and look outside--same thing. Dark is dark. No, really, it is. Don't argue with me. Put your skates on and get to work.