Sunday, January 12, 2014

Moving to Free Style

After watching me skate one busted dance pattern after another (again, how do ice tourists know exactly where to stand to interrupt a dance pattern if they themselves don't dance?), Coach K.  threw her hands towards heaven suggested that we move my weekly ice dance lesson from the currently busy Saturday public session to a (hopefully) calmer freestyle session.  The two FS sessions which work for both our schedules are one at 6 pm Tuesday evenings and another that kicks off at 9 am on Saturdays.  The Tuesday evening session would be perfect except that it's "club ice" time and on top of paying the premium for freestyle ice (ten fold more expensive at $15 bucks for 45 minutes compared to $3.67 for 2 hours of public ice when I use my frequent skater card) I'd also have to shell out an extra $100 bucks and join Bowie's USFSA affiliated figure skating club.  I decided that since we're half way through the dues cycle I'll hold off for now on that extra expense.  Maybe I'll join next season if my skating warrants it and I want to test and compete.  So, it will be up with the Lark on Saturdays for your old diarist.  At least for now.

Freestyle sessions have their pros and cons.  In addition to being more costly, FS sessions are populated by skilled skaters zipping in different directions, usually with a coach close behind.  This is especially so as we move towards February, a month laden with competitions and skaters panicking over the unmet expectations of their programs.  The up side is that, unlike the skaters at a public, all the skaters on the ice during the 45 minutes of a freestyle session have good skills and can be relied on to either stop or take evasive action when required.  Another plus is that during a FS session I'll have the opportunity to occasionally have appropriate ice dance music over the rink's speaker system during my lessons--a thing impossible to have during a public session.  When the "public" is in the house the sound system is tuned to either classic rock or a country/western station.  Take it from me, it's next to impossible to skate the Dutch Waltz to "Tube Snake Boogie".  I have wondered how ZZ Top would sound if their music was massaged by the Tempo Magic App to the required 138 beats per minute in 3/4 time?  The words slow and deliberate come to mind.


  1. I can't stand when rinks charge for club ice. But then again, my rink doesn't offer any evening or weekend FS. It might be worth it. I pay $15/hour for my FS, but at least I don't have a club ice fee on top of that.

  2. I feel your pain. But the rink is gonna get it's cut no matter whether or not a particular FS session is restricted to just that club's members. At our rink there is an "open" (i.e. you need not be a club member) Freestyle pick up session on Tuesday afternoon which ends 15 minutes before club ice time. I could just make that session if I left work right on time but my coach can't. The $100 dues isn't all gravy for the local club as some of that goes to USFSA. Our sport isn't cheap! As skill levels rise, the need for quality ice time over quantity increases. I still plan on practicing on public session ice, skater population density permitting. I'm fairly confident that the tide will start going back out towards the end of this month.