I’m so relieved and happy to have passed my ice dance test tonight! I was worried that I wasn’t as ready as I was for my last test. My coach thought I was testing a few weeks from now and was surprised to hear that the test was this Friday. When he said, “I thought we were testing at the end of the month but it will be OK,” I was thinking, I hope so!
Last week I fell during one of our dances together and even managed to take my coach down, a super-rare event which must have taken some really misplaced skating on my part. So this week my ice dancing was rather tentative and wimpy. Another skater videoed our dance and I was unhappy to see that I was hardly pushing or extending my legs at all.
We decided an extra lesson was called for plus practice the day of the test. I mentioned the fall to my coach and bless him, he claimed not to remember it at all. Almost made me question reality: certainly convinced me that it was not a big deal.
Friday we skated the dance together about six times. After the last one he said, “That was pretty good. Except for the tripping, and the weak arms…” Sigh. There was so much I could still do to make the dance better. On that last dance I’d stumbled a bit on a progressive step and I’d been thinking of other things than maintaining the space between us with my arms. He’d given my too-relaxed arms a little shake a couple of times to remind me to push against him.
After our lesson I started working to get better leg extension on one of the backward steps, overdid it and fell. I figured I’d run out of time to improve that detail before the test. But after a skating a little more and then taking a break to just plain chat with another adult ice dancer, I gave the problem area another try and made some progress. But there was only so much I could do, I didn’t want to over-practice on test day.
So home to eat a quick lunch, iron my skating dress and do a few chores, and on my way to the rink for the test. I was nervous about getting there on time and it took me a while to settle down once I got there. It helped when an adult skater friend testing on the same session arrived, and even more when my coach got there. Best of all was when my husband walked in not long before my skate.
Finally it was time for our warmup. My coach reminded me a few times in funny ways to breathe. It’s so nice to have someone out on the ice with you, that doesn’t happen in singles skating.
My friend was first up on her test. Her dress was beautiful and she did a great job on her freestyle elements. Then it was our turn. I was able to get power and put some energy into extending my legs, and even smile (just part of the time– that’s an ongoing project!). I was quite close to the corner on a couple of my turns, but avoided the wall (I’m sure my coach was helping with that!). Overall it went much better than I’d expected.
And… I passed, with a couple extra points above the required minimum level. That was nice of the judge to add those in. I certainly didn’t expect that, I was thinking I would probably just squeak by… or not. But I actually had a little fun out there and had a good skate.