I passed both of my tests! It was a bit nuts to test the gold moves and the Ten Fox dance on consecutive days but it worked. After my gold moves test Wednesday I went directly to another rink to get in half an hour on my Ten Fox. I hadn’t practiced it all week because I’d been heads down on the moves.
Thursday morning I met coach Ty for one more lesson on the dance. An ice dance judge at the rink offered to watch us skate it. She thought it looked good but had a couple of suggestions. She felt my three turn used too much hip and shoulder to turn it.
I’ve gotten that feedback before and I know what she’s talking about. The turn should follow the natural timing created by the edge and not be forced or torqued by excessive hip and shoulder action. It’s something I’m working on but it’s not something I was able to change on that one day for the test.
The judge’s other suggestion was to bend my knees more on the end pattern. There is indeed something funky about the way I skate the end pattern, especially the second one in the video. I skate it well by myself, but not as well with a partner.
At the test session that afternoon I was more nervous than I’d anticipated– I thought I’d worked out all my nerves the day before testing the moves– but skating the dance a couple of times on the warmup helped. Ty told me push about four times in a row, eventually that sank in and I thought it might be good to actually, you know, push. That helped. His advice was to keep it simple, bend and push.
I was judged by one dance judge, who passed me at the standard level. Her comments were to extend on the back runs (back progressives) and that there was a ‘slight toe push on your forward end pattern.’ Both valid issues. I did not get my foot down for a flat push on that end pattern (bending my knees as the other judge suggested would have helped), and there are a lot of places where I need more extension. I can see progress, though, from the last dance test. I did better at keeping my lean in the same direction as Ty’s, and at keeping my hips under me at certain points where I tend to lose that, like when stepping forward.
I like the Ten Fox, it was a fun one to dance, especially the point where we finish the back swing roll and then step forward onto an inside edge. I won’t get to dance for a while now, though, coach Ty will be gone for the summer. I’ll miss him! When we get to dance again I’ll be starting the pre-silver dances, I’m looking forward to that!