First competition with my Tallis freestyle program

by Mary on November 11, 2014

people watching the skating at Lloyd Center

people watching the skating at Lloyd Center

Last weekend I  competed at the Ice Crystal Classic  in Portland and visited friends. This may be the last year of this competition since Lloyd Center Mall is being remodeled and the rink will be reduced in size. It’s a great venue. With the rink in the middle of a mall it’s nice and warm, and it’s fun to have all the shoppers around and people watching from the food court above.

This was my first time out with the program my coach and I started choreographing in September. She suggested that I choose classical music, thinking it would highlight the flow of my skating better than the jazzy, contemporary music I skated to last year. I chose the evocative Fantasy on a Theme by Tallis. I love the music of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams and I know I can skate to it all season without getting bored.



Over the summer I worked on camel spin and sit-change-sit (sit spin with a change of foot). I had a goal for both to be in my program for the first time, and they were, though they are both still iffy. Both worked, kind of, in my performance.  I did not get my free leg up to hip height in my camel spin so it was not a true camel spin and looked ugly, but it was not a complete fail. Sometimes on the ‘hook’ of the spin I hit my toe pick wrong or don’t have the correct timing and the spin does not work at all. So it did meet my expectation of having some kind of camel spin at that point in the program.

The sit spin was similarly half-baked. I got into my sit spin and changed feet, but I lost the spin center and balance on the new foot so I came right up. It did not meet the definition of a sit spin with a change of foot since I did not stay down on the second foot, and it looked rough as I traveled and rapidly exited. But it could have been worse. I was able to exit the spin without putting my free foot down.

Also on the plus side I was able to lay out my program properly on the rather small rink surface of Lloyd Center. I hit all my jumps and I finished with the music. In practice I’ve only been finishing on time half of the time or maybe less, so that was important. I didn’t do my last few steps of footwork, probably because I’d had to jettison them so often to finish on time. Habits stick and pop up whether you want them to or not.

12/14 Update: I’ve gone ahead and posted the video:

On the minus side my artistry is really lacking, especially in my arm movements. Between that and the way I let my rear stick out on my spread eagle, it’s painful for me to watch. My coach has tried to help me improve my line and it’s one of my goals for this season, but it’s going to take a lot more work. I really hesitate to post my video because I’m not proud of those aspects of my skating.

waiting for our scores

waiting for our scores

I was the first skater after the warmup. That is my least preferred time because I have to cut my warmup short so I am not out of breath when I start my program. The first time I had that position (and the warmup time was only four minutes to begin with) I had a bad skate. But now I have drawn first after the warmup twice since then and both times have skated reasonably well. I’m glad I’m learning how to deal with that, I think you learn something every time that you compete.

the scores

The scores (with only my name). Placed 1st by 2 judges, 3rd by 2 judges, 2nd by 1 judge. Result: 2nd.

I really enjoyed my fellow competitors at this event. One of my skating friends had encouraged me to sign up and she skated after me. I also met the third skater in our group, turns out we already knew each other from YouTube! She impressed me by winning our competition as a brand new bronze level skater, she had passed her bronze free skating test near the end of September. Wow! I’m glad I got out there with skating friends both old and new.

hanging after our skate


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Eva November 11, 2014 at 2:46 pm

Congrats on your fantastic placement and skate, Mary! Your dress is stunning, and I’m sure you did a lot better than you think. That is very cool how you got to meet a YouTube friend and skate in the same event as her! I hope you share your video so we can all gush about your lovely spins and choreography. 🙂
Eva recently posted..Pancake cake with maple cream cheese frostingMy Profile


mary November 11, 2014 at 6:26 pm

Yeah that was cool, small world of skating that we are in! Maybe I will post a video, give me some time. I tend to hate seeing my performance, especially at first. Sometimes I like it eventually. I think I need more frequent video feedback so it’s not such a shock.


Marcia November 11, 2014 at 7:31 pm

Congrats Mary! You’re off to a great start this season! I’ve never seen a competition take place at a mall. I suppose the casual spectators would lighten the mood. My daughter is so so critical of her skating. She’ll barely let me take any videos at all. : /
Here’s to a great rest of the season!
Marcia recently posted..Penny for Your Thoughts #dishthefitMy Profile


mary November 12, 2014 at 6:45 am

Yes, it really did make for a different mood, more like a show performance. BTW, how did Skate America go for your daughter?


Lindsey S November 12, 2014 at 9:45 pm

Well done, Mary! I’d love to see a video sometime – it’s always hard to watch yourself, but keep in mind others don’t see the minor flaws we always pick out in ourselves. It’s human nature to be our own worst critics!
Lindsey S recently posted..Hand care for figure skaters (or anyone who spends time in the cold)My Profile


mary November 15, 2014 at 6:34 pm

Thanks, Lindsay! I may get a video out eventually. Right now I’m taking a rest from skating which my body really needs. I’m working on learning to appreciate whatever time on the ice and training results I can get.


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: