Valley of the Sun Adult Skating Camp: Passed Juvenile Moves

by Mary on November 25, 2018

Way overdue notice, but I passed my juvenile moves at the inaugural Valley of the Sun Adult Skating Camp. The camp was modeled after the annual Tahoe adult skating camp and featured many of the same coaches: Peter Sasmore, John Dowding, Ty Cockrum, and others. We also had the company of Todd Giles, Sinead Kerr, and Max Aaron.

I loved seeing so many adult ice dancers on the ice. Each day I watched one of our accomplished adult ice dancers work on the hardest pattern dance there is, the Finnstep, with Sinead Kerr. It involves a lot of dancing on the toepicks and looks both totally impressive and terrifying.

Juvenile moves test papers and patch

Max Aaron was sweet and encouraging. He now works in financial services in the Phoenix area. I’m glad he took the time to come and coach. A friend and I were able to get a very helpful lesson with him and we got tips on power, jump entries, and moves.

Quite a few students were older than me. One had started skating at my current age and progressed to the gold dances. I had thought it might be too late for me to ever get up to the gold dance level, but her accomplishment gave me hope.

The camp was very well organized and had high quality swag, including a nice soft T-shirt (much better than what you usually get at similar events). I enjoyed meeting the group, already tight-knit after their years together at the Tahoe camp. I hope to get to that camp in May if possible, and definitely to return to the Valley of the Sun camp too next year. I’d like to have a pre-silver dance or two ready to test by then.

As far as my juvenile moves test, I’m really happy with how some of the elements like the cross-rolls went. The eight-step mohawk proved to be a bugaboo once again despite the many hours I spent working on that pattern since I last tested it. I really had learned it much better though you can’t tell by the test.

After I scraped the heck out of that first mohawk (surprising myself by remaining standing) I figured I wouldn’t pass unless I got a re-skate on that element. When I wasn’t asked for a re-skate at the end of the test I figured I hadn’t passed and went off to the locker room. When I was brought the test papers and they were passing, I couldn’t even integrate that information at first. Maybe I need to be a little more optimistic?

I’d passed the same three elements as last time and not passed the rest. But I got more plus points on the passing elements and fewer minuses on the non-passing ones, which added up to a pass. So now I can move on to other skating projects. For now that’s a holiday number. It’s unclear whether I will be able to compete this season, but it looks doubtful due to health issues. I may fill you in on all that later, but if not and you are a regular reader who is curious, you can inquire with me.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo November 26, 2018 at 3:18 am

Congratulations, Mary! I was so excited to hear about your successful juvenile test. I watched the video and you looked really on top of everything (even the tricky CCW mohawk). Even when you had a little bobble (and who doesn’t?) you recovered right away. Nerves of steel, especially in front of those scary judges! Very smooth crossrolls, too. I am hoping those health issues resolve in time; here’s wishing for continued smooth skating.


Mary November 26, 2018 at 6:09 am

Thank you Jo! The judges were a little harder to deal with in that they didn’t take time to write their answers after each move. As soon as I finished each move they were looking at me to start the next. They had said I could take time in between if I wanted to get water or talk to my coach, but I didn’t feel comfortable taking it.

I’m glad you felt like I was composed and you liked my cross-rolls. And thanks for the good wishes.


George A. November 28, 2018 at 5:35 pm

Congrats Mary! Just about every skater I know who is working on this moves test hates the 8 step Mohawk! Lots of serious falls caused by that element. I have issues with just about any Mohawk. You look well prepared throughout the test.


Mary December 12, 2018 at 2:44 am

Thanks George! I still have the fourteenstep dance to work on so that outside mohawk will continue to be an issue. I at least made progress on it through that move.


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