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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Ice Dance vs Freestyle

For the past few years, I have been doing solo dance and freestyle, sort of in parallel. There have been a few things I noticed

1. I cannot freestyle immediately after dancing.
For some reason, dance does something to the posture that doesn't gel well with freestyle. For me, it takes a good 1/2 hour to change mode.

2. It is not so conducive having the same coach for freestyle and dance.
Until last year, I had two different coaches - one for freestyle and another for dance. After my freestyle coach quit, I started also taking freestyle lessons with my dance coach. Consequently, the focus has shifted to be more freestyle-centric... I hardly dance these days!

3. Freestyle and dance seem to use different part of the feet!
I have had my new boots for 3 weeks, and though they did make my feet a little sore, it was ok after a week. However, these 3 weeks I have been doing freestyle, and this morning was the first time I did dance in the new boots. I didn't think much of it, but after two patterns of the Kilian my feet started to hurt so much it was unbearable. I had to get off and take off my boots! When I re-laced them, I made it less less tight, and it was better.
Corollary: Freestyle and dance require different boots, or at least different ways of lacing the boots!

I suppose I should add more as they come up...

Friday, April 21, 2006

New Boots

I got my new boots mounted the day before I left for the USA.

In New Jersey, I went to Ice House to skate - yes, in brand new boots! The first session, I was a bit cautious, but did go through all my single jumps. It felt like I tended to lean back too much, and this messed up my Axel timing. However, by the second session, I was landing my double Sals consistently (though the Axel was still off).

The one week in New Jersey was quite interesting. Going for the 8:15am session meant there were very few skaters on the ice. One session, I was the only one! I spoke to Vladimir Kaprov, but didn't take any lessons this time round as I was always uncertain what we were doing each day.

The following week, we went to Berkeley, and I skated at the Yerba Buena rink. I only did public sessions there, and it was rather crazy, as the SF public schools were on spring break! I'd wanted to do a freestyle session, but missed it as it took longer than I'd expected to get ready in the morning *and* drive there from Berkeley.

In any case, public session or no, I was surprised to find that I was finally landing double Sals and double toes consistently! All in the first 2 weeks' of using my new boots! WOOHOO!!

I initially thought, maybe it is the ice. When I returned to Singapore, I had lesson (my first lesson in 3 weeks), and guess what? I actually landed double Sals and double toes. Even the Axel is feeling better. Hmm... It must be the boots...

Conclusion: I must have used my previous pair of boots way past its time. I had been using them for over 2 years! Now I wonder if I would have been landing my doubles much sooner if I had gotten new boots earlier!