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Friday, May 30, 2008

Inter-school competition starts tomorrow!

This weekend will be the inter-school competition. This is an ISI-based competition initiated by Fuji Ice Palace. It is a brilliant idea that has created more awareness and interest in the sport.

In previous years, I have generally not been around for this competition - guess what? Yes, it clashes with my annual "pilgramage" to Mountain Cup, Tallinn and Oberstdorf. Sadly for me I'm not going this year; happily for the rink, I am around to judge!

So, I get the judging schedule, and had to kill some brain cells to figure out how to manage that, with baby and without my DH around.

The final decision was:
Saturday: My mom would come to care for baby during my first judging session, then we will bring baby to my parents' place in the afternoon, and we will stay overnight there (and I would have to make another trip to the rink from there).
Sunday: We would bring baby home in the morning, before I go for my first judging session (hopefully she won't be crying too much in the car, and I won't end up late!) My mom would stay at my place the entire day to care for baby. I'm lucky to have such a great mom!

My DH is still wondering what I get out of this... this time, I can't even argue that it is because I have students competing!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Finnstep - new compulsory dance

The instructional material on the new compulsory dance has been released in ISU Communication 1497. Now called the Finnstep, this is the same Sunshine Quickstep I had written an entry on earlier.

Here's a video demonstration by Kati Winker and Rene Lohse. It looks like such a fun dance!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

2008 Peach Classic Announcement

The 2008 Peach Classic will be held Aug 30-31 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.

The announcement is now online.

The big changes this year are the changes to the adult skating rules for US Figure skating: new Age Classifications, 1:50 max time for Bronze Freeskate, and Free Dance instead of Original Dance.

The deadline for entry is July 19.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Need a break!

This week, I went back to work. What with baby, DH, work, coaching, store... where does that leave skating? (oh I forgot to say and blogging too... )

Perhaps I need a break. Maybe a movie? The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian will open in cinemas in Singapore soon. That would be one movie to catch, especially since I love fantasy novels, and I'd read all the books in the Chronicles of Narnia by the time I was 11... (way before I started skating!)

So, hopefully I manage to get to take a break and catch a movie!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

1 meter? 6 seconds?

What does 1 meter and 6 seconds have in common?

I was trying the spiral sequence again on Monday, after having read ISU Communications 1494, on the Scale of Values and Guidelines for marking GOE and Levels for the season 2008-2009 in Single and Pair skating.

So, what is this about 1 meter and 6 seconds? Well, having tried out spiral sequences based on last season's definitions, I was curious to see how that would be affected now. While many of the features and requirements remained unchanged from last season, there are a few significant changes:

First, the feature of "Spirals on both feet, forward & backward, inside & outside" no longer counts as a feature, but is mandatory for Levels 3-4.

Next, the requirement for change-edge spirals has been modified:
"Change of edge in Spirals requires minimum 3 seconds hold before and after the change with the distance used for the change not longer than 1 meter"

Lastly, a new features for level of difficulty in spirals:
"Holding spiral position (without any interruption) for 6 or more seconds"

Ok, these rules make it just a tad bit harder for me to try for a Level 4 spiral sequence. I can still use the spiral sequence I made up last year, but making sure that the edge change takes less than 1m, and having one of the spirals hold for 6s or more.

1 meter
I was trying to estimate the distance in my change-edge, but found it really hard to tell from the tracing - actually what was hard was to find the tracing. I suppose I need to have someone look or video while I do it! Truth be told, I think it is a challenge to make the change within 1m...

6 seconds
The 6s feature is not too big a deal for me - I think its more a matter of leaving enough music time for the spiral sequence!

So, this makes it a little harder to get a Level 4 spiral sequence, but its still not impossible. :-) Next step is to figure out the spins...

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Wet rink

Afternoon ice is... WET!!!

I wonder what causes this fear of falling and getting wet. It is irrational. It is unfounded. It is a self-fufilling prophecy. Of course I wasn't going to fall. Of course I was going to land the Axel on my feet, not my butt...

Still, I spent a good half hour going round and round, doing backspins and Waltz jumps, all the while marvelling at how "deep" the water was! I swear there was one part where it was almost 1/4 inch!

When I finally made myself believe that I can jump and land in a dry patch, I landed two Axels - the only two that I attempted, the rest being relegated to Waltz jumps or nothing at all. (shh, don't tell me that the dry patch really is so small I wouldn't have been dry had I fallen!).

I later tried a sit spin combination - without the backsit... somehow the backsit just doesn't work now. I must be pushing too far to the right when I change foot since I get way on the outside edge. Here's what it used to look like, 10 months ago!