Happy Spring everyone...or is it really spring?!?! We just had a spring nor'easter which makes it the fourth blizzard to hammer the Northeast in three weeks! Despite the recent crazy extreme weather, spring is my favorite time of year not only because of warmer weather ahead but mostly because it is the start of competition season! I do hope everyone is as excited as I am! I have a couple of students preparing to compete in Basic Skills for the first time and I can't wait to see them perform and have a great time on the ice. I, too, am preparing for the new competition season and have been working tirelessly on my short and free dance programs. My first competition is on Saturday, April 7 and it will be a very long and tiring day as I will be at the rink all day, competing from 10:45am till 9:30pm.
My skaters who are members of the Learn-to-Skate USA program are eligible to participate in local competitions offered through Compete USA. This is an introductory competition program sponsored by U.S. Figure Skating and is designed to promote a positive and fun competitive experience for beginner skaters. Compete USA incorporates all the skills taught in the Learn-to-Skate curriculum and is judged in a competition format.
Competitions allow kids to perform for an audience and show off their skills. It is a lot of fun choosing music, learning new choreography, and getting to wear a beautiful sparkly dress. Moreover, you get to have your hair done and wear full-on makeup- it will be the only time your mother won't be against you wearing makeup! At competition, you can make a lot of new friends by meeting new skaters who compete at your level from different rinks. But best of all, you can win a medal! There can only be 6 maximum number of skaters competing in a group and all six skaters receive a medal.
Many students worry about performing in front of an audience, fearing they will make a mistake or fall. These feelings are completely natural - I can assure you that every skater gets nervous before competing. However, you have nothing to be afraid of. As long as you practice your skills and run through your program, you are completely prepared. Trust me, your coach would not let you compete if he/she did not think you were ready. And if you fall, all you have to do is get right back up and continue your program. I have fallen many times in competition and speaking from experience, it is a lot less scary than it seems. Falling or messing up is not the end of the world. It may affect your placement in the final results, but there are many competitions and many more opportunities for you to redeem yourself and do better. Remember that no one is perfect and making mistakes will actually allow you to grow as a skater and as a person.
If you are interested in competing, talk to your coach and get started ASAP. I promise you it will be an experience you will not regret. The thrill of performing and the satisfaction of hearing the audience applaud is an amazing feeling. I can't wait to see all the pretty dresses and big smiles on competition day. Hope to see you there and best of luck to all my students!
Here is my very first skating competition when I was just 7 years old. Wow, I can’t believe at such a young age, I was able to think quickly on my feet and perform under pressure when faced with music technical difficulties. My first competition and I managed to win first place!..and it was then, I fell in love with skating.