To all of the many happy and excited kids out there as another school year comes to an end, YIPPIE! Now that summer is upon us, I strongly encourage you to use your extra 'free' time wisely and consider signing up for skating classes! For those of you who don't know how to skate; well, this is the best time to start and learn. For those of you who have already been a part of the Learn-to-Skate (LTS) program and know how to skate, I encourage you to keep up the hard work and use this summer to continue mastering and improving your skills.
As you may imagine, the skating rink is the least popular during these warmer months but that's the #1 reason to get to the rink and skate! The LTS program at your local rink runs all year round. The summer learn-to-skate classes are generally small- I have only three skaters in my current basic skills classes whereas my fall and spring classes average seven to ten skaters and winter classes average over ten skaters. By enrolling in a summer skating program, you will receive much more individualized attention from your coach and also have more ice to practice and less students who will get in your way. Also, skating instructors and coaches are more available and offer more time to teach because many of their current students are on vacation and/or have other summer commitments. Although skating is typically a winter activity, learning to skate in the summer is a great way to stay cool in the sweltering heat and humidity.
Summer is also a great time to skate because many rinks invite reputable guest coaches to help attract skaters to come and have the unique opportunity to meet and take lessons from them. These elite and well-known coaches enjoy traveling and visiting different rinks especially during the summer as they generally bring their family along with them. The coaches get to work and at the same time be with family and get to enjoy a break from their everyday routine. When I was young and attended skating camp in Lake Placid, I had the privilege of meeting and taking lessons from Paul Wylie, 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist. Paul Wylie and his family has vacationed in Lake Placid for many years now. He won his US Collegiate Championships and also put on many skating shows with Stars on Ice so he has many fond memories of this area. Another huge reason to skate in the summer is that many rinks host a summer ice show/exhibition, featuring world class figure skaters and their summer campers. It's a great opportunity to meet some impressive and world's finest skaters while also performing and showing off your skills you learned during the summer. During the summers at Lake Placid, the rink hosts a weekly Freaky Friday competition where skaters get to cut loose and have fun by skating an amusing program, showing off their humor and creativity and judged by local 'celebrity' judges based on entertainment value. In fact, during the summer of 2013 when I attended skating camp with my coaches and their students, I joined up with my good friend, Victoria, and we put together a program and competed in the Freaky Friday Show. We actually won the competition with our own choreographed 'Calling All the Monsters' program which we created during that week. It was my best week ever that summer and the most fun I ever had competing in my entire skating experience. Lake Placid also hosts a Saturday Night Ice Show where any skater of any level can perform his/her solo program and group numbers for tourists, local residents, and other skaters and parents. Everyone was so excited to skate in this show because we would get a spotlight shone on us while skating our program in the Olympic Center.
For me, summer is the most busiest time as I'm in the rink for most of every day because I find it's the only time I can really focus and commit to my skating and not worry about school and homework and exams. It's also the height of competition season so I will be basically living at the rink for the next few months. Hope to see you there!