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, this is the time to learn - it’s one of the best ways to beat the summer heat! For those of you who have already been a part of the Learn-to-Skate (LTS) program and have experience on the ice, 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 so it is a great opportunity to have the ice to yourself. The LTS program at your local rink runs all year round, however summer classes are usually much smaller. By enrolling in a summer skating program, you will receive much more individualized attention from your coach and also have more ice to practice with less skaters getting in your way. Skating coaches also have 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 have the unique opportunity of meeting them and receiving lessons. When I was young, I attended a skating camp in Lake Placid where I had the privilege of meeting and taking lessons from Paul Wylie, 1992 Olympic Silver Medalist. He won his US Collegiate Championships and also put on many skating shows with Stars on Ice.
Many rinks host summer ice shows and exhibition, featuring world class figure skaters and their summer campers. This is a great opportunity to not only meet some of the world's finest skaters, but also showcase the skills you learned during the summer. The Lake Placid summer camp hosts a weekly Freaky Friday competition where skaters get to cut loose and have fun by performing an amusing program, showing off their creativity, and getting judged by local 'celebrity' judges based on entertainment value. During the summer of 2013, my friend Victoria and I choreographed our own program, “Calling all the Monsters,” and won the Freaky Friday show. Lake Placid also hosts a Saturday Night Ice Show where any skater of any level can perform for tourists, local residents, and other skaters and parents. In my opinion, the best part of this show is skating under the bright spotlight in the Olympic Rink.
For me, summer is the busiest time of year. As it is the height of competition season, I will basically be living at the rink for the next few months. Hope to see you there!