The Importance of Warming Up & Cooling Down

I’m glad to see so many of my students getting to class early and not having you or your parents frantically rush to change and improperly lace up your skates. For those of you who are early and just sitting and waiting around, let me advise you to use this extra time wisely and warm up your joints and muscles. Everyone knows that before any vigorous exercise that it’s important to stretch and warm up because it not only helps prevent injury and improve performance but also helps reduce muscle soreness after the workout. You want your heart pumping, blood flowing, and body temperature rising to prepare your body for strenuous activity. The reason for more blood flow and increased body temperature is so that more oxygen is released to help your working muscles which in turn means better performance. Even a five minute warm up is sufficient and better than nothing at all. So try to get to the rink earlier and start warming up.

Mind Over Matter

I’m still so elated and riding high after medaling at the National Solo Dance Finals from a couple of weeks ago. Reflecting on my experience and lessons learned, I wanted to bring attention to a major challenge that I faced at nationals and also faced by many athletes- sports performance anxiety. I know all of my students have experienced it in some degree, whether it’s taking a skating test or performing your program or even just doing a run through in front of everyone at the rink. I wanted to address this because I’m not sure how many of you realize the importance of mental preparation for a competition and how it can greatly impact one’s performance. I want to share my experiences and help you all to learn how to better handle and reduce competitive stress.

Reflections of New Dance Judging System

I’m so ecstatic!!!…I just found out my dance article was accepted and published on Ice-Dance.com (IDC)! It’s one of the leading online resources for ice dancers, providing weekly news, partner search, coverage and results of ice dance competitions across the country and the world, and everything else related to ice dance.

I’m sorry I know this post is not very relevant to my young skaters but I wanted to add it as an addendum to my earlier post on the National Solo Dance Finals. My article is about this new judging system for the solo dance series and I can not tell you how excited I am to be writing and contributing to this ice dance website.

If you have time, please check out Ice-Dance.com (IDC) and my article, Reflections of New Dance Judging System.

HEY, MAYBE I CAN SPARK YOUR INTEREST AND ONE DAY YOU WOULD WANT TO LEARN TO ICE DANCE TOO?!?!

2018 National Solo Dance

Hi everyone! Back from National Solo Dance Finals and had the most amazing several days in Cape Cod. I still cant believe I won two national medals!..I earned Bronze in my Pre-Gold Pattern event and Pewter in my Junior Combined Free Dance. This year’s nationals was full of excitement and thrills but also never without high stress and pressure. I prepared for this day all year, putting in over hundred hours of practice, conditioning and strengthening off-ice, learning new judging rules and program requirements, traveling to local competitions to qualify, and rehabilitating through a painful ankle injury. My ankle sprain occurred halfway though the season and I suffered for many weeks, forced to stay off the ice and not compete to qualify. It never fails that something always happens to me before nationals- last year a week before competition, I had a severe cold and fever and spent four days in bed and nationals was held in Colorado Springs so the long trip and the altitude there didn’t at all help with my recovery.

August Break Hiatus

It’s already August and I can’t believe summer is halfway over, YIKES!… and DOUBLE YIKES!!! because I’ll be entering my junior year- THE toughest and hardest and worst year of my entire high school life as everyone warns me. Are my parents being overdramatic and trying to scare me or is this coming school year really doom for me? Well, if true, I’m thinking wouldn’t it make more sense for me to take this last month off and relax and enjoy before my nightmare begins?! I strongly believe. So, I’m going to take a short hiatus from blogging. So I will finish up my summer school assignments, take my SAT US History exam, complete my summer intern project, and of course, continue my training before I leave for National Solo Dance in several weeks. In between all this, I’m hoping to find some time to rest and relax and enjoy???

GLOVES for L❤️VE

It’s now Week 3 of my summer Learn to Skate session. All is well, except one pressing issue that I have struggled with ever since I started teaching two years ago. My students never show up to class with gloves! This week, my ENTIRE class had either forgotten or refused to wear gloves on the ice. I was absolutely shocked and dismayed at this and immediately addressed the issue. Each student denied the fact that they were cold, despite one sheepishly crossing her arms, another shoving his hands into his coat pockets, a third pulling her sleeves over her hands, and a fourth blowing warm breath into his palms when I wasn’t looking. Although they claimed they were not cold, their actions spoke otherwise. I always carry spare gloves in my bag but unfortunately, I did not have enough for all seven students to borrow. It hurt my heart to see these young kids suffering from the cold which prevented them from having an enjoyable learning experience on the ice. Although I remind students and parents to bring gloves every week, there is always someone that forgets. I often feel like a broken record- constantly repeating myself about gloves. After two years of teaching, this issue clearly has not improved; in fact it has gotten worse. No pun intended, but this has gotten out of hand! I am tired of wasting time teaching my kids what to wear when I could be teaching them what they signed up for: learning to skate. Why do kids never show up with gloves??? Is it because they want to look like figure skaters who don’t wear gloves during competition? Or do they feel it is a nuisance to wear? Or do the parents simply just forget? It is time to address this issue of gloves, or lack thereof, once and for all.