Ice Skating Partners Basics
Whether you're a figure skater or an ice dancer, finding an ice skating partner can be a difficult task. There is certainly a science to finding just the right mix of qualities in a partner that compliment your own qualities. When narrowing down the field of partner canidates, think of these few simple requirements. For one, to be a good ice skating partner, you have to be a good solo skater. You should make sure your partner has passed an equivalent or higher level of "Moves In the Field" tests as you have. "Moves In the Field" testing helps skaters to improve their strength and power. Additionally, your body size should be compatible with your ice skating partners. If you are doing pair skating there will be a lot of lifting involved and so you will need a partner who can hold you or a partner you can easily lift. Neither partner should have to change their body make-up to accomodate the other, except for minor workout or diet improvements. On the emotional level, partner skating is very intimate. Your skating partner should be patient and encouraging. Neither partner should be egotistical or dramatic; little will get accomplished in the rink if one or the other is throwing a fit at each practice. Also, be weary of partners who are constantly injuried. You want to look for an ice skating partner who has a healthy record, is strong and also is smart about injury prevention. Anytime your partner spends injured is time you spend off the ice. Look for a partner who also shares your similar interest in music styles, dance styles and ice skating styles. If you and your ice skating partner are going to compete, you may need to train off the ice. Try this basic Stability Ball Workout to stay in shape off and on the ice.
Ice Dancing Versus Pair Skating
Most people are unable to distinguish between ice dancing and pair skating. The easiest way to think of them as different sports and art forms is by thinking of ice dancing as ballroom dancing on ice. Unlike in pair skating, there are no partner lifts over the head in ice dancing and partners are typically not allowed to separate more than two arms lengths apart. In both ice dancing and pair skating, spins are done in unison. However, in pair skating, partners also have to jump and do acrobatic moves together. There are no jumps or acrobatic moves in ice dancing. Alternatively, ice dancing involves articulate footwork. In ice dancing, the music's beat and rhythm must be danced to as opposed to its melody. Ice dancing can be performed alone, but partners are intrinsic to pair skating. If you are looking for an easy way to ice skate with a partner that doesn't involve as much technical training, try ice dancing. Pair skating is truly for ice skaters who have perfected a level of skill on their own that surpasses just footwork and grace. It is more athletic.
Ice Skating Competitions
Ice skating or figure skating competitions are extremely popular. Fans glue themselves to the TV when championship competitions are presented. But, how do the figure skaters get to the championship level? The first answer: years and years of practice. The second answer: years and years of competing.
For an ice skater to reach the championship level, they have to win regional figure skating competitions, then sectional competitions, and then national competitions. Only when an ice skater has won a national competition can they compete in a championship competition. To be eligible for any competition, ice skaters have to pass skating tests that include free skating skills and moves in the field skills. If you are preparing for a competition, you should well in advance of the event prepare for your tests. No matter how much time you spend practicing your routine, if you can't pass a skating test, you won't get to compete.
Once eligible for competitions, ice skaters should prepare their routines and pick out costumes. Judges will score based on the skills performed in each routine, but they will also be looking at the ice skaters overall presentation. Remember a figure skating competition is also a performance. Be sure that your hair, make up, tights, and skates are all in order and neatly place before you enter the rink to compete. Be sure to do some cross training off the ice to prepare for develop strength, flexibility and endurance for competition day. Try this Ball Workout for Legs while you're away from the rink.
Choosing an Ice Skating Coach
If you are looking to take your ice skating to the next level, sign up for private lessons with an ice skating coach. Before starting a search for the perfect coach, decide what type of skating you want to do and whether or not you will be competing. These decisions will effect your choice. Look for a coach who excels at instructing in the style you've chosen. Your coach should have a PSA (Professional Skaters Association) certificate and private insurance. Most ice skating coaches freelance out of several different rinks and so need to have their own skating insurance should a student get hurt while in a lesson. Ask your coach about their own skating history and the successes of their students. Make sure your coach is not too busy. Your ice skating coach should have time available for lessons that are conducive to your schedule. You and your coach must decide what the goal of your lessons will be. If you are going to be competing, you and your ice skating coach will want to work on skating tests and a routine. However, if you are just ice skating for recreation, you may want to work on learning new techniques and skills. Your ice skating coach should be a positive influence, should push you when needed and compliment you when you are doing well. If you've found a coach you like, watch them with other skaters to see if their style is truly going to suit you.