Life Lessons from State Games of America

We just concluded a very successful State Games of America, and I want to say congratulations to my students – and all the Chitwood Skating students – on a wonderful competition!  Everyone skated well, and my students alone ended up winning about 25 medals!

The results were great, but they are never my main focus. Although exciting and fun, they are only temporary rewards. The real reward comes from knowing everyone tried their hardest and had a great time doing it.

Overcoming all the nerves and anticipation going into these events and being able to perform well in front of friends, family, other audience members, and judges takes strength, courage, and confidence. All are traits the competitors will be able to use for the rest of their lives!

I’m proud to say that all the Chitwood Skating students displayed those characteristics at the State Games of America. Congratulations on all their great performances!

August 14, 2011

Show Skating Inspiration

Ice skating shows are one of the most popular parts of figure skating for the audience. Usually the skaters in shows are previous competitors who have retired from amateur status (competitive skating) and gone professional (just doing shows).

The professional skaters perform in shows like Disney on Ice with productions of Disney stories that start in the U.S. and then tour around the world, Holiday on Ice which tours around Europe and Latin America, and cruise ship shows on cruise ships with ice rinks. There are also shows like Stars on Ice that have both top Olympic and World professional and amateur athletes performing, such as Evan Lysacek, Sasha Cohen, and Kurt Browning.

Every year there are thousands of smaller private shows that both amateur and professional skaters perform in all over the world as well. Usually in shows you will see many exciting moves, such as backflips, that aren’t legal in competition.

While many of these moves are more entertaining to the audience, many of the show tricks are actually technically easier than the moves you will see in competition. This is because the sole purpose of a show is to entertain the audience, not to get higher points for harder moves.

I attached a video that one of my students found on YouTube. The team is Jodeyne Higgens and Sean Rice who are former two-time Canadian national bronze medalists and World competitors. I found the video to be a very entertaining show program. Notice how small the rink is and how Jodeyne and Sean still effortlessly perform a very entertaining program with advanced tricks!

Note: See Upcoming Events page for summer class information at the Kroc Center in San Diego!

June 17, 2011

Inspiration from the 2011 World Pairs Champions, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy

Watch this video of Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy (Germany), pairs champions from the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow. It’s one of the best pairs programs I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen a lot.

Notice the way Aliona and Robin made it entertaining though their musical interpenetration, strong execution of the elements, and great use of Aliona’s flexibility in various positions. From the beginning, they used their music to communicate with each other and the audience, making the program fun to watch. Then they completed some highly difficult elements flawlessly, such as the huge opening throw triple flip, triple toe sequence, and the middle overhead lift with the spread eagle intro and exit.

A sign of great skaters is they make skating look easy, and Aliona and Robin really made this program look like a piece of cake to the viewers. Also, watch the amazing position Aliona gets to on their pair sit!

May 20, 2011

Inspiration from the 2011 Ice Dance World Champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White

Meryl Davis and Charlie White performing their free dance at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Meryl Davis and Charlie White performing their free dance at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

What a Worlds for U.S. ice dancing this year! Meryl Davis and Charlie White were the first U.S. ice dance team ever to win the World Figure Skating Championships! And the young Shibutanis placed third! Meryl and Charlie gained their victory over the Olympic and World champions, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.

Read the entire article

May 5, 2011

Inspiration from the 2011 Men’s World Champion, Patrick Chan

Patrick Chan easily won the men’s event at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow with two excellent programs that incorporated artistry and technical difficulty. His musical interpretation, footwork, and turns are all wonderfully executed, and he flows between each element flawlessly. The announcers said Patrick has taken ballroom lessons to improve his artistry. He likes to watch videos of great performers to get motivation as well. Notice how both of Patrick’s programs look easy as he completes his high-level jumps and spins with strength and great technique.

Patrick Chan – 2011 Worlds Short Program

Patrick Chan – 2011 Worlds Long Program

April 30, 2011