Express Yourself through Figure Skating

Most people think of figure skating as both sport and art. Peggy Fleming has a short video on expressing yourself through figure skating:

Peggy Fleming On Why People Should Skate

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September 26, 2011

Top Tips for Skating Competitions

Christina warming up for the 2009 NRW Trophy, Dortmund, Germany.

Christina warming up for the 2009 NRW Trophy, Dortmund, Germany.

Figure-skating competition season is here! Along with all the hard work comes the stress of remembering everything needed for a competition and the actual competition performance. Let’s not forget the parents, coaches, and audience members who have the stressful job of supporting the skaters, which can be a lot harder than it looks.

I think everyone involved with figure skating during competition season needs support. Here are some articles with tips for skating competitions from my brother, Will (skating coach and former international pairs competitor representing the U.S.), our mom, Deb Chitwood ( founder of Raising Figure Skaters with ideas from a parent’s perspective) and me (skating coach and former international ice dance competitor representing Great Britain).

I hope these ideas help eliminate some of the stress so that you can experience the joy of competition!

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July 29, 2011

2011 State Games of America – in San Diego!

This week, I’m going to be talking about the 2011 State Games of America (SGOA) coming up August 4-7. State Games of America is held every two years for competitors from all over the U.S. In order to qualify to compete at the SGOA, you had to place in the top 3 in any event at your local State Games (for us, State Games of California in March) either this year or the year before.

This event was started in 1999 and now has around 12,000 competitors participating in 23 different sports. The event moves around the U.S., so we are very fortunate to have it in San Diego this year! This competition is a great opportunity for skaters to get to compete with skaters from around the U.S. who normally wouldn’t compete in California.

The figure-skating events will be held at three different rinks: Kroc, San Diego Ice Arena, and Iceoplex Escondido. One of the highlights will be an Olympic-style opening ceremony at 6:30 p.m. on August 5th for all the athletes to march in. It will be at Qualcom stadium where the San Diego Chargers football team plays and will include a torch lighting!

For more information, visit the California State Games website.

July 15, 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 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

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Patrick Chan – 2011 Worlds Long Program

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April 30, 2011