UA-74833448-1 Skating 101 –

Skating 101

The 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championship brings to Vancouver the top skaters in the country who all have hopes of reaching the Olympic stage, if not this year for the 2022 Beijing Winter Games.

Aspirations are one thing, but when reality sets in it’s understanding that tomorrow is another day and for those wanting to achieve success – tomorrow’s another day.

Figure Skating is a sport that not everyone can excel in, nor achieve success and given the success of today’s skaters, it’s great to see the overall instruction they are given by former elite level skaters of the sport.

Skating control involves edge control as displayed by each skater that include edges, steps, turns the clarity of technique, and the use of effortless power to accelerate and vary speed.

The criteria includes balance, rhythmic knee action, and precision of foot placement Flow and effortless glide Rhythm, strength, clean strokes, and an efficient use of lean create a steady run to the blade and an ease of transfer of weight resulting in seemingly effortless power and acceleration. Cleanness and sureness of deep edges, steps, and turns

Each skater must be able to demonstrate clean, controlled curves, deep edges and various steps to the routine.

They must show a varied use of speed, strong acceleration as well as power/energy, speed. Variety to the routine is the key to success for the skater’s some of which may use various directional skating during the routine.

This naturally includes directional skating, meaning both forward and backward as well as clockwise and counterclockwise that includes the rotation in both directions during the performance.

The individual must be able to control using both edges on one foot while changing direction at various times during the program, but definitely not  the overuse  of skating on two feet.

It’s of note to know that the PyeongChang Olympics are the first ever Olympic games in which both the Men’s and Women’s and pair skaters are allowed to use music with lyric.

This rule was introduced for the 2014-15 season and it’ noted that the ladies free skate runs within the time frame of 3:50 and 4:10.

The Pairs and the Men’s free skate has to be between 4:20 and 4:40, but short dance is between 2:40 and 3 minutes, with the music controlled by the International Skating Union.

I am told that for the Olympic season the short dance is required to use Latin American dance rhythms, such as Mambo, Salsa, Samba and any other related Caribbean rhythms or Latin American music.

The free dance no longer requires any musical genre, but it has to be arranged in a manner that it has a form of rhythmic up tempo beat that feature dance moods or what is called a “building effect” and must last between 3:50 and 4:10.

Also it’s interesting to note that all participants competing must have turned 15 prior to July 1st of 2017 to qualify for the PyeongChang Olympic Games.