Sunflower Skates

Tracking my goals and progress as an adult figure skater

June 2021 - Going for gold

In June I attended my first Intensive Day of the year, passed both Bronze Freeskating and Silver Dance, and learned to spin on my left foot.

Friday 4th June
Intensive Day
I had a really great time at the intensive day today, I forgot just how much I enjoyed them! Shigh and Ami-lee came too and it was so lovely to see them both again properly. I chose to work on Freeskating as I am enjoying where I'm currently at in my Dance lessons and didn't want to disrupt that. 

For the first session we worked on basic skills with Bev, and it was a brilliant refresher as we never really go through crossovers or edges in detail anymore, they're usually just accessories. For the second session we were split into our levels to work on spins and jumps. Unfortunately I was with some of the naughtiest children I've even been with on any of the days. Messing around, shouting out, not listening. Agh it's such a pain! I can usually put up with it but was feeling the urge to get shouty, I've no idea how Brooke kept her temper all day! 

Really exciting news - I have finally learned to spin on my left foot! At the end of Sunday's lesson I was debating on whether I even wanted to try it at all, however by the end of today I've had my spin properly assessed and signed off by Brooke, with a full crossovers entry and exit position. I'm absolutely thrilled, as that means I'm officially on Silver Free now (or at least whenever I go back to that in group lessons I will be!) after struggling with spinning for such a long time.

Sunday 6th June
Private Lesson
Showed Anthony my spin progress and I felt so proud of myself! I did two really good ones, then unfortunately got a bit camera shy when I asked him to film one for me and it didn't go as well, however he says he's very happy with it and it's now just a case of practicing. Yay! I uploaded the video on Instagram here. I do a great cheesy grin at the end!

After that we briefly went through a few bits I have left on Dance, including going quite in-depth on Twizzles, and skimming over the 7-Step and the Foxtrot. Very excitingly we also went through my jumps on the next level. I tried my best at a Salchow and I also learned a Toeloop for the first time ever. It went pretty well, my technique seems to have picked it up right away and I just need practice and building confidence on it now. Overall another great lesson!

Monday 7th June
Skate UK Star Silver Dance
What is it with naughty children?! Some real little brats in the group lesson tonight too. Other than that it was a decent lesson. I'm currently on 92% completion, but I am getting a little frustrated with backwards runs. i only have them left in the clockwise direction, but every week when I finally figure out the 'knack' for them, we move onto the next thing (no reflection on the teaching, just me struggling to translating the movement in my head until the end!) 

I passed my Twizzles, and also managed a couple of decent double Twizzles! I think they will be my next favourite party trick if I can get them consistent. Other than the clockwise runs all I have left on silver is the 7-step, which we haven't been through since my first lesson, so hopefully we will next week. I'm getting a bit nervous about passing Silver actually. I'm really enjoying Eleanor's lessons and am quite nervous for Gold. I'm not sure why as it's what I was working on before lockdown, but it's been so long that I'm anxious. Hopefully the feeling passes.

Thursday 10th June
Public Skate - The Dome
Had the absolute best time with Shigh at the Dome tonight. As hoped it was completely empty, with no more than 10 people on the ice. Yay! We got to practice so many things, and also just have a play around. I managed a 2 1/2 Twizzles, and I'm becoming more confident spinning too. I wore my new dress with the glitter sleeves teamed with my Roaring Mouse skirt and I felt so pretty. It's definitely true when she says "wear something that makes you want to dance!" I did a few good spirals towards the end of the session when my hips had warmed up a bit, and we had a great time trying to do those drags where you do a 3-turn and go backwards. We were actually allowed to film a few things at the end, so we both did a mini-routine and got some nice footage. I've popped some reels on Instagram of my spiral and the drags. Days like this really remind me why I love skating.

Sunday 13th June
Private Lesson
I wore my dress and skirt again for my lesson today as I just felt so lovely in it on Thursday. There's definitely merit behind wearing something floaty to help you skate better! I had a really good lesson with Anthony today. We went through the Foxtrot and also the Rhythm Blues. I always think I'm a bit rubbish when it comes to short-term memory, but I think I picked it up quite well (we did first go through it briefly in my last October lesson) We also went through the 7-step sequence again, which is one of my last things left on Silver, then switched back to Free. I'm really enjoying working on my spin. We went through a bit more of the technique in detail for a good spin. I'm starting to like spinning on my left, and I'm looking forward to getting better at it. Right at the end of the lesson we briefly went through the theory of a Backspin, which doesn't seem too frightening.

Monday 14th June
Skate UK Star Silver Dance - Passed!
I passed Silver! I really didn't expect to as I was struggling with my backwards runs last week, but they just came from nowhere this week? It was REALLY weird, but I just focused on the feeling of them instead of over analysing the movement, and it went really well. I tried hard at the 7-step sequence and didn't think it went very well, but I didn't mind as I was enjoying myself. I was absolutely gobsmacked when Sophie and Eleanor told me I'd passed it all at the end of the lesson! I'm a bit worried about going back to Gold. I'm not sure why as I enjoyed everything I did last year. I already know I can do Slip chasses and the Foxtrot, I've done a few wobbly double Twizzles, so I should be fine. Yay!

Wednesday 16th June
Public Skate - The Dome
Dunno what the point of that was. They hadn't even bothered to resurface, so the entire trip was useless. At least I got to see Shigh!

Sunday 20th June
Private Lesson
Another good lesson as always. Today we went through the majority of Gold Dance ahead of my first lesson tomorrow. We spent quite a bit of time on Double Twizzles. I have them intermittently on my right foot, but the left isn't really getting anywhere. I'm not sure why. It's just one of those left-foot things I think. I'm sure they'll come eventually. The most time was spent trying to learn the Mohawk for the 9-step in Gold. It's absolutely horrible, and I nearly took Anthony out twice! I understand the theory of what I'm to do, I just can't make myself do it. Really weird. 

Monday 21st June
Skate UK Star Gold Dance
I was SO nervous for my first lesson back on Gold, but it actually went really, really well! Some small back Crossrolls seemed to appear after practicing with Anthony yesterday and my Slip Chasses were totally fine as expected. The Foxtrot went as well as it can do when there's a bunch of kids flying all over the place (the two horrible ones I was pleased to get away from ended up moving up too! Agh!) 

The highlight was my Double Twizzles - they happened!! I was really happy with them, especially as I even managed a few cheaty ones on my left (very lightly tapping down my right foot between them) but they were pretty strong on my right foot.

The only issue was the 9-step sequence. That Mohawk is absolutely terrifying. I just can't make my body do what it's supposed to when it comes to it, and I don't quite know how to get over that! I was also a little disappointed after the lesson as it seemed like the system was down and so none of my progress was recorded, however I woke up at 3am and it had loaded - I'm on 71% after my first lesson which is pretty cool! Chasses passed, Foxtrot and Twizzles on 'Good', Crossrolls on 'Fair' and just the foul 9-step on 'Needs practice', which was totally expected. Overall a really great first lesson!

Sunday 27th June
Private Lesson
I think this was one of those lessons where we work on things I need rather than things I like. We spent quite a lot of time on the 9-step sequence in preparation for my lesson tomorrow. I wasn't feeling very well, so we missed out Twizzles and Spinning. We then focused on Backwards Edges in preparation for Field Moves. They're pretty hard, especially the inside edges.

Monday 28th June
Skate UK Star Gold Dance
Agh what a fail!!! I've managed to get really bad food poisoning, so I'm missing my lesson tonight.

Tuesday 29th June
Kelly's Masterclass
I had a really lovely time at Kelly's masterclass tonight. The theme was 'Confidence and Performance' and it was similar to the segment she did back during the DOI day. I don't have a very good memory, and struggle a bit with learning routines, but I really enjoyed myself as we put together a short routine to three different styles of music. I have posted some videos of them here. It was a really nice end to the month, and I would definitely take part again.

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