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Artistic Skating Forum Discussions about any topic related to artistic roller skating including quad artistic skating, inline figure skating, pairs, dance, synchronized skating, and show skating.

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Old March 22nd, 2012, 04:24 PM   #1
Hazelnut
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Default Finally, a rink with artistic skating :o)

We lived in Oregon's high desert country. For the last 18 months or so I had been skating session at a rink that had only hockey and derby and a grippy, clickety-clickety-clickety sports court floor. We'd gone to a birthday party for our daughter's friend, and I skated for the first time in 20 some years. I then went as often as I could, even if what I could remember from dance and figure skating looked different from the derby moves so popular there.

Session skating was still joyful and good exercise, and a "skating family" sort of grew around me there.

We moved about a month ago to the Seattle area. John and Diane Gustafson own a skating rink in Auburn. Do their names ring a bell here?

They have a clean, well-kept rink with a gorgeous, smooth-as-butter wooden floor that was once a national's floor. A skater of any discipline could not ask for a more supportive place to skate. How lucky I am to be there.

In 1982 my mother and I drove from our city in Oregon to Auburn, Washington to have lessons with John because he would skate my gold medal dance test with me at the regional meet in Portland that summer. That was 30 years ago this year. My mother died of metastatic breast cancer a few weeks after I passed that test. I hadn't thought of those trips to Auburn until we were driving up here with our belongings in the U-Haul truck and the dogs, cat, and child in the car with me. There is a lot of nostalgia coinciding with this return to art skating.

The rink has three adult-skate sessions during the weekdays. I've gone to several now and hear dance music and watch the older teams practicing. It's hard work to dance skate!

I got to skate a Saturday morning art practice time and see the little children learning art skating. Diane offered me some tips on figure skating. Oy, it's gonna be a long struggle to skate well again. Art skating is hard but wonderful.

Yesterday, I was rolling along practicing forward figures while the dance music played and the teams skated past. It was nothing but contentment and peace and happiness. What a gift to return to something I once loved so well, to have another chance to do a thing that was my happiest of all for so many years of my youth.

There is a competition at this rink in April. I will get to see my old friends from Portland who are now coaches bringing their skaters up to this meet. I am thinking about entering the "C" figure event for my age group (47!) if I can manage to keep that left inside forward edge on the circle.

In 1982, my partner and I won Sophomore A dance at this rink's inter-regional competition. 30 years later, I will get to at least watch a similar competition in the same rink. Wow. Awesome.


Last edited by Hazelnut; March 27th, 2012 at 03:37 PM.
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Old March 22nd, 2012, 04:56 PM   #2
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Default Lets say "Hi" in April in Auburn

Hazelnut,

Well, then, I'll probably see you next month when I compete in the Auburn Invitational! I've only been skating for 7 years and will be attempting Masters A figures and dance. Don't be shy, say hello if you see me!

Oh, and so that you'll recognize me, my figure dress is white (the only one that is, I think), my dance dress is dark green, my hair is short and a reddish light brown. I skate out of Richland, Washington (south-central desert part of the state).

And, you're right, the Gustafsons are very nice people, and real assets to the roller skating community.

- Marie Whyatt
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Old March 23rd, 2012, 12:23 AM   #3
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Default The Gustafson's

They are awesome! I am glad that you found them. My son skated with their granddaughter, Bethany, when she lived in WI for a short time. The entire family is a delight!
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Old March 27th, 2012, 03:35 PM   #4
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Marie, I'll look for you and say Hi. What sort of skating floor do you have in Richland?

Shelly, it's nice to meet people on this forum who know the folks I'm now skating with. Makes everything more familiar and fun.

I had my first real lesson with Diane, yesterday. It's been so, so long since I had lessons. I'll be skating Novice B at this April competition. I told Diane that she can always decide to have me scratch so I won't embarrass her while rolling far away from that figure circle or bobbling across it, to and fro. By scratch I mean withdraw from the competition. That's still the term that's used isn't it? I don't mean to imply dermatitis.

I don't have a dress, yet.

Why can't women over 40 skate in pantsuits? Look at our secretary of state, for pity's sake. And Ellen DeGeneres can wear whatever she wants. Oh, I wish I didn't have to squeeze into a skating dress. Since I have to, I wish I could transform back into the 17-year-old I once was. The men are lucky.
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Old March 27th, 2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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Ladies, trust me.... It's no joy stuffing my middle-aged body into a form fitting jumpsuit either!!!! While men may have the advantage of pants, legs are the least of the challenges. Spanx for men might help, but in order to squeeze down to a non-embarassing width, my head would likely burst like a rocket from my shoulders!!
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Old March 27th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #6
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I still remember when I started art skating almost two years ago. My interpretation of appropriate skating attire as defined in the club rules was very different than what was actually expected.

The dress and tights don't bother me anymore.

S
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Old March 27th, 2012, 08:35 PM   #7
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Default Small floor with "washboards"

Hazelnut,

Richland has one very old, very small rink that's barely big enough for dance. It does have a wood floor, with "washboards" at one end where the boards have jammed against each other hard enough to rise up at each joint (so you go thud-a-thud-a-thud). I have a drill coach, there's no pro. But, hey, we've got an art club and this far east of the coast that's saying something. I am content.

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Marie, I'll look for you and say Hi. What sort of skating floor do you have in Richland?
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Old March 28th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #8
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Default Thud, thud, thud!

Sounds like the Nationals floor, maybe better!!

[QUOTE=DesertSk8er;589140]Hazelnut,

Richland has one very old, very small rink that's barely big enough for dance. It does have a wood floor, with "washboards" at one end where the boards have jammed against each other hard enough to rise up at each joint (so you go thud-a-thud-a-thud). QUOTE]
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Old March 28th, 2012, 12:37 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=shellysk;589219]Sounds like the Nationals floor, maybe better!!

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Hazelnut,

Richland has one very old, very small rink that's barely big enough for dance. It does have a wood floor, with "washboards" at one end where the boards have jammed against each other hard enough to rise up at each joint (so you go thud-a-thud-a-thud). QUOTE]
The washboard effect is probably old water damage. The point of joining two boards together is to do so tightly. The boards need someway to expand some or they warp. (just a hidden talent, I can build stuff, lay a wood floor)

Great that you have a rink to skate at.

And the dress gets easier. That first time I wore one it had sleeves, and a longer skirt. It was awful. Now after almost two years it doesn't bother me anymore. It even feels weird sometimes to skate in clothes.

Katy
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Old March 28th, 2012, 03:34 PM   #10
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Hazel, I am so happy for you! I'm sure you will quickly progress to your younger, excellent skating self!
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Old March 28th, 2012, 04:46 PM   #11
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I have still not started skating in a dress. I practice in yoga pants and a t-shirt and my coach is fine with that...for now. I am waiting to lose 20 lbs and my "reward" is going to be a skating dress. Just started dieting in earnest this week, so it will be a while.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 04:58 PM   #12
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Hazel,
I will be skating Novice B figures in Auburn also. I started in Bellingham. When it closed we went to Lynden. My coaches moved so I am now in Marysville.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #13
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Marie and Cheryl, I'm looking forward to meeting you both. It's thrilling to be with art skaters after so long just skating session with youth hockey kiddos and derby women and men. And Cheryl and I will be in the same event. That's going to be fun. You won't have to worry about me, Cheryl. I will be so over-whelmed with embarrassment at wearing a skating dress that I'll be nowhere near the line.

What happens if the skater forgets to stop skating the figure? If you keep going around and around? Do the judges turn away? I know I won't remember when to stop. I'll lose count after the first go through. What if my nose drips?

A skater at our rink brought a sack of skirts for me to use. They are sort of like shorts, except they're skating skirts. So I could wear a t-shirt with them. And another skater/coach who sews brought two dresses for me to try on. She under-estimated my size. The first was impossible to squeeze into. The second only just. Sigh. She's going to take measurements on Friday and make a dress for me. I will not wear a girdle. So my belly is going to lead the way around the figure circle. Followed by pudgy back rolls.

Someone at our rink said that Marysville had a powerful art club. I'm so excited to get to meet lots of skaters from Washington at this meet. It would be fun to skate in a meet at Lynden, too. I'm looking forward to your summer fun meet at Marysville.

Redhead, I'm dieting now, too. There's no hope to lose enough before April 21. If John and Diane could only turn off all the lights during Novice B figures and shine a spot light on the skate, I wouldn't have to worry.

I wish you could have an art club down there in Medford, Oregon. It's sad there are so few clubs in Oregon anymore.

I know I'm rambling on and on here, it's just so much fun to be skating again. I got a solid hour of figure practice during club time this morning and then skated the adult session, which was all dance music. Three dance teams were dancing along, and they were beautiful to watch, all wearing matching outfits. Lots of others were solo dancing or just skating around. I am remembering the dances as I follow others. It's tiring but wonderful. I found myself trying dances with mohawks, chocktaws, and three turns. None of the dance steps went in correct directions. After a while, I quit worrying about my loosened trucks and felt comfortable. We'd loosened them so I could skate an inside edge on the figure circle. I've been struggling with those inside edges.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 01:52 AM   #14
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When I skate figures I'm terrified I won't finish the figure, I just wait until the judge says "thank you skater". Ii always is in time to get off with out having to go around again.

Since I felt sort of silly doing this I started practicing all figures the correct number of times with "mounts" and "dismounts". I'm a former gymnast and sometimes it is how I think of figures.

Katy
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Old April 11th, 2012, 12:36 AM   #15
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I've been trying to use your advice, KMA. I still sometimes forget how many revolutions I've done on that figure circle.

I saw on the Northwest Skaters facebook that the schedule is out for the Auburn meet. The Novice B will be at 6 a.m. with doors opening at 5:30 a.m. It's a 50 minute drive for me to get there. Sheesh. What about my morning coffee? Can I drink it on the figure circles? I didn't have these concerns when I was a kid.

I'm mighty surprised my mom got up at those hours to take me to the figure competitions. If I don't like moving that early in the morning, I'm certain she didn't like it much. I don't remember her complaining, though.

Marie and Cheryl, the schedule shows 11 skaters in Novice B and only one skater in Novice A. I have no idea why. I'll ask my coach when I see her next. I'm going to try my new dress on tomorrow. It will be red. The skirt will get pinned on at the rink. I hope it can hide my chubbiness. I doubt it will, though.

How do you do it? How do you wake up, get into a skating dress, put eight wheels on your feet, and stay upright at 5:30 a.m.?
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Old April 11th, 2012, 12:38 AM   #16
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I forgot to add that the Gustafsons did something lovely to the floor. I don't know what it's called, but it's like a new surface. I got to be the first to skate on it since I was there for a practice before the tiny tot session this morning. It is even smoother than before. And it's absolutely beautiful.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 01:38 AM   #17
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We had to be up at 4:15 am for the Chico meet. The doors opened at 5:30. You just do it. It all works out.

S
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:09 PM   #18
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Default Novice B Figures - Me Too!

Cheryl,

I'll also be skating Novice B figures. I'm looking forward to chatting a bit. I think the last time we had a chance to visit was at the Oaks, either Regionals or Skate Camp.


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Hazel,
I will be skating Novice B figures in Auburn also. I started in Bellingham. When it closed we went to Lynden. My coaches moved so I am now in Marysville.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:15 PM   #19
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Default Probably stripped and recoated the rink floor

Hazelnut,

They probably stripped the floor and applied new roll-on. My rink does this every Labor Day weekend. The Oaks does it a few weeks before Regionals. I just drool when I see a newly refinished floor. I'm glad you had a chance to experience the feel of a fresh coat.

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Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
I forgot to add that the Gustafsons did something lovely to the floor. I don't know what it's called, but it's like a new surface. I got to be the first to skate on it since I was there for a practice before the tiny tot session this morning. It is even smoother than before. And it's absolutely beautiful.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 09:23 PM   #20
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Default Novice A 'n' stuff

Hazelnut,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
Marie and Cheryl, the schedule shows 11 skaters in Novice B and only one skater in Novice A. I have no idea why.
I believe Novice A has a turn figure; I'm working to learn 3-turns but haven't well enough yet to do them on a figure circle.


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Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
I'm going to try my new dress on tomorrow. It will be red.
Oooh, I wish I had a red dress. I think that's next on my list of wanna have's. And don't worry about being pudgy, we ALL are.


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Originally Posted by Hazelnut View Post
How do you do it? How do you wake up, get into a skating dress, put eight wheels on your feet, and stay upright at 5:30 a.m.?
I'm fortunate to be a morning person; well, nowadays that's only true if I get coffee. Just don't ask me to stay up past 9:00 p.m. -- I'm not a night owl and I'm just miserable if I have to stay up late.
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