June 30, 2010

Colour Inspiration for Figure Skating Costumes

I've been thinking alot lately about costumes as I find them a constant source of amusement and creativity in skating. I make my own outfits and love all the thought processes that go into that final garment. The most interesting step, for me, is the design stage, and this happens on paper with pencils (and when I'm feeling really crazy, watercolour pencils which turn into a wash of colour upon a stroke of wet brush tip).

How to: Participate in a gala event

Galas are often held at the end of a season and open to family, friends, and the local population. It's a sort of showcase of the local talent and gives skaters a great opportunity to perform for fun and let family members see them in action in a less stressful setting than a comp.

Tips for cheaper figure skating travel

Travelling for skating is expensive. You most likely already travel to go to practice sessions, unless you have the luxury of living within walking distance of an ice rink (I've had this experience once a few years ago and it was sheer bliss when it came to early morning patches!). At some point (if you're not already) you're going to be travelling for test sessions. Travelling for competitions. Money, money, money!! My wallet bleeds by the end of a season.

June 28, 2010

Getting Over Dissapointment

Sometimes competitions don't go the way you wish they did. Sometimes, and this is far worse than having a bad skate, the comp goes well, and you still get bombed by the judges.

Politics and favouritism in skating isn't news, and I don't have to tell any of you hardened skaters/parents what it feels like to have truly done your best and get put at the bottom of the barrel. Why does this happen? I've been skating 14 years and I still don't know. It still crushes me when it does (and it happened recently, which is probably where I got the idea for this post).

June 27, 2010

How to: Hair Dress for Figure Skating Competitions

Ok I'm gonna start by saying this post is not going to be of interest for guys. I'm sure you all know how to gel your hair, or whatever it is you do on a daily basis. This here post is for the ladies, and skating mums needing inspiration and guidance. 

So, let's get crackin'!

June 25, 2010

How to: Make-up for a Figure Skating Competition

As you can imagine make up for skating competitions needs to be age appropriate. A bright red lip may look seductive and provocative on a 17 year old, but just plain wrong on an 8 year old. Just use your common sense and go with something both parent and skater are happy with. If you're reading this for yourself, then what you wear for competition will probably depend on how at ease you are with make-up, and what your daily habits are. What's so fun about competitive make-up is that you can go with something you would never otherwise wear, so I always try to have fun with it!

How to: Get Through Your First Figure Skating Competition

You have your confirmation letter, the timetable, your bags are packed and the hotel is booked. Your speeding to your competitive destination, and your adrenaline is pumping! Oh, the thrill of competitive figure skating. Whether this experience is for yourself or your child, certain rules and etiquette apply, and here we are going to look at some do's and don't's to get you through your big day.

How to Choreograph a Figure Skating Program

Every skater has to face the ordeal of making up new programmes - whether it be your very first, or your short programme for your 15th season. There are the hours spent listening to music (95% of which you find boring and tedious), but whats next? Making up the programme is undoubtedly the most important part of the process and can take anywhere between 1 hour and several months! With the IJS judging system coaches and choreographers' job just got alot harder. 

June 24, 2010

How to: Motivate Your Child To Practice "Moves in the Field"

Moves in the field, or field moves, are a hugely important part of skating and can make all the difference to a skater. Learning to enjoy and take something away from your moves practice, and being able to apply the principles of good strong clean edges is something all skaters should be at ease with, and is important no matter what discipline you participate in.

How to: Sign Up For Competition

So you're going in for your first comp? Awesome! Well done. This is always a really exciting time for a skater and there are lots of great times to be had. You've got the joys of choosing music, choreographing the programme, choosing a costume (or making your own, see my post on making your own competition outfit), but maybe the biggest choice of all is which competition to participate in.

June 23, 2010

How to: Sew Your Own Soakers!

{EDIT: New content added to this post, including how to embellish soakers, and ideas on how to use them!}

Soakers are an essential part of any skaters' sports bag, and a really easy little item to whip up with a little stray fabric and 30 mins spare time. Make them as slim or as full as you want, using whatever type of fabric you'd like. Use up odd ends or buy a far-out fabric to make soakers that'll seriously brighten up your bag!

To the sewing machine it is then! *superman arms towards machine*

June 22, 2010

Competition Checklist: 10 Things You Shouldn't Compete Without

Here I have compiled a "checklist" of competitive must-haves to help you on your way to your first (or 100th!) skating competition! These are don't-leave-at-home items which will make all the difference to your big day. Pack your things at latest the evening before C-Day as stress can make you jittery and forgetful - failing to prepare is preparing to fail, after all!

How to: Make Your Own Figure Skating Outfit

I salute you! Making your own skating outfit is a hard task, yes. Especially if you have never done it before. However, it is terribly rewarding when the final garment comes together, and I just cannot describe the sheer pride you will feel when someone compliments your outfit at your competition and woos "ohh, who made that for you?". So let's go my pretties, to the sewing machine!

How to: Get a Competition Outfit

So your coach thinks you're (or your child is) ready to compete! Congratulations, and welcome to the world of competitive figure skating.

Many thoughts are probably currently buzzing around inside your head, such as what about a programme, how do I sign up for a competition, how do I choose music (see post below), and of course, what will I wear!? That's where this post comes in handy!

June 7, 2010

How to: Dress for Practice Sessions

Dressing for practice sessions is mostly a question of practicality, although some skaters also take this opportunity to show off their personal sense of style. I have personally always gone with the comfort aspect of dressing for practice, with an emphasis on safety for muscles in the cold environment.

How to: Start Figure Skating

This may sound like a pretty obvious title but some of you may be wondering how to get into the sport of ice skating. Maybe you want your child to partake in a sport, or maybe you yourself fancy hitting that ice for a quick whiz about. Skating is fun, invigorating, and a long-term source of challenge and fun! For many people its their 'me time' and helps them to escape the daily routine of work, family and other commitments.

June 6, 2010

How to: Choose Figure Skating Music

Choosing music is an important (maybe even the most important) part of a skaters' season. Whether the skater is an international athlete or a beginner choosing his or her first piece the choice is critical as not only does the music need to fit the skaters' abilities, but also their personality.

The main ground-rule when choosing music is to pick pieces that are skater-appropriate. That is, the score from the musical "Chicago" which tells the tale of a murderess by means of sultry jazz, would not be all too fitting for a 6 year old skater!

How to: Dress for Figure Skating Tests

Sitting a test, no matter what discipline, often requires a different look than the one you might adopt for competitive participation. Here we will take a look at the main differences between these two situations and talk about what's suitable, and what's not!

Competition usually implies a myriad of clothing rules and we are, for the most part anyway, all pretty excited when it comes to thinking about what coloured rhinestones we could use, and how we could style our hair for the all-important event. To mention but a few important factors in competitive dress; the outfit itself, the tights (glittered, non-glittered, over-the-boot, footed, stirupped, glossy, matte... need I go on?), hairstyles, hair accessories, eye shadow, lipsticks.. the list goes on. But which of these elements cross over into the testing situation, and which most definitely do not?

A guide to everything in the universe of Figure Skating

This blog is an attempt to group together a useful and broad set of articles related to the sport of figure skating, in a "how-to" format.

We are all bombarded with blogs, sites, information, articles and peoples' opinions of varying expertise, but as of yet there is no one-stop-shop for concise no-frills information regarding fundamental matters we all come across at some point while participating in our glittering sport.

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