December 29, 2012

The 3 New Years Resolutions I Wish I Had Made When Skating, & How They Can Better Your Career

Well, with 2013 just around the corner, and the excesses of the holiday season in full swing (Christmas cake with every cup of tea? 5-course dinners with the family? The list goes on!) one's mind eventually turns to think of all the things we should be doing to better ourselves, and our lives. Yes, it's soon "New Years Resolution" time!

December 21, 2012

2012 Christmas Gift Guide For Skaters

It's that time again folks.

Perhaps you've raised your tree, and looked out your most twinkly of lights. Maybe your oven overflows with aromas of spiced fruit and pastry. Or just perchance, you may even have adorned your mantle with candles and holly. Whatever your holiday traditions are, there's no denying that we're in those last fun-filled days in the run up to the biggest family day of the year! (and yes I'm listening to Michael Bublé as I write this...)

December 16, 2012

How To Choose Your Sewing Machine For Skating Apparel

Today I'd like to address another apparel-based problem. Skating dress design and sewing is one of the hottest topics on my blog, so I'm hoping to answer a really important question for all you wannabe skating dress designers out there: what sewing machine should you use to make a skating dress?

December 4, 2012

Check Out My Pinterest!

This afternoon I just wanted to write a teensy little short post (and have an excuse to take a break from revision - first exam tomorrow, eek!) to tell you about the skating boards that I recently set up over on my Pinterest account!

November 30, 2012

Time Out From Revision To Say "Hello!"

Hello lovely readers!

I wanted to take a few minutes out from my exam revision to say hello, and wish you all a wonderful start to this weekend, which is extra special in that it marks the beginning of the magical month of December!

November 21, 2012

Podium Etiquette

Scanning through the endless photo albums available online which are cropping up seemingly exponentially as we advance through the Grand Prix season, there is always one thing that shocks me on the images. What gives with non-gold medal winners, who look like their world just ended?

I thought the subject of podium etiquette merited an albeit short, post, because it has such an impact on on-lookers, whether at club-competition or international-star level.

November 19, 2012

A Crystal Cuff: Skating Buys & How To Make One Yourself

Hi there guys and gals. Today I want to write a short post, to show you some awesome sparkle I picked up a couple of weeks ago, and that would be perfect for skating events! Admittedly I have no skating-use for things that twinkles any-more, but I am still quite obsessed with anything Swarovski. Who says you can't wear full on bling to school, right?!

In terms of actually buying the same item, this post is going to be more useful to UK readers, but the idea of the item I bought is easily DIY'ed, for extra rink-side sparkle!

November 17, 2012

How To Choose A Custom Skating Dressmaker

A month or so ago, Jeff over at LA-Skate-Dad asked me if I had any tips for choosing a dress maker. As soon as he enquired on this subject, I knew a blog post should be written, at some point, to discuss this oh-so important subject. And here we are!

As previously discussed in numerous other posts (such as: Lets Go Figure Skating Dress Shopping!) one of the options open to you guys, whether you're a skater or a parent looking to kit out your little ice star, is the custom made dress. So what qualities should you be looking for in a dress maker, and how do you go about finding one? Read on my pretties!

November 6, 2012

Knowing When To Withdraw From Competition

I managed to view the unfortunate accident which occurred between Adam Rippon and Nan Song this weekend at the Cup of China 2012 today, and I can only imagine the latter's regret and pain (physical and otherwise) at having to withdraw following the head-on warm-up collision in Shanghai.

Song was eventually taken to hospital, and kept overnight for observation having been diagnosed with a concussion. Obviously there was nothing he, or anyone, could do about this situation, and all that was left to do was to rest up, heal, and set his sights on future events. This case was a straight-forward one: he had no choice but to withdraw from the competition. But many other times things aren't so clear cut, and a skater must make a choice between being potentially detrimental to his/her health, or missing out on an event they've worked hard to shine in. So, how do you know when to withdraw?

November 3, 2012

Mending This Broken Skater: How Pilates Changed My Life

The idea for this post came to me during my pilates class two weeks ago (and yes, this is me, just now, finding the time to finally do something about it!). It's a subject very dear to my heart, and one I want to talk to you about today due to the high number of injuries that occur in the sport of skating. If there was some sort of "pilates ambassador" title, I'd have it. It's simple: pilates changed my life.

October 27, 2012

Motivating The Child Who Never Wins

The idea for this post comes from one of our readers, who asked me to write on the subject of keeping a gold-medal-less child motivated to skate. I've taken a few days to think over this subject: one which filled my heart with sadness when I read said reader's post idea. Every child deserves to feel like a winner, but it's been hard putting myself in this mum's place, seeing as I don't have any children myself.

So do you spend a decent amount of time in the rink each week, watching your little one skate around to the music, progressing, preparing, and somehow s/he always seems to place off the box, or even win medals, but never the gold? Then this post is for you.

October 24, 2012

Let's Go Figure Skating Dress Shopping!

OK ladies, you need a dress (or your child does). No doubt you have a ton of requirements, depending on your own personal taste, your needs, your event, your location, etc.. There are so many sources for figure skating dresses that it can boggle the mind! But fear not! Here I will attempt to write a comprehensive blog post on all things dress-shopping. So let's start!

October 21, 2012

The Amazing Feat Of Skating & Getting An Education

The idea for this post came to me as I sat here, on Sunday afternoon, aggravating my wrist tendinitis writing out some 50+ flash cards for my on-going university work. Yes that's right (or should that be write... hmmm) - I have given myself tendinitis through studying. Dedicated or dumb, I'll let you decide that one.

I was lucky enough to profit from IceNetwork's "Super Saturday" deal yesterday, and made the most of watching the ladies short program, and the end of the short dance events (I really need to get to grips with translating Eastern time into GMT...) from this year's Skate America Grand Prix.

October 20, 2012

Figure Skating Advice on Facebook!

Hi there fellow skater-person! *waves*

Thanks for coming by today. I wanted to post a short note today to let you know that I recently opened a Facebook page for this blog. I don't get to write blog posts half as much as I would like due to a busy schedule, but the Facebook page is a great way to receive little updates, tid-bits about what's going on in skating, and just generally interact with other skaters, skating parents, and of course, moi!

So why not come on over and give it a "like"?

Don't hesitate to get in touch, let me know what you think of the blog, and tell me about any post ideas you'd like me to write about!

Until next time, happy skating my friends!

If this content was useful to you, by:
♥ Leaving a comment below
♥ Visiting & Liking my Facebook page
♥ Tweeting to me: @skating_howto

October 9, 2012

What Are Figure Skates Anyway? The Anatomy Of Boots

This post may seem somewhat basic to the seasoned skater or skating-person (coach, parents, siblings, fan, the list goes on!), but I hope it will be useful to beginners starting out, or people who simply want to know more about figure skates. Here I'm going to introduce figure skates, also known as skating boots, or simply boots, and have a look at the different parts that make them up, and then talk a little about skate types, and brands.

September 29, 2012

What is Figure Skating?

I was thinking about this today, and it came across me that this question would make a good introductory blog post. So here I am. Obviously this entire blog is based around figure skating, a sport I've been involved in most my life. I'm sure you've seen skating on the TV, or glimpsed stunning performances during Olympic events, even if you're not an avid skating fan, or you're just starting out in the wonderful world of figure skating. So what is figure skating anyway?

September 23, 2012

Figure Skating Dress Sketch Templates

I've written quite a few posts on the subject of skating outfits and dress design now (see below), and I've been wanting to provide you all with a template dress sketch for a while. Today I finally got around to sitting down at the table and sketching out both a ladies and a girls sketch template, so you can get dress-creative even if you can't draw anything more anatomically correct than a stick-man!

September 19, 2012

Figure Skating Outfits Part 4: Considering Embellishment In Figure Skating Costumes

Welcome to part 4 of our 4-part series on figure skating costume design! If you're just joining us, make sure to check out parts one, two, and three, in the series! Having worked through the conception stages of figure skating dresses and men's outfits, today we'll be looking at those finishing touches that make dresses sparkle and pop out there on the ice: embellishment! To the Bead-Cave, my pretties! (OK so that sounded better in my head *ahem*)...

September 12, 2012

Figure Skating Outfits Part 3: How To Decide On Shape For Your Costumes

Welcome back, if you've been reading part 1 and part 2 of this series on costume design, or welcome full stop for those of you joining us today for the first time! Be sure to check out the previous posts in this mini-series on breaking down the figure skating dress design process.

Today we are going to be considering the role of shapes in dress design, and how you can use cut and shapes to relay a given message or atmosphere to your audience. So let's get cracking!

September 5, 2012

Figure Skating Outfits Part 2: Deciding On Colour For Your Figure Skating Costumes

Carrying on with our 4-part series in skating costume design, this post is the second part, following up on Part 1: The Design Process Demystified.

Today we’ll be hypothesising two figure skating costumes, to suit two very different styles/music. One will be a Latin outfit, the other something soft and romantic that one might expect to see on a skater who’s music is one of the great works of Chopin or Rachmaninov.
We’re going to be using colour swatches to demonstrate how colour can influence your feelings and convey a certain message to the viewer.

August 29, 2012

Figure Skating Outfits Part 1: The Design Process Demystified

Although I have already written several blog posts on the subject of figure skating outfits, here I'd like to take an in-depth look at how you can design your figure skating outfits. When looking at the finished product often it seems unfathomable how the designer and/or dress-maker came to such a finished piece, so here we'll take a step-by-step look at the basic figure skating costume design process, and how you too can create sensational looks for your next big event! 

August 14, 2012

Fresh As A Daisy: How To Wash Skating Outfits

Have you ever been in the middle of preparing for a competition or test, and realised your dresses are no longer smelling of roses? Do your tights have water stains from falls or spray, or worse, splatters of black rink-rubber gunk up the legs? Needless to say skating outfits are generally quite fragile little things, especially when adorned with crystals or hand-sewn beading! Even competition tights, which are usually worn thinner than training tights, can be delicate to wash if ladders and holes are to be avoided.

A few simple tips will help you avoid having to spend the night before your big performance re-gluing Swarovskis back onto your bodice. So read on to learn the secrets of successfully rinsed rink-wear!

July 27, 2012

The Teachings of Figure Skating: 5 Ways Skating Made Me A Better Person

Well, I don't know about you, but skating has taught me an awful lot over the years. Believe it or not,  2 years down the line from having hung up my competitive skates, I'm still pulling on my skating as a source of inspiration and strength in other parts of my life.

When you are devoted to something so completely, as many hardcore skaters are, certain values and lifestyle choices end up rubbing off on your character, and seeping into your life in ways you never expected they would.

June 26, 2012

4 Things You Can Do To Keep Your Boots Shinier For Longer

You just bought that new pair of boots. They're lying there, on their sides, in the box that smells of fresh cardboard. You leave the box open on your bedroom floor, and glance at the smooth leather, the perfectly formed hooks, the rich brown sole. *sigh*

I just love a pair of new boots (not that I've had any for a while now, and don't plan on it either)! They seem to symbolise a new beginning, a renewal of faith in yourself, and undying motivation to chase after those dreams. So what can be done to keep those little gems from becoming quite frankly disgusting, over the next few months?

June 13, 2012

Why You Shouldn't Care About Starting Late

Hi there, fellow skater. Are you a "late starter"? Do you cringe when seeing younger skaters performing complicated jumps, and fear people snicker at you behind your back? Then this post is for you.

Yes you, the fabulous, glorious, passionate skater. Notice I didn't make any reference to when you started skating, or the fact that you may be considered "too old" to "get anywhere in skating". Because you are a skater. So stop categorising yourself as something that pulls down your confidence, and pre-labels you for others.

June 11, 2012

Time for a Change: Knowing When To Change Your Boots

Ahh, yes. Those boots. Without them, you'd be nothing. Skatingly-speaking, of course.
So how do you know when a pair of skates are finito, and what then, needs to be done about it?

Skating boots aren't unlike us humans really: they better with age up to a certain point, then start having mechanical problems. No matter whether you wear entry-line boots or a $500 pair, you need to know when it's time to change them up.

June 10, 2012

How To: Use 5 Everyday Products To Make Your Skating Life Easier

Yes, I know. Skating, and skating-related products cost an absolute small fortune. Your annual budget could probably feed the population of a small developing country for a month. So any little suggestion to keep your feet from wandering into pro skating shops, and those all important £££ / $$$ (replace with relevant currency) in your bank account, you'll take it, right? I know I would have.

So here are three products which can be bought from non professional skating shops, which will make your (rink) life easier.

January 21, 2012

How To: Deal With A Long Commute

Thousands of skaters (for the majority, read: skating parents) across the globe have committed to regular treks in order to access their nearest, or preferred, ice rink. There are many reasons for having to resign to a long commute, such as:

- Lack of closer venue
- Better coaching
- Better facilities
- Better club
- More ice time

The list goes on...

How To: Suss-Out New Rinks

Perhaps you've recently got into figure skating, and are looking for more information about what's on offer in your local area. Or perhaps, like the situation I was in some 2 and a bit years ago, you've just moved to a new area and are looking to suss-out the local skating scene.

Whatever your situation, breaking into a new rink can be difficult. Psychologically, and literally! Here we're going to look at how to find a (new) coach.

January 8, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Hi there, skating-person. I use this term rather than skater, because despite what those sitting on the couch watching US nationals this month might think, figure skating (and ice dancing, obviously) is about so much more than just a skater.

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