By Emilia Boggs '20
I have been skating for as long as I remember. Figure skating is my favorite hobby and sport, so, when I found out that NCS would allow me to pursue what I loved most through doing an independent project as my winter sport, I quickly took the opportunity. I skate seven days a week from the months of November to March. During the rest of the year, I try to get on the ice as much as possible and usually skate two or three times a week. In the months that I skate everyday, my schedule consists of both afternoon and morning practices.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I get to the rink around 3:30 and skate until 5:30 and sometimes 6. On these days, the time when I am on the ice is called a “freestyle session”. During these freestyle sessions, I have private lessons, and in the remaining time, I can work on various different elements that I learned during my lesson. When I am on my own during these sessions, I work on moves in the field, which consist of different levels each with progressing difficulty that I have to practice in order to “test” them in front of multiple judges. Moves in the field are equivalent to footwork consisting of different turns each using a different edge and speed. In addition, I work on freestyle tests and dance tests. Freestyle tests are the same concept of moves in the field but, in order to test them, one must create a choreographed program filled with different elements such as jumps, spins, and footwork. Additionally, to prepare for dance tests, each level has three or more dances that you have to learn and finally perform with a partner. Freestyle session are a great time to solidify and practice everything I have learned in order to make sure that I will either pass tests or do well at competitions.
On the other days where I skate, I either have a group class or synchronized skating practice. On Thursdays and Saturdays I have group classes. Thursday consists of a thirty-minute “skills on ice” class followed by an hour of off-ice conditioning. During the on-ice portion of class, we work on something new each week. Sometimes we do turns and other times we do jumps. Then, on off-ice, we either do bodyweight circuits, ab circuits, or sometimes yoga. In addition, Saturday class is called power skating. During this time, we do a bunch of intervals of various speeds along with a mix of squats, sprints, or different leg positions such as one leg in the air.
Finally, on Sundays and Tuesdays, I have synchronized skating practice. On Sundays we have off ice from 1-2:15 followed by on ice from 2:30 to 3:30. Then, on Tuesdays we have morning practice from 5:45-7 am. Synchronized skating is when a team of about 12-16 skaters all skate on the ice at once doing a program in synch. As one can imagine, it is pretty hard for this many people to all learn the same step sequences, music counts, and footwork in order to look organized and together. My team starts our program in August each year. We learn the steps from August to about November and then competition season starts. Each year, we do about three competitions all over the East Coast. We even went to Florida last year to compete in the Easterns Synchronized Sectional Competition. Our first competition of the year usually serves as a critique and the judges give us feedback on how we could improve. Then, we take that feedback and alter our program in order for it to be the best it can be by the time of Easterns. Easterns is a qualifying competition for Nationals. The goal is to come in the top four during the first round to move on to the next round and then skate again in the qualifying round. The top teams then move on to Nationals and compete against other teams from all around the USA.
Overall, skating is one of the things I love to do most outside of school, and as you can tell, it takes a lot of time. I am so thankful to go to a school that allows me to use my sports credit towards something that I am so passionate about. Even though it can be frustrating at times, the satisfaction of a well-done program is one of the best feelings in the world.
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