Monday, 11 March 2013

First skating performance

My first ever skating performance was at our rink's seasonal recital yesterday evening. I was nervous, but honestly, not as much as I expected. Certainly a lot less than when I tested. When you test, one mistake (if it's minor) you get to reskate, one more mistake and you're gone. Whereas in a recital, honestly, so what if I fall? I've been trying to convince myself about this, and I think it helped that I went to watch adult sectionals the day before, where I saw people falling left and right, and everyone just cheers them on. I mean, nothing terrible is going to happen!

So anyway, I managed to get through skating a clean program. My back power-3 loop jump almost fell apart, but good thing I held it together. My sit spin was probably the world's highest sit spin, but hey I didn't put my foot down at all! My highest goal for the day was to not fall, so I totally achieved that.

Before the recital
So there I was at home getting ready when I encountered my first problem. I couldn't get my hair in a nice bun! I've done it quite a few times, but the last time was a few months ago, and my hair had gotten a lot longer, so now there was too much hair! The hair net thing for a bun wasn't large enough to hold all my hair, and I'd never understood the art of sticking in hair pins to secure the bun. I either poke my skull or the pin just comes back out. So I had to try several times before I barely managed to keep all the hair in, but it ended up to be a very protruding and silly looking bun. Well at least it's a bun. And I had to pray it wouldn't fall out since it didn't feel very secure despite the hair gel I'd used.

Lesson learnt: try out EVERYTHING a few days before your performance. Including putting on the make up, if you're like me who hardly puts on make up and had a serious mental blank on what I'm supposed to do first.

Finally I was set to go, and off to the rink I went to skate and warm up on the afternoon public session. The lady was nice enough to let me just pay a kid's entrance fee seeing as there was only an hour left, and she knew I just wanted to warm up for the recital. Sunday afternoon public session was jam packed with little kids half my height, several of them dressed up and obviously warming up for the recital. Since I was dressed up and was practicing my stuff, at least four kids came to me with adoring eyes asking questions like: Are you here for a competition? Can I see your dress? (I had a jacket on) Can you show me a spin? How do you do that?

I didn't want to admit it at this point for fear of jinxing things, but I actually felt really good when I was warming up! Which is totally weird since I'd caught a cold the previous night, had a very sore throat and was super sleepy. I think I was running on adrenaline, because after the recital I almost fell asleep right at dinner. My jumps were high, my spins were centered, everything just felt so good I didn't know if I needed to keep practicing but then risk getting tired out. But time passed by quickly enough, and soon, the recital was going to start.

Rink recital begins
I was in the fourth group, 45 minutes after the beginning. I was quite complacently watching everyone else, and my coach had to come looking for me as I didn't realize I should go get ready so soon. We went to get warm in the warm room, and coach asked me what I'd planned on doing for the warm up. This was what really started my nerves, because I hadn't really planned anything, I was just going to do whatever I felt like. So I had to say, oh I'm going to do my jumps and spins (which really did not say much), but she seemed satisfied with that.

Time for warm-up ice. Jackets off, gloves off, water bottle down, step out on the ice as soon as the previous skater left, since we have no time to lose. I skated around, doing whatever came to mind, but I really wanted to stop skating, because there was no background music, and my blades WERE SO LOUD! I'm sure everyone in the audience must have heard me scratching on everything. I was lucky and had another adult skater in my group (even though he is rather peculiar), as everyone else before us seemed to be under 15, including some very small tots. I was first to skate after the warm-up, so coach told me to stop and rest when they announced "one more minute".

It was time.

My first performance
I'd never practiced getting out there and presenting (yet another lesson learnt, practice this!). I'd thought about it in my head, about what posture I'm going to glide out in. So I stepped out, with my thought-of pose, but this is when I realized that, wait, I only have a very short distance to go before I get to where my beginning pose is! I ended up simultaneously trying to hold the presenting posture but also trying to do a T-stop. Well that didn't work out too well. I stumbled slightly and also overshot my position since I didn't break properly. I had to wiggle back, and then because I was so flustered, I did the wrong foot for my beginning pose!! Good thing I realized this before the music started and switched back. For my vanity, I've cut this part out of the video ha ha.

After this messy entrance, I was a little scattered. My body automatically started doing what it should do as the music played, but I was a bit slow. After a while, I realize I was getting through pretty fine and started to calm down. It was quite fun really! I managed to do everything I was supposed to, even though I was a little tentative and therefore slow, and my jumps were not very big (the waltz jump at least can be lot higher). But both my spins were centered! And my leg was almost straight on the spiral! And I successfully did my back-power-3 loop jump! (although that one was a close shave) And I finished on time!

I don't think I remembered to smile though. I reminded myself at the beginning, and at the ending pose and the curtseys, but during the program, I was just on autopilot mode. I was so glad it was over, but I am so glad that I did it too : ) I'm pretty happy with my first performance, and here it is:


  1. Yay on the performance! I think your loop looked totally solid, even though you felt like it was shaky. Isn't it funny how sometimes things look a lot better than they feel? (Of course, sometimes they look worse, haha.) But you looked very smooth and in control. Congrats!

    1. Yeah~ like how even though I feel like I'm somewhat sitting in the sit spin, I'm barely bending my knees lol! Thanks Sarah :)

  2. Great job - congratulations! You looked like you were having a lot of fun, and you made the elements look easy. Way to go on the power-3-loop combo!

  3. That was lovely; so graceful. Congrats. You know now you'll be hooked on performing, whether it's an exhibition or a competition. Can't wait to see the next one.

    How did you figure out how to put your video into your blog? I can't even put in a picture! LOL!

    1. Thank you Skatecat!
      Putting video in isn't too hard. There's a link the same line as where you change the fonts and bold/italic all that, a link for "insert a video", you just click on that.

  4. Your jumps were so pretty!

  5. Hi Janie,

    I wanted to let you know that I am figuring out whether I should do a weekly feature on my blog called Skating Fridays. I was able to take 3 videos of me skating today and have them in my post. Let me know what you think! =)

    1. Hi Eva,
      Yes definitely! To be honest, baking is really not my thing, so I'd be so much interested in seeing your Skating Fridays!