At any rate, we had our first two practices of the season this weekend. The unfortunate thing about skating this year is our summer schedule. She is having us practice on every single weekend in August. Saturday and Sunday, every single one, for the whole month. Sheesh! Talk about taking up the end of your summer! Plus, she makes us do lots of stroking, crossovers, and basic conditioning, so it's pretty grueling.
I think that what this year's program needs is some "flash". Our skating has always been faster and more technically difficult than the other teams. However, the team that has been beating us in recent years has always been flashier. They are slower, with fewer skaters, but their presentation is always very good, and they have several flashy, simple but crowd-pleasing tricks.
So we need some flash. I've been thinking about this quite a lot, trying to come up with some exciting and dramatic tricks we can throw in. A lot of what I've thought about has been lifts, flips, that kinda thing. Not terribly hard, but very neat to watch. Unfortunately, my coach broke the news to me: at the Adult level, we are not allowed to do any lifts above knee-height. No flips, period. So a lot of the cool stuff I'd been imagining is simply not allowed...even though I know we're capable of it.
I keep thinking about this though, trying to come up with visually interesting tricks that would still be legal. One night a month or so ago, when I couldn't sleep, I started picturing a lift that involved 3 of the "lifting" skaters to be down in a forward-lunge. They would lift the 4th skater parallel to the ice, face up, free leg pointing straight up, but only to the height of their knees. However, since everybody would be down in a lunge, it might still look dramatic and pretty cool.
I emailed this idea to my coach, and today we messed around with the concept, trying to see if we could get it to work. I explained what I'd been thinking to the group, and gathered 3 girls to try lifting me to see if we could do it. After a few false starts ("Okay, now I would lift my free leg...um...straight into your face, because you're on the wrong side"), we successfully lifted me, and the people watching said it looked pretty cool! Unfortunately, our coach said she was pretty sure it wouldn't be considered legal. I'm not altogether sure why, something to do with the fact that the lifted skater is above people's waists?, but we certainly don't want to risk disqualification. We tried a few other variations.
At one point, we did a variant, with the coach holding one of my legs about waist-high. We tried it, decided it was probably also illegal, so I started to stand back up. But she had started talking, and didn't notice she was still holding my leg up! I sort of pointed and pulled it a couple of times, half-sitting on the ice. Finally I said, "um, I'm going to need that leg back..." She was startled to realize she was still holding onto it! Then she put it down, and I was able to stand up -- once I finished laughing.
Anyway, it was a pretty fun practice. We played around with a few different pretty neat tricks. Nothing flashy enough, in my opinion, but some excellent starts. I'm going to have to keep thinking about what else we can do that will be legal but dramatic and difficult-looking.