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Artistic Skating Forum Discussions about any topic related to artistic roller skating including quad artistic skating, inline figure skating, pairs, dance, synchronized skating, and show skating.

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Old June 13th, 2016, 06:20 AM   #1
larryoracing
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Smile How to get boys into roller skating.



I watched three beginning roller skating classes on Saturday Morning at Fountain Valley Skating Center, Ca.

It was a little different than what I had remembered as a kid many, many years ago. Some time back in the late 60ís and early 70ís.

There were plenty of boys and girls taking the classes and they taught basic gliding/stroking steps backwards and forwards.

They even learned a Mohawk turn CCW direction and CW direction.

Do you know one place where you use a CW direction Mohawk turn. One place is in the Flirtation Waltz, Proficiency test 12-15. Interesting

They even learned some cross over Outside Edges. The girls perform these steps in Collegiate Dance.

Do you know what proficiency test the Collegiate Dance is in? Itís in Test 7-15 Proficiency test. Interesting...LOL!


They talked about it, but there were no dances taught that day. I kind of remember learning gliding steps connected in class to the Glide Waltz Dance (Proficiency Test 1-15).

I remember little boys and girls learning to skate together in these beginning classes. I thought at some stage we put the dances together and actually skated the glide waltz around the rink in class. It was a natural progression from doing practicing gliding steps to connecting them to the Glide Waltz Dance in reality.

Back in my day there were usually three boys teachers and three girl teachers in these beginning classes helping the boys and girls learn the steps, teaching them to hold each other in Dance Position and skating around the floor performing the dance.

The teachers would grab a boy or girl and show them what it felt like to have a partner next to them side by side while they were performing those gliding steps. It was connected to performing a dance with partner, such as the glide waltz.

All the tricks in beginning skating class were connected to the 1st two dances they skated in competition or proficiency test...ie...Glide Waltz and possibly the progressive tango. Can't remember the second dance we learned.


Thatís how I remember getting the little boys into Dance Skating at a very early level skating class. Everything was connected to Dance Skating with a Partner. It started with teaching them the steps around in a circle pattern/circles to progressing to the whole dance/center lobes on the big dance floor.

Sincerely,

Larry O and happy Dance Skating/Practice!
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Old June 13th, 2016, 04:36 PM   #2
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Hi Larry! I saw you there on Saturday! That was not our usual kind of day. We were doing the Super Skater #1 and #2 tests for some our levels so that did take away a lot of time from our normal way of doing things. Level 5 which starts at 8:30 am spends time on dances. We do the Glide Waltz, Progressive Tango, and City Blues during our dance time.

The less advanced groups learn progressive steps, Glide Waltz steps, cross in fronts, etc. Then, as they advance, they learn the corners and then finally, the entire dance in preparation for the proficiency tests.

We try to stress learning both directions of doing things with a lot of the skills. More well rounded skater, right?

Now...getting the young ones to skate the dances with partners is more difficult! They're pre-teens and teens in the advanced group. The girls, as usual, outnumber the boys. And ewwww....we have to hold hands? There are a lot of solo dance opportunities in competition....evidently more than back in the day. Does anybody know if you take the proficiency tests with partners or solo these days?

I have really enjoyed helping out on Saturdays with the students. I love learning how others teach and of course, seeing the students (young and old) progress and improve is the best!!!

Skate on!!!!!
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Old June 13th, 2016, 06:55 PM   #3
emtdpf
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PACA skater.

Yes, they test both ways.
Solo tests
Team Tests

results of either can not be used towards the other.......

regards
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Old June 13th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #4
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Thanks!!!!!!
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Old June 14th, 2016, 03:30 AM   #5
larryoracing
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Smile Dear Tommi, thanks for the post.


What I worry about are we potentially letting a lot of little boys and girls skip out of Dance Skating/Partner Skating by not instituting team skating from the get go...from the very beginning.

If you wait, even hair to long you have lost your potential (boy and girl) skating partners. I think a lot of young skaters may never get into dance skating because it’s really against your instinct to skate solo dance.

Dance Skating should be thought of a boy and girl skating together and I think young people understand that. A potential Dance (Team) skater my not pursue Dance skating because instinctively it’s not right to skate alone.

If they were forced to skate together/hold hands/ ewe…loll at young age, I think they would dance together for a long time until something better came along, like boyfriends, marriage, etc in the later teenage years…LOL!

This is just an instinct that I have from only being part of the Fountain Valley Skating Center, Ca for 11 days. I have practiced for 7 of them. Coaches teaching the classes on Saturday seemed not to be Dance Team Skaters or Dance Team Coaches.

It may not be in their chemical make up to get the girls and boys holding hands and learning the dances as a team. I just hope we are not letting those potential boys and girls to hook up and enjoy the beautiful sport of team dancing. I see a lot of potential for team partners in those beginning classes. It would be nice to hook them up and get them into competition.


Sincerely,
Larry Otani... and all of you teaching the classes were doing a beautiful job!
You are all very good teachers, motivators and great skaters!
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Old June 14th, 2016, 12:11 PM   #6
Derrick
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Default Outsiders prospective

I've roller skated since I can remeber. Some years more than others but in three states. I never heard of artistc on wheels until I was 45. And we watched ice on tv when it was on.

At this point session is the only place to recruit. But send in a couple of jumpers and the kids will want to do it too.

Also, Roller bills itself as second to ice. One of the most prominent pieces in the roller skating museum is dedicated to an ice skater. As if she graduated to ice form roller.

With that perseption roller can't recruit from ice but ice can take the best from roller. That's a shame.

At this point roller needs to embrace modern times and leave ice in the past. That may include embracing some extreme sport aspects. Its hard to freeze a half pipe or banked corner. I kmow the idea itself sounds extreme as well but the numbers you shared are pretty revealing, you can't beat a tradition like ice head to head. Wish you could.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 12:41 AM   #7
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Good points Larry!

When I skated "back in the day", we didn't have any boys (ewwwww!) in our club so I never got to do any team dancing back then either. The only time was during proficiency testing and it was usually with a much taller, older man.

Just my observations from helping on Saturday mornings....kids like to skate fast, have fun, jump. Also, the little girls totally love it when someone is in a skating dress. At least for the girls, that is the bomb!

Have we been without that ability to harness dance skating partnerships for so long that solo skating is the new norm? Could be. I don't know any different and didn't start taking dance lessons again with the intention of finding a partner.

Just my 2 cents!
Tommi
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Old June 15th, 2016, 04:10 AM   #8
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When I started skating in Southern California in the 70's there were many times as many roller skaters as ice skaters. We viewed ice as the poor relation. I started at the age of 16 and there were no older girls for partners. All the older girls had either quit or were permanently partnered.
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Old June 15th, 2016, 07:24 AM   #9
larryoracing
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Smile Wow thanks for all the responses.



Tommi can help me out on this, but I have noticed a lot of men in the woods seen at a lot of the skating rinks in Southern, CA. I do have to admit they are older, but they are out there and it seems this internet board encourages them to come out and skate.

Many of them seem to have a competitive artistic dance roller skating background and possibly singles, but really I have found no boys like myself (I am 61 years old who want to jump and spin). In fact, when anybody asks I usually tell them they should not…LOL! Don’t do what I do, do what I say…LOL!

And all those older men are potential skating partners for all the older girls who want to skate dance with a partner.

For the younger skaters I think it is important to have boys and girls skating together instructing the younger children on how to skate dance with a partner in the beginning roller skating classes.

If you want to know the truth I sense a lot of boys in the beginning classes did not want to skate fast and really did not like jumping. What I sensed was a beautiful opportunity to hook up with a girl and do something constructive with their skating time…like skating dance with a girl.

What I think we need is a emphasis in the beginning classes with teacher and students demonstrating the correct way to skate dance and that is with a partner.

I just think we need more people who would be willing to devote their time to this task. I really want to ask Bob Labriola about this.

Today Bob and I talked about family and not really about the sport. I learned that his daughter Donna, who was an excellent freestyle skater passed away 14 years ago. Bob said that was “the one blemish in his life”. " Other than that he said " he has had an excellent life". Remember Bob is 85 years young...LOL!

Today Bob asked again “where did you skate from”. I told him, but I made it clear that I use to skate Sophomore Team Dance and Sophomore Singles. I think he was a little surprised to see me jumping during session…LOL! In general I have not jumped during practice. I have almost devoted all my time to dance and that is amazing to me. It was just the opposite when I was younger.


I have only been in this club for 12 days, but in time if nobody else will do it, I will try to regain all the beginning dances and try to find someone to skate these dances in the beginning classes as a demonstrator, if Bob will lets me/thinks its a good idea and only if none of the best skaters at the rink are not willing to do this for the sport.

Sometimes it take the least skilled skater in the club to step up and help the kids really learn what skating is all about. I could be that person...LOL! And then again I may not be that person...LOL!

Sincerely,

Larry O

P.S. Derrick I have tried and I know Tommi does jump and spin during our Koffee Klutch skating sessions. I think this does affect potential skaters and makes them want to join Fountain Valley Skating Club and learn how to skate.

Why? When a person jumps and spins and does dance skating they assume to become a better skater means you must join an artistic skating club. I'm hoping when these people start skating with a partner they will have passion that last a life time. God Bless you all!
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Old September 11th, 2016, 05:51 AM   #10
larryoracing
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Smile I saw something amazing in Saturday Morning Class!

Boys skating with girls. Girls skating with girls. I don't know if boys were skating with boys, but everybody was skating with somebody. It blew me away. I just couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Fountain Valley Skating Center, Ca has something different than I'm use to. Forty years ago when I took lessons on Saturday Mornings, they taught two things...Figures and Dance. In fact, we had Tuesday night class, Thursday night class, Sunday club and Saturday morning class and the same thing was taught. 1/2 hours on figures and 1/2 hours on dance.

But Fountain Valley Skating Center, does things a little different.They start off with Dance..like the Glide Waltz, then move to freestyle and end with figures.

I don't know how many other rinks in the world teach dance, figures and freestyle with equal opportunity in their beginning classes. And I personally think they are teaching some pretty hard stuff in those freestyle classes. And everybody, which is about 40 beginning students were holding each other and practicing with one another. Too me it was "pairs" introduction, where two people grab each others arms in side by side tandem style and do cross pulls in a figure 8. They also do arabesques in a figure 8 pattern, the whole class and change edges as they cross the center and change feet/edge on their arabesques, doing them in the forward position and the backward position.

My question is why can 40 students hold arms in couples, two by two and do to a freestyle pairs movement(s), yet the simple side by side dance holding position is not taught.

My answer is you have to have a teacher courageous enough to enforce the policy. Jackie Cross is very courageous in her teaching of freestyle and hopefully in time the students will be encouraged to hold hands and skate dance in teams.

People act like this is hard or magical. When I skated 40 years ago, it was standard procedure in every class including Saturday mornings.
In the old days, 40 years ago, girls had no problem skating with another girl, and the boys skated with the girls. I do have to admit boys did not skate with boys, but my pro was a man and he had no problem being the girl and skating with me to teach me something I needed to do in our dance team! Also my male pro had no problem holding me or putting my body in certain positions needed to become a better skater, be it dance or freestyle.

Sincerely,
and happy freestyle pairs skating.

Larry O

Last edited by larryoracing; September 11th, 2016 at 10:24 AM.
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