Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cruel Edges--Smooth Edges

You know you've been around the block when you walk into a new rink and recognize half the coaches. Started group at the new rink and Coach Amazing was there, and Notable Bob, and the Big Guy's old coach, Coach Cruella.

So, I've been wanting to take lessons from Coach Cruella for years, timing conflicts of babies (hers) and injury (mine) made me give up on the idea. Then last night I walked into the new rink and she was teaching my edge class. Coach Cruella has a Russian coach husband (he recently took a skater either to Nationals or the Jr Nationals)  who taught her how to coach. As you would guess it's all crack the whip, get down in the knees...DEEPER....DEEEEPPPPEEERRRRR!!!!!!

Dance Coach has been yapping at me to stop bending forward (I'm not hunching,  I'm bending forward at the hips) but Coach Cruella uses what I have to assume are Russian instructional techniques so I hope Dance Coach will be happy at my next lesson. The 3 of us students are on the circle (not a hockey circle, we're squeezed into a corner) and it's outside and inside edges for the whole class. No. Let. Up.

She wants us back on the heel, and upright with an arch in our backs. We're supposed to:
a. pretend there are headlights on our hipbones and we have to shine them ahead, not down at the ground.
b. pretend we're carrying 'the girls'* on a table, not below the table.

The "girls on the table" thing means just keeping the shoulders back (Don't.Hunch) and an arch in the back. I'm not hunching, but I'm not arching either. The arch is awkward at first, but I got used to it.

Dealing with the "headlights on hips" is fun. I remember this from when I used to ride the sitting trot in dressage. The trick is to rotate the top of the pelvis backwards, rather than curl the butt under. If I curled my butt under, it stressed my back muscles, stiffening my lower back and making it hard to be flexible with my  upper body. By rotating the top of the pelvis backwards, I found I was using my abdominal muscles leaving my back muscles unstressed. So I did that in the edge class and it worked for me.

So, the class was fun, forward edges only. Next week it's backwards.

Hope Dance Coach notices my edges and upper body improvement. Otherwise, it's yapping all over again.

PS The rink ice felt funny. First time I've ever run across that.

*Men reading this. Ask a woman what 'the girls' are. I'm not explaining.

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