Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dance Hold Bickerathon

I know several ice dance couples. One of the things I observed early on was that ice dance consisted of three minutes of skating followed by five minutes of bickering.  A marathon of bickering. The bickerathon.

There's a lot that can go wrong in an ice dance: timing, steps, speed, posture, arm position, turns, head position......  Lots of opportunities for 'vigorous discussion' of trivial errors at the end of a pattern.

Since I'm a lowly student and Dance Coach is a godlike being whose pronouncements come down from on high like the Ten Commandments, there's not actual bickering. There's me asking stupid questions and Dance Coach giving me the answer. I'm naturally bossy and Dance Coach is naturally bossy, it just kills me to not be the bossy one. I get nervous at new skills, or faster skills, and bark at him; I have to say one thing for Dance Coach, since he's top dog, he barks right back at me. To the uninitiated it just looks like bickering.

It goes something like this.

"Is my butt sticking out?" I asked during waltz stroking with me going backwards. 

"Is it my job to look after your butt?" Dance Coach asks in return.

"Yes, it is." At $30 a half hour. This.

"No, is your job to look after your butt." Dance Coach plays the 'responsible for your own skating' card.

I trump him with an 'ace of whiny old lady'. "Man, I can't tell." True. I get a crick in my back if:
 A. my shoulders are in the correct position, or
 B. My butt is in the wrong position.

By this time we're at the end of the rink, the 'conversation' ends.

Recently, I got enough head-body independence to check out our skating in the glass when I'm going backwards in waltz hold. "My butt is not sticking out." I announced at the end of a pattern.  "Good," Dance Coach snaps. God only knows what someone overhearing this thinks.

Then there's the "You're not holding my hand tight enough in Killian position," incident. This has been going on for weeks. I'm negligent about pressing down firmly on Dance Coach's right hand in Killian. "I tell you this over and over, why can't you remember to press down on my hand?" He's in uber-bossy mode.

I snap back at him waspishly, "I don't know. I'm not made of hands." I slap my hand down on his, promising myself 'Next, time I'll remember.' But, I never seem to.

Every lesson has something like this in it. I suppose if I was a kid skater I'd be all passive, and well-behaved, with worshipful eyes staring up at Dance Coach, not ask questions, and just do as I'm told. But I'm an adult skater, I want to progress faster, skate better, and pass my tests. I have LOTS of questions. I'm TENSE when I skate.  Despite my best intentions, this stuff just erupts out of me. What Dance Coach thinks I have no idea. I hope inside, he's laughing.

Please tell me I'm not the only one with lessons like this.


  1. How would a coach expect you to look after your butt?

    I mean, I'm busy looking at my feet... :) :)

  2. 'Look after' is regional slang for 'take care of'. So you 'look after' your house, etc.

  3. Yes, I know. I was making a bad joke...

  4. Hilarious. It will never happen to me. Coach always finds politically correct ways of pointing out my problems. And I do have worshipful eyes lol!!

  5. I think it all starts with me. When I'm on ice my 'mental editor' gets turned off and stuff just pops out.