So as we're working on the swing mohawk transition from forward to backwards crossovers, I notice that no one's jumping into the corners and giving us dirty looks because we're camping out on TWO end circles. There's a competition somewhere and the only people on the ice are a guy working on gold moves, Madam Mim and me, and a smattering of skaters who weren't ready for the comp.
In fact, I realize, there's the perfect number of people for freestyle on the ice.
1 is scarey. What if you fall and no one sees it and comes to help out?
2-4 is worse. With 2 to 4 there's so few people on the ice that no one looks out for each other and inevitable crashes result. (I was once checking out my tracings when a girl skated backwards into me and whacked me in the face with her hand. Yep, we were the only two people on the ice.)
5 puts one person in each corner and the fifth one is working on some power pattern from silver or gold moves and expects everyone else to move out of the way--because there's plenty of space.
6 means theres at least one skater working on a program--over and over--with no one else to break up the replays of the program music (although this irritates the coaches too. I've seen a coach tell a girl, "3 times in a row is the limit." I don't know if that's a local rule, or what.)
7 With seven there's one in each corner, one in the center and two working on a program. Everyone seems to spread out like that, each has a patch (maybe it's instinctive) and the program skaters really really resent the person in the center (who for some reason always seems to be the skater who will.not.move)
But with EIGHT, now there's just enough people to override the instinctive need to camp out, there's enough skaters moving around to keep everyone on their toes, variety in the music, and enough space between the skaters to make it comfortable to do big things.
Eight, the perfect number on freestyle.
And, off topic, what's that little boy doing in the video? Mohawks? It goes so fast I can't make it out!