Tuesday, December 27, 2011

For Men Only

Men don't get enough attention in the figure skating world.  I'm not talking about the elite skaters; They have their coach and the USFSA, and management to look after them. I'm talking about the adult male skater who never skated as a competitor, and who may not know any other male skaters, or a mom who may have a son who is the only male skater at the rink. So, as a service to the handful of male skaters who read this blog (or the moms of young male skaters), I've pulled together a couple of references that may be of use in case you men are pulled into a local ice show  and have to wear a tight costume, or decide to partner above a certain level, or even if you're a man who likes to wear tight pants to test/skate in. This isn't information that the ordinary male rec skater in group lessons will need (unless they are in a local ice show).

Dancers and male figure skaters above a certain level share a common need. They both find themselves with their legs in extreme positions where movement of the legs may result in great personal discomfort. They also may find themselves in costumes where underwear can be seen through the material under theatrical level lights, or where the trousers are tight and can outline the naughty bits. No one wants to see the naughty bits. 

From the dance world there comes the solution for that, it's called a dance belt (There's also a dance brief). Actually a specialized form of athletic supporter, it's required in the dance world, and I've seen plenty of references for its wear by male skaters for local ice shows (such as this one). However, it's not enough just to pull it on, there's a certain technique to fitting it. As a woman who's thinking of the safety of her male readers, I'm providing links to the two best sites on the topic. (Note: These are dance sites.)

I don't know how this information gets transmitted to male skaters when needed, especially if there's no male coach at the rink. It might even be embarrassing man to man. A male coach might hesitate to explain the niceties to a young male skater, given the hysterical paranoia of some mothers. I can't imagine a female coach broaching the subject.  This is where the Internet comes in handy. 

Don't Panic

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