I heart footwork drills. Especially when we spend time dissecting each part ad nauseum. What did I learn tonight? Edges and twisting the upper body. We had a special guest coach - the rink owner, who is not only a super kind guy, but an amazing figure skater to boot. At first I thought, "oh great, yet another person coaching who doesn't remember what it was like to suck ..." but luckily he was gracious and just concentrated on showing us a few simple ways to turn around and stay light on our feet. It seems simple enough - the ability to casually turn around while skating. But first you've gotta get this confidence and balance stuff out of the way. Then you can concentrate on whipping your hips and shoulders around - woop! - and make your feet follow. Woop!
Turning around has always been a challenge for me, but each time it's brought up it becomes so much more FUN! One practice we had a little while ago concentrated on jump turns, which I assumed would be painful and embarrassing. But soon I realized I just had to whip my hips around - woop! - and just maintain hang time and then I was golden. Me! Jumping AND turning at the same time! Me, who can't usually get all her limbs cooperating together!
So tonight, with the rink owner's teaching of a quicker way to turn around, and a lot of practice cutting and using the edges of our feet, I felt like I'd nudged my derby skills forward another small step. Woop!