Sometimes I Dance on Ice …

Last week after the littles finished up their skating lessons, I had a lovely chat with one of the coaches about starting private ice dance lessons the next week. We came to a mutual agreement, and I walked out of the rink with a mixture of elation and sheer terror.

I love ice dance. It’s been a passion since I was a teenager and took my first test (Dutch Waltz, in a shimmery blue dress with lace insets that I still have and wore for about half my tests, just kept changing the embellishments). From Marina Klimova & Sergei Ponomarenko to Shae-Lynn Bourne & Victor Kraatz to Tanith Belbin & Ben Agosto to Meryl Davis & Charlie White and Maia & Alex Shibutani, ice dancers have been capturing my heart and firing my imagination since the early ’90s. I even took up step dancing in college for no other reason than that I adored Bourne & Kraatz’s “Riverdance” routine so much!

Watched this live at the ’98 Worlds. Still blows my mind.

So there’s the elation. The terror?

My last ice dance lesson was in 1999. I was seventeen years old. (It was the Fiesta Tango, in case you’re curious, and one of the few I did not wear the blue dress for: I wore a black-and-red crushed velvet dress that I shared with three other girls that same day – we just kept spraying Febreeze into the armpits and handing it off to the next girl as soon as we were finished. Ah, the glamorous life of figure skaters!)

I’ve skated off and on for fun ever since then, of course. For about a year before Joy was born I was on the ice almost once a week, just public skating, but enough to remember some of my old skills – and to recognize how much I’d lost. Even that, though, was six years ago. And the difference between 24 and 30 is huge. The last time I decided to show my littles how to do a spiral, I propped my leg up on the boards as usual to stretch – and wasn’t sure I’d be able to get it back down. I could barely walk the next day.

So I’m really not sure how on earth I’m going to do this. But I’m going to try anyway. I promised myself a few years ago that I would do everything in my power to take up ice dance again by the time I turned 30. Well, here I am, and here it goes.

This is my year (and week, apparently), for fulfilling promises to myself. First I published a story, and now I’m starting up skating again!

If I miss my usual Monday post, you’ll know it’s because I’m in too much pain from Sunday’s lesson to even type.

Wish me luck!

Six years ago – the last time I was able to do a spiral without pain!

Posing
On the ice with baby Joy – you can see she was tremendously impressed (HA!). I’m expecting something of that same expression when the littles watch me this Sunday!

Bonus points to anyone who recognizes the song I borrowed this post’s title from.

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12 thoughts on “Sometimes I Dance on Ice …

  1. I just started taking yoga again– not that it was something I did when I was way younger and was an expert at or anything, but it'd been at least seven years and I KNOW I'm HORRENDOUSLY out of shape. But I also knew the only way I could get back INTO shape was by DOING IT. And the experience has been exhilarating just as much as it's been humiliating– probably more so. I am EVER SO AWARE of all my weaknesses and the things I can't do, but at the same time I can feel myself getting better and stronger, and I feel myself working HARD at something, and it makes me just LAUGH and try the best I can when I hit my limits. So my advice is, don't expect too much of yourself, but don't despair about it, either. You're doing something healthy that you love and just the process of having to WORK at it will feel really, really good. Even if it might physically hurt a bit.

  2. The club coordinator told me quite bluntly that it would be SO MUCH harder than when I was a teenager, and no matter how prepared I think I am for that, I will still be shocked. But then she immediately followed that up with saying that it will also be so much more rewarding now, and that I am going to really love it. And I think that's fair.

  3. Watched the whole performance. Pure energy, just glorious! I love to dance and do gymnastics but haven't gotten heavily into it since I was a kid/teenager. Just don't have the time. So I mostly stick to at-home kickboxing and pilates videos to keep in shape. Good luck and enjoy!

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