The practice after critique can bring many changes. This year it did just that. After taking what we heard from the judges into consideration our coach decided to make a couple changes to the program. Most of these changes included arm movements or simple revisions. However sometimes you have to gut out one part of the program and make it something new, which in this case, we had to do.
We started with the beginning of the program. What better part to work on than from the beginning? The judges had told our coach that our music started off dark and mysterious, so we had to act the part. We took the beginning and made a couple changes. Originally we had 2 groups of 4 doing specific elements and one girl in the center doing something else. While this looked very nice we didn’t get a lot of speed, which was a comment from the judges. So, we changed the beggining of our program to give us the speed we needed.
The judges liked the middle of our program, however, they said that during our intersection it looks like we come to a complete stop. Again we made a change. For our intersection, we come in from different directions in two lines. After our intersection we would join the two lines and make one long line. We are still doing this, but before one of our lines had to spin around themselves to get to the other line.
The judges said they loved our line. This is when we are all connected in a line and force it to pivot. A pivot line. In this line we have foot work as well. Luckily, this part of our program had no changes.
Moving forward after our pivot line there is a triangle block. A line of four, three, and two. Before we had a backward twizzle. This is when you enter on one foot and do a traveling spin backwards. Twizzles are hard on their own but to make a block of nine girls come together and do it at the same time is even harder. Most of us can do a back twizzle very well, but some can’t. Because of this all our turns were at different times. We took out the turns and put something new in.
Our new change wasn’t a big one nor did it make it difficult. Most of the girls liked the twizzle better but you have to do what your coach wants. Now instead of doing a turn we move from a triangle to two lines. After we transition from three to two lines the back line intersects the first line, then it’s repeated with the new back line.
The first intersection here is just a simple glide through. However the second one the girls lunge through our line. A lunge is when you glide forward on two feet then just like a lunge when you work out, you put one leg behind you, but for skating you rest the side of your boot on the ice while balancing on the foot that is bent. While this change is simple the moms watching said it looks very nice and makes our next transition look very clean.
The next part of the program stayed the same because the judges said they absolutely loved it. Moving from the two lines we did a pivot block. A pivot block is when we have three lines of three moving on a pivot with foot work. Continuing after this we transition into another two lines and then again separate our lines, however this time we separate into four lines: three lines of two and one line of three. And, yet again, it’s an intersection, but not like before. With this intersection it looks like a ladder’s steps, but every other step is moving to a different side. Two lines left while two lines move right. The judges loved this.
Continuing the program to the finish, the judges said that we only need to look more alive and to add some different arm movements, if possible. Continuing on from the moving ladder we move into a three spoke wheel.
This means we have three lines of three, moving in the same direction, backwards. The best thing that describes it is a pinwheel. The first couple rotations of this we do foot work. Then we move out and change direction. After changing direction we changed our arm hold. Typically we do a shoulder hold, when you are holding at the shoulders of the skaters next to you. We changed this to a basket weave hold. This is where your arms all weave together by having an over-under pattern.
We go around this one time in the pinwheel and transition into one long line. To do this, one line flips their direction and moves in between the other two lines. This creates one line where half the girls are facing one direction and the other half faces the other direction.
Finally we come to the end of our program. After a couple of rotations in our last wheel we end in a straight line and end with a cannon.
Simply, this means that the two girls in the center start the cannon by hitting their end position and then it ripples down to the girls in the end. Every girl has the same position however we move so it gets lower as every girl hits their position.
Over all the judges loved our program. They loved our music and how unexpected it was, our dresses and how they moved on the ice, the program and how well it captured the music. However, they did give us many things to work on. The two main things are all of the turns in our program, making sure they are all done at the same time and working on our presentation. We as a team have to capture the audience by over exaggerating our arms and our facial expressions. Smile ’til it hurts, scowl like you’re furious. You have to sell the emotions.
We as a team have a lot of work before our first competition, but hard work and dedication are what makes the team stronger.