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Thread: Need advice BIG TIME

  1. #1
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    Need advice BIG TIME

    A couple of months ago, I joined icepartnersearch.com, mostly for fun. I didn't tell my parents about it, and not my coaches. Honestly, I didn't think anyone would like to skate with me. I'm too big (5,5")
    The thing is, I have gotten an answer. This Sunday, as I came home from Regionals, there was an email waiting for me, from a male Russian icedancer. He had seen my bio, and was interested. He said that he could skate for Sweden with me, and wanted to know if I could be interested in him. This is my dream, so of course I am!

    The thing is, there are problems. Firstly, I have problems affording it. But my coach said that there was a big potential in getting sponsor money, so I don't know. Hopefully, that would work itself out.

    Secondly, there is the coaching problem. My coaches don't know icedance. Truth is, I don't know anyone who does. Sweden does not have a icedance couple. And hasn't had as long as I can remember. This guy has a coach, that I know, but would she be willing to move here with him? Wouldn't that be terribly expensive? I don't want to move to Russia! Maybe eventually, but not to begin with! I'm terrified!

    Thirdly, there's my mum. She's not the most supportive person. She told me I would never be able to be a senior, or manage a double Axel, it was just not in me. She just doesn't believe that I have talent! When I talk about my new program, she just looks at me and sighes! And if I came home and said that I have been contacted about the icedancing she'd say something like "It's no point. You don't know icedancing. Why even bother? There are too many obsticles, you'll never manage. You don't have what it takes."

    What am I going to do? How am I going to break it to my mom? And how am I going to cope? What to do in the coach-issue? Please, people, I'm feeling quite miserable, and I need help!
    /c_e_ahlen

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    I can't answer any of your questions, but I can say this. 5'5" is not too tall for ice dancing, not by any means. Tanith Belbin is 5'4", Albena Denkova is 5'5", Tatiana Navka is 5'7".

    Go for it! If Thailand can have an ice dancing team (Allabach and Kongkaser), why shouldn't Sweden?

  3. #3
    Tripping on the Podium ToePick's Avatar
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    Even though I more of a lurker than a poster , and even though I can't tell you anything about ice dance in Sweden or how your mom might react, I wanted to throw my 2 cents in.

    The truth is that the sooner you talk to you mom about this, the better. I know it will be hard, and I know that the fact that you don't think she'll be supportive makes it harder, but believe me when I say that you'll feel a lot better when this is out in the open and you can start making some real decisions instead of just worrying about how you're even going to get to the decision-making stage. Especially since it sounds like you and your support team (mom, coach, etc.) have some serious decisions to make!

    I know from experience, ignoring problems doesn't make them go away. Instead, they just get to be bigger and bigger. And the bigger they are, the scarrier they are, and it becomes all the more difficult to deal with them.

    Again, just a suggestion from personal experience, if it is hard for you to talk to your mom or to get her to listen to you all the way through, you might think about writing her a letter or using some other form of communication to start the conversation. That way, you can make sure she knows how serious you are about things and how much you have thought them through. Plus, it will give her more background on the situation, what you are thinking, etc. Also, make sure that when you talk to her, it is a time when you can really talk, not while she is distracted, in a hurry, or busy with other things.

    Good luck!! I hope things work out for you! I know I'm cheering you on!

  4. #4
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    I have to ask you if you have done any ice dancing. If so what level are you at?

  5. #5
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    No, I haven't done it before.

  6. #6
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Is this guy aware that you have no prior experience? It's entirely possible that he won't be interested once he finds that out, or he might come for a try-out with you, and then decide it's not going to work out. There are a lot of factors to consider. You'll have to tell your mom and coaches before any try-out can be arranged.

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    Well......a couple of things..... I'm a dancer so I've seen a bit of how things tend to work in the world of partners/coaches/relocating.

    1. If you have no experience in ice dance, and he knows that & he's still interested, by all means do a try out & see how it goes. Obviously you have experience in singles, yes? Are you a high level singles skater? That makes a difference. What other kind of training do you have---ballet? Any other form of dance/music/etc? Those would also help.

    2. Unless he's wanting to get out of Russia, which is possible, I'd bet lots and lots of money that you'll have to relocate. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, no one would relocate to a different country to skate w/ a partner who has no training and where there is no world class coach. Sorry, but that's the truth. So you're going to have to think really hard how much you want this, if you're willing to go to him. Even if he's willing to move for you, you'll still both need to go where there is good coaching.

    3. Can you afford it, if you have to move & also pay for your half of the training? Also when doing the up-front discussions w/ him/his family, make sure it is spelled out who pays for what, and that everyone agrees to that. It's best to get it all down in writing---do you split the costs evenly? Do you pay for all the coaching, but he pays for his own equipment & costumes? Who pays for the coach to travel to competitions? Get it all figured out before you even start. Many partnerships do not split the costs evenly.

    4. Given that you don't have a background in dance, you'll have a lot of ground to make up--you'll have to spend probably at least 2 years training together before you're ready to compete (depending on how quickly you pick everything up--I think 2 years is the *least* amt. of time you'd need). Are you both committed to that?

    Those are some things to think about. There are possible solutions, as you mentioned, to the financial part of it---but the coaching and training base are things that will probably mean you'll have to move. You have to decide up front if you're serious enough to do that--otherwise don't waste his time or get your own hopes too high.

    I hope that doesn't sound too negative--I just want to help you see some of the reality of the situation. Good luck with your choices!!

    (by the way, if I were you & some Russian guy wanted to skate with me, I'd freakin' move to Russia!!!!!)
    Last edited by backspin; 10-24-2006 at 12:58 PM.

  8. #8
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    I have told the guy TWISE now that I don't have any icedance experience, so I hope he's gotten that. I have some experience in dance, I have done showdance for a long time, and a lot of Latino with Claudio Vargas (used to be the world champion in Salsa) and skatewise I'd be a junior by American standards.
    I am thinking of moving to Russia, if it is required. I just have to sort out the money issue first.

    Thank you everyone, especially backspin, you've all been a huge help. I'll let you know how it all turnes out in the end!

  9. #9
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    Be very careful! Don't agree to anything unless your coach or mother witnesses it. The ice dance world is very tough and competitive - much different from the world of singles and the bodies of tossed aside partners are littered everywhere. High level competitive skating is very expensive. It is very suspicious that this Russian skater is willing to try out with a non-dancer. Have you checked out his background? Chances are he is not what he seems and is looking for a way out of Russia, courtesy of a lovely Swedish girl who pays his expenses. The USA is full of 'rent-a-Russians' as they are referred to --- rich American parents who will do anything to find a dance partner for their daughter. So they advertise for a partner - find a Russian boy, bring him to America, buy him a car, give him money and pay for everything -- just to keep their daughters happy. More broken hearts and empy bank accounts than successful dance teams, I am afraid. Not to mention the horror stories of how they treat their American partners.

    Bask in the knowledge that someone was interested in you. That's a nice feeling that doesn't cost you anything - and dream of what may have been rather than be tortured by the reality and expense of such a step.

  10. #10
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    Yess!!!! I second what redhotcoach said & should have thought of that myself!! Find out the guy's skating / competitive history & everything you can about him. Even if your coach isn't a dance coach, he/she should talk to this guy's coach. You should also exchange videos of yourselves skating so you can see how he skates. And make it clear that he will be expected to pay his part of the bills.

  11. #11
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    This sounds risky to me. As someone said be careful, especially emailing someone you have never met. Even if this person is connected to figure skating one can never tell over the internet what another person is like. I would really advise you to talk with your parents about this.

    Hope it all works out for you.

  12. #12
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    Thanks. You have given me some invaluable advise here. And I realise that it's a lot more in this then I thought. I'm not giving up though, but I'll be really cautios. I'll let you know how it goes.

  13. #13
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    Just wanted to see if anything new has happened? How are you doing? Have you learned more, or contacted coaches/parents/etc?

  14. #14
    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Mathman;207923]I can't answer any of your questions, but I can say this. 5'5" is not too tall for ice dancing, not by any means. Tanith Belbin is 5'4", ".

    QUOTE]

    really! Tanith looks so much taller to me! i thought she was like 5"7.


    anyway, you don't need to be tiny to be in ice dancer. however, you can't just arrange to have your partner come over here and start dancing. What level is he at? You would need to pass all the tests (and there are a lot of them) to comepete as a senior. it would take many years. Because he already passed the tests you would need to find a coach to help you pass them.

  15. #15
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    Redhotcoach may be on to something.....
    I can tell you you are not alone, the only male ice dancer I know of around here just found a partner after a 2-year search, and she's basically a beginning ice skater he's going to try to 'mold' into a dance partner.
    I myself am not an ice dancer just yet, but everybody keeps telling me I ought to look into it, there are so many ladies without partners.
    Wonder where.......I never see them.......
    Maybe New Mexico sounds better to you than Russia?

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