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Thread: Thoughts on Halloween Classic

  1. #1
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    Thoughts on Halloween Classic

    I went to the Halloween classic on Saturday and caught everything from the men's gold skate competition on. I want to commend all of the adult skaters who competed there and tell you all that the skating was very enjoyable.

    Here are some random thoughts:

    From what I've seen, I realize the importance of learning proper stroking, speed and spins over jumps. I'd like to compete in adults and from watching this, I am going to focus my efforts more on stroking and spins b/c those are the elements that really make the program and help along in the interpretation in the music. Having been spoiled on elite skating, you take for granted that the skater will be decent in all these areas. We criticize top skaters for not being good enough in some areas, yet they all have the basics down. I don't hold adults to the same standard, however there were areas of skating that were lacking (obviously due to time and physical limitations) and from my vantage point, the jumps were the least important component to the programs (maybe the judges thought differently). What was important was the program construction, footwork, edges, extension and spin quality. All the skaters I liked the best excelled in those areas even if the jumps didn't work for them.

    A friendly criticism though: I know how hard it is to keep the leg up in a spiral and sitting low in a sit spin, but gosh, those things are so important. I've seen a few skaters with really nice jumps who didn't sit low in the sit spin or keep their leg high (I'm not talking about Sasha Cohen high, just no back hump high) on the spiral and that really took away from the program. I found myself Dick Buttoning them on free leg and sit position (LOL). There was one or two girls who did their spirals on an edge and WOW was that noticeable and set them apart. I'm a knowledgable spectator and I was looking really closely at edge quality so for all those working on their spirals, keep working on those edges b/c they really set you apart from the competition. I know I'm going to continue working on that.

    To encourage the beginner skaters, there was a girl in interpretive who did an entire program that was composed of forward swizzles, forward gliding and I don't believe much more than that, who had a very effective program. She played a wind up jester/elf and she concentrated on synchronizing her upper body movements to the music. It was the best interpretive program of the day and it wasn't *difficult* but the choreography and concept were extremely effective.

    One question: how do they divide the competitors up? I noticed Bronze was divided in 3 groups and it seems as though Group 1 was the strongest group and Silver was divided as well. I thought once you passed the Bronze test you competed against all Bronzes. How do they figure out what group you compete in?

    Anyway, congrats to all those who competed and I hope that you'll see me next year at the Halloween classic, as either a competitor or at least in the stands.
    Last edited by soogar; 10-31-2004 at 03:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Fan of The Incomparable Sonja Henie Glacierskater's Avatar
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    The groups are divided by age and level...if this was a USFS santioned event.

    For example:

    Class 1: 25-35 yrs
    Class 2: 36-45 yrs
    Class 3: 46-55 yrs
    Class 4: 56 yrs and over

  3. #3
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    The other thing is this: Most of the non- qualifying adult competitions will allow you to "skate up" to one level higher than your test level.
    For example, I had the option of skating up to Bronze, since I've passed the Pre- Bronze freestyle test. A good friend of mine skated up to Silver in the mens Silver freeskate and he won!

  4. #4
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    Thanks Soogar for posting your thoughts on the "Halloween Classic" competition. Where was this held?

  5. #5
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    The event was held at Ice Works in Aston , Pa.

    Christopher Williams was competing in the men's gold division. He was fantastic. Skated to music from the Eagles and had great camel spins and very cool hydroblading. I looked him up on the USFSA board b/c someone from my rink told me that Chris had competed at adult nationals. Chris had won the men's gold at 2004 Adult Nats. He's a pediatrician as well (WOW!). I'm just curious, not sure if Cinderella will read this, how long has Chris been figure skating (or when did he start)? He was excellent and he definitely did not show his age on the ice.

  6. #6
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    I've been reading a great deal about both this competition and the simultaneous Skate SF on the other board. A great time seems to have been had by all.

    The trouble with seeing skating on television (which we don't, here in the UK, except on one tiny sports channel which I can't get) is that, as adult learners, we can't aspire to that level! We can, though, aspire to be competitive against others of our age and standard. I do agree about having really good stroking, but disagree that all elite skaters do - the very, very best do, of course, and their programme totally hangs together, but an awful lot of people do elements joined by back crossovers! :sheesh:

  7. #7
    Rinkside
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    soogar,

    Have you been to any other all-adult competitions like the NY Winter Classic or Peach Tree? I'm kind of curious on how the quality of skating compares in the Halloween Classic with the other competitions. I did see most of the events at the Halloween Classic. The thing that I liked the most was that a lot of people performed well across all levels including Pre-Bronze and Bronze. Nothing is more disappointing than going to a competition where the winner skates a seriously flawed program and only won because he/she made the least amount of mistakes.

  8. #8
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    Halloween Classic was my first adult competition (and the first comp overall that I have ever seen live). My friend competed in Adult Nats and he told me that the level of skating in Adult Nats is extremely high (much better than this comp). I guess the level of skating depends on how many skaters there are. I thought it was pretty good at the H. Classic though, esp the men's gold and silver competitions and the men's interpretive programs.

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
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    You know, I've been uncomfortable reading some of the comments made on this thread about adult competitors. I didn't skate in this competition, but I have done other adult competitions. I'm just a pre-bronze skater (category III, actually) and I have a few jumps and pretty good spirals. I'm definitely slow, and my jumps could be bigger, but like many adults, I want to do the best I can and have fun, and support the other adults.

    If you're going to adult competitions, especially local ones, with the same sort of outlook as going to an elite competition or even qualifiers for nationals, you are way off base IMO. Adults who started skating as adults, especially well into their 30's or 40's, are never going to be up to those highest standards. Yes, many of the adults especially silver or gold or higher at adult nationals are very good and enjoyable to watch, but don't expect to see that kind of adult skating every time out. And please don't talk about how disappointed you are with the skating. Of course there will always be things that are lacking; people are doing the best they can at that point in time.

    And we all know how important it is to, for example, keep our leg high on the spirals, and maybe it's as high as it can get. We all know (or I think we do!) the things we need to improve on, but you can only do so much. My own coach is never satisfied, but always wants more, and that's good, but he also praises for improvements or things done well at my level.

    Pat

  10. #10
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    In reply to Pat's post.
    This past weekend as HC was going on, there were some very negative comments on another board regarding the pre- bronze/ bronze competitors at the HC.
    I was one of 6 (yes, SIX!) skaters in the pre bronze freeskate event. While I was the last skater in the flight and therefore didn't see my fellow competitors skate, I can tell you that I worked very hard for my program that I did for the first time.

    Also, you need to keep in mind that what you see on the ice in competition is usually VERY DIFFERENT from what that skater would do at their home rink. They may not have the free leg as high or the sitpsin may not be as low as at home, but that's simply the nerves kicking in.

  11. #11
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    I don't think any of my comments were negative at all. I understand that adults don't have the time to skate like elite skaters. My comments on the spirals and sit spins was due to the fact that the skaters who had these elements in their programs (and the sit spin is more advanced anyway) also were doing lots of jumps as well. The jumps looked good yet when it came to these areas there was something lacking. It takes a lot of time to get good jumps and I made the comment b/c I know for myself, I just want to focus on the fun stuff. However as a spectator watching the programs , the jumps weren't what made the programs great but rather the in between elements. I've heard adults complain about the MITF and so forth, however they really do make a difference in the quality of the program. I just wanted to make the point that it may be worth it to emphasize non-jump elements in practice verses just focusing on the jumps and that the extra work involved in getting the flexibility to keep the leg up is really worth it.
    Last edited by soogar; 11-04-2004 at 05:11 PM.

  12. #12
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    I should clarify myself and say that I like *clean* programs. I don't get disappointed in terms of lack of skill or speed. I just don't like it when an entire flight makes major mistakes and someone has to win. And that applies to all levels from Adult Pre-Bronze to Senior Ladies. I fully understand that Adult Pre-Bronze/Bronze skaters don't have the speed/high jumps/fast spins that the Silver/Gold skaters do. I just prefer to see people perform their best within their ability. Personally, I thought that there were a lot of nice performances at the Halloween Classic at ALL levels including Pre-Bronze and Bronze. I can't say I remember terriskate's program specifically, but I can say that it was a good flight. There was someone with a nice spread eagle. Although the Pre-Bronze skaters didn't skate with much speed, they all took their time to present themselves and not throw their choreography away. Now that's one thing you rarely see in a lower level kid. So terriskates, how did you end up placing?

  13. #13
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    I wound up in 4th, my sit and backscratch spins went south,and I had a bobble on my loop landing! But my jumps were GREAT, as well as the footwork sequence that I busted my a#$ on all summer!
    Last edited by terriskates; 11-04-2004 at 09:53 PM.

  14. #14
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    Terriskates,

    Hey, at least you got one of those really cool medals! Based on what you just said, I think your program is technically harder than the person's who won. Keep it up! You'll be at the Bronze level in no time.

  15. #15
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    I will admit that I first I was bit grumpy with Soogar's comments--I'm not a natural skater and work very hard for small gains; HOWEVER, it was my own less than great basic skating that hurt me at the Classic. I skated No Test compulsories and freestyle and came in last (3rd and 5th) in both events. My coach and I were both pleased overall with my skating, which was honestly the best I've ever done. All my elements were very solid according to coach, but my skating in between was slow and not up to the elements. I've always had a fear of going into things fast, and back crossovers and three turns are not my best efforts on the ice, especially when nerves kick in a bit. Coach honestly felt I had the most solid elements in compulsories of the three skaters (no offense to the other two, including a good buddy from my club, who won the event) but that I was essentially docked for being slower and more tentative in between the elements and not fully putting my best into the in betweens. Yes, I know they are supposed to only judge the elements themselves, but my slowness and less solid basic skating still likely left them with a lesser impression. It was a tough group for Freestyle, since the three skaters who competed with my friend and I had much higher level skills then us (no jumps higher than sal and toe were allowed, and we did nothing higher than a two foot spin and simple in betweens and our competitors all had pre-bronze skills at the least)--yet, my buddy took one third place ordinal in freestyle which we believe was based on her smooth and flowing basic skating even though the bronze medalist had much harder tricks.

    All in all, it was the best thing that could have happened to me. I skated my best, had a blast, got a lovely bronze "scarecrow," and at my two practices this week finally began to skate into elements with speed and strength--even my power threes!!! My coach says that MOTIVATION is now taking over and erasing my fear. At her suggestion, I'm even going to start solo ice dance lessons with a great coach I assist in group lessons to improve my edging and speed and moves, and the neat thing is she's as happy about working with me as I am about working with her. Yup, I came in last, but the judges did me a huge favor. I got a wake up call I really needed. Soogar really has a good point--basic skating is very important, and I'm actually enjoying learning that lesson.

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