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Thread: Is it too Late to start Ice Dancing?

  1. #1
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    Lightbulb Is it too Late to start Ice Dancing?

    Hi! I have been a competitive figure skater for more than 7 years now. I started when I was in second grade (7 years old) and I'm almost 15 now, but I have never stopped skating. I started skating with my ice rink's Skating School (which I spent a lot of time on, like 3 years, which was completely unnecessary). I could've just started with a few lessons there and find a private coach immediately after but I was too young so I didn't know any better. So I officially started going to competitions and testing at age 10, and so far, I have passed all my moves up to Intermediate Moves in The Field, and all the freeskate tests up to Juvenile Free Skate. BTW, I have my Novice Moves in The Field Test in a couple days so HOPEFULLY I will pass that, but I heard it was really hard to pass though .

    My Goal is to reach Senior Moves in the Field and Senior Free Skate before I start applying for college. Is this do-able? How long did it take YOU to get to those levels?

    And I've been having a thought that's been on my mind for more than a year now. Should I start Ice-Dancing? It looks a lot more enjoyable and less stressful, and seems like it would be easier. Is this true? Is it possible to reach Solo Ice Dance Gold before I apply for college in around 2.5 years? I know it's definitely possible, but how many days a week for how many hours a day would that take? How many years does it usually take on average?

    From now on, I don't plan on going to any competitions because I want to focus on passing all my tests ASAP. My next test I'm planning on is Intermediate Free Skate.

  2. #2
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    Your timelines for your goals are ridiculously unrealistic. Two and a half years to not only go from Novice moves to Senior moves, but also Juvenile free skate (!!!!!) to Senior free skate AND to test ALL the dances up to Gold?! You have got to be joking.

    Take a step back for a moment and actually THINK about this. Juvenile free skate - I'm guessing you have one or two doubles. You need ALL of them, including AXEL, to pass a Senior Free Skate (and I think you actually need at least one triple as well?). Where are you going to find the time to learn the dances? Ice dancing is NOT AT ALL EASY. It's extremely difficult and requires a LOT of time to learn, perfect, and practice.

    What's with the college deadline? You can still skate in college. You can still skate as an adult. Setting stupid deadlines like this is only setting yourself up for disappointment when you (inevitably) don't hit it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    Your timelines for your goals are ridiculously unrealistic. Two and a half years to not only go from Novice moves to Senior moves, but also Juvenile free skate (!!!!!) to Senior free skate AND to test ALL the dances up to Gold?! You have got to be joking.

    Take a step back for a moment and actually THINK about this. Juvenile free skate - I'm guessing you have one or two doubles. You need ALL of them, including AXEL, to pass a Senior Free Skate (and I think you actually need at least one triple as well?). Where are you going to find the time to learn the dances? Ice dancing is NOT AT ALL EASY. It's extremely difficult and requires a LOT of time to learn, perfect, and practice.

    What's with the college deadline? You can still skate in college. You can still skate as an adult. Setting stupid deadlines like this is only setting yourself up for disappointment when you (inevitably) don't hit it.
    Once I pass Novice moves, I will only have Junior and Senior Moves left. And I will be taking Intermediate Free Skate very soon, as my coach has said that I am fully prepared for it already. Then, I will have Novice, Junior, and Senior Free Skate to take in 2 years. I am NOT talking about competitions, because even Intermediate or Juvenile level freeskate is Extremely difficult to compete in. But the freeskate tests are a completely different aspect; they are way easier compared to the actual level in competitions. I have my axel (which only has to be a single for the Senior freeskate test), Double Salchow, Double Toe, and a Double-Double-Combination already down, landed very consistently. I only need to consistently land my double flip and lutz to pass the Senior freeskate. And the spins are a complete joke; they're all very easy for me. In less than 5 years, I have completed all my tests up to Novice Moves in the Field and Juvenile Free Skate, so I do not see how reaching my dream of completing Senior Moves and Freeskate before I enter college is 'ridiculously unrealistic'.

    And also, someone that I know of in my club was also a very good figure skater and decided to try Ice Dancing when she was 14 because she didn't like freestyle anymore and fell in love with it. She's now 16 and she has completed 19 out of a whooping 23 ice dances and has stood on the podium for multiple gold medals at the National level in 2 years of starting Ice Dancing. That's why I've been having this thought of also starting Ice Dancing because she has inspired me that it's possible.
    Last edited by sweetmint; 03-03-2015 at 09:00 PM.

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    So your goals are passing tests, not competing.

    You're in the US, I take it?

    How many hours a week do you skate? Are you thinking of increasing that when you are working on two or three different high-level tests at the same time? Or will you be putting increasing hours into your school work instead?

    Given your current test level you could probably get through the bronze or pre-silver dance tests pretty quickly. After that, expect your rate of progress to slow down as you need to learn more advanced dance-specific skills and judges expect a higher standard of quality.

    The good thing about the pattern dances is that they're less punishing on the body than jumps or high-level spins, so even if you don't get to gold level before college, you have a better chance of getting there later than of learning or maintaining double lutz and double-double combos as an adult.

    There's certainly no harm in starting ice dance and seeing how you take to it. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself in a year or two having to choose between dance and freestyle if you want to concentrate on getting at least one more gold test. (With the assumption that the senior Moves will be within your reach; novice is often the hardest hurdle for many skaters to get past.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    So your goals are passing tests, not competing.

    You're in the US, I take it?

    How many hours a week do you skate? Are you thinking of increasing that when you are working on two or three different high-level tests at the same time? Or will you be putting increasing hours into your school work instead?

    Given your current test level you could probably get through the bronze or pre-silver dance tests pretty quickly. After that, expect your rate of progress to slow down as you need to learn more advanced dance-specific skills and judges expect a higher standard of quality.

    The good thing about the pattern dances is that they're less punishing on the body than jumps or high-level spins, so even if you don't get to gold level before college, you have a better chance of getting there later than of learning or maintaining double lutz and double-double combos as an adult.

    There's certainly no harm in starting ice dance and seeing how you take to it. Just don't be surprised if you find yourself in a year or two having to choose between dance and freestyle if you want to concentrate on getting at least one more gold test. (With the assumption that the senior Moves will be within your reach; novice is often the hardest hurdle for many skaters to get past.)
    Yes. Originally, I had thought that I wanted to become a comptitive figure skater and reach regionals. But I soon came to the realization that it was not possible as the figure skating world is way too competitive. Those who actually reach Regionals have forfeited school and taken up homeschooling (which is an impossible choice for me as my parents would kill me if I did lol).

    Having dedicated more than 7 years of my life to figure skating, I definitely do not want my efforts to go to waste. I want colleges to recognize my determination and dedication to the sport of figure skating by reaching an accomplishment. So my parents want me to be a Gold Medalist in Moves and Free-skate

    Recently, I was mainly focusing on perfecting the Novice Moves so not so much freestyle but I still practice spins and such on my own time. Focusing on just moves, I skate about 4 days a week for about 5 or 6 hours total. If it is possible to reach Senior Freeskate in 2.5 years, I will definitely put in more time as long as it is possible.

    How long does it usually take to pass each of these tests?
    Junior Moves
    Senior Moves
    Intermediate Freeskate
    Novice FreeSkate
    Junior Free Skate
    Senior Freeskate

    How many years does it take to pass each of the levels (Pre-Bronze, Bronze, etc...) in dance? Roughly how hard are the ice dances compared to the Moves in the Field?
    Thank you so much for replying to my question with actual legit answers and advice!!! 😊
    Last edited by sweetmint; 03-04-2015 at 10:27 AM.

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    It really varies, from what I have observed from the kids over my years as an adult skater (my observations as a kid aren't relevant because then it was school figures that governed how fast skaters could move up through the test levels). And I personally never got to a high level.

    If you haven't yet mastered double loop, flip, and lutz, you would need to keep working on them seriously now -- they won't get easier to learn as you get older. You should also train programs to keep up your stamina -- four minutes for the senior test is not trivial, so you might want to start doing double runthroughs of your intermediate program already.

    Junior Moves has a couple of new skills that you haven't mastered yet, and then senior just puts all the skills you've learned by then into more challenging combinations. What you really need at those levels is power and control. Working on ice dance skills will only help with that as well.

    If you add another couple of hours a week for dance lessons and practice, you might be able to get through pre-silver dances within the first year. After that, a lot will depend on how often you practice each discipline and what kind of skills come easily to you and which you find more challenging. If you find yourself preparing to test, say, senior moves, novice or junior freestyle, and silver dances, six hours a week will probably not be nearly enough practice time. You might need to make some choices at that point.

    But if you add dance now, you could probably get through the lower dance tests enough so that if both senior freestyle and gold dance don't seem achievable before college, you would be in a better position to decide which one would be a better bet for you personally.

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    Just a thought, but if thr goal is to have colleges look more favorably at you, have you considered synchro?

    There is a collegiate synchro division at US Synchro Nationals. There are no synchro scholarships afaik, but it might be a plus on an application


    Here are the twelve college teams that qualified

    1 9 Miami University Collegiate Varsity SST, Miami University 94.12
    2 2 University Of Michigan SST, University of Michigan SC 85.69
    3 4 Metroettes, Hayden Recreation Centre FSC 84.25
    4 12 UDSST, University of Delaware FSC 82.60
    5 10 Team Excel, SC Of Boston 80.32
    6 5 Michigan State University SST, Michigan State University 79.07
    7 7 Adrian College Varsity SST, Adrian College 76.99
    8 11 Western Michigan University, Western Michigan University SC 73.32
    9 1 Univ Of Illinois, University of Illinois At Urbana-Champaign 71.24
    10 3 University of New Hampshire, University of New Hampshire 67.50
    11 8 University Of Massachusetts SST, University of Massachusetts Amherst 63.14
    12 6 University Of Maryland Terrapins, University of Maryland FSC 55.26

    Both Excel and Metroettes are Boston area teams. They may be associated with more than one college.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetmint View Post
    Having dedicated more than 7 years of my life to figure skating, I definitely do not want my efforts to go to waste. I want colleges to recognize my determination and dedication to the sport of figure skating by reaching an accomplishment. So my parents want me to be a Gold Medalist in Moves and Free-skate
    For a different tack, how about coaching? It would show not only that you have the ability, but also your willingness to help out and be involved with the community.

  9. #9
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    If you pass novice, I would think in 2.5 years you can pass junior and senior moves.
    I don't see an issue with passing senior freeskate if your coach thinks it's possible.

    Will you have time to do these and add in dance? Only you and your time, funds and coaches can answer that.

    My daughter had to put aside singles freeskate when she was focused on more than one area of skating. Because of the time commitments she had to use her free skate time to keep her jump skills. I think it is more doable to finish free and moves in 2.5 years than to do free, moves and ice dance in 2.5 years unless you have twice the ice and coach time you currently have.

    Talk to your coaches about your goals and see if their goals line up.

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