Figure skating, like all sports, is based on gradual development. The athlete is shown a technique and then masters it to the best of their ability. They’re also hoping to do it in a timely fashion.
For four Sooke skaters a rung was recently reached on their ladder of learning – a Skate Canada test called the Dutch Waltz.
Making the passing grade were Erin Haldane, Karyl Musfelt-Trivino, Rhianna Smith and Kiarra Balzer.
Three of the four (Kiarra was sick) were caught up with on February 17 after they’d completed their pre-skate warmups outside the SEAPARC Leisure Centre.
Erin described a key point in her preparation for the test.
“I had to work on my extension,” she explained, “because my leg was bent. It was kind of hard because my toe had to be pointed. So I had to think of two things at the same time.” Young Haldane said she was a little nervous during the test and very happy to pass it.
“We all practiced together,” said Rhianna. “We also told each other what we need to work on.” Rhianna confessed to a case of early nerves as the test began but, once on the ice and confident in her ability, “it was like any other day.”
As for Karyl the work in preparation was clear.
“I had to work on my extending,” she said. “Because I used to go back a lot, but you have to go forward, and then just straight back.”
Karyl too, described being confident during the test.
As in all sports… one milestone leads to another. For these improving Sooke skaters that is a test called the Canasta Tango. This will be tackled during the March spring break at a competition in Port McNeill.
The four girls, along with eight others are part of a synchronized skating team that earned a bronze medal in a recent competition.
In closing, the girls were asked about their goals.
“To do well at whatever I want to set my mind to,” said Karyl.
Thinking ahead to adulthood, and parenthood, Rhianna said, “If I have a kid I want to teach her how to skate really well. I started at a late age, so I want to start her at an early age so she’ll be a really good skater.”
Erin’s goal was a little more of a short-term nature.
“My goal is to pass the Canasta Tango and end right when the music does.”