What to Expect from Ice Skating Lessons

What to Expect from Ice Skating Lessons

The one thing you should always expect from ice skating lessons? Your butt will probably get to know the ice really well. Beyond that, expect to learn some basics, of course.
In a typical first lesson you’ll start by simply experiencing the ice. You’ll get a feel for it by moving around the rink while holding onto the railing. As you get more comfortable, the instructor will show you how to let go and move out into the rink.

Ice Skating Lessons

Once out on the ice, you’ll be taught how to fall and get up without seriously hurting yourself. Everybody falls, even the pros, but if you can maintain some control on the way down and on the way back up too, you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself too much and keep bruises to a minimum.

The instructor will then show you how to get moving on the ice. The simplest way for beginners is to march. Sounds difficult on the ice, but it’s really not. And you can even start with baby steps. You’ll then progress to a slow shuffle until you’re comfortable gliding on the ice.

Now that you’re moving, the instructor will show you how to stop. You’ve already learned how to stop by falling, but there’s a much easier and less painful way than that. You will learn the snowplow. This is a fairly simple maneuver where you angle your skate outward until it gently plows the ice and brings you to a halt.

As lessons progress, you’ll also learn how to swizzle and how to turn using the crossover. These are both basic techniques that will help you to move more easily around the rink. Swizzling is basically moving your skates out in a V and then back together until they touch at the toes.

Crossing over is just what the name implies. As you approach the curve of the rink, you will learn to cross your outside foot over in front of the other. If you’re unsure of yourself on the ice, your instructor may advise you to slide your outside foot on the ice rather than picking it up until you’re more comfortable.

And of course, when you’ve mastered all these basics, you can tackle spins, jumps and other more complicated footwork. Before you get there though you’ll need to practice, practice, practice!

Lucky for you, the final part of any lesson will be practice time. You’ll be encouraged to try out the things you’ve learned by taking a few laps around the rink. Take advantage of this time to get used to the ice and to build your confidence.

Before you know it you’ll be at ease on the ice and ready for the next class – or better yet, the pros!

SOURCE: Figureskating.about.com

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