Choreographing Section Before Starting Pose (Page Lipe)

International figure skating coach Page Lipe explains how she typically choreographs the “skating” between when a skater’s name is called and when the skater takes the starting pose prior to a competition program. As Page notes, there is a maximum amount of time allowed for a skater to take their starting position (currently 30 seconds), and most skaters will feel more comfortable if this skating is choreographed and set ahead of time.

Notice that she keeps this very simple and uses some two-foot skating and gives skaters a chance to “feel their edges” and “get centered and prepared” with small hops or jumps. Notice the focus on proper breathing (anchor breath) as nervous skaters often hold their breath or breathe very shallowly. Page also notes that there has to be some flexibility for changing this section ahead of time depending on where the entry door is or where the coach is standing in any given rink. She prefers to make these small changes during a practice session or warm-up ice. To avoid any confusion or chance of penalty, Page times this section as well.

She also talks briefly about her use of a two hand high five (“high ten?”) to send her skaters off to their starting position. As she notes, this is a “strong” and “empowering” and “grounding” movement for most skaters and it helps minimize feelings of being isolated and alone when starting the performance. She says, “It’s very, very reassuring.”


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