Music and Skating

The essence of a skating program is in the edges: Left, right, back, front, inside, outside. But it sure is nice to have music to skate to. And music can even help improve your skating.

Rock has three reigning groups: The Rolling Stones, the Who, and the Beatles. Each of them can help a skater in a different way. Take old classic Stones. Maybe before 1967 or so. They're as good as a jump harness in pushing jump power, helping you align your feet, and easing the transition between the jumps and the rest of the program. "Jumping Jack Flash" will birth a triple axel faster than anything else I've ever seen. "Start Me Up" eases that crazy transition between a triple lutz and the rest of the world. But it's all good. I've even seen Steel Wheels help jumps. Go, Irina. Might help.

The Who help you polish your thinking about a program and improve your footwork like nobody's business. You have to pump to keep up with them. Their music is horribly intellectual and horribly pointed. You have to know where you're going. Every step. Your brain clicks on and doesn't click off. A case in point is "Eminence Front." Wow. Shapes up a program like nobody's business. You're automatically choreographing after that. I promise.

And I will not even go into the salutary effects of the Beatles, except to say that as the grey eminences of rock music, they can teach you more than (perhaps) a fifteen-minute session with Richard Callaghan and Frank Carroll combined. Don't try a Beatles program until you've got a double axel and at least (please, children, at least) two good triples under you. Please, children, it's not easy. Even on the umpteenth repetition, the music will surprise you. It whops your subconscious and demands attention. You have to pay attention to every move, how your body relates to the ice, how it's talking to your blades, and how your blades are talking back, if you want to have a chance of surviving this program. "Revolution." I dare you. Three triples. You can't do it. Michelle Kwan could use some of this. White Album from one end to the other. That's edgework, Michelle.

Particular song combinations I have found help in training (please don't compete with these -- save them for training time) are as follows:

Edgework, particularly front and back:

For presentation to the camera, fingertip to toepick:
That ability to slam an audience into the seats, Carlo Fassi-style:
And if you're really bored:
If You're insane as all hell:
Will break skate blades:
And if you ever put on a punky black costume, test-run it to: Thank you.

Essays, Essays, Essays

Well, just one so far....Piano Music.