Figure Skating 101: Grace

Figure Skating

For about 10 years, I was a competitive figure skater. Before you jump to visions of graceful girls flying into intricate, back-breaking spins, this was more like it:

Even as I inched my way up through the levels, grace eluded me. However, what I lacked in beauty, I made up with solid jumps and speed, which earned me some points among the judges at our local competitions.

So, Why Bother With Grace?

Thrilling music and sturdy skating only go so far – especially when the higher levels are also judged by their artistic scores. So, we gave some additional ballet lessons a shot.

For the sake of my ego, let’s just say they went “okay.”


I don’t know if it was the fear of God certain coaches instilled in me during our summer training sessions and off-ice classes, or if it was that something had finally clicked (I think we know the answer), but I finally looked less like Frankenstein’s monster running around the rink.

The Lesson

I worked hard to develop what little grace I have, though half of that determination could have been mixed with slight fear of some of the former Russian coaches who’d worked with me over the years.

So, if I was able to tap into some elegance and apply it to my skating, you can do anything you put your mind to. It just takes hard work, determination, and maybe hire someone intimidating to yell at you a couple hours a day. You can’t imagine how much you’ll accomplish.

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