Seminar with Gracie Gold
I had the distinct pleasure to attend a skating seminar with 2-time National Champion, Gracie Gold. She came to my rink and worked with British junior national champion (in ice dance), James Hernandez.
Gracie and James started the seminar off with some edge exercises. We started off as one large group and eventually split into two groups. My group worked on more difficult turns like rockers and chocktaws. Some of the clusters we executed were challenging, but they were fun as well.
After we finished the edge class, we transitioned into jumps. We split into two groups so that Gracie and James each led a group. I was placed in the higher group, and we worked on axel exercises. We stood on a line, got one push to get on the takeoff edge for the axel in the other direction. Then, as we came back to the axis line, we’d push off onto the forward outside edge for our direction and execute the jump. This was challenging since many (most?) of us need a longer entry edge to successfully land this jump.
Finally, we worked on spins in two different groups. Gracie emphasized the importance of having strong basic spins (camel, sit, upright). We started off with sit, change to back sit. Then we did camel, change to back camel. Finally, we did camel-sit-upright to back camel-back sit-back upright. That last combo was difficult, as it was hard transitioning from a forward upright to a back camel.
Once the on-ice work was complete, we went outside and did some cool-down exercises. It was HOT that afternoon, and we were in the full sun. After about 30-45 minutes, we went inside and the group sat down for a Q&A. At that point, I had to leave for another commitment so I missed out on the talk.
All in all, it was a fun day, and I am happy that I got to learn from one of the best skaters of my generation.