At my Tuesday class I started out (as usual) shaky on the whole concept, but sometime during the class I started getting the RFO 3 turn again, even better than last week. My skating buddy Julie saw me do three in a row that she called "flawless" (probably a bit of an exaggeration, but it's nice to know that they looked as good as they felt). Now the big test - can I do it again at tonight's class - the one I think of as my "real" skating class? Or will my new knowledge desert me when I try to show it to the coach I want to impress?
The Tuesday class is an odd one. I signed up for it solely for convenience reasons - it's at a rink that is literally on my way home from work at a time that I can actually manage easily. Other than that, it's a pretty substandard class environment, as is often the case with adult group classes. 2/3 of the rink is in use by the local figure skating club at that time. Our class is not only jammed into the remaining 1/3 of the ice, we are sharing it with a large class of tiny pre-Alpha skaters! The rink figures they can get away with this because they never get more than a handful of students for these adult evening classes. Sure enough, there are only 4 of us -- at 3 different skating levels! Julie is learning jumps and spins, I'm working on 3 turns and mohawks, and the other two ladies are beginners struggling with forward glides. On top of all that, the instructor is a baby-faced teenage boy who has never taught adults before. Sounds like a disaster, right?
Yet, somehow I seem to be making more progress in this class than I ever have in any other class. Go figure. Instructor Alex is not only cute as a button and sweet as sugar, he seems to be a natural teacher. Not only is he a gifted skater, he seems to have a knack for breaking a move down into its smallest components and figuring out which of those little sub-components is the key problem for the student. Then he uses his flexible young body effectively to demonstrate exactly what the difference is between doing it right and doing it wrong. So he moves from one student to the next, analyzes something very specific to work on, watches a few iterations and then moves on. Julie and I have been kind of working together, taking what Alex says and giving each other feedback on whether we're doing it or not. So far we've had two lessons with Alex and both of us have had breakthroughs in the moves we're working on. Hard to argue with that.