|Should they enter events that are
performed without music first?
I strongly urge that a compulsory event is the first competitive experience a skater enters since it does not require music. This avoids the expense of cutting a CD and choreographing a program to music.
Start with a local competition held at your home rink or a nearby rink that doesn't require an overnight stay, which adds considerably to the expense. Sleeping in their own bed tends to reduce the excitement level of young skaters and reduces the cost of meals as the family can eat most of their meals at home or take with them picnic style in an ice cooler.
The ultimate goal is for the skater to perform to music, but that does not have to be the first competitive experience.
Skaters that enjoy role playing or being the center of attention may enjoy skating a program to music and they may be motivated to practice it more than just a set of moves. It may also inspire them to work on better skating skills to allow them to do more in their “fun” program.
Submitted by Ruth Sweet
USFS Gold MITF, Free Skating, Pair, and International Dance test judge; Intermediate Figure judge.
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