We live near an ice rink that many olympic figure skaters use to train at and have not really spent much time there. Since we are trying to move away from this area we thought it would be a good idea to check out what they have to offer while we are still here. When we found out there are ice skating lessons for all levels of skill we let Julia choose between swim lessons or ice skating lessons for her Fall activity. I may have led her in the direction of choosing ice skating since I thought it might help her with her sense of balance. Let's just say that she takes after her Daddy in the falling down department.
I'm happy to say that Julia chose ice skating and absolutely LOVES going to lessons. She is doing much better than I expected on the skates and hasn't complained once about falling on the ice. Her teacher told us that she has the perfect hip motion for the skating moves they are doing and Chris did not really like to hear that at all even though it was meant as a compliment! I think out of the small group of children in Julia's class she is probably the one who stays in the upright position the most. I won't comment on how shocking that actually is to us.
The lessons have followed the same routine each session. Before getting on the ice each session they practice how to fall (to minimize the hurt) and how to get up from a fall. Julia has this part down pat. Then, the kids skate out onto the ice and pick a stuffed animal from the instructor's bag of tricks. Julia always picks the kitty cat. They then throw the animal away from them, skate over to retrieve it, and skate back to the starting line. They do this a few more times before the instructor shows them new moves and then she uses a dry erase marker to create a skating path for them to follow. This usually has some parts with forward, side and backwards skating along with a bit of a circle skate. This takes the longest for all the kids to navigate and there is usually a few falls. Emma finds this all VERY entertaining to watch. She even seems very interested in getting out on the ice so I have to contact the building manager to find out if they have any options for getting Emma on the ice.
Ice skating has been such a big hit with Julia that she asked to sign up for the Fall II session. This session has all the skaters perform in a show before the holidays which would probably be a lot of fun to watch since the skaters range from very beginner like Julia all the way up to very good skaters with personal coaches. I think we may just have to enroll her to continue the fun!
Oh, and when we get there a bit early we are able to see the Zambonie getting the ice ready for everyone. Both girls love to watch the machine in action making the ice shiny so we have been working on bucking our trend of being just in time to a tad late for a bit on the early side. So far, so good. We might even make a harder effort to try and carry our less frazzled appearance over to other areas of our life.