In over 15 years of skating, I've never once wanted to wear a pretty outfit and put together a program. I love listening to music when I skate, but actually putting a program together and performing it in a venue is not “me.” I have lots of skating friends who love the idea of doing a program at the end of the season, or in preparation for a USFSA or ISI test, and I really admire them for their discipline and frankly, guts, in doing so. Maybe this is the season that I'll step out of my comfort zone and work with a coach to put together a nice program. In terms of music, I'm leaning towards Michael Buble's "Home" or a duet with Ray Charles and Michael McDonald called "Hey Girl" from Mr. Charles’ Genius Loves Company.
Recently, I chatted with Rockefeller Rink PSA Master instructor Rikki Samuels (a former two-time Middle Atlantic Senior Ladies Champion and a four-time national competitor) (see above) about putting together a program for the first time. She offered the following advice:
- Choose music you LOVE, not like. You will be listening to it hundreds of times.
- It’s important to make audience contact from all sides so use the entire rink in your program. Share every moment with the audience.
- The most difficult move should be done within the first third of the program.
- Allow breathing time to do moves that will allow you to relax before really using your strength for your “remember me” move at the end of the program.
- Hold the ending position with a smile and a satisfied expression. Never underestimate the audience emotion on your behalf. If you’re not satisfied, chances are they’re not satisfied and they won’t applaud.
By the way, this and other great insights are in Rikki's terrific instructional guide called Kids' Book Of Figure Skating: Skills, Strategies, And Techniques (although I think it’s a good book for adults too).