January 2011 ice time is here! This seems a good time to talk about the activities events, and competitions CCSA skaters may choose to take part in throughout each year.  CCSA’s season begins each September on Registration night. Skaters choose skating times (called packages) and arrange private lessons with USFS registered coaches. Parents volunteer for committees (Ice Show, Turkey Trot) or activities like Ice Monitoring. Scheduled ice times usually start the following Sunday.

Once regular ice sessions begin skaters take private lessons or work with their Skate-UP instructors on the figure skating disciplines of Moves in the Field (patterns of edges and turns that produce power), Dance (patterns of edges and turns that transfer the rhythms of ballroom dance to the ice surface), and Freesstyle (jumps, spins, spirals, and footwork) that evolve into programs skated to music for tests, shows, and/or competitions. The Synchro team practices on its own ice times arranged to fit the schedules of its members and coaches each season.

Turkey Trot Weekend is the first major CCSA activity. It’s held in mid-November but preparation begins long before its November date. Turkey Trot has three parts: the first test session of the new season; a non-qualifying competition with categories of jumps or spins, and many levels of freestyle and dance; and a Michigan High School competition for high-school-age club skating teams. Nearly 100% of CCSA skaters participate in one or more of these.

December brings skaters the Christmas Recital, usually a week before the holiday break. This activity is more like a mini-show than a competition or test. Having fun with skating is its primary goal and CCSA encourages all skaters to take part! Skaters may choose their holiday music and work with coaches or other skaters. Punch and cookies after, make it something to look forward to!

January brings the Beginner Synchro team to its competition weekend in Fond du Lac. Just a couple of weeks ago, the team skated well and finished 2nd in its group of teams. Well done, Beginner Synchro skaters!

All too soon, February arrives and with it, the second test session of the year. Many skaters work the full season on the tests they present at this time. The third weekend of February is the usual date of the Marquette Figure Skating Club’s non-qualifying competition, MIO, just after CCSA’s test session. CCSA skaters have won this competition several times; check the trophy case for the exact years! Though not a CCSA-sponsored activity, it is open to all CCSA skaters and is preceded by a test session just as Turkey Trot is.

CCSA and MTU Learn to Skate’s Community Ice Show occupies the third weekend in March and practice for it usually begins the last week of February. During show practice times, no private lessons are given and all ice time is devoted to preparing for this full-club activity. CCSA encourages all skaters to take part because all profits are put towards keeping the price of regularly scheduled ice sessions affordable for its members.

The SDC’s ice surface is melted down by the start of April or after the hockey team is eliminated from playoff contention. CCSA offers Friday evening sessions once/week after the ice is put back up usually the third week of June. Synchro team tryouts are usually scheduled for summer weekends so look out for their announcements.

CCSA sponsors its third test session at the end of the MTU Summer Skating School. This year the school will be in late July. It will offer CCSA skaters, in the words of its director, the opportunity to work here at home with instructors they would otherwise have to travel to reach, instructors who may use different teaching styles and offer different experiences. It should be a great opportunity and I urge all CCSA skaters to take advantage of it. For those skaters who don’t mind traveling to get to the coaches of their choice, schools are held close by in June at Eagle River and July at Minocqua, both in Wisconsin 2-3 hours from the Houghton/Hancock area. Marquette FSC also offers several weeks of summer school ice and test sessions only 100 miles away.

Then, plan to come back and register with CCSA in September to begin a new year of learning and fun.

Sherry Karnosky
CCSA Pro Liaison
Winter 2011