Thursday, October 18, 2007

Just some old pics...

From Nationals this year. We were in Chicago. That's Sears Tower.
Jordan couldn't lift me that high. Bummer.

Maybe I'll have to find a new partner. ((giggle)

Until Next time,

Monday, September 17, 2007

Circular Footwork we are deep into choreography. We have to do several required elements, one of which is our circular footwork. The footwork is a series of intricate steps and turns performed on a circle. Both partners have to turn individually and as a team...and in both directions while maintaining the circle shape which extends between the edges of the arena. The partners cannot lose their hold with one another and the edges must be deep and flowing.

Here is me and my coach....JUST setting and learning the footwork sequence. It sucks here, but at least we've got some steps in the works. It will be moving to the music at about two to three times this speed.

I told you we got a video camera!!!! we are:

This is our "Shoot the Duck" goof off (remember my old post?)!!!

We are still trying ot figure it out at first, then...we get it! Notice how we undeniably CRASH at the end!???

Yes, that is ME squealing in the background!
I Love this video blogger thang!!!
Until Next Time,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What not to do....


Been there. Done that. Got the T-shirt!
Oh and no, I have not forgotten about the video thing. Still working on it.
Until Next Time,

Saturday, August 11, 2007

We Got A Video Camera

Yes, I realize this post is WORTHLESS without PICS!!
Sorry, but the fun is we got a new video camera to tape our workouts and memorize our choreography. It's a great help to tape the compulsory dances and then watch yourself and critique your performance.
The point of this post? Yes, I will eventaully be posting video chronicles of our progress! Please be forgiving as we really stink right now and it may be a bit embarrassing at times to post, but the hope is that we'll be able to track our training and actually see improvement! That's the hope at least!

We don't practice again until next week, so MAYBE I'll post a video next week when I can figure out how to upload to YouTube!!

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

On Our Fannies...

So Jordan and I spent most of practice today...on our butts! We are determined to do this cool, special move in what's called a "shoot the duck" position. All you skater folks know exactly what that means, as it is a move you learn right off the bat when you are a kid, but as an adult it's a bit more challenging!

Basically, you glide on one foot and then slowly sink down on that skating foot as you pull the free foot out in front of you parallel to the ice. You end up gliding on one foot in a very low sitting positon across the ice. Hard! It's hard to balance. It's hard to keep your skating blade from wobbling. It's hard everything. And don't even begin to tell me about trying to rise up out of it! Argh!

Anyway we are doing it, and today we managed to do it opposite one another (me gliding backwards, Jordan forwards) and hanging on to one another. Whao! That was COOL! Although we did it so much and landed on our butts so much, I have many bruises tonight and my pants were soaking wet by the time we were done. With "shoot the duck," it's pretty much a given that you will land on your fanny a lot. :o)

We start formal choreogrpahy training next week! Music is cut. Footwork is done. Spin is picked and lifts are picked. Now we just need to get it all into 2:30 min!

Until Next Time,

Monday, July 23, 2007

We have music!!!

So I have been crazy busy lately with my new business. Sorry to be slacking in the posts! Here's what I have been doing: It's my new portrait photography business! It has kicked into high gear and my clients are taking a lot of my time!

But not so much that I can't skate or decide on music for next years Orginial Dance.
So after weeks and weeks of hunting we have decided on.....(drumroll please)
Street Dance!
Holy cow! We are going to be hip-hopping, locking and popping on ice! What a departure from the norm huh? We are skating to Usher's "Yeah!" and Eminem "Lose yourself". Woa!

Well, The ISU defined street dance as folk music, so we picked it! Check out wikpedia's definition:

And of course the ISU communique(see page 3):

"The arrangement of the chosen music should give a genuine feel for folk/country dance. It should be very distant from the feeling of the Grand Ballroom. Examples include: Village, Square, Street, Barn dance, Hoedown, Mazurka, Polka, Tarantella, Hula, Hora, Csardas, Kalinka, Gapak, Gipsy, Syrtaky, Scottish, Irish, Jig, Reel, Guajira, Cumbia, Jarabe, Fandango, Aborigines Dance, Chinese minorities dances, Lesginka, Country Waltz, Flamenco etc.
Tango is not included in the above mentioned Folk /Country dances as it was the rhythm used in the previous season.
The folk/country dance character and style must be translated to the ice by flow and use of edges.
Vocal music is permitted. Variations of tempo within one selection of music are permitted. Each selection of music may have different tempo."

We are so excited and really hope this well challenge us as dancers and really get us working harder on the ice. Our coach Anthony Darnell is perfect for this type of choreography and we can't wait to start learning the new moves!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Local Competition in 2 weeks!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted. Sorry....
I've been on vacation for the last 10 days and been out of town. Needless to say, Jordan and I are competing in the Ice Spalding Classic June 15th! It's a local competition here in Portland. We will be competing next year's compulsory dances; The Starlight Waltz and the Paso Doble. We've only been working on the dances for about a month and a half, so we'll be really rusty, but we're going to do it! It will be practice, practice, practice for the next two weeks straight! Some of the other local teams from around the area are joining in too. It should be pretty fun. The plan is to compete July 4th weekend at the Portland Ice Classic, but we'll see how we do in two weeks. The goal is to compete a lot MORE this year! It's hard to fit it all in with work schedules and life taking over. That's the plight of an adult figure skater!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Holy Sheep! We're In The Paper!

So the Columbian Daily News came out today, and right there on the front page of the Sports section was a HUGE picture of me and Jordan. Whoa! That is soooo cool!

The photo was taken by Columbian Photographer Janet L. Mathews.
Paul Danzer, sports writer for the Columbian, wrote a geat article on all five dance teams who arrived home from Chicago with medals. It was so touching and we are all tickled!
Here's the link: See The Story

The article took up half the front page of the sports section and half the back page as well and included four great pictures. Thanks Paul!
Just goes to doesn't matter how old you are. You CAN start and be somewhat successful in a competitive sport when your all grown up!

Until Next Time,

Friday, April 20, 2007

We are so blessed...

Reflecting on this last season tonight, I was inspired to write a new entry. The topic: Gratitude.


Thanks to our family and our friends. You know who you are and I hope you know how much Jordan and I appreiate all you do for us.
I was reading all the comments you have all left on our website. Some of them made me giggle and laugh. Others made me nostaligic and one of them even made me tear up. Some of them came from people we met long ago and lost touch with. Others have come from nephews, nieces and friends from far away. Some of them are co-workers and fellow competitors.
Even though I DON'T know many of you personally, I want to tell you how much your support means to us. I am touched that people who have never even met me can still take the time to write well wishes and good luck notes. It amazes me that you are willing to do so, and that you think so highly of Jordan and I as a team.

It means so much to us and we are so grateful.
So, thank you to everyone out there.... known and unknown.

You are in our hearts with humbleness and gratitude.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Folk Music???

It's back to the grind. Time to focus on the year ahead. That means finding music.

Key word: FINDING.

The ISU has set next year's Original Dance rythm to Folk/Country music.
Folk-slash-Country?? What on earth is that?
That's not even traditional ballroom!

Well, apparently it's "root" music---music that reflects the "roots" of a culture or country.
I have now spent several hours trying to find decent, dance-able folk music. It's challenging to say the least. Not that folk music isn't dance-able. Atfer all, that's what it was designed for. But it was designed to be danced very fast on a FLOOR! Trying to transfer that to ice is well, challenging to say the least! LOL.

I have a few ideas that aren't too bad, but I'm still looking for more. If you know of any good folk/country music or sources of it(it can be from any country in the world), let me know....
I'm killin' myself here!


Until Next Time,

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Nationals Blog!


Ok so I'm really going Gung-Ho on this blogging thing. I have created a new one JUST for the 2007 US Adult National Championships! I'm bringing my laptop and my Nikon D80 with me to Chicago, so it will be lots of pictures and lots of fun!
Get a Behind-The-Scenes look at this years competition! Check it out while we're there!

In the meantime, I'm still putting hundreds of rhinestones on my dresses. They're starting to look pretty cool! The skates are sharpened and I've started to pack. We have one more practice tomorrow before it's off to the races!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Jordan and I are both sick. He's got it worse than I do, but why now?
Poor guy. His voice is off...he's exhausted. We can't practice and we leave in FIVE days! Hopefully, tomorrow will be a different day.

On a lighter note....the Columbian Newspaper out of Vancouver,WA wants to do a story on the five teams heading to Nationals from our area. Yippee! I know. I know. I'm on TV everyday. Why do I care? Cause it's the NEWSpaper! So cool....
Alas, the grass is always greener, right?

Tonight, is rhinestoning night. I plan to put the equivalent of about 2000 rhinsstones on my costume before we compete. Yikes. I have a lot of work to do. I may be doing it on the plane as we fly to Chicago. I'll post before and after pics...just for kicks and grins!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sharpen, Wax, Tape...

So...we leave in a week. Now it's time to get everything organized and ready to go which means doing SOMETHING with these....

They are a mess. I haven't sharpened them in almost 6 months (I know. I know. I'm terrible at taking care of my equippment)! The leather is torn and scratched (because Jordan and I constantly knick each other)and my laces are ripped in some spots. Plus, the heels and soles need to be waxed so water doesn't invade and hurt my boots. The tongues are broken down...basically, they're a mess. But I LIKE THEM THAT WAY!
Unfortunately, judges do not. They may be more comfortable to me, but they're yucky looking. Sooo in comes this lady....

Camera shy Vicki Zander! BTW, I took these with my phone, so forgive how crappy the photos are. Vicki is skate expert extraordinaire and saves my butt every time. She is now in the process of frantically sharpening my skates so that they will cut your finger like a razor blade if your run your skin across them. It's important for her to do it now because I have to skate on them a few days before we actually compete. They are REALLY sharp when you first use them and it makes you catch weird edges like crazy. Not what we want when we have to go out there and give it our best!

So, Vicki is sharpening away, waxing my soles, replacing the fleece on my tongues and making them look somewhat white again! Vicki....just about ROCKS the world! I couldn't do what I do without her. Thanks V!

Unitl Next Time,

Monday, March 26, 2007

Steppin' It Up!

We did TWO back-to-back run throughs of our OD today! Wooohoo! And get this....the second one was better than the first! My on-going gallactic battles with lactic acid and asthma are gradually coming to an end! We're still struggling with speed issues, but overall...HUGE improvement from last week. We finished our introductory steps to the Quickstep and the Argentine Tango which are the compulsory dances we have to do (it's the first round of competition), so that's another hurdle we have overcome. Yeah! For those you who are not linearly challenged's what the steps look like on the ice. Yeah, I's certainly not the English language!

Just for reference: LFO means "Left, Forward, Outside" (it refers to: the foot your on, the direction your going, and the edge your skating on.)

Argentine Lady's Steps:

Quickstep Both Partners:

Until Next Time,


Friday, March 23, 2007

Two Weeks to Go....

We leave in two weeks for Chicago and the countdown is really ON!
We are now on the ice at least 10 hours a week...and it's coming down to the wire.

We are doing complete run-throughs of the program, but it's not consisitent yet. I get really tired by the time two minutes rolls around and the last 30 seconds of the program is sooo challenging! Not to mention our coach is demamding more SPEED!
SPEED! FLOW! COVER THE ICE! All he does during our run-throughs is yell, "BREATHE!!!"

And yes, we have crashed a lot this week. I now, officially, have a bruised butt. Probably a little too much 411 there, but hey. It is bruised and it hurts! Both Jordan and I have lacerations on our calves. The Tango OD requires us to do a lot of leg locking and we keep knicking each other with our blades. OUCH! Oh and I whacked Jordan in the head the other day when I twizzled...oops!

The last lift is getting better. I can now get Jordan off of the ice pretty easily. Yeah! Strong woman! Yes, I DO lift HIM in this program (see pic below). The hard part is.....that lift is at the END of the program....during that critical last 30 seconds when I'm so winded and so much lactic acid is running through my body it feels like the incredible hulk has his hands compressed around my chest. The picture directly below here? That's the first lift in the program ...and no the camera is not fooling you. I AM upside DOWN!

Until Next Time...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We Did it!

Well, we finally put our Original Dance on the ice in front of an audience. It was rough, but we did it! I'm pleased that we actually got through the thing without eating it! LOL
It's a fairly hard program and we got good comments, but it does need some mileage. That's what we plan on doing for the next three weeks before heading off to Chicago!

The exhibition was all part of SCORE's (Skating Club of Oregon) Nationals send off party. The club hosted a full blown shindig for us! It was so great! Jordan and I just love our club. SCORE's support is undeniably generous and inspiring. Thanks Everyone! Pictured here are Lauren Zell, Jordan, myself and Bob Raemer. We along with six other skaters form Portland will be heading to US Adult National Championships in three weeks! It's so close!
(Thanks to Diane Adkin for all these great pictures!)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Preparing Practice. Huh?

Jordan and I are frantically preparing for Nationals. We are very behind and were a little concerned, but this week was great! For those of you who don't know...injuries have plagued us this year. We have only been on the ice since mid February after 3 months off! We did our first program run through Friday and even managed to put in a few elements with it too! We are exhibiting the program next weekend at Lloyd Center. It probably won't be that great, but it's pushing us to get ready. That's for sure. The feed back has been good as well. Lots of: "It's so dramatic!" ....and "Oh the expression you have!" Hopefully , they aren't just saying that to be nice. You know how it is....
I ordered the Rhinestones for my costume last week. They cost twice as much as the dress!! Agh! I'll be frantically be-jeweling away this week before the exhibition. It's going to be gorgeous, though. A little re-vealing, but hey? What's dance for anyway, other than the great costumes, right? LOL!
Thanks to our seamstress Kathy Duvall for her fabulous work. She truly is amazing. I'll try to post some pics next week. Here's one from last year...just for peeps and grins!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Kicking off 2007

Yeah, I know. It's March, but so what! Welcome to our new blog!
We also have a new web site design thanks to Daphne Backman and
Thank You Daphne! Check it out at

Jordan and I have been through a lot the last few months and are really trying hard to get to US Nationals this year. We have been through injuries (I tore a ligament in my lower back. Jordan broke his foot), work problems and house issues (Jordan's house has flooded several times this winter), but we will prevail! We love our Tango OD this year and we are really excited to perform it. There is nothing like the power of positive thinking.
We're doing an exhibition trial run for the OD at Lloyd Center Ice rink here in Portland. It may not be pretty, but we'll get through it! All in all this year, we have FIVE ice dance teams heading to Adult Nationals this year. Wow! That's a record. All of us will be exhibiting Saturday March 17th and we hope you can make it.

Thanks to the Skating Club of Oregon for their continued and undying support of adult skating and we hope we can represent the Northwest in a way that makes everyone proud!