When Feige arrived home from ice skating with friends one Sunday and announced she was signing up for ice skating academy, I informed her I was coming with. She explained that there was an 8 week adult beginner ice skating course and being someone who’s never been able to comfortably move away from the barrier, it was an activity I wanted in on. 

We joined Glenda’s Ice skating Academy based at the Northgate Ice Rink. For 8 weeks we attended a weekly class and learnt how to go from clutching the barriers to confidently swizzling around the rink. Each week we learnt something new, documented here, and by week 8 the barrier was all but forgotten. 

Being a beginner at something is incredibly rewarding and fun – you get to learn a completely new skill and activate new brain pathways as your brain teaches your body to move in ways you’ve never done before. Our weekly sessions became a balm of sorts – giving us an hour mid-week after work to forget about everything else except not falling flat on the ice. It felt like a form of rest. 

When we completed our 8 week course, we asked Glenda to share her beginner ice skating tips. At 75 years old, she is still gliding around the ice effortlessly, teaching and testing students. She shared 3 tips, which she says are the foundations for learning to how to ice skate. 

Glenda’s Beginner Ice Skating Tips

1 If you’re afraid of moving away from the barrier, start with a walk but stamp your feet into the ice. Stamping your feet into the ground helps prevent you from sliding. For a beginner, sliding is scary. 

2 Skating is all about balance and alignment. Your shoulders need to be over your knees and your knees over toes. Look straight ahead, not down at the ice, and your knees should always be slightly bent.

3 The best move for beginners to start with is the duck march. It forms the foundation of the glide. Once you’ve mastered that, move onto the swizzle – first stationary and then in motion. When doing the swizzle remember not to bend too far forward or too far back – the alignment from tip #2 must be maintained.

For the video version of these tips watch here. If you think we’re done with ice skating, we’re only just beginning. We’re now in the Pre Alpha 1 class and you can watch our weekly progress on instagram @nutreats

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