It Seems I'm to Be a Soloist.... o.O
When I arrived at the rink, I nearly had a head-on collision in the parking lot with my long-time skating friend Rachel, with whom I skated a duet last year for the club's exhibition and am skating with again for the exhibition this year. Rachel can rarely make Wednesday practices, so I was excited to see her.
She was talking to our instructor Ms. Jackie when I came in, so I sat down and put on my skates. Eventually, she came over and greeted me with, "Hi, Dawn, I quit."
Since we were skating a duet again this year and were almost finished learning the number, Ms. Jackie made the executive decision that I will skate it solo.
It's not like I haven't skated a solo before. Nine of my thirteen years at White Marsh Skating, I was a soloist (including last year.) I don't skate there anymore, or I would have been a soloist this year too. And in a way, a solo is much easier than skating with someone else. You have more freedom to improvise, to let loose, rather than being concerned with matching your partner or groupmates. You don't have to be as concerned with your positioning on the floor because there's no longer a chance of colliding with another skater or moving in opposition to each other.
But this isn't White Marsh; this is the club, and I am not one of the top two skaters here. Quite the opposite. There are at least six skaters (of twenty-four) who are better than me.
And only one of them is a soloist: Shannon, who has been skating for twenty-five years and is simply amazing.
In the past, our club groups for the exhibition have been determined by where we learned to skate. Rachel and I learned at White Marsh, so we were put together. The other girls who were considered "advanced specialist" were from Gardenville, and so they skated together, and there's like eight of them. And they are generally better than we lowly White Marsh skaters with our subpar instruction. (I only wish I was kidding about the "subpar" part.)
So I really don't deserve a solo.
However, it seems I'm having one.
On the upside, the camel-sit spin combination is a definite now that I don't have to worry about whether Rachel can do it. And other places where we would normally just "spin" (because Rachel isn't much for spins), I can add other funky variations to it.
So I'm excited. Nervous, yes, but mostly excited. And I'll miss Rachel.
On a slightly related note, I think that skating actually helped stretch out my leg. I feel much better today, even though practice exhausted me and I was really sore by the last time Ms. Jackie called, "One more time, from the top!" I didn't do any jumps but worked on my non-strenuous spins and footwork and holds. Lots of spirals and edge stuff. But it felt good, and now that my leg knows who's boss again, maybe it'll stop hurting.