Giving Ice Skating a Twirl


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    By: Dawn Juntilla

    I know I am not the only Midwest mom who looks for winter activities to help make enduring the colder months more fun.  When my daughter was four, I enrolled her in ice skating lessons.  I was more than a little concerned that falling on the ice would, at a minimum, decrease her motivation and potentially cause a severe head injury.  I ignored these fears, strapped on her little, pink helmet and forged ahead.

    To my amazement, I learned that brave children can do amazing things on the ice.  On the flip side, I observed that children with fear have trouble simply standing upright.  Only two lessons into the session, my little Kristi Yamaguchi was learning small jumps and how to turn around on skates. Amazing!

    My one major complaint about the class was its large size. There were so many students that much of each  lesson involved standing around while others were taking turns or the teacher was trying to encourage the fearful children to participate.  As a result, my little skater girl lost interest.  I attempted to rally her enthusiasm by taking her to an outdoor rink to practice.  Doing so definitely improved her confidence and skating skills, but failed to resurrect her interest in skating lessons.

    Despite this, we returned to the class and she tolerated them.  It did make me sad to see my daughter watch enviously as students in higher level classes skated gracefully by with smiles on their faces.  However, it was a lesson in patience and a good introduction to the sport. Having a skilled instructor was definitely beneficial. Having one or two more instructors would have made it all the better!

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