The Crystallettes have had quite an eventful summer and fall! With school starting back up and the competition season kicking into gear, we have not had much time for anything except school, skating, and sleep. Over the summer, the Crystallettes trained hard on skating skills, matching movements, and breaking down each element. In September, the choreographing began. This year, we skate to “That Man” for our short program and we are taking on the roles of vampires in the free skate. Both programs are very different from one another, however, incredible to skate. It truly allows us to show off our dual personalities and have fun with the elements and creativity invested into each program. Personally, the long program is my favorite. Our coaches did a wonderful job choreographing this long program. There is always something going on in the program and it seems like the creativity never ends. The program is intense and exciting and is very theatrical. I love getting into the character of this program with my team. During our video sessions we watch our practices and see how truly amazing our programs are and the potential they have to be incredible.
The Kalamazoo Kick Off Competition was successful for the Crystallettes. We may not have skated our short program to the best of our ability, but we came out with the gold and were proud of what we accomplished. We knew we were going to have to clean up our programs quickly because the Porter Competition was right around the corner. As a coach of the Crystallette Preliminary and Intermediate team, I had quite a successful weekend. My preliminary team had a good skate with one minor fall and ended up placing third. Since Porter, my co-coach and myself have made changes to this program to challenge our skaters and improve our program to try to do better at the next competition. The intermediate team I coach skated much better at Dr. Porter than they did at the Kalamazoo Kick Off and ended up placing sixth. My co-coach and I are very proud of the improvements that they have made and the amount of hard work and dedication our skaters have put in. They improved their score by eight points at Porter. Since Porter, my co-coach and I have made necessary changes to the program based off of the feedback we received from the judges and technical panel. We are hoping to continue this positive climb to the top.
As a skater on the Crystallettes senior team, we had great official practices at Porter. We skated a solid short program with a few minor mistakes and ended up in second place. As soon as we found out we were in second place after the short program, we put it in the back of our minds to focus on our long program. This would be our first time competing the long program and we wanted our program to be intense and have an effect on the audience. We attacked the long program with everything we had; we had nothing to lose. We ended up with silver in the long program event and placed second place overall. Our coaches went and spoke with the judges and technical specialists concerning our programs to see what we can do to make our programs better. Since Porter, we have made many changes to both programs and are working very hard to keep improving our scores at the Frasier Competition in a couple of weeks.
Besides our hard work and dedication to our programs, the Crystallettes have also had many team outings to encourage team unity. We had a skater from Finland come practice with us over the summer and fall to see if she would be interested in skating with us the next season. Her name was Reeta, and she was a joy to have around. She was very sweet, caring, and had a very positive attitude at our practices, even if she did not understand a drill we were working on. It was fun to listen to her talk because she had the cutest accent! We had fun discussing the differences in our languages in between our on ice and off ice sessions. It was so sad to see her go just a few weeks ago. We got her a cake and wished her the best before she went back home for Christmas. We miss her dearly and hope to see her next year!
The Crystallettes celebrated Christmas by having a secret Santa gift exchange. We bought our secret skater three gifts and gave them two of their gifts throughout the week. Then, at the end of the week, we had our Christmas party where we had a wonderful feast and exchanged our last gift while guessing who our secret Santa was. It was truly amusing and it is always fun to have team gatherings because it brings us closer together and allows us to open up to one another and strengthen our relationships. Our coaches also got us a very memorable gift; they got all of us team USA mittens and t-shirts for the 2013 Worlds Championships in Boston. Needless to say, we were all very surprised and thrilled about these gifts. We have already made both items a part of our travel outfits for the upcoming competitions!
Our team has worked extremely hard over the past few weeks and is going to continue to push even harder with Frasier right around the corner. We are excited to show off the changes that we have made to our programs and eager to cheer on our other teams as well. Good luck to all of the teams competing at Fraser! The Crystallettes will see you there!