I began my "skating life" at a tiny ice arena in southern California in the mid-1960s. Valley Ice Skating Center was owned and operated by a man named Ron Priestly who had been a British ice show star. When patrons entered his rink, they would see an interesting display that showed off badges and rewards that skaters could earn from a fairly new organization called the ISIA, Ice Skating Institute of America.
Over two decades later, when I was the Skating Director at the famous Iceland Paramount rink owned by Frank Zamboni, the founder of the legendary Zamboni ice resurfacing machine, I attended an ISIA nationwide conference in Las Vegas. There, I heard, Michael Booker, who was a leader in the ice skating industry, give a tribute to Ron Priestly. It was then that I understood that the "rink tests" that were given to me and other young ice skaters in the 1960s at Valley Ice Skating Center were a significant part of ice skating history. The badges in Valley Ice Skating Center's display were the original Alpha, Beta, and Gamma ISIA test badges.
Recently, Ice Skating Institute's Executive Director, Peter Martell, took the time to chat with me about the organization's history. ISI, Ice Skating Institute, is sometimes thought of as "the other skating organization," but, in my opinion, it should not be thought of in that way. The ISI works hard to make skating available to everyone and is committed to educating ice rink managers and coaches.
- Early History of the Ice Skating Institute
- History of the Ice Skating Institute - From Ice Skating Institute
- Five Decades of ISI - From The ISI Edge May/June 2008
- Ice Skating Institute makes skating fun for everyone - From Examiner.com
Lynnellen, Billy, and Jo Ann Schneider Began Skating in an Ice Skating Institute Program in the 1960s - Schneider Family Personal Photos
At the 1984 Winter Olympics, Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean made history when they stunned the world with their Bolero free dance that earned nine perfect 6.0 scores. Recently, the figure skating legends captivated audiences again when they performed the Bolero program on the British reality television show "Dancing on Ice." Although it has been nearly thirty years since they won Olympic gold, their dancing and skating has not changed!
Christopher Dean and Jayne Torvill: Dancing on Ice 2013 - Getty Images
Ice dancing clothes are beautiful, elaborate, and original since the dresses and skirts female ice dancers wear on the ice, especially during competitions and tests, are longer than most ice skating dresses. Male ice dancers are sometimes seen in tuxes or suits at competition time.
Dressing for ice dancing can be fun, and some ice dance competitors say that part of the fun of ice dancing is the costumes!
Ice Dancing Clothes - Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images
Every year, my family takes a trip to Denver to see Colorado's Showtime On Ice, an annual ice show that is held at South Suburban Ice Arena. The concept of "Showtime On Ice" was created by Peggy DeLio forty years ago. The goal of Showtime On Ice is to expose ice skaters and their families to Broadway musicals and classics, and each year, the show has had a different theme. For 2013, the musical, Peter Pan, was the show's theme. Peter Pan, Wendy, Michael, John, and Tinkerbell "flew" around the ice arena with their skates on.
I've seen many amateur ice skating shows in my lifetime, but in my opinion, this particular production, was the most original. Ice skating seems to be the best place to never grow up! ... read more
Peter Pan Showtime On Ice 2013 - Photo Courtesy Amy Schneider
I believe that everyone in this world should experience the joy of ice skating. There's something so, so wonderful about the feeling of gliding on ice skates! ...read more
Ice Skating is Fun! - Photo by Altrendo Images/Getty Images
Recently, during a noontime public skating session, an adult skater approached me and told me that every time he turned from forward to backward or backward to forward while he was skating, that he became a bit dizzy and disoriented for a moment. He said that the rink was spinning around him. I suggested that he focus on something stationary, such a a sign on the rink's wall or rail as he enters and exits the turn.
A Figure Skater Turns Around on the Ice - Photo Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris
Long ago, some skating rinks and clubs had a dress code. Women and girls were expected to wear skating dresses or skirts for practice. Times have changed. Today, at most skating rinks, figure skaters practice in figure skating pants. ...read more
A Figure Skater Wears Skating Pants and Jacket From Skating Designs - Photo Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris
The "pre-pre moves test" is a formal figure skating test that is usually administered at official U.S. Figure Skating club test sessions. The skater taking the test may be the only one on the ice surface, and the quality expected to pass the test is very high. Private lessons and many hours of practice are required to prepare for the test. ...read more
- How to Prepare for the Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field Figure Skating Test
- Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field Test Descriptions - From US Figure Skating
- Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field Test Diagrams
A Figure Skater Takes Her Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field Test - Photo Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris
ISI, Ice Skating Institute, makes it possible for beginning ice skaters to participate in synchronized skating. The most basic ISI synchronized skating competition level, Formation, only requires forward skating skills and backward skating is only allowed on two feet! ...read more
- Ice Skating Institute's Synchronized Skating Programs
- An ISI, Ice Skating Institute, Tot Synchronized Skating Team Competes
Synchronized Skaters Compete in an ISI, Ice Skating Institute Competition - Video Photo Still by Jo Ann Schneider Farris
Via icenetwork.com, I have watched some of the best synchronized skating teams in the world perform this past weekend, and what I see is so, so impressive! Synchronized figure skating should be an Olympic sport.
- Five Basic Synchronized Skating Terms
- About Synchronized Skating
- World Synchronized Figure Skating Championships 2013 Photo Gallery
- 2013 ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships Free Skate Highlights
- 2013 World Synchronized Championships Event Page - icenetwork.com
- ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2013 Results
- ISU World Synchronized Skating Championships 2013 Videos
- Synchronized Skating Teams From Around the World
- Synchronized Skating Primer
Team Japan Synchronized Skating Team 2013 - Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images