I have a new Learn To Skate student who discovered last month that she loves skating in our show (we do two a year). She'd never done it before, because she has a regular conflict with the rehearsals at her level. Her parents found out that free style level skaters practice on Sundays, so she could make those rehearsals.
The ice show is in May. The skater is in Alpha. The parents wanted to know, how do we do that.
Now, to some extent, I rolled my eyes a little bit. The skater is just 5. Her other activity is fun and valuable. By next year at this time and certainly by the Spring show in 2012, doing two classes a week, she will be in Freestyle 1 anyway, so she'll only miss one more show. But there is a way to power through the levels.
Ever wonder about those little kids who have all their single jumps, maybe even an axel, by the time they're 7? They aren't any more talented than your kid.
They just skate. All. The. Time.
Each class session is 10 weeks, 30 minutes of instruction, shared with 4 to 10 other kids. I like to assume that each level takes two sessions to master (some kids move faster, some slower). And really, it's not rocket science, it's just arithmetic: 5 levels (Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, PreFreestyle/Basic 4 through 8) is 25 to 50 hours of instruction (assuming twice through each level). You want to get there by April 1? You need 25 to 50 hours of instruction and practice between now and then-- 12 weeks, so 2-4 hours of lessons and practice per week.
Set your alarm for 5 a.m. and get out your checkbook.
Edited 1/7/11 at the request of a reader.