Twizzle Talk

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My Coach’s 72 Years on the Ice

This fabulous lady is my skating coach:


And there was a big article on her in The Boston Globe last week, celebrating her 72 years on the ice. That’s right, 72 years. Marcia has always been a skating guru in my eyes, but really, it is true for the skating community in the entire Greater Boston area, as well. She has left her mark on this community. The article can give you more than a few reasons why, and here are a few of my personal favorites:

  • Marcia will notice the smallest, most minute detail, instantly, and be able to tell you what is going wrong with a move. Like this past Saturday, when I was doing some wonky twizzles. “Why don’t you turn your head in the direction you’re skating?” she suggested. Boom. Twizzles were working again.
 It might seem like a move is a complete disaster, but really, it just needs that “Marcia eye” and in a split second she can tell you exactly what to fix.
  • She is a source of endless positivity. There are skating coaches who scream and yell to get their point across. Marcia can do it with a single look. All her students know the face that says, “go try that again.” When a new spin position wasn’t working well, it was “not the most flattering option” and she had me make an adjustment. Marcia brings out each skater’s strengths.
  • She also has high expectations. “She makes you do things that you don’t think you can do, but she knows you can do it,” says Kara Protulis, a fellow Marcia student and skating friend, in the article. Just a few weeks ago, Marcia was brainstorming a new entrance to my double salchow, out of a back spiral. Marcia’s not telling my 27-year-old self that its time to find a new hobby—she’s still pushing me to try new and difficult things.

I have been so fortunate to learn from her for just a fraction of the years she has been coaching. She makes each of her students not only a better skater, but a better human. Thank you, Marcia.

Now go read the piece in the Globe to learn even more about this incredible woman and skater!

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Flashback Friday: Shib Sibs Grand Prix Victories

American ice dancers Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani won their first Grand Prix title since 2011 at last weekend’s NHK Trophy. Their other Grand Prix victory was also at an NHK Trophy.

Let’s flash back to their 2011 win:

I love the exuberance and enthusiasm of this program. And don’t they look so young?! The Shib Sibs were clearly great then, and would go on to win bronze at Worlds that year. But bringing it back to the present day, I loved watching that 2011 program in contrast to this year’s free dance. Check it out from their NHK victory:

They’ve increased their speed and connection with each other, and their interpretation really captures the nuances of the music (Coldplay’s “Fix You.”). That twizzle sequence is exquisite—not only in the execution but also in the use of the music. The commentators (love those British Eurosport guys!) say at the end of the performance that they didn’t want it to end, and I’ve got to agree. And isn’t that the mark of a great skating performance? Making it all look smooth and effortless so your audience feels at ease and gets lost in the performance. There is nothing worse than those programs where the skaters are just gritting their teeth and making it through, both for the skaters themselves and the audience.

I feel like this free dance, as well as the 2011 program, is a great vehicle for them in that the brother-sister dynamic isn’t detrimental to the performance, as it can be for the more romantic rhythms, like the tango, for example. Well done, Shib Sibs. Can’t wait to watch them take on everyone at the Grand Prix Final, Nationals, and Worlds with this fantastic piece.

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Treat every year like an Olympic year

Some people like to “treat every week like it’s shark week.” I like to treat every skating season like it is an Olympic year. I love keeping up on the competition results, who is skating to what music, and which costumes they are wearing.

A few people have been known to refuse to watch figure skating on TV with me, because I talk over the commentators with opinions and analysis of my own. I was once compared to “those old guys from the Muppets” when I watch skating:


It’s true. I love to talk skating. That’s why I created Twizzle Talk. So hopefully you’ll talk with me! I’ll be posting here throughout the skating season with my take on competitions, music, and fashion. I’ve got a word document full of post ideas and can’t wait to type them into reality. On the schedule so far: “Flashback Friday” posts with YouTube videos of some of my favorite programs from skating seasons past, the best athletes to follow on social media, and more. In the meantime, read more About Me + The Blog.