Wednesday
Feb152012

Mark Jahnke - final blog from Nationals!

Hey guys,

So I'm a little behind the eight ball on sending in my blogs and so I'm actually writing this one as we sit watching the Senior Men warm up three or so days after we actually began competing (and two days after we finished... Yikes!).  So let's just pretend that it's still Tuesday and call it good...

So Tuesday we had our Short Dance, which is a mixture of compulsory dance (in this case, the Cha-Cha Congelado) and free dance elements, including twizzles, two lifts and a side by side footwork sequence.  We did our usual for competition by starting with a good breakfast before heading off to the 20 minute warm-up. We had only spent a little time in the big arena on Sunday for our practice session so we decided to take it slowly so we could get used to the arena.  Skating in a big stadium can be a little scary at first.  My first time in a big stadium was a few years ago at the World Arena in Colorado, which is massive and really tall.  The arena here is a bit smaller, but it's really bright, and the open space is really exciting to skate in.  It's also really cool because there is no glass, and lots of people come to the practice sessions, so there are always people to wow and who clap for everything.  We have even had some school groups coming in, and no matter what we do we hear loud cries of "WOW!" from the back row, which is really cool.

The short dance was later that evening, and it went really well for us.  We got relaxed in our off ice warm-up, where we did most of what we usually do back home.  It's so great to get warmed up off the ice because it means we spend less time getting warm and more time getting comfortable during the short warmup. The best part of the event though was when, right after announcing the names for the warm-up group, they accidentally put on our Cha-Cha music without realizing it.  It was just on the playlist of Latin music for the warm ups, but it was really funny and got us relaxed before we competed.  We skated second in the first warm up, which was earlier than we would have liked, but we took it and skated really well, much better than we had at Sectionals.  Our score was a full three points better, and we earned level 3 on both sequences of the Cha-Cha, which was a big improvement for us.

The next morning, Wednesday, we had our twenty minute warm up for the free dance.  We drew first to skate in the whole event, which was a little intimidating but also exciting, and when it came time to actually compete a lot of people were surprised to see us on the first warm up.  I guess it's good to stand out like that!  Our "Addams Family" free dance got a lot of laughs and applause from the audience, and we saw quite a few of the judges even cracking smiles.  Our scores were only a little higher than sectionals, but we got the same levels as we did at sectionals (2's on footwork and 4's on everything else).  A lot of those points came from our Grades of Execution - we had more pluses than zeroes, and only one minus on our entire sheet, which was awesome.  We were especially proud of the grade for our footworks, which have really improved over the course of the season, both technically and musically.

So, we finished tenth, and it was overall a really fun and amazing experience for both of us.  With a challenging season, from injuries and illness to learning to work together and living in a new city, to be able to go out there as a team and skate the way we did felt so great.  Given the relative brevity of the season, we're excited to see what we can do with the full year we have now to develop.

Until the next competition!
Mark

 

Thursday
Feb022012

1st Show Rehearsal FRIDAY!!!!!

To ALL Skaters registered to skate in the 75th Anniversary show!!!  

Your first rehearsal is tomorrow, Friday, February 3rd at 3:45pm.  

Groups and a rehearsal schedule will be passed out at a short parent's meeting that we will hold in the lobby of OVA. If you are not able to attend the meeting, no worries as the information will also be emailed and will be posted online.  

Let the show begin!!

Monday
Jan232012

Mark's Blog #2 - US Championships!

Hey everyone!

So we got to San Jose in one piece yesterday afternoon after flying all day from Detroit where we have been training.  After checking in at the hotel, the first stop was at registration.  At nationals, you don't just have your name checked off a list and hand in your music.  Your music gets forwarded from Regionals to Sectionals and on to Nationals, so we don't do anything with music.  First, we show a photo ID and get checked off a list.  Then, we have a headshot taken and a credential specially made with our photo and specific backstage access.  Most people end up with awkwardly bad photos because of having just stumbled off the plane, as I did.  After that, we get some Lindt truffles (not too many... The coach was watching), a free pair of guards, an envelope with some schedules and a little medallion.  In years past we also got these really fancy schmancy bags full of things like free pants, water bottles, and last year for some reason we got free chips and salsa.  This year we had to pay for the bags, though, so I didn't get one.

After getting settled we took a spin through the arena where I got lost backstage before taking advantage of the massage therapist to help me relax my back a little bit.  All competitions have a medical staff, but especially at the bigger ones like Nationals you can go and have little things checked out and treated too, which is great to help us feel our best for our practices.

With a little bit of jet lag, my mom and I ended up going to grab some Italian food and crashing at the hotel pretty early because of my early practice today.

Today we had two practices, that one early in the morning and then one around 5:30 in the evening.  The first one was in the gigantic HP Pavilion, which was a ton of fun and really exciting.  I love skating in the big stadiums... There's really nothing quite like it.  We have to project a bit further back into the stands, but having so much open space above us is really cool and brings a lot more energy out.  After the morning session we stayed behind to cheer on our training mates in the Novice Pattern Dance, and they skated the best they could have skated, which was really exciting to see! Our evening session was at the practice rink, which is super super cold compared to the main rink.  It was an intense session with quite a few near misses among the five teams, but overall it was another great session for us.  Things are all feeling really strong and we are in a good, calm, zen place ready to run out, perform and have a great time.

Tomorrow will bring two more practices before we finally get to strut our stuff in the Latin Short Dance on Tuesday evening.  Roxette and I can hardly wait!

I'll keep you posted,
Mark

 

Saturday
Jan212012

Mark Jahnke skates at US Championships!  

SSC skater Mark Jahnke is competing at the 2012 US Championships  in San Jose, CA! Good Luck Mark!!! 

Mark is competing with his partner, Roxette Howe, All Year FSC, in the junior dance division at the US National Championships.  Mark's first event, Junior short dance, takes place Jan. 24th at 6:10pm and concludes with the Junior free dance on Wednesday, Jan. 25th at 1pm.  Mark will be blogging for us from San Jose.  You can also follow along results and live broadcasts on icenetwork!  Post good luck wishes to Mark on the SSC FB page!  Skate great Roxette and Mark!!

 Mark's Blog #1 - January 18th!

Hello everyone!Roxette Howe & Mark Jahnke - Junior Ice Dance

Well it's the last week of training before US Nationals, so I figured I should give you all an update on what's been going on as we get ready!

We've been working especially hard since Christmas here in Michigan to polish our programs and take them to the next level.  Since Sectionals we took some time to bring even more character to our Latin short dance, and the difference is really showing up.  We've also added more playfulness and seriousness in our free dance.  It's especially fun to be able to show off several different characters throughout the dance.

Our schedule has been pretty intense - its the way things are at a training centre like the one here.  We spend 45 minutes warming up through a specially designed set of exercises that targets important areas like our core strength.  After that, we spend 30 minutes doing on-ice skills and power exercises to hone our technique, and then we spend an hour working a program.  After an hour lunch break we warm up again and skate a simulated competition, complete with five-minute warm-up on the ice, a few minutes off the ice and a starting order among the five teams here who will be competing.  Finally, we spend the last 45 minutes working on the program we didn't run.  Afterwards we have ballet or ballroom on some days, and then we stretch for up to an hour.  It's a tough regimen and it fills up most of our days, but the flip side is that we are both completely ready for next week!

Our short dance is next Tuesday and the free dance on Wednesday.  I'm getting really excited to see everyone in San Jose!  Quite a few family friends are making the trek to cheer us on, and I know a lot of you will be following along back in Seattle.

Until our departure,
Mark

 

 

Saturday
Jan212012

Guess who???

Guess which FOUR Time WORLD CHAMPION sent the following to SSC!! 

On behalf of a funny looking Canadian skater who's name rhymes with Flirt, I would like to congratulate the Seattle FSC on 75 years of edges, jumps, spins, fun and runny noses. 

Way to go, enjoy your show and celebration.

Kurt Browning

 

Enjoy the rest of these well wishes!!

Subject: Messages from 'Stars on Ice' skaters

 

> To The Seattle Skating Club,

Congratulations on your 75th anniversary! Best wishes for continued success and may you celebrate many more anniversaries. 

 

 Sincerely,

 

Kyoko Ina

 A big congratulations to the Seattle Skating Club on an impressive 75 years. Wishing you continued success as you promote healthy activity while creating champions of the future.

All the best,

Jeff Buttle

 

Congratulations on 75 years to the Seattle Skating Club. It takes a lot of work to keep a high quality club up and running, and 75 years worth of that hard work is incredible. Keep up the great work producing great skating and great people!

 

All the best,

Ryan Bradley

 

WOW, 75 Years!! Congratulations to all of you who are involved in this year's show. 

 

Your club has such a great history and so many great memories have already been created there. Keep up the great traditions!

 

Sincerely,

Paul Wylie