I remember the shock I felt that Thursday night after getting the email that as of Friday, March 13th at 12:30pm, my rink would be closed through at least the next two weeks. We already had a coach who had potential exposure to the virus through a neighbor get sent home and the whole Tuesday morning crew weary about skating. Literally overnight our community faced shock we weren’t quite ready for.
Since this was the week directly after my competition at Eastern Adult Sectionals, I had only really skated once for my lesson. Suddenly a week off would turn into many, many weeks. And if that wasn’t sucky enough, my job (a gym) closed indefinitely and soon the rest of my gyms would too. And if you know anything about me, you know I absolutely hate working out at home. There’s a dog, other humans, and a severe lack of space and equipment that makes conditioning anywhere other than a gym extremely difficult.
However, I’ve managed to make it incredibly easier to get sweaty! With a little search through my garage and some deep cleaning, the house has become my gym. I practice yoga in my room on my Manduka mat, I switch between my room, the spare room, and the kitchen for my ballet and other dance classes, and I try to do my HIIT classes outside using an older yoga mat on my patio. It’s been about 2 weeks and it’s finally starting to feel like a routine! I know a lot of adult skaters are feeling the strain of this new normal, so I’m dishing out some free or low-cost resources for you to keep in shape besides rollerblades.
Online Dance Classes
There have been so many dance studios and instructors coming out of the woodworks offering free or very cheap lessons. My favorite new resource is Dance Alone Together! It compiles many online dance classes offered all over the internet, updated daily. They tag the specific account hosting the class and include times and a brief description. There’s something for everybody! I’ve been trying to take some more musical theatre jazz classes before everybody was forced to stay home so I’m really excited about this.
Of course I’m very familiar with the local Philly dance studios, so I have to plug their free classes too! Koresh and BalletX are my very favorite studios with amazing instructors, and it warms my heart that my normal classes at their normal times are still being offered for FREE with optional donation to the instructor directly or to the studio. If there are local studios in your area, try to see if they’re doing anything during this period.
You may be familiar with Ice Theatre of New York that has been offering free weekly off-ice edge classes instructed by Sarah France on Zoom and Instagram Live in lieu of their normal on-ice class. Sarah does a lot of ballet movements as well as specific skating conditioning to keep your body sharp.
I have a lot of friends in the fitness industry, and there are some gyms that are still hosting free classes on social media. If you’re into barre, tuck barre & yoga hosts classes multiple times a day, every day on their Instagram and Facebook. My pal Amandah Povilitus hosts a workout based on either pilates or HIIT on her Instagram account a few times a week. EverybodyFights Hilltop hosts a workout or so per day with the video available for 24 hours after the fact so you can do them when it’s convenient for you.
The adult skating community has also done an amazing job at sharing their personal exercise programs! Stephanie Roth a.k.a. Adult Skating Badass, Erika (our lovely AST pioneer!), and many others turned their usual skating videos into a library of exercise ideas. Sometimes you just have to scroll down your feed to find something good! Coach Hamish and Coach Michelle Hong of course have amazing, new material as well.
A lot of these videos are workouts programmed with minimal equipment if any, and the instructors offer modifications if you don’t have anything heavy or stretchy so you can still get a good workout. Of course, if you have a favorite gym that might be doing something online and you have the means to help, it would be nice to support them with a gift card/merchandise purchase.
Overall, this has been a pretty tough experience so far and since I’m not working either, I get the full 24 hour/7 day experience of having to carve out a schedule from scratch. My rink isn’t scheduled to open until June 1st so I have a lot of time to work on getting stronger and clean up some technique. I’m definitely seeing some immediate benefits from daily ballet and conditioning a few days a week.
Whether you’re in the same boat or extremely busy, I hope this post was helpful! As adult skaters, we are stubborn, tenacious, and driven; this too shall pass <3. Make sure to follow me @jadasolodances on Instagram for daily updates on how I am or am not going crazy during this time.