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Skating basics

January 03, 2001

Skating basics



Lori Shillingburg has been skating "forever." Her family - grandparents, Ralph and Hazel Eld, then her mother, Barbara Eld Donaldson - has been operating Starland Roller Rink since 1946.

"You have to relax," Shillingburg said. It's best to skate more than just once a year. There really is no age limit. If people who are older skated when they were younger, they will pick it back up, she said. She compared it to getting back on a bicycle. There are people who skated at Starland as kids, grew up, got busy and later are back to skate with their children.

The key to skating is skating. "The more you do it, the quicker you pick it up," she said.

Shillingburg, XX, who skated competitively for a couple of years when she was in high school, is available to provide instruction. Here are a few basics:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> "Lock yourself into T position," is the first thing Shillingburg teaches new skaters. That means standing with the heel of one foot in the instep of the other foot. It's a way to keep your feet from sliding out from under you while standing in skates.

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HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Knees should always be bent.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Scissors: This movement consists of pulling your parallel feet toward each other then pushing them away from each other. This also moves you forward or backward - depending on which way you want to go. You will feel a good pull and push on your leg muscles, too. This is a workout; you're not just rolling.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Half scissors: It's the scissors one leg at a time. Guess what? You're making a circle!

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Stroking: First one foot, then the other, pushing to the side and back. Your weight shifts from one side of your body to the other. You're skating!

Shillingburg teaches students to squat, to get close to the floor and to break a fall on their bottoms - not their hands.

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