I love the moment when a synchronized skating team hits the ice, the substitutes have moved to the side and the remaining skaters take their opening pose. I have a moment to catch my breath, they do too. One of the things that captures my attention is that opening impression; what are they trying to say, what hint am I getting about what is to come?
The tableau created by a picture-perfect team was started much earlier. How long? Well, Josh Babb, Director of Synchronized Skating and head coach of the Senior, Junior and Intermediate Skyliners in New York explains: “I start doing tryouts in the spring and that is after the music has already been chosen. The idea for the costuming is already in the works at that time.” Everything works towards that moment when the synchronized skating team hits the ice. “The Skyliners have a particular style. I am looking for skaters with beautiful lines, a great knee action and tremendous flexibility,” said Babb.
With the skater selection and music choice out of the way, much of the real work of pulling the coach’s vision together starts. Dress Wright Synchro’s owner and chief designer says: “The timeline for completing dresses from concept to completion depends on when we first get the concept. A general rule is that it takes about 8 weeks from start to finish. It’s about two to four weeks for design development and sampling and then four to six weeks for production. However, if we don’t get the concept until the season is in full swing it can easily take 12 to 15 weeks because we are juggling production, finishing and shipping garments to other teams while trying to fit in sample development for this new request.”
Deanna knows first-hand that getting it right is a thoughtful process, “The design development takes a lot of time; to research, sketch, source fabrics, create the pattern, cut and sew samples and sometimes tweak the sample. As a result, I would advise that even if you don’t have your team numbers finalized, it is worthwhile getting the design development and sampling worked out through the summer months, between June and August, so you’re ready to hit the ground running in the fall when your skaters are back on the ice.“
The next time you’re at a synchronized skating competition, think not only of the present moment, but all of the moments that came before it.
SYNCHRONIZE YOUR WATCH
Since we were just talking about the Skyliners, we thought is would be fun to take a look at their Senior synchronized skating team in Exhibition in the fall of 2017 at Skate America:
TEAM UP! WITH DRESS WRIGHT SYNCHRO
Deanna says that with all the things that are needed for the skaters on a synchronized skating team, occasionally obvious items like the skate guards and other necessities can be forgotten. Enter the Skater Kits on page 35 in the Dress Wright Synchro catalogue.
Check out Dress Wright’s Facebook page and follow us on Instagram and Twitter @dresswright.