Book Review:  Artistry on Ice

by Janice Mayne

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Artistry on Ice

Nancy Kerrigan
with Mary Spencer

231 pages, 7 X 10 in.
Paperback binding
Color photographs

Published by Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL
$24.95 U.S.
$39.95 Canada

Nancy Kerrigan’s Artistry on Ice is divided into easy to read sections that help skaters find what they need to improve on quickly. Kerrigan writes with such enthusiasm that it makes the book a nice and easy read. The different chapters help skaters in many aspects that they may need to work on. She offers thorough guidance on singles, ice dancing, and pairs, and she offers valid advice on synchronized skating. Kerrigan stresses the ability to jump and spin but also the necessity of being able to skate well. The book stresses good points that are needed in all aspects of figure skating, and lets the skater see many different ways to approach skating in general, but also lets them specialize on what needs to be worked on.

How swiftly she moves from different aspects of skating shows that the book is indeed intended for a higher level skater but in turn she shows the very basic aspects that would not be required for an advanced skater. The pictures are very helpful and the different ways she offers you to approach things would most definitely help someone who is trying to be a judge or a coach. It is nice how Kerrigan uses different athletes to show how to correctly do various maneuvers. She recognizes that peoples’ bodies are different, and that different approach’s may be easier for one person compared to another.

Kerrigan gives very detailed instructions on how to do things correctly and what muscles are the right ones to use. She offers nice variations that may be easier for different bodies. Kerrigan states what skaters usually do wrong and how it can be avoided and/or fixed. She gives many exercises to make the jumps simpler to learn and do.

A strength of the book is that Kerrigan shows different options in single skating, not usually the case when single skaters write books about ice skating. It is also nice that she covers synchronized skating, including all options of figure skating in her book.   It discussing synchro she shows the work a person must put into any type of on ice partnership.

Kerrigan stresses the importance of off-ice training when most books usually restrict themselves to on-ice skating. She also points out the significance of eating well and offers a chart of what you should eat to keep in top shape for skating. Kerrigan discusses the value of a warm up and a cool down, and includes ideas of what to do before and after a workout. She offers specific exercises to do on the ground and in the water to help you in skating and to prevent injury.

Then comes the important part, competing. Kerrigan proposes of how to use your music, choreography, and costumes for your advancement. She offers ideas of what to eat before competition, and how to train for it. She presents the value of good music, and how it affects the entire temper of the program and how it should assist your specific type of skating. She states how important the choreography is and how it should directly relate to the music, and also how the choreography should be in your frame of skating. This is a great book that reflects all aspects of ice skating but doesn’t get stuck on any subject for too long.  Over all it’s a nice read that could either fulfill an afternoon or help you train for a tuff season.

Janice Mayne is a Junior level pair skater.  She has competed at U.S. Nationals at the Novice and Junior level for the last three years.

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