The StarSkate program that Julia takes has a series of tests. At each level, there are several tests for each of the components: skills, dance and freeskate. Typically, a skater will attempt a test every few months. Julia had earlier passed the first three dance tests and the first skills test. In the past year, however, she'd not had much inclination to try any tests. Nevertheless, she continued her lessons and kept working on the test requirements.
A month ago, Julia and her new coach decided it was time to try a test again. Todd and I agreed it would be a good idea to try one and see how it goes. Well, the one test turned into four. The coach convinced her to attempt tests for the full year's worth of work all in one day! On test day, I don't know who was more nervous, Julia or myself. Thankfully, Kate had a violin lesson at the same time, so I let Todd take Julia because he's a lot calmer about such things.
It's not uncommon for skaters to fail a test, even more than once. Some skaters take a test even if they're not totally ready, just to get the experience and feedback from the judges. So we were prepared for several failed tests. However, Julia amazed us by passing three of the four tests, including the most difficult one that she was attempting "just for the experience". She failed one over a minor issue that will be easily corrected in time for the next test date.
We were so stunned by the results and very proud of our lovely skater! We were even more surprised today when her coach told us that the skating club chose her as "StarSkate Skater of the Month" for those excellent results. Julia's next test will probably be her freeskate solo in the fall. Her coach is working on the choreography using music that Julia had chosen, and I can't wait to see how that develops.