Goth on Ice: By George I Think He’s Got It.

The technique I’ve wanted really, really badly to successfully master is the Backward Crossover. I simply think it’s the most elegant and beautiful technique taught in the entire basic and adult progressions. Well, the two foot and one foot spins might compete for that position, but for my money a well-done backward crossover is just pure magic.

You can see how far I’ve come in the video above. I can’t say I’ve mastered it exactly, but I seem to have the basics nailed down.

My Three-turn (specifically forward outside three-turn), however? That’s a whole other ballgame and a frustrating one at that.

During class after this practice session, my instructor made several suggestions how I could improve. The first was to keep the non-gliding foot behind the gliding foot in a “T” (not on the ice, of course, otherwise you’re braking) and keeping that knee turned outward. The second was, once I switched arms from the position for a forward outside edge to that for the turn, I should have both arms up, about shoulder height and not let either one droop. This helps enforce a body posture that helps keep your balance coming out. Finally, he said once switching the arms to hold that position and glide a bit before turning. The turn should be totally the lower body, the upper body is already in place for coming out of the turn. This latter one is also part of my problem with the two-foot-turn back to front (seen in my stumbling direction changes in the backward crossover video).

You can see in the video that the closer I get to getting those elements right, the better the turn works.

Other things my instructor has me working on are my forward outside edges, forward inside edges and backward outside edges as formal figure skating techniques. I am making progress, slowly but surely in those. Right now, as I showed in earlier videos, I’m still just riding the backward edges around and holding them as long as I can. When I reach the point where I can consistently ride the backward edge in a half circle, I’ll start worrying about the arm switching and other things to continue in an “S” curve.

One more technique the instructor introduced me to last week was the forward inside Mohawk turn. The three-turn stays on the same foot but changes direction and changes edge–you start with a left forward outside edge, an end up in a left backward inside edge. For the Mohawk, you change direction, change foot, and keep the same edge. So you start with, a right forward inside edge and end up in a left backward inside edge. It works something like this:

In class I brought up the subject of the Learn to Skate USA “Adult” level progression. I noted it seemed geared more toward recreational skating and not actual figure skating–there are things not covered in the adult level progression that serve as foundational skills for figure skating: back to front two-foot-turn, and a variety of other techniques (described previously). The techniques included in adult that aren’t included in basic (for the young people) appear to be ice dancing moves: Swing rolls and outside to inside changes of edge on a line.

I told my instructor that I intend to continue in figure skating as long as I am physically able. He was quite pleased about that and said that he did try to work those other techniques in when working with adults.

All in all, nice little milestone met and progress made in other things.

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