Lesson 6 – Focus on Footwork

My back was feeling pretty decently last night, so I started my practice by working on my jumps (waltz jump, salchow, toe-loop) and my scratch spin.  They were okay, I’m still leery of the salchow because I’m afraid it will hurt my back.  Not wanting to push too much, I changed my focus to three-turns and edges during the rest of the time I practiced, and decided that Lesson 6 would be a good opportunity to work on footwork.  I reviewed what is required for the pre-bronze moves in the field test to see where I stood.

Forward Perimeter Stroking (in Both Directions) – I have not practiced much in the clockwise direction, as that would be a hindrance to normal flow, but I should check this out in the near future.

Basic Consecutive Edges (Forward Outside and Inside/Backward Outside and Inside) – My forward edges felt good on my own, but I wanted to make sure my arms and technique were appropriate.  My backwards edges are shaky and slow.  I recognized that I needed some assistance in doing these properly.

Forward and Backward Crossovers – I am comfortable with my crossovers in all directions.  I just will need to learn what the transitions are, as “a swing roll & change of edge to open mohawk to turn around” is an incomprehensible  language for me!

Waltz 8 – I read what a waltz 8 is supposed to be and I’m comfortable with three-turns and mohawks, so this should be doable, I just will want to practice this in a lesson before trying on my own.

Forward Right and Left Foot Spirals – I have these fears of sticking my chest down far enough to get my leg to horizontal, and kicking someone in the process.  It also puts a lot of pressure on my back.  I’ve tried them each week, but they haven’t been anything special.

There were only two of us in our usual adult group, and we decided to work on footwork.  The first item I worked on was brackets.  I’m sure I once knew this, but a bracket is like a three-turn, but you rotate your body in the opposite direction and it leaves a different mark on the ice.  For instance, if I was going to do a left inside three-turn, I would start on the inside edge of my left foot and turn my body clockwise to end up on the left outside edge.  With a bracket, I am only changing the rotation, but keeping the edges the same.  I start on a left inside edge, turn counter-clockwise, and then exit on the left outside edge.  As I experienced, this is easier said than done…

I understand the brackets starting on an inside edge are easier than those starting on an outside edge.  I tried the outside one by accident and it seemed to be of a similar difficulty, so maybe that’s a good thing.  I apparently also did a rocker by mistake.  (I will say that I love when you mess up in figure skating and the messed up move has a name; it’s very comforting to me!)

I found that the right inside bracket was easier than the left inside bracket, but they were both very challenging to me.  I definitely will have to practice these!

Left Inside Bracket

Right Inside Bracket

Next, I worked on edges and learned what to do with my arms and feet.  I did very well on the forward edges, once I learned how you change your arms and that your feet come together before you push into the next edge.  My backward outside edges improved once I learned how to take the push to get them going.  However, I struggled with the push required for the backward inside edges.

Finally, I did spirals and got over my fear of lifting my leg to horizontal.   I felt equally comfortable on both legs.  I think I must have appeared too confident once I figured them out, as the skater working with me asked if I wanted to try back spirals.  Uhhhh – no thanks, not yet!!

Right and Left Spirals

After class, I spoke to one of the coaches to see if staying in the Learn to Skate program would help me prepare for testing and eventually competition.  She said it all depends on the number of people and the level of the class.  Small groups of more advanced adult skaters would give more one-on-one instruction.  The group lessons are (I’m assuming) significantly cheaper than the private lessons, so maybe that’s a good thing to consider for now.  Luckily, I have three more lessons to figure this out…

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