Figure Skating Spins: Basics Of Spinning (Bobbe Shire)

Bobbe Shire explains and demonstrates her basic philosophy of spinning.  In this video she shares her 5 Step Approach to Spinning.  As Bobbe says, each step has a name and the important things to remember about it.

The 5 steps are:

1. Presentation Edge
a. Let edge get small (Bobbe calls this the “Curlicue”)

2. Push Onto Spinning Foot
a. Twist
b. Opposite hand leads
c. Push “into” circle
d. Let the edge run

3. The Hook (most important part of any spin – where we get force and center)
a. Axis (toe, knee, belly button)
b. 3 Hinges (instep, knee, hip)
c. Everything as far from axis as possible!  (You get “Fat George” here…)
d. Stay down in your knee and open for one revolution

4. Spin
a. Center
b. Line
c. Speed (squeeze George)

5. Exit
a. Always exit with style
b. Big push

This method is an excellent systematic approach to teaching spins.  In this video, you’ll also be exposed to some of Bobbe’s terminology and concepts that have helped make her one of the most sought after spin coaches in the world.  There’s tons of great information packed into this video.  Enjoy!

Bobbe is an Olympic spin coach and we are very lucky to have her contributions to iCoachSkating.com.  Please leave a comment for Bobbe or other members below.

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23 Responses to “Figure Skating Spins: Basics Of Spinning (Bobbe Shire)”
  1. September 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    K Clarke As I always have trouble working out the preparation for the spin it was great to see it broken down into steps so you could see what was happening at each stage. Very helpful and something to refer back to when needed.

  2. September 6, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    Dan I have tried this technique and it has worked great ever since with all my skaters. I feel that they spin much faster and are always centered. Thanks Bobbie

  3. September 6, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    Geoff I really appreciate this advice and can't wait to give it a whirl! My spin - which had been pretty good a couple of years ago, has deserted me and really brought me down. Thanks again. Geoff. ~:o)

  4. September 6, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Mark Thanks for your great video Bobbe! Super helpful info! I thought the opposite hand in front seemed too weird, but when I tried it today it was just great. It was very smooth to, upon hooking, just bring the free leg up under an already positioned hand and arm. And the curlicue entry is really helpful too; it really makes the entry step a lot better. Thanks again for your contribution I really appreciated it!

  5. September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Lynn Thank you. I am an adult skater and have struggled with spinning and will try your techniques. My coach sent me this video.

  6. September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Stewart Feinstein Not bad Bobbe - nice to hear a coach explain things well. I coach left arm in front, but understand opposite and that works for me too. However if you coach left arm in front and the student has a great whip with the free leg and the hook of the spin is approximately half a heart shape then it will produce a much faster spin!!! Also I am a very strong believer in a relaxed spinning knee and free heel down on a scratch spin - it all helps to "Blur" the spin. I thoroughly enjoyed watching you explain though as I dont see any good spin technique taught in my country. Kind regards - Stewart - Ice Skating Coach UK

  7. September 6, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Dobrila This is soo great.

  8. September 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Amanda Wonderful! This confirmed a lot of my teaching style when it comes to spins.

  9. September 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Anne A Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I love getting others tips and terminology because sometimes it takes a different perspective to get it through! I will start with these tomorrow!

  10. September 6, 2011 at 8:45 pm

    Debbie Great examples..very clear...I use different words ,but same ideas. Thanks

  11. September 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Daphne Solis Nice explanation. The entrance off of a backcrossover is so mystical to some skaters so I really like the idea of using the line first. I'm beginning to wonder....."hmmmmm, why didn't I think of that?" I agree that the less movement on the prep the better. I often have my skaters visualize the *big*, *huge* door on the giant's castle from Jack and the Beanstalk. Emphasis on BIG and HUGE. I explain to them that they need to push the door open w/ only their opposite arm (left arm for left rotating skaters) when they enter the spin. I usually have them begin at a stand still, extend their arm, then press against my hand in order to bring their arm around with the outside entrance edge. I press back in order to not let their arm 'whip' around and to give them a "feeling" of what pushing the big, huge door would be like. This, along w/ the GREAT tips from Bobbe, helps my skaters get a little extra 'umph' in their spins. Thanks so much for this video!

  12. September 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Nathalie I teach "same hand leads' instead of the opposite, I might give "opposite hand" method a try with one of my skater who seems to have trouble controling her arms. Great step by step tutorial.

  13. September 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Dawn Excellent instruction and skater examples! Will be sharing these techniques at the rink next week.

  14. September 6, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    Faye Kitariev I have send a comment a moment ago, but didn't hit "rate" button, I think. I've noticed, that they usually set on 3. This video is 5!!! If I have send "3" it was an accident, pls, change it to "5". Thank you.

  15. September 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Faye Kitariev Bobbie! Gr8 presentation! And you explain everything so crystal clear, a baby will understand. Beautiful! Thank you so much! I miss you you and Denise a lot. "Hi" to the girls. Faye

  16. September 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    sharon maree upton proving that the breaking down of manouvres into small components and making they are all the right cut before you stitch it all together works thanks

  17. September 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    Sheila Thelen Bobbe! LOVE IT! Fat George is going to the ice arena - with me! Great, great tips! THANKS!

  18. September 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Lisha I love "Fat George". I know I'm going to have insomnia until I can come up with a good Hebrew translation that sounds as cute. :) That spot where you showed the hinges and extension was really helpful. I have some adult skaters that are trying to get spins and I've had a lot of trouble with both of them getting their axis straight and solid from entrance through execution. Maybe this will help.

  19. September 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Laura I was able to use the steps today and they are great!!! My kids loved how "simple" it made their spins feel. I really like how the steps give unison to spins, I feel they give beginner skaters more confidence when trying new spins. Thank you Bobbe and Welcome!!!

  20. September 6, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    Paula Trujillo Great presentation! thank you Bobbie!

  21. September 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    srswift I love the break down into progressions. Can't wait to try it out with my strugglers. Thank you!!

  22. September 6, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Nancy Thank you Bobbe!! This is great information. I love the steps. It IS so simple. Thank you for sharing your expertise and your time!

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