Camel Spin In Ice Skating – Part 1 (Charyl Brusch)

Spin specialist Charyl Brusch explains how she teaches the camel spin.  She starts by talking about the desired spinning position.  One of the keys to a good camel spin is having the free hip on top of the skating hip.  Charyl also discusses free leg position and body position and she offers a fun and useful tip for keeping the head up and level.  Charyl wants the skating knee straight in a camel spin (she prefers a slight knee bend for upright spins).  Charyl has her skaters practice the desired position at the wall.

As for the entry, Charyl says, “I want the same entrance you’ve done into your scratch spin and the same entrance you’ve done into your sit spin.”  Going into the spin, the free leg trails behind, the skating knee is bent and the body is up.  The body position on a camel spin entry is often misunderstood.  Charyl says, “I don’t have them lean way forward.  I don’t want them to lean forward because if they hit their toe when you’re leaning too far forward you kinda keep going [into a fall].  I teach it with their back more upright, because what I want is the back-end to come up.  I don’t want the front-end to go down.  So I have them go in on a knee bend and as they pop up I have them lift the leg.  I don’t do a whole lot with the upper body.”

Charyl prefers leading into the spin with the skating arm in front.  It sweeps back on the same level it’s already on so the arm moves parallel to the ice.  A very common error is to drop the arm down which can cause loss of balance as well as loss of rotational energy.

Charyl shows how she physically helps her skaters learn the camel spin.  As the demonstrators show camel spins, Charyl offers additional insights.  In terms of timing, she wants the skater to stay down in the skating knee until after hitting the toe pick in the three turn.  Then she wants the skating arm to sweep back as the skating knee straightens.  She also wants the shoulders to remain square and relatively parallel to the ice, rather then letting the shoulders open too much with the hips.  It’s important that the free leg remain back throughout the entry or it will cause the skater to switch to an inside edge prior to the three turn, causing the whole free side to drop when the skater pops up out of the knee.  It’s very common for skaters to sweep the skating arm too soon.  Instead Charyl prefers to keep it in front until the skater hits the toe pick.


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