Death Drop Figure Skating Spin (Charyl Brusch)

Spin specialist Charyl Brusch gives an excellent presentation on the death drop.  When introducing the death drop, Charyl starts with a drill she calls the “kick turn.”  Notice the drawing on the ice to encourage the skater to ride a deepening edge rather than jump early.  Charyl describes the drill in detail including where to start with the arms and what arm movement is required for the take-off. The arms end in what Charyl refers to as her “little Superman position.”  She wants the skater to turn on the bottom toe pick at the end of the entry edge.  She emphasizes this with one of the demonstrators.  She says, “Make sure you hit your toe, or you aren’t going to like yourself very much.”

Charyl notes that most people who try to do a death drop actually do a flying camel into back sit.  The take-off of a death drop is dramatically different than that of a flying camel.  Charyls says, “The biggest thing on this is you don’t want to lean forward.  You want to keep your back up.”

Next in the development, Charyl has the skater jump slightly at the end of the entry edge.  She says, “I just have them kind of start the kick, hop over to the other foot, and not worry about sitting.  I’m just going for that timing with the legs getting a little bit more of a whip.”  In the first take-offs Charyl wants to keep it simple and safe.

Common death drop errors include leaning forward on take-off, not waiting long enough on the entrance edge, and prematurely stopping the arms so that they don’t swing all the way up at take-off.  Charyl demonstrates exactly what she wants the arms to do in the death drop.  This detail is sometimes the only missing “trick” needed by some skaters to master this spin entrance.  Charyl wants the knees of both legs to be straight in the air.

Lots of information in this video and some nice demonstrations.


We are very fortunate to have a spin specialist of Charyl’s caliber as a presenter at  iCoachSkating.comPlease rate this content and leave a comment for Charyl or other members below.

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6 Responses to “Death Drop Figure Skating Spin (Charyl Brusch)”
  1. August 25, 2012 at 10:46 am

    lsussman This was fantastic information. Thank you so much!

  2. September 8, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Nancy Cheryl, thank you SO much! I was just learning these when I quit skating and went to college and have never had a good understanding of this spin. This was a GREAT explanation and I understand the concept so much better now!

  3. January 26, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Nick Great tips, Charyl! That one trick with throwing the arms up like "Superman" improved every single one of my student's death drops...INSTANTLY! Love it!

  4. July 1, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    Stephanie Wow... I love the steps leading up to a good spin and this video was very informative for myself as a skater. Can't wait to practice :)

  5. January 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Michelle Thank you for the tip about the toe pick, very helpful. However, the part about throwing the arms up in superman position not working, my coach was quick to correct this, stating that arms should come through, assist with the lift but not be overhead.

  6. January 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    Trevor Michelle, I think there's a lot of ways to handle the arms. I don't teach the overhead arm position that Charyl uses either, but I recognize it helps solve one of the most common death drop problems. Many skaters will not keep their body up throughout the take-off and tend to "cheat" it towards the final position before even leaving the ice. Charyl's arm recommendation largely eliminates this problem and forces the skater to keep the body up and the energy of the take-off going up. I'm glad you and your coach are finding the best way for you to do one!

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