Spin specialist Charyl Brusch explains how she teaches a butterfly. This discussion contains further details from Charyl on this spin as she already discussed the butterfly here. The butterfly is often confused with an Arabian. Charyl explains the difference and notes that almost no figure skaters actually do an Arabian.
[Editor’s note: This is just one of those things in skating that is often misnamed and will likely remain so. In other words, nearly everyone that talks about an Arabian is really describing a butterfly. In particular, toe tap butterflies are often referred to as Arabians as you can see in this video, even though they are not technically Arabians. That video shows a pretty nice toe tap butterfly by Ryan Bradley. Here’s a young man working on an off-ice Arabian and here’s an example of an on-ice toe tap Arabian.]
Charyl explains that she spends a lot of time teaching the entrance. She explains the relationship to the Ina Bauer and the weight transfers involved. The push into the “jump” is off both toes. Notice how Charyl does simple weight transfer movements and arm and body movements in isolation to develop the proper feeling. She builds the entrance up piece by piece, and does lots of repetitions of each step in the process. Charyl gives a great tip for skaters who do not drop down far enough on the entrance (try to get snow on gloves!). She explains that it’s not a break at the waist or dropping the head and she demonstrates what she wants. Next, Charyl covers the actual jump take-off. She doesn’t want the leg coming around but rather it should stay in back and scissor. (A common error is to let the leg come around and you end up with a flying camel.)
Charyl also discusses other common problems. The most common initial error is the flying camel or waltz jump. She avoids this error by teaching the butterfly on two back inside edges (rather than a forward outside edge). Another common error is mistiming the body movement or stopping or pausing the body movement after the movement has been initiated.
At the end of the video, Charyl notes that technically the take-off doesn’t take off two feet at once but rather the landing foot leaves the ice just before the other foot. For most skaters, the right leg will come off the ice first followed quickly by the left. This is a detailed video that fills in some of the gaps in the previous discussion.
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