Back Camel Spin – Developing the Back Camel (Sheila Thelen)

Sheila Thelen provides a process for improving a back camel spin.  The back camel spin is a difficult skill to learn for a number of reasons.  First, nothing really “swings around” to help create rotational energy for the spin so the skater needs to create all of the spin energy directly from the edge on the ice.  Second, skaters that are initially learning back camel spins often do not have very strong back outside spirals.  And third, there is a lot of confusion in the skating community about proper body position on the entrance of the back camel and in the back camel itself.

In this video, Sheila shows how she builds a back camel from a stationary back pivot.  One of the biggest challenges for most skaters is the need to pull the free leg fully behind the skating foot.  Sheila explains the “trick” in the video.  She also covers details about balance and where the weight should be on the blade.  The “opposite shoulder to hip pressure” that she talks about is critical to mastering this spin.  Sheila shows how the use of Champion Cords can dramatically help speed up this process.  Notice the focus on being able to clearly “feel” what is going on.

Next Sheila progresses to the forward inside edge entry.  One key piece of information is the spin should spin or make circles right next to the three turn from the forward inside edge to the back outside edge of the spin.  Sheila demonstrates this.  She also takes some time to discuss this entrance in more detail include what to do with the free arm and where the arms go in the spin.  Also notice the continual focus on arching the back on the entry and the spin itself.  She also talks about how to increase the spin speed by increasing the edge pressure.


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