Basic Upright Spins (Charyl Brusch)

Figure skating spin specialist Charyl Brusch gives a lesson on forward and backward upright spins. On the forward upright scratch spin, this skater has unusual arm positions and movement so Charyl makes her aware of it. Some skaters use their arms for balance when initially learning to spin and they develop bad habits that “look weird,” so these issues need to be corrected early to avoid problems later. Charyl wants the skater to flex the free foot at the end of the spin, and she has the skater think about pressing the heel down of the free skate.

On the upright backspin this skater has similar arm issues. To address this Charyl says, “What I want you to think about doing is nothing.” She continues, “That’s all your arms do, absolutely nothing when you (three) turn.” Charyl is reinforcing the position of the arms on the entry, and she’s using the concept of “nothing” or no movement to try to minimize the skater’s tendency to lift one arm and drop the other in the early stages of the spin itself.

Charyl works with this skater while stationary on two feet to get the desired alignment for backspin. Notice all the corrections, including hips neutral (not forward or backward), chin up, weight over axis leg, minimal core twist (rectangle shoulders to hips), feet together on soft knees, and axis hip pulled backward “just a little bit.” Charyl has the skater glide backward on her axis foot while Charyl pushes her as a way to work on this aligned position while maintaining forward pressure on the skate blade and learning to be on a flat rather than a strong edge.


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