Beginner Forward Upright Scratch Spin (Charyl Brusch)

Figure skating spin specialist Charyl Brusch works with a skater on improving a forward upright scratch spin. Charyl addresses several important points throughout the video, including entrance step direction, head position during the spin, free foot movement, and overall alignment during the spin. This skater is clearly confused by the concept of “stepping where you came from.” It’s just so easy for beginner skaters to release the shoulders and open entirely to step along the same directional path created by the back wind-up edge. But to get a stronger entrance edge, it’s very important to step roughly perpendicular to the end of the wind-up edge, and because that feels so strange to skaters at this level, coaches exaggerate and tell them to step back where they came from.

The idea of keeping the head directly on the axis is important, and many skaters at this level will push the head forward incorrectly, probably because it’s a way of trying to “feel” the spin. Many coaches suggest tucking the chin back, but Charyl simply positions the skater’s head in the correct position while at a standstill. The movement of the free foot can also be a challenge at this level, probably because skaters again are trying to “feel” the spin and trying to center it, and they tend to have a lot of overall movement whereas it’s much more important to learn stillness during a spin.


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