Building a Butterfly – Part 1 (Robert Tebby)

World and Olympic coach Robert Tebby shows how he teaches a butterfly flying spin entrance to a group of skaters. This is an excellent presentation that offers a large number of tips that allow a skater to learn this difficult skill relatively quickly.

As Robert notes, the butterfly is considered a “difficult fly” in the IJS rules, making it a valuable skill for all advanced skaters. Robert also notes that the butterfly “jumps backward” which makes it a unique figure skating element. After a butterfly, the skater can land and spin in any of the primary spin positions (upright, sit, camel). But when learning the butterfly, skaters need to avoid mistaking the movements for those of a flying camel entry (which jumps forward rather than backward).

Robert builds the butterfly step by step, in a way that ensures safety for the skater while building correct muscle memory. After performing a series of progressing drills at a standstill, he shares a simple entrance, and offers more key insights about head and body position and movements. The up and down rhythm of the body and knees is critical and Robert keeps this simple and easy to understand and execute.

Just a note: The skater Robert is helping at the end of the video jumps and spins the “other way” which might be confusing to those expecting a demo the same direction as the rest of the video.


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