Butterfly Flying Spin Lesson – Common Problem (Kim Ryan)

In this figure skating spin video, spin specialist Kim Ryan is working with a skater to improve her butterfly.  If you are looking for information about the basics of a butterfly, check out these two videos:  Butterfly Entrance and The Butterfly.  The video below focuses on one very common problem with the butterfly.  Due to the focus on open hips and pointing toes that is so prevalent in the sport, many skaters attempt to perform a butterfly by opening the hips and allowing the legs to bend dramatically in the air.  This not only affects how it looks, but it tends to reduce the height of the flight and makes consistency more challenging, particularly that of landing and then spinning.

After the skater attempts one butterfly, Kim tells her, “You have got to stretch your legs out.  When you go to do this and you come around the corner, the legs have to go heel, heel.  It’s got to pigeon toe.  You can’t turn your legs out… and you can’t bend your knees.”  To address this, Kim has the skater perform scissor kicks at the wall.  Because the skater does not correctly feel the scissor kick, Kim simplifies the exercise to a single leg kick where the toe remains pointed down (pigeon toe) and the skater tries to “spike the ceiling with the heel” all while keeping the leg completely straight.  Notice that the attempts that Kim prefers are those that are controlled and have less energy.  This is an important lesson as many skaters simply want to throw themselves into the air with as much energy as possible and then go limp in the legs, causing unsightly bent legs.

Notice how challenging this is for a skater who already has muscle memory of incorrect technique.  The issue is the same on the kicks for both legs.  As Kim explains, it doesn’t do any good to bend the legs so the foot ends up higher than the hips, because the upper leg is not getting parallel to the ice or “above the hip.”  Near the end of the video, there’s also a discussion of proper arm usage.  Lots of good tips in this video for those wanting to improve a butterfly.


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password

FavoriteLoadingAdd to "My Favorites" (Beta testing)
Member Login

Forgot Password