Butterfly Spin Entrance – Step by Step (Amy Brolsma)

Coach Amy Brolsma shares a process for teaching and learning the butterfly flying spin entrance. This step-by-step guide starts assuming the skater has no knowledge or experience with the butterfly, and by the end a skater should be able to do a basic butterfly. Amy starts with the skater facing the wall with hands on the wall to learn the basic “butterfly kick” or “scissors kick.”  For a skater who rotates CCW, first the right leg (axis side) goes up and then the left leg (non-axis side). The kicks are performed directly behind the skater and the skater should land on the toe pick of the right foot. There is no “turn-out” or open hips for the kicks. An important tip is to try to make the second kick higher than the first, and to arch the back strongly.

Next, Amy moves the skater away from the wall and repeats the butterfly kick exercise without holding on. Once the skater develops some comfort with the butterfly kick, Amy teaches a “monkey drop” where the skater bends the knees deeply and allows the body to drop all the way down so the head is between the knees. Next, she has the skater do monkey drops into butterfly kicks, all without rotating and again keeping the focus on landing on the toe pick.

To begin adding a very small amount of rotation, Amy has the skater do a monkey drop where the starting position has the skater fully twisted to the axis side and finishes with the skater fully twisted to the non-axis side. Notice the weight shift that happens during this twisted monkey drop.  The skater then adds the butterfly kicks to the twisted monkey drop. To provide even more rotation, Amy next teaches a “barrel spin” on two feet where the skater is spinning with a wide stance on deeply bent knees. Once mastered, the skater can do a barrel spin into a basic monkey drop (not twisted) into butterfly kicks. This is then turned into a “twisted barrel spin” so the skater starts in the barrel spin and performs a full twisted monkey drop into the butterfly kick.

Amy takes a moment to explain how the non-axis foot briefly does a small three turn so the skater can lift off the toe pick going forward. She compares it to a salchow take-off. Amy notes that she usually starts skaters off by teaching a butterfly into a back sit spin, and later teaches the more challenging butterfly into back camel spin.

Finally, Amy demonstrates a basic forward-moving entry for the butterfly. She starts with forward inside edge on the non-axis leg and then pushes onto the axis leg with full twist. Next comes the twisted barrel spin into the twisted monkey drop and then the butterfly kick, finally landing in a back sit spin. Note the toe drag and slight inside spread eagle to transition from the forward inside edge into the barrel spin.

This is fantastic presentation on the butterfly. Also see these butterfly presentations:

Building a Butterfly – Part 1 (Robert Tebby)
Building a Butterfly – Part 2 (Robert Tebby)
The Butterfly Spin Entrance – Part 1 (Charyl Brusch)
The Butterfly Spin Entrance – Part 2 (Charyl Brusch)
Flying Spin – The Butterfly (Charyl Brusch)
Butterfly Flying Spin Lesson – Common Problem (Kim Ryan)


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