Combo Spin Tips and Lesson (Sheila Thelen)

Spin specialist Sheila Thelen offers some feedback to a young skater who is working on a combination spin on one foot. The combination spin starts with a bounce spin (technically not an illusion), then transitions into a shotgun sit position, then sit side (broken leg sit), and then finishes with a pancake. There’s a lot going on in this spin, but Sheila focuses on the most important detail of any combination spin, and that’s the ability to remain rock solid on the spin spot of the skate blade. Sheila shows the skater where this spot is, and asks the skater to maintain constant pressure at that point throughout the spin. Notice how the skater really struggles with this when moving into the pancake position.

Sheila also addresses the bent free leg in the bounce spin. And she discusses the need to gain speed through multiple position changes in a combination spin. To retain the audience’s attention, a spin should retain it’s rotational speed or get faster throughout.

[Editor’s note: In the video, Sheila refers to the bounce spin as an illusion. And although this terminology is very common, it’s not exactly correct. Both a bounce spin and an illusion are in the windmill family of spins, but an illusion is performed from a backspin, while the bounce spin is performed from a forward spin. Technically, the skater in this video is performing a bounce spin.]


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