Creating Figure Skating Footwork Using FERTS Game – Part 1 (Nick Perna)

Figure skating coach Nick Perna discusses a dice game he invented called FERTS for working on figure skating turns and steps and developing a clearer understanding of the definitions of the major turns in skating.  The FERTS game is a natural extension of Nick’s previous discussions of orphan turns.  Nick explains that FERTS stands for Foot-Edge-Rotation-Type-Shape and he explains each of the terms in detail.  There are two options associated with each term.  Nick also shows the dice and how he labeled them.

Then Nick begins explaining how to play the actual FERTS game.  To start the game, Nick flips a coin to decide on starting forward or backward.  After that, the results of the dice build out the entire footwork sequence.  Notice how the skater needs to figure out the turn without ever knowing its name.  Nick demonstrates the process.  He says, “At no point do the dice tell you the name of the turn.  They only tell you what the turn components are made up of.  This is why it’s an interesting game to play with students, because it makes them really have to think.”

Near the end of the video, Nick shows how successive rolls of the dice are handled to build up the footwork sequence.  One important rule Nick mentions is that if the edge the skater is on at the end of the previous turn is different than the edge demanded by the new dice roll, the skater simply performs a change of edge prior to the turn.

Brilliant (and fun!).  Stay tuned for part 2…


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