Creating Figure Skating Footwork Using FERTS Game – Part 2 (Nick Perna)
Nick Perna continues his discussion of the figure skating 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.  As discussed in part 1, The FERTS game is a natural extension of Nick’s previous presentations of orphan turns.  Nick picks up the discussion with a more thorough explanation of “shape.”  He also shows how the dice results can be easily broken up into well known turns and steps and this understanding can be very helpful to skaters as they develop a complete understanding of the turns.
For example, when an “S” comes up for shape, the turn or step will be a rocker, a choctaw, or a counter.  When a “circle” comes up for shape, the turn or step is a mohawk, a three turn, or a bracket.  Nick then continues the game with another roll of the dice.  He then clarifies rules a bit more.  He says, “Now in this game I try to keep it really pure.  So anytime you have to change feet, you have to change from the edge you were on to the [desired] edge.”  The idea is that the skater should not use a change of edge prior to a push.  A common situation where this arises with when the skater must change from from one outside edge to another outside edge.  When moving forward this requires the use of forward cross strokes and when moving backwards it requires backward cross strokes.  Nick notes that sometimes a cross in front is easier in the overall movement than doing a back cross stroke.  
This game is flat out fun.  Nick explains that when he does this game with reasonably proficient skaters, they really enjoy it.  Nick notes, “Most skaters will put together turns that feel comfortable to them and natural sort of in their movement repertoire.  But in this game, it makes you think out of the box.  It forces you to skate a little bit out of the box and do some turns you don’t feel comfortable doing and you might no have ever put together before.”  Nick notes that it’s a good tool for choreographers to use to build interesting footwork sequences.  It can provide some great ideas for an IJS footwork sequence.
Finally Nick suggests modifications to the game to add more difficulty.  The “Foot” die can be removed so the entire footwork must remain on the same foot.  Or you can put a coin in and add another option such as jumping a turn or doing a toe step or toe hop.


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