Crossfoot Spin – Figure Skating Spins – Part 1 (Bobbe Shire)

Figure skating spin specialist Bobbe Shire explains how she teaches a crossfoot spin.  This spin is generally misunderstood by skaters and coaches and few coaches know how to teach this spin properly.  A crossfoot spin is a spin on two feet on two outside edges.  (A regular two foot spin is typically performed on two inside edges.)  The skater’s weight should be equally distributed on both skates.

Bobbe begins by explaining why the crossfoot spin is worth learning.  Many skaters with open hips simply lack the flexibility to attempt other upright spin variations.  This is particularly true for male skaters, but many female skaters have also had success with the crossfoot spin.

Somewhat surprisingly, Bobbe introduces the crossfoot spin by having the skater attempt a simple forward upright with a change of edge.  This is a difficult way to begin learning the spin, but it truly forces the skater to get used to spinning on the outside edge.  (The most common error is spinning on a flat or inside edge.)  Notice the focus on h-position just prior to the change of edge.  This helps the skater attain and maintain proper alignment for the change of edge.

After the skater can do the change of edge spin, Bobbe shows how she turns it into a crossfoot spin.  She initially has the skater tuck the free leg behind and then in one motion, change edge and press the free foot down onto the ice.  The toes should be together and the skater’s weight should be evenly distributed.  Bobbe wants the skater to lift from the hips.  She also offers an arm movement that helps most skaters when initially learning the spin.  Eventually any arm position can be used.

The demonstrators show various skill level when doing this so Bobbe can comment and offer corrections.  (Some of the skaters had never tried one of these before!)  When learning this spin, it’s common for the spin to “grind to a halt” but Bobbe notes that this is often a good sign as it means the skater is close to success.


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