Edge Class – Part 4 (Chris Conte)

Choreographer Chris Conte continues with his class on edges and power generation. As noted in Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 this class was in Korea on one of Chris’s visits and you’ll notice Eun Hee Lee translating for her Korean skaters. Please excuse the audio on this video as it was taken during the class with no wireless microphones so it can be difficult to hear. Nevertheless, the ideas demonstrated in the video are important and worth observing even without quality audio.

In the video below, Chris introduces two foot forward pulls.  The purpose of this exercise is to develop proper alignment and edge usage while keeping both feet on the ice.  Notice one skate uses the inside edge and the other uses the outside edge.  The feet should pass very closely when switching direction (switching circles).  Notice that Chris “sits” down and keeps his hips under him.  Skaters doing these kinds of drills tend to stick their hips out behind them and pop their hips out to one side or the other.  Chris shows the incredible knee and ankle bend required on the back leg to do it properly.  When Chris skates the pattern, you can see the relaxed position of the upper body and the strong knee and ankle bend providing the powerful edge.

In the part of the video where Chris is supporting the skater, he’s showing her how to achieve proper alignment with the hips leaned into the circle with respect to the feet.  He also talks about where his weight is to do this movement well.  With very little weight on the front foot, it’s very much like standard forward power pulls.  As a choreographer, Chris also notes that this exercise creates nice foot turn-out.  He then complicates it by having the skaters switch from two feet to one foot and then repeat.

Near the end of the video, he gives another version of the drill where the skater keeps the same foot in front regardless of the circle.  (Prior to this, the front foot was always the inside foot with respect to the circle.)  It is challenging in this drill to keep the hips aligned properly and Chris shows how he gets a skater to feel and correct these alignment issues.


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