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Figure Skating Spins – Sit Spin Part 1 (Kim Ryan)

Spin specialist Kim Ryan explains to a spin class how she introduces the sit spin.  To help skaters who are just learning the sit spin get low enough, Kim has the class do stationary dips on two feet.  Notice the focus on pressing the body forward, which is typically necessary to balance a sit spin.  Kim explains it as lean forward to go down, and lean forward again to get up.  She compares it to how we naturally sit down on a chair and then get up.

Next, Kim has the class do dips gliding forward on two feet, followed by forward shoot-the-ducks.  The idea is simply to get the skaters comfortable in a low sitting position they will need for the sit spin.  Kim doesn’t want the skaters to hold on to their leg or foot in the shoot-the-duck.  She explains the desired hand position.  She also explains the process of starting with a 2-foot dip, then sliding a foot out to create the shoot-the-duck position.  She repeats, “Chin and chest and nose over your knees and toes.”

For skaters who spin to the left, Kim wants them to keep their left hand in front of them, without swimming or scooping.  She recommends having the thumb of the left hand pointed upward and in line with the chin and belly button.  This alignment helps center the spin.

Kim also discusses having a bent versus a straight free leg.  She notes there is no requirement for keeping the leg straight and it’s largely a matter of personal preference.  Kim does however want the skater to “shut” the legs so there is no space between the legs when in the final sit position.  At the end of the video, Kim also offers additional insights about why the left arm should stay still and in front.


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