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How to Center a Spin, Sit Spin Basics (Bobbe Shire)

Figure skating spin specialist Bobbe Shire continues her discussion of spin basics.  In the previous video, she shared a repeatable spin setup and entrance to maximize rotational energy while giving the skater the greatest possible chance for centering consistently.  In this video, she reiterates that she goes back to these basics whenever her skaters are having problems centering.  The reason is simple:  The 5-step entrance she uses is highly repeatable and it puts the skater into a position that increases the chance of success.

For a sit spin, Bobbe uses the same setup and entrance, with minor changes to get into the sit position on the entrance edge and hook.  The position gets lower and lower throughout the entrance edge, hook, 1st rotation, and final position.  Note that Bobbe does not recommend the commonly taught method of entering an upright spin and then dropping into the sit position.  This old-fashioned method is inferior because “you lose a lot of speed and you lose your center very often.”

Next Bobbe talks about the forces within the spin, which she refers to as “George.”  She says, “In a sit spin, George is in our lap.”  She continues, “When we’re in a sit spin, we can increase our speed by pressing on George in your lap.”  She also explains how to use George to easily rise up and exit the sit position.

Bobbe continues with a description and demonstration of 2 setup variations she uses based on the skater’s skill level.  To ensure less experienced skaters wind up the hips properly, she initially twists the shoulders outside the circle before rotating them back before the step.  But for those skaters who can wind up the hips properly, she likes to simply wind up the hips without twisting the arms.

Other pieces of wisdom in this video:  She says, “Spinners spin fast and can make up cool spins because they want to and they like to.”  And finally, “Let me caution you on this:  The last thing you want to do is move your arms as you change from the back foot to the forward foot (step forward).  That is really disruptive to the spin. The arms should be set already.”  Note that it doesn’t matter which arm the skater uses to lead into the spin, as long as the hips wind up correctly and the arms are still during the forward step.


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