How to Curtsy – Part 2 (Kate Charbonneau)

Coach Kate Charbonneau continues her discussion and demonstration of the technique and unwritten rules of performing a cursy or bow at the end of a skating performance. In Part 1 Kate discussed the basic differences for high and low level competitors, including performance details. In this video, Kate begins by describing and demonstrating the general process a skater should follow immediately at the end of their competitive routine.

She suggests holding the final pose for 3 seconds, and then moving gracefully from that pose to skate strongly to center ice before performing the curtsy or bow. Again as noted in Part 1, the skater should always curtsy/bow to the judges and then to the audience side, before strongly skating and gliding off the ice (continue the performance). Kate explains, “If you didn’t have the best skate, these things are not easy to do. You have to have a lot of body control and also a lot of emotional control to continue that performance.”

When initially learning to bow or curtsy, inexperienced skaters will often rush through the process. It takes practice to get the “timing” and movements right so that it looks polished and confident. Kate focuses a lot on good posture and “holding the back nice and straight” to avoid slouching or allowing the hips to drift back too far. This also helps avoid pulling the shoulders up. The goal is for skaters to hold themselves proudly in good alignment and then “bend softly and patiently,” and it makes sense to keep the movements small at first.


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