Ice Show 2-Hand Eagle Partner Spin (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

Two-time World Ice Dance Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue teach the very common ice show partner spin which is sometimes referred to as the eagle spin or spread eagle spin. And although this is not a serious figure skating skill, the spin is fun and an excellent tool for improving partnering and building awareness of pulling in slowly to maximize spin speed (even helpful for solo spinning). Pretty much every figure skater has tried this with a friend at some point.

Madison provides a nice description of this spin, and Madison and Zach demonstrate how even from a slow start, significant spin speed can be attained when done correctly. Part of the secret lies in bending close to the ice at the beginning and creating the proper tension in the arms by leaning away from each other with the upper body. Then by standing up slowly and pulling the arms in while maintaining core engagement, the two skaters can dramatically change the moment of inertia and increase the spin speed. Madison notes that pulling together strongly but slowly typically creates more spin speed than just trying to pull together fast. This echoes how skaters pull in on solo spins as well to maintain the energy of the spin and increase the speed.

Notice that some of the skaters in the class struggle, primarily with getting a good starting position (down and leaning away from each other to create arm tension). And some struggle by not matching the pull of their partner, resulting in off-balance spins that lose energy.


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