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Learning to Spin – Recent Changes (Bobbe Shire)

Figure skating spin specialist Bobbe Shire discusses how she has changed how she teaches spins since some of the earlier recordings on iCoachSkating.com.  Several years have lapsed in real time between Bobbe’s earlier iCoachSkating.com videos and the new videos which begin with the video below.  You can see Bobbe’s earliest videos by scrolling down her bio page here (oldest videos are closer to the bottom).  In the video below, Bobbe refers to her 5 steps of spinning.  Bobbe notes that she still uses the setup pattern in that video, especially to prevent spins from traveling.

In the video below, Bobbe explains that she teaches many skills the same way.  But the first difference she discusses is due to a change in basic skill level she sees in modern skating students.  Without school figures to develop some of these skills, Bobbe has noticed that skaters have a “hard time getting their hips around on the back inside edge after the crossover, so that they can step into the circle.  My preference is to just move the hips.”  To address this, Bobbe has the skater “move the arms twice.”  She explains it and has her skater demonstrate, although there’s some confusion regarding the pattern and the arms and Bobbe clarifies.

Bobbe notes that is more lax now in terms of which arm a skater will lead with into a spin.  In the older videos, Bobbe wanted all of her skaters to lead with the opposite hand but now she allows skaters to use whichever arm feels better or works better for them.

The second and third demonstrator show the way Bobbe used to teach for entering a spin that does not wind up the arms.  But as noted above, most skaters cannot wind up the hips (get the hips around) without winding up the arms.  Bobbe explains why she liked this approach in the past.  Her philosophy is “the less you move the less things that can go wrong.”  Then she notes, “It really doesn’t matter at all where your arms are as long as your waist turns.  And then as you ride that edge, the hook is going to happen whether you want it to or not.  And at that point, that’s when the hips catch up to the shoulders.  I tell the children to just release their free leg.  You don’t have to bring it around.”


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