Partner Skating – Backward Skating Drill for Cadence and Unison (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

Two-time World Ice Dance Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue teach a backward crossover drill in high Kilian. The purpose of this drill is to develop the correct up and down timing of the knees and match partner movements, as well as to work on tracking. This is not a “power” exercise and is not intended to cover the ice at speed. The high Kilian hold position is valuable for “feeling” your partner.

Zach offers a couple helpful insights regarding tracking. Leaders in this position really need to maintain their shoulder turn into the circle, and they need to be consistent in terms of the circle on the ice. Zach and Madison start by doing actual crossovers, and he notes he uses his “ankles to set the timing.”

But they quickly switch to a lilting or bouncing step that typically makes reading partner timing easier. However, since the class is filled with singles skaters who are not comfortable partnering (or this up and down movement), they really struggle with the soft and lilting movements that Zach and Madison demonstrate. At the end Zach notes that the class is very stiff, which makes skating every aspect of skating very difficult, especially partner skating. In their defense however, most of these skaters had never been exposed to any of these drills before.


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