Performance Lecture and Toe Loop Exercises (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger teaches a seminar class on toe loops. She begins class by asking the skaters if they worked on something they should have and if they did something better than before. These concepts are part of the process of improving and mastering the skills of figure skating. Audrey notes, “You can’t know that you got better until you realize it wasn’t better.” Skaters that are clueless about their progress typically take much longer to learn things.

Next Audrey asks the class to “take a lap around the rink.” Not surprisingly, the skaters don’t put much effort into this which is why Audrey says, “Every time you step out on the ice you have to think about how you’re presenting yourself. If you practice performing no matter what, then when your name is called at a competition and you’re going to turn it on, you’ve practiced it so much it’s not hard.” So then Audrey has the class take another lap, but this time she asks them to imagine a talent scout sitting in the stands evaluating them.

The first toe loop exercise Audrey has the class do is a very simple swizzle into a two foot hop from forward to backward and then another hop from backward to forward, all in frame position. The goal is to straighten the legs in the air on the hops, and to flex the feet on the forward landing of the backward hop. This flex is needed for creating a good jumping air position (Audrey calls it a “flox”), with the feet crossed and the axis leg locked and the axis foot flexed.

For the next drill, the skaters perform a forward swizzle and hop from forward to backward as in the previous drill but this time land on one foot with the free leg straight and in front (like a toe combination). The skater then moves the free leg behind and does a toe loop and lands backward on two feet in the alignment position, which consists of the both feet on the ice with the feet crossed and the shoulders turned into the axis/landing side. Alignment landing has free foot in front with shoulders over hips and hands in line with the axis side hip.

The final drill in this video is the same as the previous but instead of doing a single toe loop and landing in alignment, skaters perform a double toe loop. Skaters that are not comfortable with the double can instead perform a single followed by twizzles.


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