Shadow Skating With a Partner (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

2018 US National Ice Dance Champions Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue teach a class of skaters some basics of partnering. Maddie and Zach are teaching the skaters basic shadow skating without holding on. This is also called side-by-side skating. This form of partner skating is supposed to be easy, but it never is. For some reason, a large percentage of skaters can’t seem to understand the concept of it, even when it is demonstrated for them. Skaters tend to focus on the pattern and their own skating, and not on their partner. And when they do focus on their partner by following them, it is often hard for them to continue properly with the pattern and instead they simply drop behind and continue following.

The first skating pattern used in the video is a simple forward outside edge lobe with a free leg swing from back to front with a change of edge to change the circle prior to a step onto the next forward outside edge lobe, repeating down the ice. The second pattern is the same, except the skaters perform it while skating backward. For backward, on the push back the free leg goes to the back and is collected after the change to the inside edge prior to the step and another push back.

The concept of matching one’s partner is the same regardless of direction. The person who can easily see their partner is responsible for “following” or matching their movements. To get inexperienced skaters to do this correctly, it is almost always necessary to skate very slowly and deliberately.


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