Sit Spin and Camel Spin Tips (Charyl Brusch)

Figure skating spin specialist Charyl Brusch works with a skater who has learned the basics of a sit spin and a camel spin but is working on improving them.  (The previous part of this lesson focused on the backspin.) This skater has very common spin errors for skaters at this level, so this is a great opportunity to see how Charyl addresses them.

In terms of the sit spin, this skater has excessive turn-out and bend of the free leg. Charyl recognizes this is often a result of general hip position, rather than just positioning of the free leg. Notice how Charyl focuses on improving and strengthening the overall sit position, with emphasis on arching the back, keeping the head up, pulling back the hip, and bending more from the ankles, all with more strength/body tension. The standstill work on position is very helpful as skaters can get immediate feedback while feeling the desired position. One helpful trick for increasing arm tension is having the skater pretend to push a beach ball under water.

For the camel spin, the skater is struggling with stacking the free hip over the skating hip, and balancing the spin just after the three turn. This results in an initial very large first circle on the ice and a final spin position that looks uncomfortable and has a bent free leg. Charyl asks the skater to do a spiral so see if the issue is something mechanical with the skater in terms of ability to get to the desired position. Because the skater can do a very nice spiral, Charyl knows this is a spin technique issue, so she focuses on the fundamentals of the entry. One great tip for skaters with these issues is to wait longer to “sweep” or “swim” the skating side arm, and really focus on keeping that arm/hand up throughout the entrance. Many skaters (including this demonstrator) let the arm drop dramatically which affects the balance of the position and leaks spin energy.


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