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Spin Class – Scratch Spin Introduction (Kim Ryan)

Figure skating spin specialist Kim Ryan teaches a spin class.  In this first part of the class, Kim explains how she teaches a forward upright scratch spin.  As is the case with most spin coaches, Kim likes to start with an upright scratch spin as a way to warm up, both in terms of technical details and centering.

Kim uses the classic back crossover entrance for the class.  Notice the emphasis on “stepping back into the circle” and riding the edge for “three quarters of a circle.”  She also wants what she calls a “skinny V” with the arms straight.  The free leg swings around and once it’s in front the skater should “close the walls to the skinny V” and bring the free leg in, keeping the hips closed.  Notice that the technique for bringing the arms in simulates a common jump air position.  The feet finish side by side and the free foot is flexed to prevent the toe from going into the ice.

A common error in the class was skaters simply not pushing into the spin.  Another error is scratching on the toe pick on the end of the wind-up edge.    Another error is the tendency for many skaters to lean backward as the free foot comes in front.  Kim says, “You can’t lean away from the spin.  You start forward, you go forward, and you’re going to stay forward.”  She explains that the skinny V helps skaters stay forward as she wants.  Kim also wants the skaters to do 2 or 3 rotations before pulling in.  She also makes the point that many skaters who have jump air positions with the elbows out also tend to spin with their elbows out.

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8 Responses to “Spin Class – Scratch Spin Introduction (Kim Ryan)”
  1. October 1, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Nancy Interesting technique! I like the skinny V and the elbows down. Kim is so right when she says that kids who spin with elbows out, jump with elbows out. I am going to try this technique today! Thanks Kim!!

  2. October 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Bobby It's so great to see some Pacific NW coaches on icoach! Thanks and keep it coming. Great video!

  3. October 3, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    Patti Awesome information! I am going to use this with my student working on scratch spins in our next lesson! Thanks Kim! Keep it comin'!

  4. October 7, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Kim Ryan The skinny "V" also works well for the exits of spins keeping them strong and centered while adding the bonus of structuring great body position for combo spins!

  5. October 8, 2014 at 2:08 pm

    Klaudia Wow! Did try it myself........it worked amazingly well......skinny V...and the rest....Thank you!

  6. October 13, 2014 at 3:34 pm

    Gina All of my beginning spinners are loving the skinny V. They are sharing and working together. Great tip!

  7. January 15, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Kim Ryan Using the skinny 'V" also starts good technique for arm positioning in the air for jumps...elbows in front of the belly button.....it is the best place to work at getting those elbows in front with fast rotation and keeping the speed....great building blocks!

  8. May 7, 2018 at 11:16 pm

    Anastasia Finally I was able to do a scratch spin today! I was struggling with it for 2 months and after watching this video with the skinny V technique - I tried it once and was able to cross my feet! Excellent tip! thank you Kim

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