Spin Lesson: Camel Sit Change Sit Combo, Pancake (Charyl Brusch)

Figure skating spin specialist Charyl Brusch gives a spin lesson, covering a combination spin and the pancake. The combo spin is a camel sit change sit, and the focus is on improving the sit and back sit positions. For sit spins that don’t get down very low, Charyl asks, “Are you in a hurry? Did you sit or did you try not to fall?” During training and development, Charyl would rather have falls that show the skater is trying to get lower.

Next Charyl explains the arm movement when transitioning from the camel to the sit, with more of a “swoop down” motion so the arms (and shoulders) don’t get too forward. She also makes a point of arching the lower back in the sit spin to get the upper body forward for balance. Many skaters don’t realize how far forward the upper body needs to be to properly balance a sit spin, but “dropping” it forward or allowing the back to round are not the same as pressing it forward while arching the back.

For the pancake, Charyl discusses the foot grab and the need to “flatten the back” over the skating foot. To help the skater feel the proper back position, she has the skater crouch on two feet with chest to knees, and focus on flattening the lower back (almost like arching!). It’s also important to keep forward pressure on the blade, as many skaters settle “back” in the spin. Charyl offers a trick of looking at the ice a foot or more in front of the skate to help with this front-to-back balance. Charyl finishes the lesson by having the skater do the pancake from the camel spin. She says, “A lot of times I’ll do it (pancake) from a camel because I think you’re already forward (with the upper body) on a camel. So it’s a lot easier to drop straight down.”


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