The Upright Straight Spin (Charyl Brusch)

Spin specialist Charyl Brusch explains how she teaches the upright straight spin.  This spin goes by many names including the heel stretch, Y-spin, and shotgun. This is an advanced spin requiring significant flexibility. As Charyl explains, the key is remaining on the same part of the blade the whole time. She usually develops them from a back sit spin.  She says, as they go up “I usually have them sit back with their upper body.  It’s easier to stay on the front of your blade when your weight is sitting back.  It seems like it would be the opposite.” She says the most common mistake is keeping the body too forward rather than sitting back and pushing the hips under.

When initially developing the spin, Charyl brings the skater to the wall and has them feel the position (with the coach’s help) and the correct balance point on the blade. The skater should keep the non-axis arm straight and they should feel like they’re staying over their axis side.  There are options for how the skate or leg is grabbed, and Charyl has the skater demonstrate them. Both arms are used to help pull the leg up. In the beginning, the free leg won’t be very high, but by working on flexibility, the skater can gradually get it higher and higher. Charyl notes that leaning  back more automatically raises the leg. But she makes it clear, the real goal is to get the skater to stay in the right spot on the blade.


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