Waltz Eight Pattern from Pre-Preliminary Moves (Karen Olson)

Skating skills and moves in the field specialist Karen Olson demonstrates and discusses the details of the Waltz Eight pattern from the US Figure Skating Pre-Preliminary Moves in the Field test. Karen begins by drawing the figure eight pattern on the ice by scraping with her skate. She uses the red dot in the center of a hockey circle as a starting point and shows how to use the hockey circle itself as a guide to size the waltz eight circles for different size skaters. She also offers a helpful way of dividing the circles into thirds (“Peace symbol”).

After drawing the markings on the ice, Karen explains the placements of steps and turns on the pattern. The forward outside three turn happens half-way through the first third of the circle and the skater steps down to a back outside edge at the first third mark. The skater then passes the foot and arms at the mid-point of the second third (or the top of the circle) before stepping forward (back outside mohawk) onto the forward outside edge that finishes the circle at the last third mark.

The waltz eight pattern uses “waltz timing” which musically is 3/4 timing. In this timing, skaters should count from 1 to 6 and repeat. All the steps and turns and arm/leg passes happen on counts 1 and 4. Karen then skates the pattern to demonstrate the steps and the timing of the overall pattern. She says, “The timing is important but the timing is probably one of the last things they’ll master.”

Finally, Karen discusses common errors and some tips for helping skaters maintain the proper shape of the overall pattern. In particular, she shows in detail the mechanics of the step (mohawk) from the back outside edge to the forward outside edge when entering the final third of the pattern. She explains how this skill translates to the forward step for axel and double axel development, which is another important purpose for this pattern.


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