Boot and Blade

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Innovation From, Uh, Mexico

Day two of Four Continents and I’m giddy! I’ve seen some splendid skating thus far. Highlights include Dube and Davison’s free skate and Cynthia Phaneuf and Patrick Chan’s short programs. More to come on this later. Midway through the women’s short, two Mexican skaters performed one after the other, Ana Cecilia Cantu and Michele Cantu. [...]

Skate Canada Men’s Long — Live

I’m live blogging the Men’s long program from Skate Canada this afternoon, just for fun. I’m offering up some technical assessment along with some general thoughts on the programs. Brandon Morz, USA First attempt at the quad in competition, very close. That costume is ridiculous. Plenty of touching down on his jumps. Only 17 and [...]

Identifying Figure Skating Jumps: Toe Jumps and Edge Jumps

How do you tell one jump from the next? If you’re not a figure skater it can be tricky. There are two categories of jumps–toe jumps and edge jumps. Successfully identifying toe and edge jumps is the first step to being able to spot all the different jumps. In a toe jump, the toe pick [...]

Figure Skating History: Compulsory Figures

As I've mentioned before, I teach an adult figure skating class once a week. Every now and then I try to get my students to do compulsory figure exercises. Many of them have never heard about compulsory figures and don't see the point in doing them. In case, dear reader, you also haven't heard much [...]

Why Don’t These Skaters Retire?

Why won't Michelle Kwan, Sasha Cohen and Emanuel Sandhu retire? Okay, I can see the temptation for Sandhu to hang on for the Olympics in his hometown, but the US ladies must know that their time has come and gone, especially after what happened in Turino. Sasha Cohen registered to compete in this year's US [...]

Canada Ice Dance Theatre Starts Up Again Next Week

Canada Ice Dance Theatre (CIDT) starts its season next week at the West End Community Centre in Vancouver. Although they seem to have trouble attracting company members, skating with the company is a great way to stay involved with the sport and challenge yourself without having to admit all those doubles and triples are no [...]

Inspirational Spirals

After last week’s ladies Olympic long program my adult figure skating students were inspired to work on spiral sequences and improve their turns and foot work in this week’s lesson. That’s because the quality of free skating has improved so much due to the new judging system that audiences are beginning to enjoy the skating [...]

So Many Injuries, Go Figure

When figures disappeared from figure skating I wondered two things. First, how would skaters learn to use their edges and learn good skating skills without the basics that figures provided? Second, what would skaters do with all that extra time? It turns out that the ‘Skills’ system used in Canada and elsewhere has done an [...]

Hooray for Muscle Memory

It’s been 13 years since I trained as a figure skater, but my body still remembers how to jump. I skate once a week for fun and fitness. Despite lacking good conditioning and the kind of guts figure skaters need today I can still land a good number of doubles. It always amazes me how [...]

Help, Canada Needs a Spin Doctor

Will someone please get our Senior women a spin doctor!  With the exception of Joannie Rochette’s solid spins, the spinning in last weekend’s Nationals was appalling. In an effort to pick-up more points in the new scoring system skaters are inserting more positions into their spins. It sounds like a good idea, but their basic [...]