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Top Technique Tip: How to Centre a Spin

juliespinning2.jpgWhen I taught an adult figure skating class at Canada Ice Dance Theatre, one of the big challenges for students was learning how to centre a one-foot spin. In truth, it’s more about practice than advice, but here are some tips that should help you out:

  1. Step into the centre of the circle to start your spin. The tendency is to set up a one-foot spin with a nice, long entry edge, and then to step outside of the natural circle that entry edge is making. Fight the habit and step right into the centre of that circle to get the spin started.
  2. Hold the right hip (or left hip if you spin to the right) back longer than you expect. If you bring the free hip around too soon, it will knock you off balance and the spin will start to travel.
  3. Spin on the ball of your foot. If you place your weight too far towards the front or back of the blade, it will start to teeter and your circles will get bigger and bigger. This throws you off-centre.
  4. Keep your chin up. Some skaters have a tendency to look down towards the ice during a one-foot spin. Keeping your chin level with the ice will help you to maintain your balance and keep the spin turning.
  5. Practice till the dizzy goes away. Sadly, there’s no magical cure for spin dizziness. Unlike ballerinas who ‘spot’ during turns, figure skaters learn to trick their brains into not getting dizzy during spins. The only way to do this is to keep spinning.

Do you have any good tips on how to centre a spin? If so, please share them!

4 Responses to “Top Technique Tip: How to Centre a Spin”

  1. Success for Boot and Blade Says:

    [...] For all you aspiring adult figure skaters out there, you can learn how to centre a spin. [...]

  2. Susan from Lifeskate Says:

    Although this is not a tip on actually centering a spin, when I was learning to spin, my coach used to also force me to practice the exit. Regardless of whether I did a two or one-foot spin, made one revolution, it didn’t matter. She would have me check out of the spin, hold that nice back outside edge, with the free leg extended every single time. I’m glad she did because now, even when the spin is not good, it always looks graceful because I check out of it in a nice looking way. Hope this helps for fellow skaters!

  3. Amanda Says:

    I am SO HAPPY to hear someone talk about stepping INTO the circle instead of OUT of the circle. As a coach, it’s something I struggled to correct in skaters habits and also something that I tried many times to try to explain- i.e. pretend you are stepping right into a tree trunk and slicing through it, etc. Glad to hear someone talk about stepping in, that’s all! :)

  4. Rikki Samuels Says:

    For a counter clockwise spinner:
    Hold the LFO entry edge as it decreases it’s radius.
    You can’t hold this edge if:
    a) you start coming up in the left knee
    b) you allow the right leg to rotate forward.
    Both moves make you entry edge too short and lacking in the necessary rotation power.

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