jo skates

Skating in the key of life

The inside scoop


The Lunar New Year is not yet upon us, but the parties have already started. Food, glorious food. The cookies in the picture were made by my friend Carolyn. Kawaii desu ne?

While we’re all deciding whether it’s the year of the sheep or goat or ram, I think for me 2015 will be the year of the inside edge.

Some of this is making up for all that time focusing on other things. Oh, I’ve spent considerable time working on certain inside edges, like the left forward inside edge into inside three-turns, or rockers, or choctaws (Blues or Kilian). But there are other, much more frequently-used inside edges that I’ve taken for granted or conveniently forgotten about.

  • I have already started this year off right. Today I spent some time just holding those inside edges, backwards and forwards, while rising up and sinking down. I tried to keep everything level and steady, leaning into the circle without twisting my torso or my hips. This is a good way to warm up, just checking out my ankle, calf, and knee bend as well as my super-strong hip position. (I am determined to get rid of the bobbing-bird look.)
  • Back crossovers next, and I think the trick for me is to let the back inside edge define the larger circle. I used to let the back outside edge determine where I was going, which led to my using that outside edge to pull my inside edge foot across rather than pushing under. That made for a lot of rocking back and forth. But if I keep focus on my inside edge and think about the outside edge as an “underpush” (not sure if that is a real word, but it should be!) the edges stay more consistent.
  • Next, I worked on the three-step inside mohawk exercise, which goes as follows: inside-inside mohawk, then step onto another inside edge, and repeat on the other side. I have a hard time with this one, especially in maintaining the correct lean into the circle and looking in the direction of travel.
  • As my last entry described, I need to be particularly aware about those inside edges that are disguised as the ending of outside edges, like on outside-outside transitions (the two-beat edges on the Kilian, or all of those alternating progressive, chassé, or swing roll exercises).
  • And let’s not forget those inside edges coming out of three-turns, in which I need to bend my ankle in order to place (not drop) my back outside edge.

Whew, I’m getting tired just making this list. It’s getting late, so I will add more tomorrow. Here’s the bobbing bird–because you’ll not see this on the ice (at least not by this girl!)


Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

2 thoughts on “The inside scoop

  1. Inside edges are so important! My coach gave me a great warmup exercise as an alternative to stroking. She has me starting on one of the rink (the long way). I have to do inside edges all the way down, but the edges get shorter and faster as I skate. This forces me to stay balanced and skate on a deep inside edge. By the time I am at the opposite end of the rink, my edges are short but deep. I have to do this both backwards and forwards. It’s a great way to strengthen the edges and build momentum!


  2. Wow, what a great exercise. I will definitely have to try that one today!!! Thanks!


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