jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Barbie hips


So they are finally making Barbie dolls that have adjustable ankles in addition to multiple skin tones, facial features, and hair colors. It’s a whole new world out there from my last set of Barbie dolls.


I confess that skating Barbie and Ken were not given to me in my pre-teens. No, I received this memorable team, here pictured in their full pastel glory, as a gift from my in-laws when I was around thirty or so. This Barbie does have skates, but she is permanently up on her toe picks, a feat that even Sonja Henie could probably not achieve.

But even this Barbie has been useful in my journey towards better skating posture.

Really, you ask? What planet are you on?

. . .

On my left side, I have had a lot of trouble maintaining a stable hip position while in motion, particularly on things like swing rolls. One helpful idea has been to imagine my hip and leg joint as if it were engineered like that of a Barbie doll.

Granted, there were multiple generations and kinds of Barbie dolls, and some of them had hips that even could stick out straight to the sides and such.  But I’m talking about the ones that went like this.


These legs could spin around 360 degrees (imagine her doing that floaty leg-thing on the Westminster Waltz). They were so smoothly engineered so that the leg would stay in line with the rest of the body no matter what. (Well, unless you ripped it out of its socket in some sort of avant-garde performance art piece; I did see a piece involving the decimation of not just Barbie dolls but also hot dogs years ago at a performance at New York’s P.S. 122).

But let’s keep at bay any anti-Barbie thoughts, since thinking about “Barbie hips” has helped my free leg motion and hip stability this week.  Swing rolls in particular are much improved just by thinking of the way my leg is moving in the hip joint.

Now, if they would only make skating Barbies with bendable knees as well as ankles. Ice dancing Barbie and her trusty partner Ken! Does anyone have an “in” at Mattel?

I have to include this video of the American Waltz featuring a young Scott Moir and Tessa Virtue with some lovely free leg-in-hip action.  Now, if they made Scott and Tessa dolls, I’d definitely have to get myself a pair!

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.

4 thoughts on “Barbie hips

  1. If only we all had Barbie hips, then we’d be flexible enough to do all the cool transitions!


  2. So very true, Eva. That’s the only aspect of Barbie that I aspire to (okay, maybe some of the cool plastic accessories…)


  3. Wow Scott and Tessa were so young n that video and already soooo good.


  4. I saw a video of them at an even younger age doing the Fiesta Tango. So cute!


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