jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Beyond the plane


Brace yourself, another thought is coming.

I have been trying to get my head around another concept from my last lesson with Laurie, which again started with swing rolls but then became another more general mind-blowing revelation about what I am not doing correctly: using my entire body to maintain my lean into the circle.

Now, I am certain that I have been called out on this before, but sometimes these revelations block out any inkling that I have been forewarned. It’s like when the dementors finally do appear in Harry Potter–yes, we knew they were out there, but life was just so normal that we thought we were okay. And then, gasp, scream, there they are and you have to deal with them with special chocolate and such.

Okay, not that bad. There are far more things in this world deserving of “Expecto Patronum!” these days! Maintaining the lean simply takes some adjustment of my upper body, particularly the head. I need to get used to turning my head and the rest of my body properly as I move over the skate. This means that the head and the upper torso do not necessarily stay in the same plane as the skating leg.

On swing rolls, Laurie had me move my head to where it felt like it was waaaay inside the circle. I also have to keep my skating arm right ahead of my skate (if I were to drop a glove, I would run it over). When I did this, it was immediately easier to maintain my lean and flow. I did not have to struggle to pull my body over my edge; it simply was there.

We did the same thing on back swing rolls, forward chassés, and forward outside threes. So much better!

I may get these basics yet, especially if I procrastinate as I have been, drawing imaginary lines mapping out the body planes of beloved ice dancers. Much more fun, though, than drawing (shudder. . .) dementors. Just in case any dark thoughts persist, I added in this superhuman picture of Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon as a charm. I can’t even imagine how this lift works.


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 “Beyond the plane

  1. Gosh, the head is such a problem in skating. You are so right – we think we know what to do with the head (most of us just leave it as-is) but now it’s glaringly obvious that we must move it precisely so we can properly balance ourselves. Ugh, just another body part to think about and align! 🙂


  2. Right you are, Eva. And the head weighs quite a bit, so we go where it goes! Ugh, indeed!


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