jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Bunny ears and turtle Jo


So Mary of  Fit&Fed told me that she had not heard the term “bunny ears” to describe the tracing that mohawks make. I wasn’t aware that this isn’t common usage until I tried searching for the term as associated with figure skating and couldn’t find anything except my last blog post and a reference to an iCoachSkating lesson. Since I haven’t looked at the iCoachSkating series, I’m wondering whether this is actually a term that many folks use, or if I’ve been the victim of a vast etymological conspiracy (“let’s tell Jo that this tracing is referred to as “bunny ears” and people will say “aw, how cute!” when she uses this expression”).

Anyway, here’s the picture from the Ice Dance Analysts:

And here’s my version with bunny-eared outline (I swear I’m not the only one who uses this term):

Anyway, when I said in my last post that I was successfully making “bunny ears,” what I meant was that the tracing of the entry edge crosses the tracing of the exit end, making for an even transfer of weight and continuous circle.

Bunny ears are part of the master plan that I’ve been working on to increase my speed. Both my coaches have been pointing out that this is a major challenge for me. I start with little speed and then slow to a crawl as I move on down the ice.

Many many years ago I took some figure tests (yes, I am that old) and one judge said that I was skating the figure too quickly (he passed me anyway). Those days of being the “rabbit” are long gone and now I’m at turtle-speed even on my peppy days.

Slow and steady may be okay for learning, but you do need a certain amount of speed to skate on actual edges.  Without at least some speed, you can’t lean. And without lean, you are constantly having to fight for balance.

So a two-pronged approach:

  1. With the help of both coaches, I have been identifying places where I fail to push. These may be place where I feel like I’m pushing, but I’m not really digging into the ice, or releasing onto the new foot too soon. Common problems happen with pushing off the back inside edge (which unfortunately means a lot of skating backwards) and pushing under the back outside edge (crossovers).
  2. I have been trying to get rid of anything that causes a glitch, bump, gap, or other loss of flow in my skating. Beginning skaters getting in my way on a public session are not the problem. What happens is that I may be slightly off my hip or out of position on my blade, and am not efficiently transferring from one edge to another (turns) or fail to get an additional edge pull when needed.

That’s the overall picture for the week–here’s a couple of notes from my lesson:

  • two-footed rocker warmup: make sure these are actually rockers rather than three turns (jump the turn if necessary) and look in the proper direction (change head on the change of edge).
  • alternating inside mohawk, back outside threes: more speed, don’t use hip to do back outside three turn (use upper body twist instead, look into direction of new circle), emphasize inside edge after the back outside three
  • alternating inside mohawk, back outside three, forward inside three (do these on the first part of the circle), push (and check) onto a forward outside cross; step and repeat on other side

Fast and furious, Jo!

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 “Bunny ears and turtle Jo

  1. I actually had never heard the bunny ear terminology either, but it made sense when you mentioned it in your last post. How cool that you have taken figures tests before! I grew up at a rink where we had scribes, but I never took any of the figures tests (and yes I am that old too!).


  2. Eva, someone was just talking about scribes to a young skater (who didn’t have a clue) at the rink a little while ago. Blast from the past! Hopefully bunny ears will never go out of style.


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