jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Skating insights? Or listicle?


I am not leaning into the circle even when I think I am.

I am not going fast enough even when I feel like I’m going as fast as I can.

I am not really lined up over my blade even though I can’t detect any obvious breaks in my alignment.

I am not really into the ice even though I could swear there was an edge there. Somewhere.

I am not really to turn even though my body seems fully rotated.

Ankles. Must. Bend.



Edward O’Neill, Elementary Techniques in Roller-Skating (1960)


Work meets skating.


Is it possible to make an even sadder version of this song? Here’s Boyce Avenue (with Carly Rose Sonenclar) singing Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something.”

Lesson notes:

  • Lots of work using those hip muscles, getting in the right position for outside-outside mohawks and other turns.
  • Inside edges, keeping correct lean and alignment
  • Deepening outside edges (also can do after cross strokes)
  • Back cross strokes (don’t rush, start push earlier, free leg action helps with skating edge deepening and push)
  • Back outside three, inside mohawk (don’t rush, rotate body for the back outside three)
  • Forward outside three, push to back outside three, toe through and repeat on other side
  • back cross, back inside three, forward outside three, repeat in other direction (turn body on back cross, not after)
  • choctaws, back to front and front to back (arm positions help to define edge)


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 “Skating insights? Or listicle?

  1. Isn’t it amazing how we adult skaters like to think that we’re doing things right but in reality, they are ALL WRONG? It’s humbling. And I guess that’s what we pay our coaches for – to correct our mistakes so that we can become better performers. Plus, they are helping us avoid injury by showing us proper body alignment. Sending you properly bent ankles, speed, and proper lean for the holidays, Jo! 🙂


    • ALL CAPS–AGREED, EVA! It is humbling–today I was told I’m still doing back crossovers WRONG! Luckily I have folks like you to remind me that that’s what coaches are for. Maybe if I paid them more they’d just tell me what I want to hear???? Thanks for your holiday wishes!


  2. Thanks for posting the roller skating lean diagrams. I need to keep that “good lean” image in the front part of my brain.


  3. My pleasure, George. Took one look at that picture of the “bad lean” and recognized my deep dark inner skater…


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