So I have been trying to get myself to lean more into my skating circles.
Throughout my years of imperfect alignment, I have been trying to deepen my edges by pressing down on the blade through my foot, scrunching down on my skating side, or counter-leaning. In case you’re wondering, none of these work!!!
I was trying to find some images that could convey the degree to which I’ve been fooling myself, but I couldn’t find any, even of myself in past skating sessions. That might be because I’ve learned to compensate so well that it actually looking like I’m doing something right.
Nor could I find pictures of other skaters who look like they have the same problems. Perhaps that’s because those compensations are so anti-intuitive that nobody else has this problem; or because no one wants to leave hard evidence of having done this.
I did find some nifty diagrams from this page on the physics of circular motion:
What I’ve been missing is that “inward component of force.” I am so fixated on the up and down that I totally forget about the inward feeling. You can’t achieve the needed degree of “tilt” without allowing your body to move inwards toward the center of the circle. It just doesn’t work.
While leaning into the circle is definitely the way to go, I’ve had a hard time allowing my body to go there. But I’ve found that one way for me to get myself to do this is imagine that someone is pulling me towards the center of the circle.
Yup, you got it!
Of course, if anyone actually suggested that I learn to do a death spiral, I would probably laugh in their face (or run screaming off the rink, ’cause they’re crazy!)
So don’t expect any actual pictures of me doing that anytime soon. For now, I’ll only post pictures of (a) my happy skating friends, and (b) skaters who are leaning happily into the circle on their own (maybe someday that will be me!)
Speaking of “how do they do that?” here’s a favorite piece of mine: Astor Piazzolla’s Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Be sure to listen for the cello solo at 8:30. So good!
- back eights: outside and inside (these have improved!) Really hold yourself accountable to be on a real edge.
- threes on half circle. Think about how to get the turn in the right place (where is that foot pointing before it turns?)
- inside mohawk. Think about where your new foot goes.
- back inside edges. Hips forward. What does that actually mean?
- Outside threes in circle. Legs straight and together before the turn. Don’t open up on the back outside edge before stepping forward.