Spins and Footwork


Forward Spin ( Corkscrew, Scratch )

  • A fast upright spin where circles are skated on the back inside edge.
    The toe pick touches or slightly 'scratches' the ice.

Back Spin

  • Same rotation as a forward spin, but skated on the back outside edge on the opposite foot.
    Most right-handed skaters rotate counterclockwise,
    doing a forward spin on the left foot and a back spin on the right foot.

Layback Spin

  • A spin with a backward or sideways lean of the torso
    The forward layback spin [skating a forward spin in the layback position] is the most common variation.
    Also done as a back spin in the layback position.

Camel Spin

  • A forward spin in the 'T' shape position (ie. The torso and free leg in a horizontal position).

Flying Camel Spin

  • A flying camel is a back spin in the camel position entered from a forward takeoff jump similar to an axel.
    It was originally called the Button Camel after its inventor Olympic Champion, Dick Button

Illusion ( Windmill )

  • This looks like a camel spin but with a variation wherein the skater's torso and free leg move up and down while spinning
    Invented (in error) by German and World Champion, Gundi Busch.
    She went off balance during a camel and continued to repeat the 'mistake'.

Biellman Spin

  • A spin where the skater arches the back and pulls the free leg high over the head.
    Named after Denise Biellman

Death Drop

  • A flying spin similar to a flying camel, but where the skater immediately drops into a back sitspin.
    Officially, this element is known as an 'open axel sit spin'.

Arabian ( Butterfly )

  • A jumping move similar to the entrance of a flying camel or death drop, but without the spin afterwards.
    Usually done in a series of two or three in succession


  • A skated edge where the free leg is extended and held higher than the hip.
    A relatively easy move, but effective when done with good stretch and speed.

Spread Eagle

  • A movement skated on two feet with the toes pointing in opposite directions.
    It can be done either on outside or inside edges.

Ina Bauer

  • A variation of the spread eagle variant where one knee is deeply bent and the other leg stretched behind the body.
    Typically done with an arched back.
    Invented by 3 time German Champion, Ina Bauer


  • A spread eagle skated in a squatting position with knees bent and the torso leaning far back.
    Invented by Werner Groebli ( Mr. Frick of the original 'Frick and Frack' ).
    Mr. Frick was a long time Ice Follies' comedian.

Mohawk and Choctaw

  • These are two-foot turns ( front-to-back or back-to-front ).
    A mohawk is done on from inside-to-inside or outside-to-outside edges.
    A choctaw requires a change of edge ( inside-to-outside or outside-to-inside ).
    Mohawks are commonly used in free skating as a simple turn or in step sequences,
    but choctaws are more typically used in ice dancing.

Explanation of Curves used in executing skating turns

  • A natural rotation edge occurs when the body preparation and the edge go with the circle (eg. a 3 turn)

  • A counter rotation edge occurs when the body preparation and the edge go against the natural rotation of the circle.
  • A change of edge (or Sepentine ) occurs when changing direction
    from one curve ( circle ) to another curve ( circle ).

    3 Turn

  • A common one foot turn done on a curve with the cusp of the turn pointing inward.
    The 3 turn consists of two natural rotation edges - one in and one out of the turn.
    The tracing on the ice resembles the number 3.

  • A counter is a turn consisting of an difficult counter rotation edge combined with the easy, natural rotation edge. A counter occurs when the skater takes a counter edge going into the turn and takes a natural edge out of the turn.
    ( ie. In a counter the skater's long curve in allows time to prepare for the difficult counter edge )


  • A rocker occurs when the skater takes a natural edge going into the turn and takes the more difficult counter edge out of the turn.
    The rocker is more difficult to execute than a counter because the skater must skate a counter edge without preparation
    (ie. In a rocker the skater's long curve in allows time to prepare for the natural rotation, but no time to prepare for the difficult counter rotation to complete the turn).



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