Thread: Cross-foot spins and other lost arts

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Cross-foot spins and other lost arts

Mathman wrote in the 1994 Sato-Bonaly thread
I just do not see how holding your leg out to the side for eight revolutions or crossing your feet on the ice adds anything of value to a skating program.
The cross-foot spin is a venerable traditional spin that Sonja Henie among others used back in the day.

See the end of this clip:

Occasionally used as a required element for men in places where a layback would have been required for ladies, as in short programs:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geG-1aUqMyg (from forward spin, @ about 1:40)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klMrtM8-QuE (from backspin; first element)

Or for choreographic purposes without requirements:

(and in the immediately preceding spin he holds his free leg to the side for 3 revs for choreographic reasons)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UgOcr2qAuM in flying combo @3:40

Free leg held out straight for 6 revs at the beginning of the final spin, @3:50

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Oh dear, I just get carried away when I'm watching a youtube of Curry. There is so much to discuss about what he does. Those Cabrioles I have not seen by anyone else. and that camel spin on a bent leg and so slow with the adagio music playing. Wow! But that is what he was all about with the music. Didn't matter if it was fast or slow, he stayed with it.

BOT: I think that spin was what I would call an 'attitude' spin. I don't think it was to the side. but to the rear. Holding a leg to the side and on skates I would consider imossible, if it is in the a la seconde position. However, one could hold it in a curled position if it were on a true forward outside edge. Many do that in a sitspin which is sometimes called a broken leg spin.

I think for a beautiful ending 'scratch' spin, I go to Dorothy Hammil. Her one foot spin (I call it an L spin) into a crossfoot spin, and the speed keeps growing and growing is remarkable.

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Originally Posted by gkelly
(and in the immediately preceding spin he holds his free leg to the side for 3 revs for choreographic reasons)
Originally Posted by Joesitz
BOT: I think that spin was what I would call an 'attitude' spin. I don't think it was to the side. but to the rear.
Are you looking at the spin at 2:38? Back attitude spin in one direction, then cross-foot spin in the other direction. I think that would be level 3 (CUSp3) by today's rules. Minimal number of revolutions though.

I was referring to an earlier sequence of spins that starts at 1:47 -- camel-upright (with the free leg side)-camel, and then a separate cross-foot spin.

(If it were up to me, I'd make changing from forward upright to forward camel position another feature for combo spins, but I don't make the rules.)

Holding a leg to the side and on skates I would consider imossible, if it is in the a la seconde position. However, one could hold it in a curled position if it were on a true forward outside edge. Many do that in a sitspin which is sometimes called a broken leg spin.

I think for a beautiful ending 'scratch' spin, I go to Dorothy Hammil. Her one foot spin (I call it an L spin) into a crossfoot spin, and the speed keeps growing and growing is remarkable.[/QUOTE]

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The basic one foot spin is one of the first spins every figure skater learns and then as the skater progresses he/she builds on that. The cross foot spin is just to add variety to the look of the spin as well as difficulty.

Toller Cranston was another skater who took spins to another level. Toller always added some little variation to his spins to show another dimention of his skating abilities and creativity.

Until now with the new marking system skaters who embelished their spins were not really rewarded for their interesting positions and degree of difficulty. It's because of skaters like Toller Cranston and John Curry skaters today are reaping the rewards.

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I'm with Joe about Curry's performance. I've never seen anything to match it before or since.

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I prefer difficult spins. Backscratch and simple stand spin don't make me feel excited. We could see many intermediate skaters do them in excellent qualities in local rinks. Although the media would praise Fumie Suguri's fast backscratch spin, I wouldn't think that it would make a great compliment for her as an elite skater.

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A well-performed scratch spin (forward or backward) is harder in some ways than a sit, camel, or layback. I can center the last three on this list but the centering on my scratch is sketchy at best because the faster it is, the more a small error of body alignment throws it off and makes it travel. I am reminded of my coach's story of being at SOI with one of her other adult skaters. Paul Wylie finished a scratch spin right in front of them (they had on ice tickets) and the student leaned over to our coach and said something concerning the fact the scratch spin travelled quite a distance. Paul Wylie leaned in as the lights went down and said, yeah, it was pretty crappy!

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Originally Posted by Bennett
I prefer difficult spins. Backscratch and simple stand spin don't make me feel excited.
Really? They don't? To each their own, but pre COP many skaters chose to finish their programs with a bang by using a fast scratch spin to end because the build up of speed in the spin, the number of rotations that are possible all done to a final crescendo of music can normally bring an audience to its feet. I love them.

Ant

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Yes, like Stephane Lambiel's headless spin...simply amazing.

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