Connecting elements for starters
I am hoping to get some recommendations on connecting moves and steps for lower level freestyle. What are your favorites? What combination of the gliding maneuvers / turns / moves work out great in and out of spins and jumps?
My repertoire (FS3 / Pre-Prelim): forward and backward crossovers, all 3 turns, mohawk, forward lunge, all shoot the ducks, bunny hop, side hop, forward / backward spirals, T-stop, spread eagle, ina bauer, some pivots, some hydroblades. On the to-learn list: rockers / brackets / choctaws, strolling, tango stop etc.
I am not in the position to get a choreographed program from my coach yet, but would love to find out what others think are some "must learn" connecting moves that look great on the ice!
Thank you for all your insights!!
Spread eagles, Ina Bauers, and hydroblades are unusual at that level and will get attention. If you have good edges and positions on your spirals and hold them long enough to make an impression, those can also be a plus.
Doing your threes and mohawks in both directions is a plus. Back threes are a plus at that level.
Forward inside mohawk, cross the free foot in front, step forward is a sequence you can probably do in both directions (step forward onto an inside edge and you'll be all set to start the opposite direction). Useful in a mini-step sequence.
Personally I'm fond of the wide step with weight shift to change lobes (direction of circle) in backward crossovers. I think it looks nice if done without sticking the butt out or scratching on the toes too much, it's a place you can gain power, and it can help the multidirectional skating.
For example, if you're a counterclockwise skater and you want to turn backward to do a couple crossovers for speed into a waltz jump or salchow, instead of using a left outside three and just going counterclockwise, try using a right outside three, then stepping wide to the left back inside edge to shift your circle from clockwise to counterclockwise. (Reverse those directions if you jump clockwise.)
You might start working on the power pulls (edge changes) from the Prejuvenile Moves in the Field test and the cross strokes from the Juvenile test. Even if you can't do them up to test-passing standard both forward and backward, you may find some additional steps you can use to gain power besides crossovers.
You can also just play with glides on edges with different body positions other than standard spiral, shoot-the-duck, or upright. Is there an edge you often hold before starting a jump (e.g., back outside before stepping forward for a waltz jump, forward inside before turning into a toe loop)? Try holding that edge with your arms, free leg, etc., in nonneutral positions to find what might look interesting without interfering with the subsequent jump entrance.
You could also play with walking or turning on your toepicks and see what feels comfortable.
Have fun experimenting.