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Thread: Camel spins - what makes them good?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    The other thing about Alissa's spin that is superior (aside from centering, and speed, and getting into position, as Serious Business said) is how her chest is parallel with the ice. That's how it should be "ideally". Miki's upper body is twisted and instead of her chest facing the ice, it points more towards the boards and the side of her body is instead facing the ice more. This is an easier position;
    The basic position is with the chest parallel to the ice. Twisting to the "camel sideways" position is more difficult in my personal experience, and in my observations. If you yourself find it easier to do that way, then that's your experience -- some positions are easier for some skaters than others.

    The twisting does help with the change to the forward outside edge, which is an advanced skill.

    These days, very few people can spin in the classic positions. They train contorted positions that are often easier and look worse, yet it's worth more points. Go figure.
    I'm sure they can spin in the classic position, but if it's not worth extra points, they don't bother training to make the quality as high as possible, because it's more valuable to train for difficult variations. Which are usually considerably more difficult than doing the basic position at all, but not necessarily more difficult than doing the basic position with excellent quality.

    I.e., I think almost all skaters can do the basic position just fine, but very few bother to train it to a level of excellence that was more common in the days when there was no incentive to add difficult variations.

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    I agree, Blades. Some of the contortions people feel compelled to make to get points are so unattractive and usually slow the spins down in the bargain.
    Some are and some aren't. If they're attractive or speed the spin up, no one complains. Some skaters almost always do them well, some almost always do them poorly (but continue to do them anyway because they want the levels), some are inconsistent in execution.

    I would consider the twisted body position that Ando attains in the example link to be a contortion that adds to the difficulty, but she does it in a way that's attractive enough that Spun Silver chose it as an example of a "good" camel position.

  2. #17
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    I think in the domain "what is better" everybody could have an opinion divergent from the others. It depends what one values more for a good spin in contrast to another.

    For exemple: Me, as a non-skater, but a skating fan, have an order of preference for every element

    1) every spin should be well centered, not sloppy but with solid control (no bobbling), and as fast as possible (also not loosing speed) and not short but with many rotations.
    2) then I watch the requirements for the three (or four) basic positions. Camel - knee above the hip, sit - buttocks below the knee etc.

    Only then I consider the foot, direction, change of edge etc. And only after this the difficult variations (contorsionism).

    So in my order of preference a solid, controlled, well centered, fast and long spin in the basic positions is more valuable than a sloppy, travelled, slow and short spin with a very difficult contorsionist variation and/or adding the difficulty of the change of foot and change of edge.
    Obviously I appreciate difficult contorsionist variations, but they should respect the first two requirements.

  3. #18
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    The basic position is with the chest parallel to the ice. Twisting to the "camel sideways" position is more difficult in my personal experience, and in my observations. I would consider the twisted body position that Ando attains in the example link to be a contortion that adds to the difficulty, but she does it in a way that's attractive enough that Spun Silver chose it as an example of a "good" camel position.
    Miki's position isn't fully tilted in any difficult direction (such as "upsidedown" position or "donut" position). What she's doing is just angling her body and not arching, so that the center of gravity becomes far easier. It's more difficult to hold your body up parallel to the ice, with an arch, while also arching your free leg up from the body. This requires more muscle work and makes it so that you are holding your body in such a way that it goes against the rotation of the blade on the ice. The easier way to do a camel, as Miki and most others do it these days, is to keep your body angled into the rotation in a flatter position. The through line of the body in this position will former a straighter line, which some people in this thread seem to admire (and often such things are to be admired in skating), but that's not how the "ideal" Camel should be. An ideal camel should be more like a face-up crescent moon or parenthesis symbol ---->

  4. #19
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    Can you point to an ideal camel spin that fits your definition (pre-COP if necessary), because that shape you illustrated is hard for me to imagine.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Can you point to an ideal camel spin that fits your definition (pre-COP if necessary), because that shape you illustrated is hard for me to imagine.
    Best positions on camel spin for me from eligible skaters:

    Plushy for Men

    Mirai for Ladies

  6. #21
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    Can you point to an ideal camel spin that fits your definition (pre-COP if necessary), because that shape you illustrated is hard for me to imagine.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVt3I4IL18s&t=1m17s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVt3I4IL18s&t=1m50s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfluAux0Sf0 (just gonna link the whole thing, it's something that should be watched at least once a month anyway )

    See how the free leg and upper body raise up from the flat of the back, forming a shape similar to what I was talking about?

  7. #22
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    Here's another example (change-foot camel near the beginning of the program) of the camel sideways (somewhat twisted) position combined with the forward outside edge. Again, it's a pretty nice-looking position and I think she's doing it to make the outside edge easier, i.e., to make the spin harder.

  8. #23
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    All of the last three had straighter supporting legs and, I think, slightly squarer shoulders than Alissa. Not totally sure about the shoulders. I find it hard to admire a bent-legged camel spin unless of course that's an intentional variation.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spun Silver View Post
    All of the last three had straighter supporting legs and, I think, slightly squarer shoulders than Alissa. Not totally sure about the shoulders. I find it hard to admire a bent-legged camel spin unless of course that's an intentional variation.
    I'll take Alissa's spins any day.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7eNDmgq704

  10. #25
    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    It was silly of me to not use Sasha Cohen as an example!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg3gq2NUtHA&t=1m31s

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    It was silly of me to not use Sasha Cohen as an example!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg3gq2NUtHA&t=1m31s
    I thought it was a given that Sasha has no equal in positions and extensions.
    Her camel is exquiste.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    It was silly of me to not use Sasha Cohen as an example!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gg3gq2NUtHA&t=1m31s
    Dat arch! She makes the camel look like an upright spin. Sasha's position is so exceptional it's more an apex than an example of a standard.

  13. #28
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    Maria B

    I have never skated at a competitive level however, I am a former professional dancer and continue in the activity as a judge. In 1999 I attended several skating competitions with a good friend who's daughter was quite good.

    We'd be sitting together and at times I just couldn't help myself. I used to complain constantly about the horrible camel positions during spins. I'd say things like....

    "Take a dance class" or "It's all about those hips ladies"

    " Fine, they can't point in skates but is anyone talking to these girls about how to turn out ???? "

    Well, in 1999 ( I'm old ) I saw Maria Butyrskaya win worlds and I called my friend and said "Now that girl knows how to do a real camel !!" Unfortunately, her daughter said she didn't like the way Maria skated and couldn't believe that of all the skaters to chose from, I chose Maria. I didn't know skaters by name back then and I know she wanted me to say Kwan but IMO Maria's camel was the best of any skater I'd seen.

    Her free leg rotated out while the hips remained square. She also had beautiful turnout. When Mr Button commented on her wonderful position I thought to myself. I knew I wasn't crazy, that is a good camel......

  14. #29
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    ^She was very pretty as well.

    I've always likes Michelle's camel spin, but I also thought it could be a little faster as well..

    Actually, the reason why I posted was to ask a question. When a skater is doing a wobbly camel spin, are they doing that on purpose to be considered an "edge" spin or are they just bad at it?

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by backhand45 View Post
    I have never skated at a competitive level however, I am a former professional dancer and continue in the activity as a judge. In 1999 I attended several skating competitions with a good friend who's daughter was quite good.

    We'd be sitting together and at times I just couldn't help myself. I used to complain constantly about the horrible camel positions during spins. I'd say things like....

    "Take a dance class" or "It's all about those hips ladies"

    " Fine, they can't point in skates but is anyone talking to these girls about how to turn out ???? "

    Well, in 1999 ( I'm old ) I saw Maria Butyrskaya win worlds and I called my friend and said "Now that girl knows how to do a real camel !!" Unfortunately, her daughter said she didn't like the way Maria skated and couldn't believe that of all the skaters to chose from, I chose Maria. I didn't know skaters by name back then and I know she wanted me to say Kwan but IMO Maria's camel was the best of any skater I'd seen.

    Her free leg rotated out while the hips remained square. She also had beautiful turnout. When Mr Button commented on her wonderful position I thought to myself. I knew I wasn't crazy, that is a good camel......

    i will speak as a fan who only knows what she finds aesthetic and doesn't know the technical details that go into it.

    yes, for me too, maria b. had an amazing camel spin. of course sasha cohen had nice camel spins too, but nearly all sasha's spins were superlative. i can't say maria's other spins stood out the way her camel spin did. maria had a rigidity about her skating that looked sexy and commanding to some, but didn't appeal to me--i prefer my dominatrix to look like nicole bobek the other skaters whom i remember for their one truly outstanding spin were: angela nikodinov for the best layback ever, elena sokolova for the best sit spin ever because unlike sasha cohen their other spins weren't nearly so amazing as their one great spin--as much as peggy waxed eloquent about that camel where angela joined her hands behind her back it just didn't look so nice to me.

    to me, the position is #1 and no one struck a better position than maria b IMO. nicole bobek, when she felt motivated, could equal maria nicole had so many spins that were lovely, as did yuka sato. i sometimes liked MK's camel for the position, even though the speed wasn't always amazing--although in the 98 season she had decent speed in both directions and a fairly good position. i liked the camel variations from the taj mahal and winter programs. spins were not MK's strong point.

    i love dorothy hamill and caryn kadavy, but i didn't find the hamill camel that attractive to look at (i appreciate it overall, but it isn't one that sticks in the mind), and i didn't much like kadavy's camel spin, which always threatened to turn into that not-so-lovely donut spin. i think jill trenary and debi thomas also had nice camel spins. ekaterina gordeeva too, as both single and pair skater.

    i like miki's camel spin very much--i prefer hers, mirai's and mao's to the other COP ladies.
    Last edited by skfan; 06-14-2011 at 10:43 PM.

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