In general, the man usually gets into a bent-knee/squat position; and then the women will "place" the blade onto a specific area on the thigh. By design, that specific area will usually be a 'balance-point' in line with the woman's 'center-of-gravity' thereby minimizing the likelihood of back & forth slicing movement.
Of course skateforever is absolutely correct that padding is used when first learning the lift/move (and even afterwards for program run-throughs until everyone is completely comfortable):
Take a hardcover book and place it on the top sheet of a (nicely made) bed. Push the book so it moves slightly. Now place the same hardcover book on top of your duvet or comforter. Push the book again until it moves. Notice how much more force is required to move the book while it is on the duvet/comforter. This is similar to how the blade pushes (depresses) into the thigh, which increases the frictional forces required to move it.
Or, to more closely illustrate the "inverted-U [shape of a blade] with a shallow concave in the middle", re-do the book experiment BUT place the book upright and sideways on its front & back cover edge (e.g. stand the hardcover book up so the spine is facing straight up) so that it more accurately represents the 2 concave edges of a blade.
Last edited by sowcow; 02-26-2014 at 04:12 PM. Reason: added to post
It always amuses me to see infomercials for knives where they press one down to flatten the bread or squash the tomato and then slice with the advertised knife to show how sharp it is. I figure the partner has to place her skates straight down as close to 90º as possible on her partner's thigh. Two edges also distribute the weight more than just one edge such as a knife's. (Think lying on a bed of nails vs lying on one nail.) Practice and precision, that's what a top skater does.
However, the same phenomena does not occur when the woman steps up onto the man's pant leg. No state of 'liquid lycra' exists; and therefore no 'lycra lubrication' effect allowing the blade to easily slice forwards & backwards. Thus, unless considerable force is applied, there will be little or no movement of the blade when pressing down on the man's thigh.
EDIT - Actually, the explanation above is not entirely true. The pressure exerted through the blade edge(s) onto the ice does NOT technically cause the ice to 'melt'; but rather the ice/water molecules under the blade edge(s) enter a semi-liquid state (which provides lubrication similar to that of liquid water).
Last edited by sowcow; 02-26-2014 at 05:07 PM. Reason: technical correction