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Thread: Michelle's Spins

  1. #1
    ApacheApache
    Guest

    Michelle's Spins


    I've read lots of unpleasant comments everywhere about Michelle's slow spins. I know very little about skating but I strongly believe her speed meets the minimal requirement from the judges because she and her coach aren't stupid right? Otherwise they would've fixed it long ago.

    Is speed acquired during the infancy of training? I thought so but then I noticed Michelle's spins were significantly fast at Worlds 2000 performing Red Violin. And then in her SP, The feeling Begins, at SA 2002. All that was done without compromising centering. As for Irina's spins which are definitely very fast, her centering is not good. At times, I see her travel by miles (pardon the hyperbole). Ok, my question is, since Michelle obviously is capable of spinning fast while maintaining great centering, why doesn't she do it more often? I've watched almost all her major competitions and found that the only time she was not spinning slow was in performances The Red Violin at Worlds 2000 and The Feeling Begins at SA 2002 (I might've missed something).

  2. #2
    DORISPULASKI
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    Interesting topic! Also, people have questioned whether Michelle can maintain a Dick-Button-acceptable position in her layback, and if you download her Rush program from Cruella De Kwan's site, you will see Michelle doing a layback in a good (not Angela, Lucinda or Sasha quality, but still very good)
    position. And pretty good speed on it. So why she doesn't do it, and does that heart variation on the layback instead, I have no clue.

    One possibility for Michelle's lesser speed on spins might be whether or not she has a tendency to develop vertigo if she
    spins too fast. If so, she may find the speed too risky.

    Also, in some of her slow spins, when she is on, the revolutions complete on the beat, which I like almost as well as fast revolutions.

    dpp

  3. #3
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    Another one of *these* threads.

    But Doris P raised a question that I have always wondered about. Skaters don't "spot" when they spin, right? So how do they keep from getting dizzy? Is this (the ability to suppress the outrage that your inner ear is trying to send to your brain) a talent that some people are born with? Can anybody learn to do it with practice? Are some people naturally better at it that others?

    Mathman

  4. #4
    Skate Sandee
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    It seems to me that it's very difficult to combine extreme spinning speed with accurate centering (unless your Lucinda Ruh! ).

    Some skaters sacrifice speed to get their centering. Some sacrifice centering and travel with their spins in exchange for speed.

    Michelle's speed on a scale or 1-10 is about a 6, I'd say. But she is always very centered with her spins and doesn't have the bad posture some skaters exhibit. I'd put her centering at a 8 or 9.

    Obviously form is key. Hunched shoulders and a wobbly leg is never going to impress a judge. But once a skater has good form I guess it comes down to what judges value more - good centering in a spin with medium speed, or a really fast spin that travels. It's rare that a skater gives both spot on centering AND fast speed. TV is deceptive. It really looks different live.

  5. #5
    icenut84
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>But Doris P raised a question that I have always wondered about. Skaters don't "spot" when they spin, right? So how do they keep from getting dizzy?[/quote]

    Basically, it's practice. No, skaters don't "spot" when they spin, like ballet dancers do. This is an explanation from a technical book I've got:

    "A good spin also requires the right focus, which combats the dizziness that many beginning skaters experience. NASA has done a number of tests using figure skaters to help understand and control the effects of dizziness. Scientists discovered that the technique perfected by an accomplished skater is to focus not on objects as they spin past but on the space between the skater and the object. With practice and increased skill, dizziness significantly diminishes."

    Just for the record, it also says: "Beyond centering and controlling spins, increasing and maintaining speed, or velocity, is the most important element of a good spin."

    <blockquote><strong><em>Quote:</em></strong><hr>But once a skater has good form I guess it comes down to what judges value more - good centering in a spin with medium speed, or a really fast spin that travels.[/quote]

    Centering is the most important element of a spin, and will always be valued more than speed by a judge. A judge would rather see 6 rotations of a slower spin that is under control and beautifully centred than 12 rotations of a faster spin that flies over the ice out of control.

    As for Michelle, I don't know why she doesn't spin fast more often. Maybe she feels a little uncomfortable with it, maybe she gets dizzy if she spins too fast, or doesn't feel as in control as she would when spinning slower. Maybe speed on spins just isn't her strong point. I dunno. I guess the only one who knows is Michelle.

  6. #6
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    I think MK is so musical that she often cuts a spin to keep to the choreography. I have trouble with her rotations. It's something I believe she should work on and not worry about the speed.

    Joe

  7. #7
    RealtorGal
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    "Scientists discovered that the technique perfected by an accomplished skater is to focus not on objects as they spin past but on the space between the skater and the object..."

    WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

  8. #8
    dlksk8fan
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    I think MK spins are sometimes slow because she is keeping with the music. If she is spinning with a slow section of the music her spins reflect this. However I think she does need to speed them up.

    As an old skater I remember learning my spins (which were slow at first) and becoming very dizzy until I conditioned myself to spinning. The more I spun the less I became dizzy after the spin. I also found it helpful to focus on something when coming out of a spin, that seemed to help. I think everyone is diffrent to what degree they get dizzy after spinning.

  9. #9
    DORISPULASKI
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    One reason that I mentioned vertigo, rather than dizziness, is that it is a condition that one can develop and be unable to cure easily. Scott Davis, who had great spins, both for speed and centering, was reported as later in his career developing vertigo, which was very destructive to his skating. Vertigo is more than dizziness. It is a medical condition, and there are treatments for it (of varying success). Many people have it after a stroke; some like my aunt have it appear mysteriously. When you have a vertigo attack, you don't just have a fuzzy head, like being dizzy. You feel that the world suddenly flipped upside down and you are about to fall off!

    As to the statement about not focussing on the object, but rather on the distance to objects, I would guess that this is like the advice given to people on the ocean to avoid seasickness, another outrage to the inner ear: Focus on the horizon, not on any of the objects floating around on it.
    A stable horizon in the rink might be the top of the boards?
    End of the first tier of seats?

    dpp



  10. #10
    sk8m8
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    Liz Manley reported when asked the question about her spins (remember she spun very fast and was well centered) that she blinked her eyes very fast when learning to do spins. This acts like a strobe light and slows the "motion" down a great deal when sight is needed to control or refine the spin itself.

  11. #11
    Show 42
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    I have seen Michelle skate live several times, and of course on tape many, many times. Compared to other skaters (skating live) she seems to be as fast as most. Her scratch spin seems pretty fast to me, so are we speaking of sit spins and laybacks? In my opinion, a layback spin is much more enjoyable slowly done and to the beat of the music, then one that is faster and doesn't match the flow of the music............42

  12. #12
    mathman444
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    Thanks for your interesting reply, Icenut.

    To RealtorGal, I assume this means, look a little bit cross-eyed. Your eyes are not focused on the nearest thing that is actually there (the boards, say) but rather at a point in front of the boards. This is not so easy to do. I'm trying it right now. Hmmm. It is easier to let my eyes go out of focus to the horizon than to focus of "nothing" at mid-distance.

    ITA with Show42. I have seen Michelle spin fast, slow and in-between. It always seems to be within the character of the choreography.

    Mathman

  13. #13
    lottafs
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    I like, no, I LOVE Michelle's spins.

  14. #14
    Joesitz
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    Mathman = Having spun on skates (without spotting) and pirouetting (with spotting), it is a technique one learns depending on which discipline you are doing. Spotting on skates is not difficult but it does not get applause. It does not make you dizzy between 10 and 40 years.

    Piruetting is peformed in a procenium stage and the audience is the spot and it does in deed get you applause. Also after 40 things do go dizzy. Oh how does Dorothy do it?

    Joe

    btw, in order to bring MK down is to question the technical. No one dares touch the edges or the flow.

  15. #15
    dlksk8fan
    Guest

    Re: Michelle's Spins


    Joe-
    I never spotting when I did pirouettes in ballet class. I always spotting while doing turns across the floor but for some reason when I was young I never spotted while doing pirouettes. When I was in my 20's I had a teacher that made me spot and it was hard. Even now when I do pirouettes I really have to concentrate to make sure I spot! I also have a habit of not counting when I dance, but instead listen to the music and remember what movement goes to what part of the music.


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