Any resources to learn step sequence analysis? | Golden Skate

# Any resources to learn step sequence analysis?

#### Mathematician

##### Ecclesiastes 7:2 / KJV
Record Breaker
I have a goal currently to reach an elite holistic understanding of skating technique - akin to someone who skates at a high level. Being a spectator is a lot more fun and engaging to me when I have an advanced understanding of the process and can score things in my head. Further since theres no way I am going to skate myself it feels like the next best way to be an active participant in the art. I have jumps and spin analysis down but frankly when it comes to StSq or ChSq I just eyeball it and cant really understand all the constituents or memorize what the skater is performing in real time.

There are lots of videos on youtube breaking down jumps which helped me immensely when I first got into skating so I'm wondering if theres anywhere I could find a similar method about sequences.

I can just learn from the ISU handbook which is what I did with spin analysis but its very technical and there aren't visualizable examples which is an obstacle. I could do it as a last resort but wondering if theres a special learner-friendly resource online about nuanced skating technique.

#### gkelly

Record Breaker
I have a goal currently to reach an elite holistic understanding of skating technique - akin to someone who skates at a high level. Being a spectator is a lot more fun and engaging to me when I have an advanced understanding of the process and can score things in my head. Further since theres no way I am going to skate myself it feels like the next best way to be an active participant in the art. I have jumps and spin analysis down but frankly when it comes to StSq or ChSq I just eyeball it and cant really understand all the constituents or memorize what the skater is performing in real time.

There are lots of videos on youtube breaking down jumps which helped me immensely when I first got into skating so I'm wondering if theres anywhere I could find a similar method about sequences.

I can just learn from the ISU handbook which is what I did with spin analysis but its very technical and there aren't visualizable examples which is an obstacle. I could do it as a last resort but wondering if theres a special learner-friendly resource online about nuanced skating technique.
Do you know where to find the list of the current level features for step sequences in each discipline, in the ISU communications that were released earlier in the spring? If you need, I can find the links for you. For singles and pairs, it's ISU Communication No. 2623, and 2630 for ice dance.

You would need to learn to recognize the various kinds of turns, both forward and backward.

This thread is more than 10 years old. I don't know how many of the links are still active, but you can give them a try. I hope the explanations in the thread are helpful, and when I have time I could make an updated version with newer links.

Are you more interested in singles or in ice dance? Most turns are considered difficult turns that count for levels in both disciplines, but there are some differences. The singles levels are probably easier to start with.

I hope you know what a three turn is? That does not count as a difficult turn, and you will see it often in freeskating programs leading into jumps as well as in other contexts. But you should start by learning to recognize it because the other one-foot turns are often described in reference to three turns.

Same for mohawks (called "C step" in Canada now).

Once you're comfortable recognizing those easy turns, you should get familiar with brackets, rockers, and counters. Your best bet would be to go to youtube and search for those terms in a skating context. Watch some videos of both forward and backward versions of each of those turns, and from both inside and outside edges. When I have a chance, I can find you some videos.

Start by understanding and recognizing these turns in isolation.

Twizzles are a bit easier to recognize.

You would also want to get familiar with loops (for singles skating), choctaws ("S step" in Canada now), and forward outside mohawks (for ice dance).

In singles skating, one of the level features for step sequences is entirely based the number of difficult turns performed, and another feature is performing three difficult turns in a row on the same foot, on each foot. You'll need to get familiar with recognizing the difficult turns to be able to understand how the step sequence levels are being determined. Don't be discouraged if you find it difficult to identify these turns in real time while you're watching a step sequence. In my opinion, this is one of the hardest parts of what the technical panel does. But I'm sure it's much easier for former skaters who have performed all those turns themselves and are intimately familiar with them in their own bodies.

Sometimes you can identify which turns the skater is attempting, but the tech panel determined that the skater didn't perform them correctly enough to get credit for them. That's why skaters sometimes get different levels at different competitions for perform the same step sequence -- similar to how they sometimes get full credit for rotating a jump and other times they get underrotation calls. The tech panel calls what they see that day, from their live angle and the official replay camera angle if it's necessary to review the sequence.

The other two features for singles step sequences are rotating in both directions for at least 1/3 of the pattern in each direction, and using whole body movements for at least 1/3 of the pattern. You should be able to recognize those features pretty easily because you only need to look at the whole body for those, not what the skaters are doing with their blades.

During the more interesting step sequences, skaters may also include a bunch of other kinds of movements to interpret the music and support the program theme or to show off other kinds of athletic skill beyond the difficult turns they need for higher levels. Those would get rewarded more by the judges' GOEs than by the tech panel calls.

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#### Mathematician

##### Ecclesiastes 7:2 / KJV
Record Breaker
Do you know where to find the list of the current level features for step sequences in each discipline, in the ISU communications that were released earlier in the spring? If you need, I can find the links for you. For singles and pairs, it's ISU Communication No. 2623, and 2630 for ice dance.

You would need to learn to recognize the various kinds of turns, both forward and backward.

This thread is more than 10 years old. I don't know how many of the links are still active, but you can give them a try. I hope the explanations in the thread are helpful, and when I have time I could make an updated version with newer links.

Are you more interested in singles or in ice dance? Most turns are considered difficult turns that count for levels in both disciplines, but there are some differences. The singles levels are probably easier to start with.

I hope you know what a three turn is? That does not count as a difficult turn, and you will see it often in freeskating programs leading into jumps as well as in other contexts. But you should start by learning to recognize it because the other one-foot turns are often described in reference to three turns.

Same for mohawks (called "C step" in Canada now).

Once you're comfortable recognizing those easy turns, you should get familiar with brackets, rockers, and counters. Your best bet would be to go to youtube and search for those terms in a skating context. Watch some videos of both forward and backward versions of each of those turns, and from both inside and outside edges. When I have a chance, I can find you some videos.

Start by understanding and recognizing these turns in isolation.

Twizzles are a bit easier to recognize.

You would also want to get familiar with loops (for singles skating), choctaws ("S step" in Canada now), and forward outside mohawks (for ice dance).

In singles skating, one of the level features for step sequences is entirely based the number of difficult turns performed, and another feature is performing three difficult turns in a row on the same foot, on each foot. You'll need to get familiar with recognizing the difficult turns to be able to understand how the step sequence levels are being determined. Don't be discouraged if you find it difficult to identify these turns in real time while you're watching a step sequence. In my opinion, this is one of the hardest parts of what the technical panel does. But I'm sure it's much easier for former skaters who have performed all those turns themselves and are intimately familiar with them in their own bodies.

Sometimes you can identify which turns the skater is attempting, but the tech panel determined that the skater didn't perform them correctly enough to get credit for them. That's why skaters sometimes get different levels at different competitions for perform the same step sequence -- similar to how they sometimes get full credit for rotating a jump and other times they get underrotation calls. The tech panel calls what they see that day, from their live angle and the official replay camera angle if it's necessary to review the sequence.

The other two features for singles step sequences are rotating in both directions for at least 1/3 of the pattern in each direction, and using whole body movements for at least 1/3 of the pattern. You should be able to recognize those features pretty easily because you only need to look at the whole body for those, not what the skaters are doing with their blades.

During the more interesting step sequences, skaters may also include a bunch of other kinds of movements to interpret the music and support the program theme or to show off other kinds of athletic skill beyond the difficult turns they need for higher levels. Those would get rewarded more by the judges' GOEs than by the tech panel calls.
Thanks so much this helped break things down a lot for me to plan my learning.

I am just interested in singles. I'll definitely check out that thread you linked too.

I have watched a few videos on those turn movements but just wasnt sure how it all fit together but you helped me understand that so I can go back and try again.

Also from what I understand now none of the choreo affects the levels but just the GOE? So levels are dependant solely on directional changes and edge changes/turns?

And from what I am gathering then choreo sequences have an unchanging BV and single level, rewarding GOE for PCS execution only?

Thank you so much again for your effort.

#### gkelly

Record Breaker
Also from what I understand now none of the choreo affects the levels but just the GOE? So levels are dependant solely on directional changes and edge changes/turns?
The features for levels in singles step sequences are:

1) Minimum variety (Level 1), simple variety (Level 2), variety (Level 3), complexity (Level 4) of difficult turns and steps throughout (compulsory)
2) Rotations in either direction (left and right) with full body rotation covering at least 1/3 of the pattern in total for each rotational direction
3) Use of body movements for at least 1/3 of the pattern
4) Two combinations of 3 difficult turns on different feet executed with continuous flow within the sequence. Only one difficult turn may be repeated in the two combinations. Only the first combination attempted on each foot can be counted.

There's more explanation in the Technical Panel Handbook.
Minimum Variety
Must include at least 5 difficult turns and steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice.
Simple Variety
Must include at least 7 difficult turns and steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice.
Variety
Must include at least 9 difficult turns and steps, none of the types can be counted more than twice.
Complexity
Must include at least 11 difficult turns and steps. None of the types of turns and steps can be counted more than twice.5 types of turns and steps must be executed in both directions (the direction means body rotating to the left or to the right during the turn).

And from what I am gathering then choreo sequences have an unchanging BV and single level, rewarding GOE for PCS execution only?
Yes, that's correct. The tech panel just needs to identify that the sequence meets the definition of a Choreographic Sequence (at least two different movements linked together) and then it gets 2.0 of base value. Beyond that, the GOE is up to the judges.

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