Figure Skating Spins

Sasha Cohen

This week I’m talking about the different types of spins – upright, sit, camel, combination, and flying spins. There are different variations for spins and at the higher levels of ice skating, you can get even more credit for difficult variations than in the past.

With the new judging system, the IJS, you get more credit by doing a variation of position, difficult entry to the spin, or a change of edge. I don’t usually link to Wikipedia. However, this article describes the positions well and has good pictures of the various spins: Figure Skating Spins.

Photo Credit: Sasha Cohen by Ryosuke Yagi at Flickr Creative Commons.

April 1, 2011

Is Performing on Ice the Same as Theatre?

Christina and Mark Performing to Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" (Photo by David Paterson)

Christina and Mark Performing to Michael Jackson's "Earth Song" (Photo by David Paterson)

People go to the theatre to see a play to be entertained. It may be a love of the arts or maybe a relaxing night out that inspires a trip to the theatre. There are many reasons to attend the theatre.

People also go to an on-ice performance to be entertained. Again it could be a relaxing night out or love of on-ice performances. However, it could be a love of sports as well that inspires a trip to an ice event.

I’ve performed both on the stage and on the ice. I was first an on-ice performer, and that made performing on stage an easy transition and very enjoyable, too. 

Here are 5 similarities that performing on the ice and performing on the stage have in common.

Read the entire article

March 10, 2011

Inspiration from the 2011 U.S. Ladies Champion, Alissa Czisny

The 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships were all about inspiring performances. As much as I love to see Rachael Flatt and Mirai Nagasu do well, it was wonderful to see the beautiful Alissa Czisny make her comeback to win the gold medal in the senior ladies event.

After her heartbreaking 10th place finish last year (after winning in 2009), Alissa recreated her skating with coaches Yuka Sato and Jason Dungjen. It’s lovely to hear that Alissa’s coaches really believe in her and helped her find confidence in her skating.

Read the full article

Photo Credit: Alissa Czisny at the 2009 Fiesta on Ice. Photo by Queen Yuna at Flickr Creative Commons.

February 24, 2011

Inspiration from the 2011 U.S. Men’s Champion, Ryan Bradley

Ryan Bradley was the winner of the senior men’s event at the recent U.S. National Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina. I’ve been friends with Ryan for many years. We both trained at the Colorado Springs World Arena as well. I enjoyed seeing Ryan win this title!

Ryan has always been a showman with one of his main focuses to please the crowd. Watch this winning short program and how Ryan incorporates strong technical difficulty (including a quad/triple combination) with a fun, showy style. This should be remembered as one of the most entertaining programs ever for a men’s national champion!

February 10, 2011

Inspiration from the 2011 U.S. Pairs Champions, Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin

The 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships just concluded last weekend. U.S. Nationals is the yearly competition that the top novice-senior skaters in the nation qualify for by placing in the top 4 in their regions and sections. Usually there are between 12 to 15 skaters or teams in each event.

In senior pairs, the team of Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin won the event. Caitlin and John skate at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, where I used to train. Caitlin arrived after I moved, but I knew John for many years. John was always a nice guy.

I was happy to see Caitlin and John finally succeed in winning this title. Caitlin and John’s victory was extra special because their long program was dedicated to John’s mother who passed away last year.

In the YouTube video of Caitlin and John’s U.S. Nationals free skate, you can really see them feeling the music to bring out John’s emotions. Also, watch how Caitlin and John maintain great speed and flow throughout the transitions and various elements they perform. They wove all the aspects together to create one of the most memorable pairs programs ever at U.S. Nationals.

February 3, 2011