Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Toe to Toe Mohawks--the Tomahawk

So you all have heard of mohawks, and most of you have heard of choctaws--as turns. I know you've wondered "Why are these turns names after Native American tribes?"  According to The History of Figure Skating, there were Mohawk and Choctaw tribal demonstrations (including tribal dance) in London, UK one year (probably the late 1700's). The steps of the dancers were considered to resemble certain figure skating turns. Since the intersection of the theater going community and the skating community in London was probably only a few hundred well off people, the names for the terms must have passed word of mouth within a couple of years until they are the accepted terms.

Let's look at the inside mohawk: Stroke onto the inside edge, bring the heel to the center of the skating foot, switch feet, and you're going backwards.
Note that the mohawk is done on a single circle
But what if you do a turn so that you do a toe-mohawk. That is, a turn where you stroke onto the inside edge, then bring the free foot TOE FIRST and do the turn.

Take a minute to get your head around that idea.
 Coach Amazing taught me these. I think hockey players may use them. Coach Amazing calls these "Tomahawks". Toe to toe mohawks, get it? After a few minutes of practice I'm doing what I'll call 'mohawk circles'--inside tomahawk into a back inside mohawk (inside step forward), repeat. It's a nice little exercise. 

I don't know if the tomahawk could be used in a footwork sequence, but it's a fun thing to learn and to do in order to work on your skills.

Coach Amazing also taught me 'the Iroquois', which is a counter-like Tomahawk. 
Is this how you feel?
(I don't remember why Coach Amazing picked the term Iroquois. I looked it up in Wikipedia and both the Mohawk sand the Iroquois were members of the Six Nations  so it may be that.)

 This is really deep-skating, even though these may seem inconsequential steps. This is working towards exploring every entry edge and exit, not just the 'traditional ones'. I suppose she'll teach me all of them eventually!

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