As a dancer turns, spotting is performed by rotating the body and head at different rates. While the body rotates smoothly at a relatively constant speed, the head periodically rotates much faster and then stops, so as to fix the dancer's gaze on a single location (the spotting point, or simply the spot).According to various sources, skaters don't spot, and while spinning without spotting makes them dizzy, 'they get used to it'.
Until recently, I 'spotted'. If there was a large contrast in color somewhere in my vicinity, my eye would fix on it every rotation. Advertising signs on the boards. The open gate framing the blue matting beyond, a bright yellow ladder leaning against the wall outside the ice. Of course spotting slows me down, sometimes to a stop.
One day I was practicing my spins on public, when Dance Coach came into my vision as I was spinning.
- He's a big black coated form contrasting with the ice
- He used to be my coach so reflexively, I stared at him.
- I mean, that's a thing skaters do. See Coach. Stare at coach. Check coach expression for eye rolls.
Dance Coach started mock mocking me. "Why did you fall out of your spin? You have to be better. Work harder."
I can counter mock with the best of them. I yelled back, "The sight of your male beauty distracted me and made me fall."
Dance Coach started laughing so hard that he bent over and gripped his knees.
It was like old times. One of these days I'll make him laugh so hard he'll fall off his skates.
Nowadays I spin fast enough that I don't have time to spot. The problem is that when I realize I'm going that fast, my toes unconsciously clench, pushing me onto my toepicks and I stop abruptly. Stupid toes.