Sunday, February 26, 2012

I Love Swingrolls!

The swingroll is the first element that I learned in ice dance that's really 'dancey'. Do freestyle skaters use swingrolls? I don't think I've seen it.

Anyway, I like swingrolls because they really exercise several aspects of skating all at the same time. They're easy to learn, but offer a challenge to master.

First off, the base component of the swingroll is the edge. I love doing edges. Getting the deep curve and the edge is one of the few skating skills I have where I actually look good.

Secondly, comes the shoulder action. I think this is what makes the swingrolls work. When I stroke, the shoulder on the same side of the stroke moves opposite to the leg. That is when the leg goes back on the stroke the shoulder moves forward. When the leg swings forward, the shoulder on the same side goes to neutral and the opposite shoulder swings forward.

But for me to get that shoulder action to work,  I really have to have strong upper body and good 'ice dancer posture'. So that's point three: good posture--no hunching, no leaning forward, no looking down.

Finally, there's the kneebend. Can't do a good swing without  kneebend. As the swing comes forward the knee straightens as the knee passes, then deepens again as the foot goes forward. 

There's so much stuff going on! Three or four things have to happen at once. The knee is going up and down, the free leg is swinging back to forward, the shoulders moving, and I have to have a solid edge.

Right now Dance coach is making me work on the height and extension of my swings and depth to the edges. After that will come more power.  What can I say. Easy to do, but a challenge for me to master.

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