Sunday, April 15, 2012


Today's Russian: Troika!--three turn

Taking a lesson from Coach Cruella is a little like drinking from a fire hose.
I could make a whole week of posts from the group and private lesson I take from her one day a week. Right now I'm going to talk about her fixing my 3 turn.

Cruella Says:

So I have three turns that are minimally flingy. As long as I'm under Dance Coach's thumb, he's had me doing them the Ice Dance Way: with the free foot tucked up to the skating foot heel. This is because you're skating with a partner and kicking each other or stepping on each other is a Bad Thing.

So Coach Cruella brings out the Magic Marker of Doom. I cringe as she draws out a half-circle slightly smaller than the half circle at the net end of the rink. Then she draws a line at each third of the half circle.

"Skate the circle, then go down in the knee----" Insert mad scientist laugh here, "deeper each mark. And do a three turn here." She points to the third mark.

Bear with me here. I'm a beginner skater, with historically weak three turns and fear of learning new skills that have a backward element in them. What expression do you think I had when I started this.

Was it this one?

Coach Cruella takes my hands and supports me around the circle.

Start with a T-push, down at the first mark, down at the half mark, down at the third mark..... TROIKA!

I've had some opportunity to practice these by myself a few times, and I'm getting the hang of them. I've heard of mythical 'three turns that do themselves' . And I've been told down-up-down hundreds of times. In my limited experience with this method, the three turns do turn themselves (but I have to get REALLY down in the knee) and the down-up-down motion seems natural rather than forced.

So the pros--beautiful three turns, stable with just a half hour of practice.
And the cons--I need to enter with a little more power than I'm used to. A little scary there until I get comfortable with them. These don't work for me if I have too little power.


  1. I'm trying this tomorrow. My 3-turns are a disaster. Maybe this will help. Thanks for passing along the process.

    1. Remember Dmitry's incantation: "Don't Look Down." :-)
      Ready for some testing yet? Dutch Waltz is waitin' for ya!

  2. Ah the 'mythical three turns that do themselves'. I too have heard of these. I've been told many times that if I circle in far enough at some point I 'have' to turn. Nope. I don't. Really.

    1. Yeah, the circle in thing didn't work for me either. Maybe I have to get gradually deeper in the knee.

  3. Try holding diminishing LFO edge on a circle, at some point the body refuses to keep going and turns.