Friday, June 1, 2012

Waltz Troika (Edited)

Troika-(Rus.) Three Turn

There appear to be two kinds of Waltz Threes in figure skating. There's the one that's done in Freestyle. Skip that. Then there's the one that's in Ice Dance. That's the one I'm talkin' about.

In Ice Dance the waltz three is a three turn in waltz hold.
Waltz Hold

I'm  learning the baby variant of this. I skate forward and do a FO3 in Waltz hold, tuck the free foot through the turn, switch feet, and the new free foot goes forward towards the gentleman. I don't know what the gentleman is doing (back 3 maybe?). I've got my own feet to think about. His feet are not my problem.

Anyway, after we do one of these waltz threes, we do another, and another. At that point my three turns are lagging badly, scratching awfully, and Dance Coach is effectively holding me up. After the 3rd Waltz 3, we stop. Dance Coach makes some pithy critique while I grip my knees and try to get un-dizzy.

I'm just not 'getting' these.

The traditional way to talk about this is for the lady to skate as if she's aiming directly between the gentlemen's legs. I've heard this from Dance Coach and other people. It's not working for me. The first Waltz 3 is nice then I start falling further and further behind. Scratchy threes then appear.  Dance Coach has tried various fixes. He's adjusted my shoulders, my hip positions, my head, my leg position, my arms; nothing worked. Turns 2 and 3 stay scratchy.

The funny thing is, I can do these by myself. FO3 with neat feet, and a kick forward at the end. For a beginner skater like me, that's not easy.

But with Dance Coach standing in front of me---I gotz nuzzink.

After some unsuccessful go rounds last week, Dance Coach sighs. "Don't aim between my legs." he says. "Skate towards this leg." He slaps his left leg.(edit: This was apparently an experiment for that lesson. We've gone back to the traditional way of 'skate between the legs') Since I'm doing left FO3 to his whatever he's doing, I guess that makes it his outside leg. But, to tell the truth, I just shove in in my memory as, "Aim to the left leg, when I'm on the left foot. vice versa."

"Ready, go," he tells me.

One rotation, two rotation, three rotation. Zip, Zap, Thunderclap! NO SCRATCHING! And I'm perfectly aligned with his position throughout!

I get my first Waltz Three High Five
Why this works and the traditional way doesn't, is a complete mystery to me. But work it does.

(edit. There will be a later post on my struggles with this element. I think I've figured it out though)


  1. Hmmm. I will give this a try, as I have exactly the same issues. Can do the first three turn, but after that they get worse, and certainly can't scratch out more than three. In the meantime I'm killing whoever the poor b#st#rd who's partnering me as they struggle to hold me up.