Glossary of Common Skating Terms

Intermediate skaters learn a multitude of new disciplines which go hand-in-hand with new terminology. The three main areas of focus for Intermediate skaters are:

  • Skating Skills – Movements executed on a pattern and set to music. Skills help skaters master basic fundamentals of skating: edge quality, control, power & speed.
  • Ice Dance – Skaters work through a series of dances that teach timing, musicality, rhythm, edges, flow, control, and unison. Your skater will be performing Ice Dance tests with a coach as partner. There are 3-4 dances in each level of dance skating.
  • Free Skate – A solo program performed to music, during which skaters execute jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking.

Singles Skating Terms

Jumps

Waltz Jump: Generally the first rotational jump that skaters learn. The skater takes off from a forward outside edge, completes 1/2 revolution in the air, and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.

Salchow Jump: A jump in which the skater takes off from the back inside edge of the skating foot, rotates one rotation in the air and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. Named after its originator, Ulrich Salchow.

  • Variations: double Salchow, triple Salchow, quadruple Salchow, one foot Salchow
  • Fun fact: The 1965 World Champion and 1964 World and Olympic bronze medallist Petra Burka became the first woman to complete a triple jump in competition - the triple Salchow - performed at the 1962 Canadian Championships in Toronto, Ontario.

Toe Loop Jump: A toe jump in which the skater takes off from the back outside edge of the skating foot with assistance of the toe of the free foot and turns one rotation in the air, landing on the back outside edge of the take-off foot.

  • Variations: double toe loop, triple toe loop, quadruple toe loop.
  • Fun fact: Canadian Kurt Browning was the first skater to complete a quadruple toe loop in competition at the 1988 World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Loop Jump: A jump in which the skater takes off from the back outside edge of the skating foot, turns one rotation in the air and lands on the back outside edge of the take-off foot.

  • Variations: double loop, triple loop, 1/2 loop (a one rotation jump in which the skater lands on the back inside edge of the opposite foot from take-off)

Flip Jump: A toe jump in which the skater takes off from the back inside edge of the skating foot with assistance from the toe of the free foot, turns one rotation in the air and lands on the back outside edge of the original free foot.

  • Variations: double flip, triple flip.

Lutz Jump: A toe jump in which the skater takes off from the back outside edge of the skating foot with assistance of the free foot toe, rotates in the reverse direction one rotation in the air and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot.

  • Variations: double Lutz, triple Lutz.
  • Neat fact: 1962 - Donald Jackson completes first-ever triple Lutz in competition.
Spins

Spin: A spinning movement with more than one revolution performed on one foot on the spot.

There are three main categories of spins:

  • the upright spin
  • the camel spin
  • the sit spin

There are many variations within each of these categories.

Upright Spin: A spin where a skater's body stays more or less vertical to the ice. This category includes one-foot spins, backspins, cross foot spins, and the layback spin. The layback spin is a spin primarily performed by female skaters (though more men are performing this difficult spin today) where the back is arched and the free leg is drawn up slightly.

  • Variations include the Bielman position (the skater catches the blade of the free foot in their hands and pulls the free-leg up over their head) and sideways leaning spin in which the skater arches to one side while maintaining an upright position.

Sit Spin: As the name indicates a sit spin is classified as any spin in which the skater's body is located close to the ice and the skating knee is bent to allow the skater to appear to be 'sitting'.

  • Variations include flying sit, flying change sit, sit change sit spin and more.

Camel Spin: A spin position in which the skater's body is horizontal to the ice except for the leg on which they are spinning.

  • Variations on this spin include a flying camel (change foot in air prior to start of spin) and death-drop (a dramatic flying entry). To increase the difficulty of a camel spin skaters will often perform a forward camel spin on an outside edge, or a back camel on an inside edge. Arm and leg position variations also increase the difficulty of spins and can be very effective from an aesthetic standpoint.
Spiral: A spiral is a glide on long edges in arabesque position in which the free leg is held equal to or higher than hip levels.

Step Sequence: A combination/series of different turns and steps such as three turns, brackets, counters, rockers, mohawks, choctaws, changes of edge, chasses, etc.

Sub-grouping: A subordinate or smaller group(s) without close relationship to the rest of the team: a division of the team into several smaller groups.

Transition: A passage between elements. In the Short Program, transitions necessary to link the required elements are permitted provided they cover less than half of the ice surface.

Twizzle: A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations which is quickly rotated with a continuous (uninterrupted) action. The weight remains on the skating foot with the free foot in any position during the turn then placed beside the skating foot to skate the next step.

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