9. Inside Forward Spiral

The first and easiest spiral to learn is the "inside forward" (Illus. 12). Stand in T-position with your right foot leading. Face your body squarely ahead over your right foot and hold your left arm forward, at the same time pressing your right shoulder and arm back. Your free arm should be held at about waist height, gently curved, and with the hand following out the line of the arm. The palm of the hand should be toward the ice, neither raised from the wrist nor drooped down from it. Likewise the skating arm should be straight behind, palm to the ice. Hold the fingers easily, with the second finger in gen­eral somewhat nearer the thumb. These arm and hand direc­tions apply to all edges unless otherwise specified, the forward arm gracefully curved (not bent), the backward arm straight, changing curvature only when they change position.

Without moving your arms at all, take five strong strokes around a circle to the left and hold the fifth, a right inside for­ward edge. To be able to hold this edge under control for a whole circle, pay particular attention to these points: Keep your hips forward under you and facing squarely ahead, keep your shoulders also at right angles to the line of your skating foot in exact alignment with your hips, and maintain level shoulders with a definite feeling of weight on the skating shoulder. The skating ankle should bend forward (bringing the knee with it, of course), and the free knee likewise should be bent and carried inside the circle almost beside the skating knee. The heel of the free skate should be carried directly over the line that your blade is leaving on the ice behind you, but the free foot, well turned out and pointed, should be inside the circle. Press the skating hip so hard in toward the center of your body that it feels "hollowed" in. Turning your head over your free shoulder, look to the center of the circle to become con­scious of the radius of the curve you are making. Now turn around and follow the same procedure in the opposite direction on the left inside forward spiral.

Are you comfortable? Happy? Or is there a feeling of "pull" as you find your skate spiraling in too fast? One or both of two common errors could cause this. If in the desire to make a deep edge, you lean your upper body into the circle too far, you will take so much of your body weight away from your skate that your skating hip will be out in "right field" and you will lose control of the curve. An even more common fault is a back-whip of the free foot, leg, and hip that will turn your skate sharply into the circle just as a rudder turns a boat. As the centrifugal force of skating this circle makes the free leg want to swing out across the print behind, you must exercise constant control through the pelvic area by standing very erect, tighten­ing the buttocks muscles, especially on the free side, and being conscious at all times of the placement of the free foot.

Are You Ready To Move Onto The Next Lesson? Click Here...