IV. THE FOUR ROLLS  THE WALTZ EIGHT


W
ith all your spirals and the basic turns under your belt, you are now ready for more formal figure skating, that is, the preliminary figure test and simple free skating. Of course, in a sense the spirals and turns are simple free skating. As for the preliminary test, even if you live in an area where there are no accredited United States Figure Skating Association judges to put you through it, I believe you should learn it to regulation test standard, as the control gained thereby will lead you straight into good dancing and better figures. Members of a skating group can test each other, thereby learning the rudiments of judging along with the skating itself.

The four "rolls"—or, as I like to call them, the "half-circle swings"—come first. These consist of semicircles skated first on one foot and then the other, along the same long axis, on the outside forward, inside forward, outside backward, and inside backward edges. You must be prepared to skate at least five rolls on each foot without hesitating or faltering. (The official United States Figure Skating Association rule book calls this "stroking" and does not require the semicircular pattern in the test as long as the edges are true, but most careful teachers in­sist on the methods I am outlining here, as they lead you pain­lessly to better understanding and control.)


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