20. Inside Backward Roll

The inside backward roll (Illus. 23) has an identical pushoff except that this time you stand with your back to the direction of travel (23-drawing) and you strike a firm inside backward edge right away with your skating toe turned in, as though it were "pigeon-toed." I like to count in a l-and-2 rhythm all back pushoffs for exact timing of weight transference. Standing at rest is 0; bringing the right foot over to the left and bending to­gether is 1; the start of the pivot and push from the left is "and"; bringing the right foot down and completing the push onto it is 2. This is counted in rhythm as i£ 1 and 2 are whole notes, with "and" a half note.

As you strike a strong IB edge, your free foot will again be raised, turned out, in front of (but not across) the line of your skate, and your free arm will again be forward with the skating arm held back (23-1). "Hollow" your skating hip way in under you and try to press the hipbone forward toward your stomach as much as possible. After watching your skate take the ice—to make sure it is at a right angle to the dividing line and on a clean inside edge, not a flat or an outside back which slurs over to the inside (judges are very fussy about this)—turn your head over your free shoulder and look back inside the circle toward where you are going (23-2, 5). After the count of 3, pass the free foot so close back that it brushes the inside of your skating foot, and at the same time change your arms (22-2). You are now in the number 2 IB position (22-3, 6), the same as for the IB spiral you have just learned. Your weight, as during the OB roll, should remain on the ball of your skating foot.

For the next pushoff, bring your left toe in to your right toe and turn your left heel out as far as possible. Now holding a firm IB edge, swing your right heel out and push away with a hooking movement (23-4). Watch your left skate strike the new edge. I am a strong advocate of keeping the head and eyes up at all times, but on this particular start, dropping the eyes to watch the new skate take the ice properly is a real help at first. Eventually, of course, you must make a fine start by feeling the direction of your edge while your eyes focus at eye-level, not only for better appearance but for better balance.

You must not expect to be able to make exact half-circles or completely steady edges right away, but with diligent practice of all the movements outlined, I think you will be surprised how soon you will acquire a sense of mastery.

 

The figure eights that follow are just full-circle extensions of  these same edges and movements, so every bit of effort put forth now will bring dividends in finer eights very soon. These half-circle swings are the so-called "warm-up" edges used at the start of many club dance sessions. Whether you belong to a club or not, it is wise to skate them to waltz music as soon as possible. Bring a port­able victrola to the ice, or, if all else fails, sing.


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