Home Athletes JO ANN’s Figure Skating Tips 101: How to Do a Camel Spin

JO ANN’s Figure Skating Tips 101: How to Do a Camel Spin

JO ANN’s Figure Skating Tips 101: How to Do a Camel Spin

camelstepsCamel spins are figure skating spins that are done in same position as the spiral move, which is based on the classic arabesque position from ballet. Like a spiral, the skater’s upper body and free leg are held horizontally in the camel spin. The free leg is extended parallel to the ice, and the free foot is turned out. The skater’s back should be arched, and the head should be up. The arms are usually held out to the sides, but other arm variations and positions are acceptable.

Some people say that Jacques Gerschwiler, a Swiss figure skater and coach, created the camel spin. His student, British figure skating champion, Cecilia Colledge, is known to be the first skater to perform the move and has been credited as the spin’s inventor. The spin was first called the “Parallel Spin.” When it was not done correctly, a skater would make a hump with his or her rear end since the head and free leg would be below the hips. That mistake caused the spin to be eventually called the “Camel Spin.” Originally, only ladies did camel spins, but today camel spins are done by all figure skaters.

New figure skaters find it difficult to do camel spins, because it is difficult to center the spin and maintain speed. Some skaters get too far up on the front of the blade and end up on the toe pick. Others find it difficult to keep spinning while arching the back and keeping both legs extended and almost locked. Some skaters fall out of the spin too early onto an inside edge.

Step one:

The most common entry ice skaters use to enter the camel spin is a back crossover entry. A skater first does a few back crossovers in a circle.

Step two:

After doing a few back crossovers in a circle, the last back crossover “winds ups” the skater.

Step three:

Next, the skater steps forward into the center of the circle that was created by the back crossovers. He or she then reverses direction, and pushes into the camel spin.

Step four:

As a skater enters the camel spin, he or she should step onto a strong and deep curve. Shoulders should be level. The skating knee should bend deeply as the skater leans forward into a spiral position.

Step five:

Some ice skaters straighten the skating knee quickly as the spin begins; others rise up slowly. The weight of the foot should be on the ball of the skate and not too far forward over the toe pick. The back should be arched. A skater’s head should be held up during the entry and also during the spin.

Step six:

It is important that a skater spins for at least four revolutions in the horizontal camel position. Both the skating leg and the free leg should be straight. The free toe should be turned out.

Step seven:

End the camel spin by spinning for a short duration in the upright position. Then, exit the spin by pushing out backward onto a strong extended back outside edge.

Happy Skating!

JO ANN Schneider Farris

Further Reading:

Jo Ann Schneider-Farris Jo Ann Schneider Farris has participated in figure skating for most of her life as a competitor, coach, and author. Jo Ann was the Figure Skating Expert for About.com for 10 years. Jo Ann began skating as a young child. She won a silver medal in the junior dance event at the United States National Figure Skating Championships and is a US Figure Skating Double Gold Medalist. She coached figure skating and has trained skaters of all ages and levels. In addition, Jo Ann taught hockey players to skate and gave instruction in power skating. She is the author of two skating books: How to Jump and Spin on In-Line Skates, the only book of its kind on inline figure skating, and a personal memoir, My Skating Life: Fifty Plus Years of Skating. Jo Ann also has contributed articles that have been included on the US Figure Skating website and the icenetwork.com website, in SKATING Magazine, Ice Skating Institute's magazine, the Professional Skaters Association magazine, and she also wrote about ice skating for Examiner.com. She is a member of the Professional Skaters Association, The Broadmoor Skating Club, and U.S. Figure Skating. Jo Ann is a graduate of the famous Hollywood Professional School, a school that once was in southern California where many serious figure skaters attended, including Peggy Fleming. She is also a graduate of Colorado College and holds a teaching credential from California State University Long Beach. As a figure skating competitor, she trained under World Ice Dance Champion and Olympic Coach Doreen Denny and also Darlene Gilbert, who has trained international and national teams. From JO ANN Schneider Farris: Hi and Happy Skating! Yes, Happy Skating is my motto. I hope to share my love of the sport and my knowledge of it with you and my goal is to link skaters from all over the world on this site. Happy Skating! Please join me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, or follow me on Google+ and Pinterest. Email me at joannfarris@yahoo.com


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