33. Outside Forward Inside Backward Threes
ROF-LIB and LOF-RIB, Factor 2

The eight is formed by a plain forward three for the first circle and a reversal of the forward turn (that is, a three turned from the inside back edge onto the outside forward edge, in the direction of rotation) for the second circle. This means that, just as in threes-to-center, you are going to make a regular ROF three to RIB which you hold back to center (Diagram 10-5); then instead of making that complete outward rotation of the free hip onto the LOF which you found difficult in your first test diagram, you are going to turn out your left heel and pigeon-toe for a push directly onto your LIB, as in the IB eight.

However, this time you are going to keep your head looking out to the left and your shoulders rotating for the full half-circle before the three (Illus. 33-1, 2). In this position the great difficulty is not to rotate the upper body (and, with it, the hips) too far. You also have to guard against a natural tendency to lean backward. Either error will ruin your control of the turn or the circle, or both. I like to call this the "position of equilibrium" and often liken it to a pair of old-fashioned grocer's scales.

Your weight should be evenly distributed throughout the trunk of your body between your skating hip and your free shoulder in such a way that you feel your balance through your skating hip and leg down to the ball of your skating foot (33-2). To achieve this delicate balance, raise your skating arm so that you can look over your hip and under your arm (33-1). (One of my instructors used to say, "Feel as if your skating hand is rest­ing on the top of a table.") (33-1) Be sure your shoulder line remains level, however, as a raised skating shoulder will mean too much inward lean with a skating hip jutting out; a lowered one will mean a backward pitch with serious loss of balance.

As always on a back inside start, compress the skating hip hard in and relax the free hip back (33-1, 2). I find it useful to toe in the free foot slightly on this ride to the three turn (33-2), as it seems to "lock" the hips in position and allow a more controlled rotation of the shoulders against them. In any case, pigeon-toed or straight, be sure that this free foot does not cross over the line of print to the outside of the circle. Press up the skating knee slowly from the quarter mark to the long axis (33-2, 3), at which point you again shift weight to the back center of the skate and turn around (33-3, 4). Let your head go around the turn, and as soon as you feel the OF edge, check your shoulders (33-4). Now look over your skating shoulder back to the starting cen­ter (33-5). Maintain a strong sideways lean all the way "home," with a definite feeling that your skating side is leading along the curve, with your free shoulder pressed firmly back (33-4, 5). To keep the free hip back without any desire to rotate forward and curl you in, turn out your free foot as soon as you turn (33-4).

With this figure the curriculum of the second United States Figure Skating Association test is completed. If you give your­self the test, assign a mark to each diagram as before, but this time multiply by 2 as well as 1, according to the factor of each figure. The passing total is 43.2, with a minimum of 3 for any one figure. If you skated a perfect test (no one ever has), your score would be 72.


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