Figure Skating Elements: Upright and Layback Spins

There are four main categories of spins in figure skating: upright spins, layback spins, camel spins, and sit spins. This post will cover upright and layback spins. Upright spins are defined as spins with at least one extended leg on the ice and the body in a more-or-less upright position. Laybacks are scored as a separate element from upright spins; they appear as LSp on protocols while general upright spins appear as USp.

There are many, many, many variations on spin positions in skating; in fact, coming up with interesting positions and combinations is one way to get higher levels on spins. (A common criticism of the judging system is that it encourages weird or ugly spin positions in the name of difficulty and gaining points.) It’s impossible to account for all of the variations out there, so I’ve only gifed some common positions and famous variations.

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Figure Skating Elements: Connecting Elements

Connecting elements, sometimes called moves in the field, are a variety of different moves performed between the main elements in a program (ie. spins, jumps, step sequences). These elements are not scored on their own. They are usually performed in choreographic sequences or marked in the “transitions” category of PCS (program component scores). Oftentimes, their purpose is to make the choreography of a program more interesting. When connecting moves are performed as the entries/exits to jumps, they can increase the Grade of Execution of the jump. This post does not cover all possible moves, only some common ones.

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Figure Skating Elements: Camel Spins

Having covered upright and layback spins, let’s move on to camel spins. Camel spins (marked as CSp on protocols) are defined as a spin where the free leg extends back and the knee is held at or above hip level. The body more-or-less forms a “T” shape. There are many variations on the basic camel spin; I have included some common positions in this post. Many of these positions can be done by both men and women, though the ones that require more flexibility are more commonly seen in ladies’ skating.

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New spin! Just amazing!


1/?? Favorite Figure Skating Programs

–> Jason Brown “Reel Around the Sun (Riverdance)” 2014 U.S. National Championships [X]