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Basic Skating Skills and Figure Skating

Waltz Jump
   
Description
  A Waltz jump is the basic member of the Axel family of jumps that takes off in a forward direction. A waltz is a half rotation jump, taking off from the forward outside edge of one foot and landing backwards on the outside edge of the other foot.
   
Transition/Connecting Steps

There are two commonly used entrances to the waltz jump. The simplist transtition consists of a series of forward strokes to establish speed. The last stroke must be on an outside curve that becomes the takeoff entry of the Waltz jump.  The Waltz jump takeoff is the same as a Bunny Hop from a forward outside edge.

A more advanced approach to setup the jump is from backward crossovers, followed by a short glide on the back outside edge concluding with stepping forward onto the outside edge that is the takeoff edge.


Entry
  A foward left outside (FLO) edge jump without any skidding (sideways) motion as the skater jumps. The ideal takeoff occurs when the toe pick presses against the ice as the skater jumps from the edge. Skater should acquire and maintain speed throughout the preparation, takeoff, and landing of the jump.
   
Takeoff
 

The extension of the free leg backwards is start of the spring from the ice that uses that momentum (inertia) to gain the maximum height when the free leg is thrust forward.

Counter-Clockwise Skater (CCW) takes off in their left foot from a forward outside edge.

Clockwise Skater (CW) takes off in their right foot from a forward outside edge.



Rotation in the Air

Skaters who rotate in the Counter-Clockwise (CCW) direction extend the right free leg behind and then swing the leg forward producing a springing action from the left jumping leg. The skater has a sensation of the being suspended in the air in a straddle position (inside spread eagle) prior to performing one half rotation in the air before landing on the back outside edge of the right foot.

Some skaters rotate in the Clockwise (CW) direction. The left free leg extends behind the skater and swings forward producing a springing action from the right jumping leg. The skater has a sensation of the being suspended in the air in a straddle position (inside spread eagle) prior to performing one half rotation in the air before landing on the back outside edge of the left foot.


Landing
 

A Counter-Clockwise Skater lands backward on their right foot.

The Clockwise Skater lands backward on their left foot.

In the Waltz jump the skater should land on a backward curve that is a continuation of the takeoff curve with a flexed landing knee, stretched free leg, and erect core body (head up, level shoulders, and straight back).

The landing should have no noticable loss of flow (speed) and the curve should be held long enough to establish that the skater has complete control of the landing.

   
Exit Edge/Curve
  No noticable loss of flow on the landing.

Entry curve into jump continues through the curve of the exit edge.

The free leg should fully extended back over the tracing after landing.


Common Errors

Pre-rotation of the shoulders and arms prior to taking off.

Not jumping high enough to accomplish the full rotation in the air. A major loss of power occurs when the knee of the free leg is bent and never fully extended prior to preparation to land.

Not checking the landing. If the arms are not checked, the skater's body will continue to rotate after landing resulting in a whipping action producing an uncontrolled edge lacking a smooth gliding exit curve.

Landing heavily on toe pick causing an immediate loss of flow out of the jump.

The free leg never fully extends after landing.

Hooked landing, usually accompanied by quickly stepping forward, changing edge, and/or bending at waist.