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Upright Spins

Upright spins are the simplest variety of spin, and the earliest learned. The skater assumes a basically upright position while spinning. Advanced skaters spin on a single foot; beginners initially learn to spin on 2 feet. Basic upright spin positions are described on this page; more advanced upright spins such as the Layback and Biellmann are described separately.

Basic Two-Foot Spin

In the very earliest spins, the skater will leave both skates on the ice while spinning, performing what is called a Two-Foot Spin. Both feet are on the ice, roughly parallel to each other and about a shoulder-width apart while the skater rotates around the center of the circle they describe. This is a teaching spin, and often the pro will introduce the feeling of a one-foot spin by starting from a two-foot spin then picking up the right foot.

Forward Scratch Spin (click image for video)
Nikki Craker / Mentor FSC

Basic One-Foot Spins

Once the skater graduates to one-foot spinning, spins can be skated on either of the feet — if skated on the left foot, the spin is considered to be a Forward Upright Spin; if skated on the right foot, the spin is considered to be a Back Upright Spin (remember that most skaters spin in a counterclockwise direction -- for clockwise spinners, a forward spin would be on the right foot, a backspin on the left). For beginning skaters, the free leg (the one NOT on the ice) is usually bent, with the ankle near the skater's knee.

Scratch Spin

A variant of the upright spin is the Scratch Spin, which can be performed either on the left foot (Scratch Spin), or the right foot (Back Scratch Spin). In either case, the position is similar to the standard upright, but the skater rides a little bit more forward on the blade and pulls in tighter. The freefoot usually gets "lower" or closer to the ice. This produces a much faster rate of spin. The Scratch Spin is the very dramatic spin that many skaters end their programs with.

Crossfoot Spin

Another variant of the upright spin is the Crossfoot Spin. The crossfoot spin is usually performed by male skaters and is similar to the forward upright spin.  When performing a crossfoot spin, the skater straightens the freeleg and crosses it in front of the skating leg.  The free foot (left foot) is placed next to, but "outside" the skating foot with its blade parallel to and very close to the ice. Like a scratch spin, this rotates very quickly and the legs give the effect of a climbing "barber pole".
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