Exercise 4 – Skating stable and skating fast
You can learn a lot from speed skating about skating fast and skating stable. By all means, I’m not trying to make anyone a speed skater if they don’t want to be but one thing I’ve noticed is that speed skaters are solid and stable. Why is this? Again going back to understanding balance, speed skaters set their balance first in their shoulders and then it transfers down to their feet. Then it just switches sides. If you look at speed skaters, their shoulder gets to where it needs to be first and then the skater’s foot plants on the ground. This creates stability, and the balance is solid. The skater then glides on that foot and then switches by setting the other shoulder, planting the foot and then glides. Speed is gained by how much you push off the back foot to the new direction.
You don’t have to go fast to do this but work on set, plant, glide, switch, set, plant, glide switch. Start with the left shoulder moving to the left, plant your left foot, and glide. Move your right shoulder to the right, bring your right foot forward, plant it, and then glide. Remember the shoulder on the skating foot is controlling your balance so concentrate your balance and focus there.
Next, get your arms in the rhythm of the change. So the left shoulder moves left while the left arm swings backwards. The right shoulder will move forward with the right arm swinging forward. Plant the left foot and then glide. Switch sides doing the exact opposite. Before you know it, you’ll be doing this rhythm of shoulder, arms, foot plant, glide to shoulder, arms, foot plant, glide.
Now with dance you’re doing the exact same thing as speed skating with one exception; the arms rarely swing! They typically stay stretched out 45 degrees to the center of your body. However, if you think about while the arms aren’t swinging the shoulder sets before you step down with your skating foot.