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Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ballet Jump and Toe Loop

For a while now, I have fancied the ballet jump as a pre-cursor to the toe loop. That is part of the reason I willingly teach it to my skaters, even putting it in combination with the Waltz jump.

Today, it become clear to me why it is.

I generally teach the ballet jump from back crossovers, to BO edge, pick and jump. What I stress is the check for the take-off. This includes the position at take-off, position of arms and position of toe pick. This same take-off is required for the toe loop to work well.

Position at take-off
The ballet jump must take off from a backwards glide. Turning forward before the ballet jump will make it over-rotate and impossible to control the landing. This habit, brought over to the toe loop, will avoid the toe waltz.

Position of arms
In the set up for a ballet jump, I advocate keeping the free arm in front and the skating arm at the side, slightly behind (sort of a 4 o'clock position). This is equivalent to the quick, strong check for the pick and release into the toe loop.

Position of toe pick
In the ballet jump, the toe pick is slightly turned out, and placed on the ice behind the free shoulder - never crossed behind the skating foot. This is the same for the toe loop.

Finally, in the take-off for the ballet jump, the turn in the air is executed with the free leg stretched back. The toe loop takes off similarly, but with the free leg quickly kicking through.

I am now convinced that there is a reason to learning the ballet jump. Now somebody tell me the reason to learn that bizarre half-toe-walley!

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