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Rejoice! Very exciting to finally understand the mechanics of the salchow, which I had understood in theory but hadn’t been able to translate into actual movement. I’ve been running through exercises to get me more comfortable with the movement, and doing them on the wall, and yesterday in lesson a tip Coach A gave me finally clicked in my brain and I was able to get off the wall and land my first salchow.

What I’d been doing was: 3-turn, check my position, swing free leg up and around while bending skating knee, begin to push off toe pick, and… fizzle. At the point where I’m supposed to jump, I always chickened out. Partially because I was afraid, but also because it felt wrong, like the jump couldn’t possibly come next. Then Coach A broke it down even further and told me to think of it as pushing my weight entirely from the swinging free (right) leg onto the left leg, and voila! Instant jump. It seems so obvious, but without that tip, too much of my weight was on the back of the blade and I just got stuck gliding, unable to jump. With the mental image of pushing onto the left blade, I could step into the takeoff and jump right off the pick.

The light bulb moment with the salchow made toe loop an easy next step, although right now it’s just a toe waltz. Haven’t learned proper leg wrap yet for the true toe loop. But now I’ve got three jumps to work on, which is exciting.

Phew! I was beginning to wonder if I’d just never get the salchow. And I know it’s a bit of an exaggeration to say “finally” and “never” when I’ve been skating a grand total of four months, but it felt like with salchow, I hadn’t been making any progress for three weeks. That felt like an awfully long time to be at a standstill, when other skills would at least be creeping forward in progress.

Speaking of slooooow improvements, the one-foot spin. Urrrg. I’m still struggling with the entry, and the spinning, and the everything about it. Granted I’m making tiny strides and I know I just need more practice, but it’s still frustrating to feel so hit or miss. I keep scraping the toe pick and it makes me wonder whether I’d be better off with an upgraded blade with a bigger rocker, since I’m skating with Jackson Artistes and the stock blades are pretty flat. I know, I should be able to spin on these blades regardless. Sighs. Heads back to practice.