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I finally landed a loop! Rejoice!

Well, okay, it’s tiny and underrotated and barely even a loop. But I’ve been struggling to even get the semblance of one for months, so this is a breakthrough for me.

I video’d some of today’s practice, then put away my camera for the rest of the session. Loops have been the same for a while now, and while I could feel them wanting to happen, I had no expectation that they would. I could tell what my problem was — from video, from what Coach A said, from feel alone — so I knew that I had to get over my right side more, but I just didn’t know how to make it happen. It’s so obvious when looking at the video, but that’s the eternal disconnect of figure skating, isn’t it? You know how it should look, but just can’t get the body to produce that movement.

I was trying loops on the wall, mulling over all the various tips Coach A has given me to get that loop, and finally something just seemed to click. Honestly, just like a light bulb went off in my head and I knew what to do. I moved away from the wall, tried it out, and sure enough I could do it. So I grabbed my camera and shot my next few attempts, which are below.

These are literally my second loop ever (and third, and additional attempts). In the “before” clips, you can see where my problem was — it’s almost more like half loop than regular loop, weight shifting to the left side somehow, and it just wasn’t landing. The “after” jumps feel much smaller, but at least they’re more correct. It all seems so clear now that I wonder why it took so long for me to grasp it. I knew in my head, but my body just wouldn’t obey.

I also got some clips of my other jumps. They’re way smaller than they feel and I’m working on the height and speed (it almost feels like slow motion!), particularly for waltz and toe loop. The salchow wasn’t happening today and I could feel it as I was doing them that they were swingy. I can see that my right leg is a problem — need to straighten that leg out and swing up, not whip around. But all in all I’m actually kind of proud of my little bitty jumps.

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