Best spirals in ladies skating (both past & present)

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by Slowdive, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Slowdive

    Slowdive New Member

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    Inspired by the 'layback position' thread I was curious to see what ladies skaters had great spirals - amateur, pro & retired skaters. Also if anyone has vid clips or photos to share.
    Some of the skaters for me that come to find include U.S. skaters: Kwan, Cohen & Bobek.
    Who else?
  2. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    spirals are my favorite moves in figure skating

    for me, the best (for very different reasons) are sasha cohen's and michelle kwan's

    some other skaters with great spirals/spiral sequences are mao asada, alissa czisny, mirai nagasu, caroline zhang and nicole bobek

    for sheer flexibility and toe point, sasha takes the cake..although the security of her edges aren't the best nor is her speed. she also gets really wobbly when she tries to change edge
    however, if you judge solely by pictures, sasha's spirals are the most exquisite, and very balletic

    many in the second group have great flexibility and stretch. I have to say I dislike it when they place their heads too low in the arabesque...also sometimes the stretch or flexibility might be on but the edge isn't very deep.

    michelle's change of edge spiral is probably my favorite individual spiral move overall. she has not only great stretch but amazing security AND complexity of edge, power and speed! not to mention how much she emotes during her spiral. I also think she's done some interesting variations on her arabesque, such as her backwards arabesque that usually ends in a twirl where she guides the ice with her hand and head close to the ice (she's ended her charlotte spirals like this too). she can take her spiral around the entire rink and back, in an s shape or a simple curve.
    oh and on top of that she has insaaaaaaaane lean on her inside arabesque spiral

    as a last note..I also liked irina slutskaya's biellman spiral
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  3. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    I've linked to the spiral parts of the videos. these are a few of michelle's that I like..I can't possibly remember them all off the top of my head

    michelle does an amazing spiral here that seems to go in an s shape and it covers the entire rink..and then she's able to take it back for a return journey without it lagging to a stop and keeps her leg up!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzNSWwbZ1fs#t=2m50s
    the speed, power, extension, security of edge and ice coverage. it's the whole package, although it's not quite as stretched (nor is her toe quite as pointed) as sasha's, but overall it's the best

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dr01qTQ1_FI#t=3m30s
    here she does a backwards spiral yet still exhibits amazing control of her edge (and lean towards the end) and does that distinctive michelle move where she twirls to a stop with her head and hand near the ice

    here she does that same michelle move with a charlotte:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqVXK8xdpV0#t=3m46s

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR4VtmHh0Wc#t=3m56s
    love the angle here, and look at the lean of the body!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ptj_tO7tIXg#t=4m45s
    VERY fast and dangerous charlotte :eek:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYetjzfi3ac#t=3m23s
    crazy speed!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T50xiHVKtU0#t=2m47s
    michelle sometimes changed up her spiral positions here and there (as opposed to her usual COE, then kerrigan spiral)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqVXK8xdpV0#t=2m46s
    the FREENESS of her spirals is just amazing. and her arabesque really does travel in a true spiral

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrDBGtP7O94#t=2m30s
    the JOY on her face
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  4. Karpenko

    Karpenko Well-Known Member

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    Sasha Cohen and Michelle Kwan. We were ridiculously spoiled by their spirals, nobody out there has come close since and I doubt many ever will.
  5. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

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    Michelle's placement of her spiral in her Spartacus SP is my favorite. She hits the position right on the crescendo of the music. Goosebumps.
  6. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Cohen, by far. Esthetically it's gorgeous to behold. Kwan's had a great IE but Cohen's is incredibly striking and has lovely lines. I am all about lines being a ballet uber and Cohen's are the best in that respect. Her OE lean was excellent as well.

    Why don't skaters point their toes and stretch these days? COP doesn't reward it?
  7. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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  8. Triple Butz

    Triple Butz Well-Known Member

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    Just a pet peeve of mine, but a crescendo is the process of getting louder, not the highlight or musical climax. The actual crescendo is what happens before the climax. When Michelle hits her spiral in that clip, the orchestra has already arrived at a strong, stable dynamic.
  9. MR-FAN

    MR-FAN Kostner Softie

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    I too think when looking at all the criteria defining a beautiful spiral sequence (free leg extension, depth of edge, turn out of the free foot, toe point, ease and effortlessness of the change of edge (if there is one), speed throughout and back position, Michelle is the queen of the spiral sequence. She simply has no weakness in her spiral sequence!

    - Sasha has perfect extension and the back position, but not the deepest of edges or that secure change of edge.
    - Kostner (whose spiral sequences I love) has terrific speed and depth of edge, but doesn't have the seamless change of edge or extension.
    - I love the extension and back position of Mao and Mirai's spirals, but they're quite slow.
    - YuNa's spirals are fast but she has poor free foot position and extension,
    - Bobek has gorgeous spiral positions (free foot and back positions), and a deep (but not the most secure) edge. Has she ever done a change of edge spiral?

    There's a reason why michelle's spiral sequence is her trade mark and, to quote Dick, one of the iconic moves in skating
  10. zilam98

    zilam98 New Member

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    i love how you put the links at where the referenced element is shown. i've noticed other posters do that too. how do you do that?
  11. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

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    hi,
    it's a simple code
    you take the link of a youtube video, and then you add this at the end:
    #t=XmYs
    then you plug in numbers where x and y are (x for minutes, y for seconds)
  12. falling_dance

    falling_dance Well-Known Member

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  13. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    Michelle Kwan is obviously way up there but I always loved Nicole Bobek's, too. Her position was amazing and she usually was flying across the ice.
  14. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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    Position: Cohen

    Speed: Kostner

    Overeall: Kwan
  15. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    Naaaah, Surya Bonaly all the way.
  16. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    I've never seen Kwan in a bodysuit before: she looked great! I wish she'd worn it more often, although most of her dresses were lovely too.
  17. smarts1

    smarts1 Well-Known Member

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    Emily!!!
  18. maharbabackward

    maharbabackward New Member

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    Its unfortunate that Michelle's career kinda fizzled in the end (due to injury). But the great thing about her not having to go through COP for very long is that she never had to adjust her COE to meet Level 4 Requirements. I love Yuna Kim, but her COE spiral which was required in all competitions until recently were alway ugly (although she made improvements). I would've hated Michelle to have had to do a catch-foot/ biellman position in that COE, it would be like when Angela N. altered her gorgeous layback to be level 4. Why mess with perfection? Another change-of-edge spiral which always got an applause from the crowds and I never knew why it never caught on was Shizuka A's Y-position catch foot where she would let go.. Really nice.
  19. Yazmeen

    Yazmeen Well-Known Member

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    Bobek because she set the modern standard.
    Second place: Kwan
    Third: Cohen, for variety of positions.
  20. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Another (slightly easier) way is to go to the YT video and find the time you want to mark (I usually go a second or two ahead). Pause the video and right-click the video marker. It'll give you the option to "copy video URL at current time" or something like that; I think it's the 2nd option. Then just copy and paste the link! ;)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  21. jiggs

    jiggs New Member

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  22. Amy03

    Amy03 New Member

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    Mao Asada spiral are gourges, not only because of her great flexibility but her potioning and balance in unbelievable... she actually has the only spiral of the current ladies I always look forward to see, I really loved it when she attempted three different kind of spiral, cause they always looked beautiful and effortlessly done!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzWRyREFlnU
  23. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller President of Dick Button Appreciation Club

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    Bobek had the most breathtaking positions, with deep lean. Cohen hiked her leg higher but she was always rather slow, with relatively-small ice coverage (which I could notice when I saw her 'live' in an arena...not so on TV). I also remember when Cohen nearly hit the board in front of the judges, as she tried to control a shakey change-of-edge-spiral at Moscow Worlds.

    Among current skaters, Mao Asada's spirals impress me the most - position, lean, relative speed. Breathtaking! Lipnitskaya's spirals remind me of Cohen's - high leg-hike but super slow, with poor ice coverage.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  24. Ankka

    Ankka New Member

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  25. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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  26. Marco

    Marco Missing Ziggy

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  27. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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  28. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    Or just "share" then "options" then "start at ..."
  29. gk_891

    gk_891 Active Member

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    I personally really liked Shizuka Arakawa's spiral at the 2006 Olympics. The pattern she made with her spirals were absolutely gigantic.
  30. pollyanna

    pollyanna Well-Known Member

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    Although Katherine Healy was performing fully extended spirals when Bobek was still in diapers. ;)
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  31. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

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    Please tell me that Nicole Bobek was not still in diapers in 1990. :scream:
  32. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

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    LOL
    Nicole Bobek in 1990 : http://youtu.be/vYTcgbmksvs?t=14s
    So funny to imagine her in diapers !!!!
  33. Vash01

    Vash01 Well-Known Member

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    Nicole Bobek (position)

    Michelle Kwan (edge)


    Sasha Cohen (flexibility)

    Dorothy Hamill (simple, perfect position)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  34. l'etoile

    l'etoile New Member

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    Yuna may not be the best for line perse, but when it comes to pure speed, effortless edge change and ice coverage, she's one of the best ones.
    2007-2008 free skate - Miss Saigon Just look at her skirt ruffling like crazy!
    With just one push, she skids across from one end to another end of the rink. In the following clip, Yuna almost hit the board but she avoided that controlling her speed, even gaining more of it.
    2008-2009 short program - Danse Macabre
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
  35. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    Irina's coverage was good, but it's not like she held the position across the ice. I'm more impressed when the position is sustained as it moves across the ice without having to drop the position, stroke a few times and then do the position again...

    I agree with the majority: Kwan reigns supreme in the spiral. The power she had with that move is amazing! The strength of the edge, how effortlessly she's able to go from a deep inside edge to an outside edge, the steadiness of the free leg (no wobbling), the extension and back position, the speed, the ice coverage and the way she used it in her programs...simply incredible. It is her signature move and is really the iconic move in figure skating.

    Sasha's was wonderful as well. The 180 degree split and toe point was gorgeous; however, she never really got the hang of the COE spiral--she often had to put her foot down to change her edge or would wobble quite a bit. She usually executed the move on the flat of the blade but it was still lovely. In terms of other spirals, Sasha's fan spiral to skid move is a favorite of mine.

    Mao has a number of lovely spirals. I think she has one of the best fan spirals in the world: the extension is gorgeous and the lean on the edge is amazing. Her classic position is lovely, though she tends to drop her back a little too much at times.

    Mirai's spiral has lovely lines and wonderful extension, though it's not as fast or powerful.

    Yu-Na has great speed and coverage on her spiral but her position (turnout and hip position) is pretty mediocre...

    Caroline Zhang had very lovely spiral positions (classic, catchfoot, Charlotte). Her speed and depth of edge wasn't all that great, but she had good control in her COE. Plus that backwards extension move was awesome!

    Sarah Hughes had a nice spiral in terms of extension. Emily Hughes had good extension but I never liked her spiral b/c her forehead was six inches from the ice. :rolleyes: Okay, I'm exaggerating but she dropped her back way too far down...
  36. pollyanna

    pollyanna Well-Known Member

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    :lol: Figure of speech. :lol: No, not in 1990. But Katherine was performing as a pro skater as early as 1980 when she was 11 years old. Her early spirals were more like Bobek's - as she got older, the split got better. Nicole may not have still been in diapers, but she was wee.
  37. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    My favorite urban myth in skating is still alive I see: Cohen's spiral on a flat. How could she travel in a curve as I've seen her do, if she wasn't on an edge, I wonder. Magic!

    Her OE was excellent but her IE was not as deep as Kwan's.
  38. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    Huh? Got an example of more ice coverage with fewer strokes over three positions?

    Look especially at the second two spiral positions, which did not have any strokes between them, just a three turn.
  39. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

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    If you look at the clip I posted you can see that she travels at an angle, but essentially straight across the ice, on the flat of her blade, until she leans to a slight outside edge. That's how most of her spirals were when she started.

    Later, she'd do an outside edge spiral, change direction, and then do an inside edge spiralbut (as I said) never quite got the hang COE portion of it.
  40. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa Port de bras!!!

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    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012