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  1. #1
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    Best spirals in ladies skating (both past & present)

    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?

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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 by iarispiralllyof; 01-06-2012 at 03:00 AM.

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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

    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 by iarispiralllyof; 01-06-2012 at 02:58 AM.

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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.

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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.

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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?
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Quote Originally Posted by orbitz View Post
    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.
    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. #9
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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

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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    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

    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
    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?

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    Quote Originally Posted by zilam98 View Post
    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?
    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. #12

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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.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  14. #14
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    Position: Cohen

    Speed: Kostner

    Overeall: Kwan

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    Naaaah, Surya Bonaly all the way.
    My job requires me to be a juggler, but that does not mean that I enjoy working with clowns.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    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
    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.
    "Nature is a damp, inconvenient sort of place where birds and animals wander about uncooked."

    from Speedy Death

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    Emily!!!

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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. #19

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    Bobek because she set the modern standard.
    Second place: Kwan
    Third: Cohen, for variety of positions.
    "Once you've skated together long enough, and you're really good friends, you can close your eyes, put your hand out and she's right there." Joe Dolkiewicz, 2011 US Novice Pairs Bronze Medalist

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zilam98 View Post
    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by iarispiralllyof View Post
    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)
    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 by kwanatic; 01-06-2012 at 04:04 PM.

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