My Definition Of A "Twizel" (How Did I Do?)


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A friend of me just sent a text asking me what a "twizel" was. I'm not sure if he has watched skating much, but he knows I really enjoy the sport. He was probably reading something on his phone about how the twizzles went down today and for some reason wanted my definition rather than googling it. Here is what I texted him:

A spin that travels across the ice very quickly.

Plus you have to do it side by side with a partner.

Plus you have to do it in complete, perfect unison with your partner.

And add hand/arm movements that are both difficult and artistic and can throw off your balance and make you fall and crack your skull on the frozen ice.

And they have to be faster than all your competitors or you lose points and do not win a medal.


I guess I should have added that they are done on one foot, but in my mind that was obvious. But maybe not to him.

And what about change of rotation...I should know this as a long-time figure skating fan. But I've always cared more about whether a program moves me rather than specific technical details.


#teamtrainwreck #teamjapan
You don’t have to do a twizzle side by side with your partner :) Single skaters also do twizzles, for instance in the step sequences and as transitions. Of course they’re not judges as ice dance twizzles, but still.


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I think you did a good job. I would add that dance twizzles at the World/Olympic level give you more points if you look like you're out of control with your hands and upper body while appearing like you're still in control.

I describe twizzles to my partner as "spins are supposed to stay centered and not travel, but twizzles are when you spin, but travel across the ice on purpose." :D

ETA: He once innocently replied, "So when you were competing, you were twizzling, not spinning?"
(I wasn't the best spinner and would often rock to the center of my blade during spins :slinkaway)
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Spins draw loops or circles on the ice, preferably all on top of each other in one spot.

Twizzles draw what looks like a series of three turns across the ice. However, dance officials especially are adamant that the turning action must be continuous and not up and down in the knees or checked in the upper body like double (or multiple) three turns.

From the dance technical panel handbook:
A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations which is quickly rotated with a continuous (uninterrupted) action. The weight remains on the skating foot with the free foot in any position during the turn then placed beside the skating foot to skate the next step. A series of checked Three Turns is not acceptable as this does not constitute a continuous action. If the traveling action stops during the execution, the Twizzle, it becomes a Solo Spin (Pirouette)

However, that wording would not be helpful to a casual viewer.

Maybe something like "A quick rotational movement similar to a spin, but it should move across the ice rather than staying in one place, and the blade keeps turning continuously from forward to backward to forward etc. as the skater rotates rather than making loops on the same edge as spins do"

Even that won't help someone who doesn't know what an edge is. But if they're curious enough to ask what a twizzle is, they should be willing to acquire very basic knowledge that precedes even knowing what differentiates the different kinds of turns or jumps.

And then all the other things that @PeterG says are true in ice dance, but not part of the definition.

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