Skating Fridays

The Direct Linkage of Skating to Ballet

Did any of you watch the US Figure Skating Championships (“Nationals”) a few weeks ago? I’m not sharing any spoilers here, but I wanted to comment that Nathan Chen was amazing. In an issue of Skating Magazine last year, Nathan shared that he has been taking ballet since he was a child.

Frankly, I am not surprised. His posture, extension and arms are exquisite. When he skates, it’s like ballet on ice.

I’ve shared with you all that I started taking ballet lessons too. My hope is to improve my presence on the ice.

I admit that at times, it’s hard to understand how certain ballet elements translate to the ice. However, I came across this article recently that shares a direct link from ballet elements to skating elements.

For example:

  • A tendu to degage in ballet directly translates to stroking in figure skating
  • Sous sous in ballet equate to jumping in skating

Take a look at the article. I found it extremely fascinating and shared it with my ballet instructor so she could understand the parallels between our two sports.


  1. February 9, 2019 / 12:33 pm

    Definitely agree that ballet is useful not only in choreography but also basic movement and alignment on the ice. I hope the dance lessons are fun as well as helpful in building up your program elements, Eva! I’ll look for those classic positions in your videos!

    • evabakes
      February 9, 2019 / 12:35 pm

      Ballet is so difficult! But what’s even more difficult is trying the ballet movements on ice. The graceful positions are much easier on land because you’re not gliding on a slippery surface! 🙂

  2. February 9, 2019 / 3:19 pm

    I’ve seen a video of Nathan Chen as a young danseur. The ballet link you provided is very useful, it looks like it might have some connection to Detroit Skating Club. Makes me wish I could take ballet class there.

    • evabakes
      February 9, 2019 / 7:19 pm

      Nathan was such a cute little dancer! I hope to be as graceful as him some day. Ballet is definitely helping me stay flexible and I can tell my balance has improved too.

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