Skating Fridays

Bobbe Shire Spin Clinic – Part 1 (Private Lesson)

I had the privilege of attending a spin clinic recently with renowned spin coach Bobbe Shire.  She has worked with many elite skaters and came to my region to share her wisdom.

There were approximately 40-50 skaters at the clinic, including K and myself. Surprisingly, both of us were placed in the top spin group when they split up the participants. Each group had off-ice yoga instruction, on-ice time with Bobbe, and free practice time.

K and I shared a private lesson with Bobbe before the spin clinic began. She covered some of the basic spins with us before asking us what specific spins we wanted her help with.

Here are some of the notes that I took from our private lesson.

Sit spin

  • In order to get down into a position low enough to count as a sit spin, think about hinging / bending at the hips and pushing your rear end behind you (like a duck).
  • When coming up after a sit spin, keep your arms straight and extended in front of you and push down towards your belly button. Your spin will increase speed and center.
  • For a back tuck position, think about folding yourself in half, with the ankle of the free leg on top of the spinning knee. Use your arms to grab your free leg and pull up to generate tension. For your head, turn to the side and pretend to sleep.


  • Always stretch this at the wall before attempting a spin on the ice – start with your eyes, head, shoulders, then back. Feel like you are stretching every vertebrae in your body and use your eyes to look for your foot. Pretend like you are a slinky.
  • Free leg needs to be flat and bend behind you. Start off standing on two legs like a public skater (on 2 inside edges). Bring the free leg back and try to kick yourself. That is the correct position for the free leg.
  • Hips need to push forward – think about Steve Urkel. Skating leg needs to be straight.
  • Variation: Side layback. Think about standing up, twisting, leaning back and using the “sleepy head” position. Keep your skating arm on your shoulder to start.


  • Bobbe showed us a necklace of hers. It was a single bead on a silver chain. When she pulled the chain, it started to spin. As soon as she loosened the tension on the chain, the bead stopped moving. This was a visual she wanted us to keep in mind as we did the camel.
  • The hip on the camel spin is the bead. Our arms and free leg are the chain. We need to pull the arms and free leg as far away from the hip as possible and create that tension to spin. Feel like you are stretching yourself out.

I have more to share next week from the clinic portion of the day. These were just notes from our private lesson.

Hope you enjoyed these tips and found them helpful.

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