Skating Fridays

Skating “Lefty”

We all know that most people on this earth are right-hand dominant. On the ice, most skaters jump and spin counter-clockwise (CCW).  Not me.

I am right-handed by nature and do everything “righty” except figure skate. How on earth did this happen? Gymnastics. Yes, that’s right – gymnastics.

When I was younger, gymnastics was my sport of choice. During my first introduction to the sport, the coaches taught everything clockwise (CW). Everything in the sport, including turns, twists and jumps, was performed CW.

Several years after I quit gymnastics and switched to skating, I continued to go CW. I had no idea that most of the world jumped and spun the other way. Some skating coaches tried to teach me to go CCW, but that obviously didn’t work.

Skating “lefty” has been challenging at times. For example, I have to carve out extra space for myself during group classes because I jump and spin the other way. Public sessions are scary because everyone is skating around the rink counter-clockwise.

The other challenge has been learning new techniques or elements with various coaches. I have had to learn how to “flip” their instructions around in my head so I can mirror what they’re doing. This can be incredibly frustrating.

Although it’s not easy skating as a “lefty” sometimes, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Some of the world’s most beautiful and accomplished skaters have all been lefties like me (Ashley Wagner, Carolina Kostner, Todd Eldredge, Alyssa Czisny, Sarah Hughes, and more here).


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