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Wintertime Survival Guide

How to pull off a snazzy skating jump

Help From a Pro: Kaitlin Rowe, Boston Common Frog Pond co-director and instructor

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By Rebecca Dorr Sampson
January 30, 2011

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It’s awfully hard to look cool on those itty-bitty blades of steel. Enter skating instructor Kaitlin Rowe, co-director of the Boston Common Frog Pond, and her favorite extra-easy leap, the waltz jump. “Anyone can do it,” she says (sounding convincing).

Start by skating forward slowly. Lean into the outside edge of your left blade, swing your right leg forward, and then hop up off the left foot; your left toe pick will leave the ice last. While you’re in the air, turn your body counterclockwise a half revolution. Land on the outside edge of your right skate blade, gliding backward, with your left leg pointed out behind you.

Sound scary? Take it step by step. First, just get comfortable hopping forward and backward on two skates. “Use your arms to help you up, and get used to the feeling,” says Rowe. From there, add complexity: Jump from your left foot, turn in the air, and land on two feet while gliding backward. Next, try the one-leg landing, but start from a standstill. Keep your knees bent and your head up “to help with balance,” says Rowe. And when you’re feeling confident, put all the steps together and go for the gold.