Nov 22, 2010

Posted in Featured Articles, Moves in the Field, Technical | 4 Comments

Figure Skating-Cross Rolls vs. Cross Steps

Figure Skating-Cross Rolls vs. Cross Steps

What is the difference between a cross roll and a cross step?

Is there a difference between the two? I have never taken dance and I see a cross roll as more of a dance step. I am assuming I would teach it a cross roll different then someone who does coach dance, but what is the difference?  Cross Rolls are in the Juvenile Moves in the Field test. When I was at a recent PSA PACE seminar, a fellow coach came up to me and asked me how I teach a cross roll; what a great question! The diagram below is the Cross Rolls pattern from the Juvenile Moves test.

How I teach cross rolls-Cross Rolls are on outside edges. I teach cross rolls with thighs crossed or legs crossed above the knee. I have the skater put their free foot down right before it passes in front of the skating foot so that both skates are on the ice for a brief moment. A cross step to me is when the free leg is put down after it crosses the skating leg.

The following are definitions from some technical manuals as definitions of both cross strokes and cross rolls.

2009-10 U.S. Figure Skating Tests BookFreshly Zamboni-ed ice with a windo reflection

Cross Stroke (XS) | A forward or backward step started with the skating foot crossing in front or behind, respectively, the previous skating foot so that the legs cross above the knee and with impetus being gained from the outer edge of the foot which is becoming the free foot.

Cross Roll (CR) | A roll started with the action of the free foot approaching the skating foot from the side, so as to strike the ice almost at right angles to the skating foot, started forward with the feet crossed in front or backward with the feet crossed behind.  The impetus is gained from the outside edge of the skating foot as it becomes the new foot.  In this case, the change to the curve in the opposite direction creates a “rolling movement.”

Today on Rinkformation: What Parents Can Learn from Figure Skating Coaches: Failures are Opportunities Figure Skating-Cross Rolls vs. Cross Steps

ISI Skaters and Coaches Handbook Really bumpy ice with pretty swirls

Cross Stroke | While gliding on the outside edge with the free leg in the back, the free leg is crossed over the skating leg and placed on the ice on an outside edge.  The other foot then pushes with the outside edge, is extended to the side and back, before it is then crossed over the skating leg and placed on the ice on an outside edge.

Cross Roll – While gliding on the left forward outside edge with the free leg in the back, the right foot is placed on the ice in front of the left foot on an outside edge (with the toes of each foot nearly touching).  The right foot continues to glide past the left foot on an outside edge, while the left foot is extended off the ice to the back and swings to the front before the feet are placed back together again.  The same maneuver can be done starting on the right forward outside edge and crossing the left foot for the cross roll.

If you are a coach, how do you teach Cross Rolls vs. Cross Steps? If you are a skater, how have you been taught Cross Rolls? I am especially interested in hearing from those of you who have coached dance or do dance!

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Photo credits:
ice swirls: Anosmia / Jennifer Boyer on Creative Commons
Juvenile MIF F & B Cross Strokes: USFSA
Rink Reflections: diongillard / dion gillard on Creative Commons
Artisan Ice: derekGavey / Derek Gavey on Creative Commons

  • Erica

    Juvenile seems high to test crossrolls. in the UK they’re on level 2 (of 10) field moves test, and are first introduced on the learn to skate program.

    The main points i’ve been taught are turn the foot in the direction it’s stepping, step onto (and stay on) outside edges. No toe pushing (a dance coach I had in a group lesson refers to schaffering (sp?) as pushing off the edge rather than the toe). Also not to catch my toe when I put the free foot down.

    The catching toe thing isn’t something my regular coach focuses on, but I had a lesson with my old coach last week, who picked up on it. Ten seconds later I didn’t just catch my toepick, I stabbed it and fell flat to the ice at the feet of another coach lol! She asked if I was okay, I just said “I just did exactly what she told me not to!”.

  • Anonymous

    I am going to have to agree Erica, I think skaters could do the at least at Pre Juv!

  • Rozwalker

    For cross rolls, I was taught with something akin to beginner steps to get the feel of the position of the feet (toes crossed going forwards for half the length of the foot and heels crossed going backwards and always on outside edges) and once that is accomplished you can start to move and roll the weight from one edge to the other and whilst doing this continue with a push from the outside edge of the foot you are leaving. the tracings should cross on the ice at the beginning of each movement but only slightly. There is a contrasting movement of the skating shoulder and free hip which is also part of the movement but it shouldn’t be too obvious or prominent but well coordinated which takes some practice. To explain this better as the free leg starts passing forwards/or backwards the skating shoulder works against the free hip to create a rhythm that will assist with the transition from one edge to the other. Another important element is the movement of the knees. The skater should have a slight lift up from a medium/deep knee bend to a softer lesser knee bend while the free legs moves through the cross roll and then back to a deep knee bend to get good pressure on the edge for pushing. Hope that helps!
    Rosalind (previously Richmond, UK)

  • Anonymous

    Wow what a great description to share with people. Thank you so much