How to make a figure eight figure skating

Figure-skate blades have two edges: inside (the one nearer the inside of your foot) and outside. By skating on one edge or the other it is possible to form graceful curves. Practice skating on these two edges until you feel confident. Then try the figure eight (also called circle eight), one of the formations done in the compulsories of figure-skating competition.

Start in a T-position, mentally envisioning the two circles. Hold your head upright and focus your eyes 2 to 3 feet ahead of the skating foot. Keep your upper body as erect as possible, yet flexible enough for the required rotation.

Place all weight on the left leg, left ankle turned in. Bend both legs and push away strongly onto the outside edge of the right skate. The skating leg should be bent at the start; the free leg should be slightly bent and turned outward from the hip, toe pointed downward, with the blade just above the ice. Keep shoulders parallel with the skating foot to maintain balance.

As you complete three-quarters of the circle, begin to straighten your skating leg and move the free leg forward. At the same time, start to change your shoulder direction (from facing outward to facing inward on the circle). As your free leg moves forward, lean backward slightly to maintain weight on the back edge of the blade and to prevent your hips from rotating at that point.

Nearing completion of the circle, bring the free foot next to the skating foot and bend both knees. As you reach the original push-off mark, turn a full 90 degrees in preparation for the next circle. Push off firmly and strongly onto the outside edge of the left skate, which ideally will touch the ice directly over the original starting line. Make a circle to the left, following the same procedure as for the right.