How long does it take to learn a waltz jump?

Are you new to figure skating but already familiar with the basics? Then you should try learning how to jump next. Waltz jump is one of the basic jumps you can know. So, how long does it take to learn a waltz jump?

Waltz jump is quite easy to learn. You can learn it with one session, but it’ll take a few extra practices to actually master it. To do the Waltz jump, you’ll need to prepare for it, enter through backward crossover or forward stroke, perform the jump, and land. There are tips for getting it right.

Learning the waltz jump is easy because it’s a single jump where all you need is just a half revolution. Here, we discuss how to do the waltz jump, the learning process, and important tips for getting the jump right.

What’s the Waltz Jump

This is one of the first jumps that most figure skaters learn. It’s a half revolution jump that you do before proceeding to other more complex hops. It takes off on the outside edge of one foot, and you land on the outer edge of the other foot. It’s a buildup to the axel, making it a good intermediate jump. You can learn the waltz jump within a few hours. But it could take weeks for you to say you’ve mastered it.

How to do a Waltz jump

Performing the Waltz jump is relatively easy. Here are the steps:

1.    Prepare for the Jump

The first step is to prepare for the jump itself. Your preparation starts with standing straight on ice. Once you’re in that position, stand on your left foot with your right leg behind you, and your arms speed out. This is for those whose dominant leg is the right one. If the left is more dominant, then you’ll be standing on your right foot. Once you’re in this position, skate on the ice for a while until you’re gliding comfortably.

2.    Perform the jump

Once you’re gliding, it’s time to get ready for the sequence leading to the jump. Bring your free right leg slightly close to the left while still gliding and both legs bent slightly. Next, use the left outside edge of your blade to curve, so you’re learning to the left. While doing this, you should also straighten your arms.

Then kick up your right leg with the knee up in the air in front of you. Bring your arms together close to your chest as you’re doing this. After that, swing the right foot and bring over the left foot immediately while extending it behind you. While doing all this, you’re not jumping yet but prepping yourself for the jump by getting into the exact motion and feeling.

Then start takeoff and make sure it’s the toe-pick of your left skate that leaves the ice last. Then, just as you’re swinging the right foot over, you’ll make the jump with your left foot before the right one touches the ground.

3.    Land

You’ll have to land on your right toe pick before rolling with a flat blade on the back outside edge of your right foot. It’s very important not to land directly on a flat blade as it may cause you ankle, hips, or knee problems. When landing, make sure you keep your right foot straight to sprain it, and you’ll have your left leg extended behind you, gliding backwards. You’re very likely to fall if you don’t hit your toe pick.

The above description generally applies to people who skate right-handed. If you skate left-handed, you’ll have to use switch directions and legs as appropriate. As of right-handed, the rotation would usually be counterclockwise. If you are left-handed, your rotation would be clockwise.

Entrance for a Waltz Jump

You can enter a waltz jump through any of two ways. Either you start with the simple forward stroke, which is more common or with a backward crossover which can be more elegant although a bit difficult too. With backward crossovers, your left foot should be over the right one, and as you do three to four turns, you should do a forward inside three turns and jump using your right leg as soon as you turn.

In the case of a forward stroke, complete two or three strokes before bending your knees, jump-starting with your right leg and the left closely following and make sure your right foot is straight as you land. When you land, your left leg should be behind you as you skate with the right one and glide backward. While it might seem complicated, the waltz jump is relatively easy, and you should be able to master it after some tries. When doing this jump, you need to be in the right position to make the necessary rotations for your move.

Important Tips for Doing the Waltz Jump

If you’re going to be doing the Waltz jump, it helps to have some tips on how you can ace it. Relevant tips include:

  • Never land flat-footed, you should land on your toes, and the rest of the blade will naturally follow.
  • Bend you knees
  • Don’t leap too high when you start learning. Instead, focus more on getting movements right, and once you’re good at that, you can add height and speed.
  • Kick as far away from your body as possible when kicking your foot. This prepares you for the axel jump, which you may decide to learn after mastering the waltz jump.
  • When you start practicing the move, do it on a wall for balance and get the idea of how to rotate. Don’t rest on the wall, but you can use it for support.
  • Keep your arms tucked when you leap into the air.

In conclusion

The waltz jump is relatively easy to jump that you can learn in a matter of days, especially if you already know the basics of skating. Learning the waltz jump is good as it prepares you for other complex jumps.

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