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Glossary of Skating Terminology

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Accent:  In music, the stress of one tone over others.

Accountants: The officials who compute the placements of the skaters in a competition from the marks given by the judges. Accountants also prepare all the forms and paperwork used by the judges and technical panel during a competition.

Adagio lifts: The group of lifts traditionally used by adagio teams whose use is not permitted in ice skating competitions. In ballet, adagio is the term used to describe a section of a pas de deux in which the ballerina and her partner perform steps requiring lyricism and great skill in lifting, balancing, and turning.  Adagio lifts are sometime used in skating exhibition programs.

Amateur skater (athlete):  Traditionally, an skater who is not paid for their participation in a sport, a condition no longer relevant for participation in the sport of figure skating.  Replaced by the term eligible skater.  Historically amateur athletes could not be paid for participate in any sport, nor could they be employed in a job that required physical labor.

Arabesque: A position in which the the upper body is held in an upright position with the free leg extended to the rear and elevated.

Arabian: A half jump in which the skater takes off from a forward inside Mohawk, kicks up with the leading leg and then up and behind with the trailing leg. The skater flips over one-half turn in the air and lands as in a flying camel, turning one-half turn on the ice.

Armpit lift: Any overhead lift in which the lifting partner supports the lifted partner using a hand-to-hand grip with elbow bent on one arm, and a hand-to-armpit grip with the other arm fully extended.  Armpit lifts are designated Group 1 lifts.

Artistic impression mark:  An older name for the second mark awarded in free dance competition under the 6.0 system, based primarily on the quality of the presentation of the dance in relation to the music and the choreography.  This term is no longer used within the rules of skating.

Assistant Technical Specialist: The Assistant Technical Specialist provides pre-calls and takes notes on the elements identified during performances, and then participates in the review of the elements by the Technical Panel after each performance.

Assisted jump (dance): A dance movement in which one member of the couple jumps in one continuous ascending and descending motion while the other partner remains on the ice holding on in a non-supporting role.  Assisted jumps were once considered a separate type of element in ice dancing, but were subsequently combined with dance lifts to simplify the requirements and judging of dance.  They are no longer considered a dance element under the International Judging System.

Assisted jump (pairs): See throw.

Attitude:  A position in which the the upper body is held in an upright position with the free leg extended to the rear and elevated with the knee bent at a right angle.

Attitude spin: An upright spin executed in the attitude position.

Authorization of elements:  The act of the Technical Controller declaring the list of element identifications complete; provided to the judges panel to inform them the Technical Panel has completed its deliberations for the skater.

Once elements are authorized, the judges are expected to quickly finish entering their marks so that the competition can continue with the next skater.

Axel jump: The skater takes off from a forward outside edge, and lands on the back outside edge of the opposite foot. A single Axel has one and one-half rotations in the air, a double has two and one-half, and a triple has three and one-half.  Named after its inventor, Norwegian skater Axel Paulson.

Axel lift: An armpit lift in which the partners face each other at the takeoff and the lifted partner takes off from a forward outside edge (i.e., from the takeoff edge of an Axel jump).  An Axel lift is a type of Group 1 lift.

Axel Paulson jump:  See Axel jump.  The full name of this jump tends not to be used in North America.  It is occasionally still used in Europe.

Copyright 2020 by George S. Rossano