Eight-Step Mohawk Sequence

by Mary on July 21, 2017

The eight-step mohawk sequence is a required pattern on both the adult silver moves and juvenile moves. I first learned an older, easier version of it for my adult silver moves, which I passed in 2010. You skated the mohawk sequence three times on a circle, stopped, then skated it three times on a circle going the other direction.

Now the adult silver and juvenile moves tests use a revised version of the eight step mohawk sequence that’s skated on a figure eight, so the skater has to transition between two circles. I’m currently working on juvenile moves. Juvenile is one level harder than adult silver, so I have to learn the new version of the mohawk sequence at a higher skill level.

The hardest step of this move is step four, the outside mohawk. Here’s a video of what an outside mohawk looks like:

It’s taken me a long time to get more comfortable with this step. My new, shorter blades are helping by taking away the possibility of tripping myself during the mohawk. Ty gave me a simple exercise which really helped me get the correct body position. Holding the boards of the arena and facing them in a good skating posture, press your hips forward as if you are trying to get your pelvis to touch the boards.

I think of the resulting posture for the mohawk as a ‘snowboarding’ posture. Your back is to the circle, your head looks along the circle, and you lean slightly backward due to your hips pushing forward. It’s not hard physically, but psychologically, it is. Leaning backward feels unsafe. It feels a lot easier when you’re doing a scary mohawk to push your hips backward and sink into a protective crouch. But that’s the opposite of what you need to do.

Kim has other hints for me about this move. On step five she wants me to scissor my arms and turn my head fully into the circle. On that step I tend to bring my arms around in a circular motion and only begin to turn my head. As of the end of step five, she says, I should already be looking for where I’m going to step forward on the circle on step eight.

On the video you can see that on steps five and six I push my leg to the side and turn out my foot. The resulting position forces the next step to be incorrect, a crossover instead of the required cross in front. I need to push my feet straight as if aiming progressives toward a dance partner. After step seven, the cross in front, I need to bring my feet close together and bend so I can step forward onto a good inside edge.

There are a lot of details to work on, and as Ty says, “Skating is all details.” Just like writing!

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo July 21, 2017 at 4:09 am

Woo hoo, look at you go! Looks like you’ve got some nice flow going and I am impressed by your ability to keep your circles consistent even with all the other skaters around. Way to stay cool, Mary! Happy to have those bunny ear reminder videos, too.
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 1:31 am

That day was a little challenging on the ice, Jo, but very social! I never heard the ‘bunny ear’ thing until you mentioned it the other day. Looked for my mohawk tracings today to see if they had the bunny ears but I couldn’t find the tracings this time, I’ll have to look next time that I have clean ice.


Eva at Eva Bakes July 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Wow – your 8-step mohawk looks pretty smooth, Mary! You’ll get those Juvenile moves in no time!
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 1:31 am

I hope so, Eva, it’s been a long time already. I’m really focusing on them this summer!


Nicole July 21, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Wow!!! I’m impressed!
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 1:21 am

I’m pretty impressed by your Ironman! I definitely can’t do that!


Deborah July 21, 2017 at 10:35 pm

Wow these are all so impressive! Makes me want to go skate myself.
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 1:32 am

Thanks Deborah! Skating might be a nice break from the heat wave, bet your kids would like it too!


Marcia July 21, 2017 at 11:07 pm

You’re right: It’s all about details. All the best with the juvenile moves!
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 1:27 am

Thanks Marcia, I’m concentrating on them and hoping to get them test-ready by the fall.


Carmy July 22, 2017 at 12:46 am

That’s pretty cool! I def can’t pull that off!
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 1:26 am

Hi Carmy! Not yet, LOL! I enjoyed visiting your blog, you’ve accomplished a lot with it, lots of successful collaborations and good recipes!


Wendy July 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

The pros make it look so easy! I had no idea there was so much to each move skaters do. It’s too bad that skating has become so focused on jumps–there’s so much more!
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Yes a lot of people lament that focus on jumps. There is a lot more. The scoring is partly based on the other things like skating skills, too, but you do get a huge amount of points for jumps in freestyle skating. The moves that I’m learning are a way for US Figure Skating to ensure that each skater does learn the traditional skating skills. It’s required to pass the moves test for each competition level in order to compete at that level. Then there’s ice dance, that doesn’t have jumps at all. Lots of focus on the quality of the skating in that discipline.


Rachel Frutkin July 22, 2017 at 11:57 am

I think I’ve said this before, but I just love your skating videos. I took skating when I was a kid but I was always too scared of falling to really do anything with it. Needless to say, I wish I had gotten over that fear but I love watching others skate. So pretty!
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Mary July 22, 2017 at 2:27 pm

Oh thanks Rachel, I’m really glad to hear that you are enjoying them! I’m glad that you have the skating background that you do. It ought to help with any skating or skiing that you do in your life. That’s interesting about the fear of falling. It’s usually more of a problem for adult beginners than child beginners. Maybe you had mature thought processes when you were a kid. You’re right, it’s something you have to get over to progress in skating. You can practice falling in a safe way until it becomes automatic (except, of course, for those occasional weird or hard falls). Usually the first lesson in skating is how to fall and get up.


Nicole July 23, 2017 at 7:57 pm

This is awesome!!!
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Mary July 24, 2017 at 12:18 am

Thanks Nicole!


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