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Figure skating lifts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Figure skating element
2018 Winter Olympics - Gala Exhibition - Photo 237.jpg
Element name:Lift
Scoring abbreviation:Li
Disciplines:Pair skating
Ice dancing
Synchronized skating
Pair skaters Maria Mukhortova / Maxim Trankov perform a hand-to-hand-lift
Pair skaters Maria Mukhortova / Maxim Trankov perform a hand-to-hand-lift

Figure skating lifts are a required element in pair skating and ice dancing. Pairs lifts differ from dance lifts most notably in that dancers are not allowed to lift their partners above their shoulders.[1] Lifts are also executed by synchronized skating teams in the free program in competition, as part of a movements in isolation requirement.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Skating Lifts and Cool Things Compliation
  • ✪ Ice Dance, Best Lifts of main competitions 2017
  • ✪ *Scary Fall - Please Beware* - Ashley CAIN / Timothy LEDUC, GOLDEN SPIN ZAGREB PAIRS FS Dec. 7, 2018
  • ✪ US Synchronized Skating Nationals Starlights Novice
  • ✪ 2018 Olympics Team Event Pairs FS Full Version (POCCNR)



Dance lifts

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir perform their signature 'goose' lift.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir perform their signature 'goose' lift.
Federica Faiella / Massimo Scali perform a reverse lift.
Federica Faiella / Massimo Scali perform a reverse lift.

Dance lifts are differentiated by the skating involved. There are seven kinds of lifts approved for ISU competitions. Dance lifts have become increasingly athletic.[2]

Short lifts

These lifts may last up to six seconds in competition on the senior level.

  • Stationary lift – A lift performed "on the spot". The lifting partner does not move across the ice, but is allowed to rotate.
  • Straight line lift – The lifting partner moves in a straight line across the ice. This lift may be performed on one foot or two.
  • Curve lift – The lifting partner moves along a curve across the ice. This lift may be performed on one foot or two.
  • Rotational lift – The lifting partner rotates in one direction while traveling across the ice.

Long lifts

These lifts may last up to ten seconds in competition on the senior level.

  • Reverse rotational lift – The lifting partner rotates in one direction, then switches and rotates in the other direction, while traveling across the ice.
  • Serpentine lift – The lifting partner moves in a serpentine pattern across the ice.
  • Combination lift – A lift combining two of the four short lifts. Each part of the lift must be fully established.


Each position must be held for at least three seconds to count for levels. Each position is permitted only once a program.

For the lifting partner

  • One foot
  • Shoot the duck
  • Spread eagle – inside edge
  • Spread eagle – outside edge
  • Spread eagle – straight line, for the Straight Line lift only
  • Ina Bauer
  • Crouching, with both knees bent, on both feet
  • Crouching, with one knee bent and the other leg extended to the side
  • Lunge, with the free leg in any position
  • One-hand lift
  • Rounding above the shoulder

Only two of the above spread eagle positions may be used in a single program.

For the lifted partner

  • Full split (180 degrees)
  • Full Biellmann position with the leg held above the head.
  • Full doughnut/ring with one or both legs held close to the head
  • Upside down combined with difficult hold
  • Vertical position with a cantilever
  • A horizontal position with only one point of support
  • Leaning forwards or backwards with the legs as the only points of support
  • Full layback position with no support from the other partner above the thigh.
  • Leaning out with the body and legs in a horizontal line with the shoulders and/or upper back as the points of support.

Non-traditional gender roles in lifts

In ice dancing, the lifting partner is usually the man and the lifted partner is usually the woman. However, the rules allow for the woman to lift the man in competition. Notable couples who have performed "genderbending" lifts include Marina Anissina / Gwendal Peizerat, Federica Faiella / Massimo Scali, Sinead Kerr / John Kerr, and Breelie Taylor / Tyler Vollmer.

Program requirements

The International Skating Union sets down length requirements for lifts in programs and skaters are penalized if a lift goes on for too long.

For the 2006–07 season, at the senior level, the original dance required two lifts to be no longer than six seconds each. For the free dance, four lifts were required and they were separated into short and long.

Photo gallery of dance lifts

Lifting partner in a one-foot position

Lifting partner in a crouching position

Lifting partner in a shoot-the-duck position

Lifting partner in a one-hand position

Lifting partner in an Ina Bauer position

Lifting partner in a lunge position

Lifting partner in a spread eagle position

Pair lifts

Rena Inoue / John Baldwin, Jr perform a hand-to-hand lift.
Rena Inoue / John Baldwin, Jr perform a hand-to-hand lift.
One-hand exit from a lift by Tatiana Volosozhar / Stanislav Morozov
One-hand exit from a lift by Tatiana Volosozhar / Stanislav Morozov
Vanessa James / Yannick Bonheur demonstrate a star position
Vanessa James / Yannick Bonheur demonstrate a star position
Maria Mukhortova / Maxim Trankov perform a carry lift with the man in a spread eagle
Maria Mukhortova / Maxim Trankov perform a carry lift with the man in a spread eagle

Unlike dance lifts, pair lifts are typically over the man's head. Most pair lifts are rotational, with the man turning on the ice before setting the lady down; a carry lift, by contrast, is a lift without rotation. A lift's score may be affected by

  • Type of entry – May raise difficulty by entry in spread eagle, arabesque or other position.
  • Type of lift – See below.
  • Speed and ice coverage – Speed and distance traveled across the ice by the man as he carries his partner.
  • Quality of the lady's position – Posture, stretch, extension.
  • Changes of position – May raise difficulty by changes of position during the lift or switching to one-hand hold
  • Man's footwork – Clean turns and stability throughout the lift
  • Dismount – Both partners on one foot as they exit the lift. May raise difficulty by one-hand dismount, a flip out, or other.
  • Other features – e.g. stopping the rotation, turning a carry lift into rotational one, or reversing rotation (i.e. both clockwise and counter-clockwise directions)

Lifts are grouped by the holds involved. The ISU defines five different groups of pair lifts, with an ascending difficulty level, although levels 3 and 4 are the same level of difficulty.[3] In ISU senior level competition, the man must rotate more than one times, but fewer than three a half. Lifts that go on longer may receive deductions. The group is determined by the hold held at the moment the woman passes the man's shoulder in the lift.[4]

Lifts are named by either their takeoff and landing edges (in which case, they are named after the jump with the same sort of takeoff), the air position, or the method in which the lady is raised into the air.[5]

Types of lifts

Group 1: Armpit-hold lifts

  • Lutz lift
  • Flip lift
  • Axel lift: The man and woman skate face to face, with the man going backwards. The lady lifts up from a forward outside edge (hence the axel name), and is set down again on the back outside edge.[5]

Group 2: Waist-hold lifts

  • Waist loop lift
  • Platter lift: The woman's position in the air is parallel to the ice so that she resembles a platter being held up. It is also sometimes known as a tabletop lift.[6] Platter lifts are either forward or reverse. In reverse platter lifts, the woman is skating backwards. In forward, she is skating forwards.

Group 3: Hand-to-hip lifts

  • Cartwheel lift
  • Star lift: The skaters skate face to face. The man has one hand on his partner's hip and the other clasping her hand. He raises her until she is horizontal with her free hand on his shoulder. The air position for this lift is a leg variation with her legs spread in a scissor position as if they were the points on a star, where is where the lift gets its name.[5] The lift can be made more difficult if she lets go of his shoulder, or if he lets go of her hand and she is supported only by her hip.[5][6]
  • Toe loop hip lift: The skaters skate backwards with him holding her by the hip. The woman picks her toe-pick as if doing a toe loop jump, hence the name. The skaters turn together in the air.[3]
  • Platter/swan/table top lift

Group 4: Hand-to-hand (press lift types)

  • Press lift: The skaters skate facing each other, with the man skating backwards. They clasp hands and the man pushes forward and up, "pressing" her into the lift.[5] The man and the woman face different directions in the air.
  • Hand-to-hand loop lift: The skaters are facing in the same direction. The man raises the woman above his head and she remains facing the same direction in the air while in a sitting position with her hands behind her. The take off for this is the back outside edge,[3] like the loop jump.[6][7]
  • Loop press/back press lift

Group 5: Hand-to-hand (lasso lift types)

  • Step up lasso
  • Toe lasso: The woman skates forward and the man skates backward. She is lifted into the air from a backward toe takeoff,[3] like a toe loop jump.
  • Toe overhead lift: The woman is swung behind the man's head from one side of his body to the other, into a raised position. She is in a split position and they are facing the same direction.[6][7] The toe-pick is used in her take off, hence the name.[6]
  • Step overhead lift: The same as the toe overhead lift, but the woman does not use a toe-assist in the take off.[6]

Lasso lifts are either forward or reverse. In reverse, the woman begins the lift skating backward. In forward, she is skating forward.[5] In the helicopter variation, the skaters perform a forward lasso lift, but the woman changes position at the top of the lift, parallel to the ice, with her back arched and her legs spread in a V position, so that as the man turns, her legs look like the blades on a helicopter.[5]

Lasso lifts, in order of increasing difficulty:[8]

  • Toe or step in lasso
  • Backward lasso
  • Axel or reverse lasso


For the lifting partner

The lifting partner has two possible positions:

  • Rotating: Most lifts are performed with the man rotating across the ice.
  • Carry: A carry lift is a lift in which the man does not rotate. He may skate on one foot, or perform crossovers or a spread eagle to earn a higher level of difficulty.

For the lifted partner

There are three basic air positions for the lifted partner.[4]

  • Upright: the lady's upper body vertical
  • Star: the lady's position sideways with the upper body parallel to the ice.
  • Platter: the lady's position flat, parallel to the ice, facing either up or down.

Illegal positions

Kyoko Ina / John Zimmerman perform a one-handed "detroiter"
Kyoko Ina / John Zimmerman perform a one-handed "detroiter"
A headbanger lift on the "down swing"
A headbanger lift on the "down swing"

Any hold not listed above is illegal in ISU competitions, however, they may appear in show skating.

  • The Detroiter is performed by the man lifting the lady over his head, holding her parallel to the ice while he is in a two-foot spin. The hold is the most dangerous part of the spin because the man is supporting the lady only by her legs. This move is also performed in more dramatic and dangerous fashion with a one-handed hold.
  • A headbanger or bounce spin is performed by the man swinging the lady around with both of her feet off the ice, supported only by the man's grip on her ankle. The lady is elevated and lowered during the spin in a periodic fashion, sometimes with her head coming dangerously close to skimming the ice.

Twist lifts

Program requirements

In ISU senior-level competition, lifts may not last longer than three and a half rotations by the lifting partner. Lifts that last longer may be penalized. Lifts without rotations are called carry lifts and are allowed once in the long program.

Requirements may vary from season to season. For the 2006–07 season, pairs competing on the senior level were required to perform a maximum of three lifts, with one from group 3 or 4, and one twist lift in the long program. The short program required a hand-to-hand lift take-off from group 4, and a twist lift. In 2007–08, a lasso-lift take-off (Group five) was required on the senior level.

Photo gallery of pair lifts


  1. ^ 体育英语 Sports English. 2004, p. 109
  2. ^ Brannen, Sarah S. (13 July 2012). "Dangerous drama: Dance lifts becoming 'scary'". Icenetwork. Archived from the original on 4 May 2014. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d "Special Regulations & Technical Rules: Single & Pair Skating and Ice Dance 2012" (PDF). International Skating Union. 30 June 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Communication No. 1445" (PDF). International Skating Union. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 July 2007.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Yamaguchi, Kristi; Christy Ness; Jody Meacham (1997). Figure Skating for Dummies. Hungry Minds. ISBN 0-7645-5084-5.
  6. ^ a b c d e f "Know Your Skating: Glossary". Skate Canada. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  7. ^ a b "Glossary of Terms". U.S. Figure Skating. Retrieved 2007-10-24.
  8. ^ "Communication No. 2000 SINGLE & PAIR SKATING Scale of Values, Levels of Difficulty and Guidelines for marking Grade of Execution, season 2016/17" (PDF). International Skating Union. 21 April 2016.

External links

This page was last edited on 16 December 2019, at 02:28
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