One Skate Dance – Updated!

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The One Skate Dance Drill


The Box Drill, or as I like to call it, the One Skate Dance, teaches the fundamental movements that underpin One Skate (V2) technique.

This drill is the single best way I know to teach a new skate skier a basic gliding skate kick. I hope you love it as much as I do.

A gliding skate kick is used in all skate techniques except Offset (V1), which uses a climbing skate kick. Remember, “kick” simply refers to the action of pushing with the legs.

This is a drill where the details really matter, so we tried to make all the steps simple and precise. Take your time, paying close attention to how you move. Shoulders and hips should stay level and not rotate. Don’t sit too far back with the hips.

The drill is done in two parts. The first part teaches the basic movement and can be done anywhere. The second is done on skis, either on snow or on roller skis.

Part One (Dryland Movement Drill)

  1. Begin the drill standing on level ground, feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Flex slightly into your hips, knees and ankles. This is your new “tall” position. Do not straighten up beyond this position from now on.
  3. Shift your weight over to one foot. You can keep both feet on the ground to help with balance, but the great majority of your weight should be on one foot. Weight your foot evenly across all four corners of the foot.
  4. Flex into the supporting leg, almost like you are doing a single leg squat. Hinge into your hips and flex your knees and ankles so your entire body flexes down over that ski. Don’t sit too heavily into the hips.
  5. Staying low and flexed, shift your weight over to the other foot.
  6. Once you are fully on the new foot start to straighten up again. Remember, don’t straighten up fully. Maintain some soft flexion at the hip, knee and ankle.
  7. Staying on that foot, flex into the hip, knee and ankle once again. At the bottom, shift your weight over to the other foot and then extend the body up again to the “tall” position.

Avoid swaying or rotating through the shoulders or rounding through the spine.

Part Two (On Skis)

  1. Once you have mastered the movement, go to a slight downhill, point your ski tips down the hill and use your poles so you don’t slip away.
  2. Repeat the movement.
  3. Once you feel smooth, release the poles and let the skis run down the hill, continuing the DOWN-ACROSS-UP movement all the while the skis slide.

You will begin to feel the natural timing of the leg push. As you move ACROSS to the other ski, it will feel “right” to push sideways with the ski that is being unweighted. This will tend to throw you off balance, so don’t push too hard. Gradually it will get easier. Once you find it hard to get your feet back under the body, it’s time to stop, climb the slope again and start over.

Use Uphill Double Pole for Beginner Skate Skiers to go back up the slope.

As you feel more balanced on your skis, you can start to work on developing better edging power. The T-Drill will help.

After you’ve got the basics, refer to this video for more advanced variations:

Box Drill – Advanced >>>

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