Yes you heard me right? There exists a thing called couple roller skating, just like there is couple ice skating. It’s also called partner skating or ballroom skating. Couple skating is done with a partner. It’s a really fun and elegant style of skating. It’s not only fun but it also looks fire.
Do you have a partner you skate with? Do you want to take your skating to the next level? Well, you’re at the right place, because in this article, I’ll teach you everything you need to know on how to roller skate with a partner – couple skating. This article will include everything from tricks to footwork and hand movements.
So without further ado, let’s get started.
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What Is Couple/Partner Skating?
As the name suggests, couple skating means two people skating together. Their feet, hands, and whole body are in sync with each other. Usually, there’s music too. The tricks are aesthetically good-looking and are meant to look like some sort of elegant dance. It’s a roller skate version of ice skating. Its contents are creative rather than pre-defined.
While skating with your partner, you and them should be on the same page. The movements are always choreographed.
How to Roller Skate With a Partner – The Basics
To do couple skating, you’ll have to know a few basic roller skate tricks. However, you can incorporate many other cool tricks like jumps and advanced spins to spice things up. Things will already be pretty spicy though. You can give your couple skating that artistic figure skating or aggressive skating touch depending on your theme.
Here are the necessary tricks that you need to be comfortable with to pull off basic partner skating.
Turning is an absolute must when it comes to couple skating, and not just couple skating; every kind of skating.
In roller skating, the component behind your maneuverability is your trucks. If you put more weight on one side of the trucks, the pivot point will rotate causing you to turn.
Here’s how you turn:
- Turn your head and look in the direction you’re turning.
- Rotate your shoulders in the same direction.
- Rotate your hips in the same direction.
- Tilt yourself in the direction you’re turning.
- Push your body weight into the side of the wheels.
- Don’t crouch down putting your body weight downwards into the skates, instead push it to the side.
You’ll be using this trick a lot while skating with your partner. It’s not really a trick. It’s just the fundamental component of all kinds of skating, even couple skating.
If you follow these steps, you’ll automatically turn. But I’m sure it’s not that simple. As a beginner, you need practice, so here are some exercises you can do to speed up your learning.
- Hold onto a railing, and try putting your weight on one side. Make small turns with your feet while holding the railing. After a few tries, leave the railing and see if your feet are getting familiar with the motion.
- Place a cup or an object on the ground. The object will make you focus on the end goal. Try turning around the object. At first, the turns might be wide. Gradually make the turns tighter and tighter, until you can make a sharp tight turn.
- Practice the above exercises on both sides, or your muscle memory will be uneven on both sides.
This is a pretty easy trick to master. It’s a basic trick for couple skating. This is how you can master it in no time.
- Hold onto a railing, and bring one foot in front of the other so that both your feet are in line with each other.
- Do the same thing while standing still and without the railing. If you can do this even while staying still even for 10 seconds, it will be a piece of cake while rolling.
- Now try this trick while rolling.
This trick is not that hard and you can learn it in an hour or so, if you’re committed and do it correctly.
To be honest, this is a pretty hard trick to master. But don’t worry, you’re here to do just that. Here’s the basic principle behind the t-stop.
- Lift your one foot and put it behind the other foot in a horizontal position.
- Your feet should make a ‘T’ shape.
- Drag the horizontal foot along the floor.
- The friction will stop you from rolling.
- The wheels should be tilted inwards for the wheels to drag smoothly.
- Most of your body weight should be on the front foot for stability.
- The front foot will naturally turn for the first time, but try to keep it straight.
Even though this trick won’t help you in your couple skating, it’s a basic trick that will help you make different transitions during our partner skating.
4. Crossover turns
Now, this is the trick that you and your partner will be doing 90 percent of the time in your couple skating routine.
Here’s how you do it.
- Suppose you’re turning to your left.
- Then lift up your right foot.
- Cross it over your left foot and put it on the ground.
- Now lift your left foot and put it alongside the right foot.
Keep repeating and you’ll automatically be turning.
This trick’s not that easy. It’s okay if you don’t get it on your first try. Try the following to learn it faster.
- Try holding your partner’s hand while doing it.
- Hold onto a railing and practise crossing your leg over while holding it.
- Practise crossing over while standing on the grass. This way, you won’t fall and even if you do, it won’t hurt because you’re not falling on concrete.
- Then try doing it in the skate rink. It will come naturally.
- Practice on both sides.
You may think that couple skating is about doing weird complicated things with your feet while being synced with your partner. But that’s not the case. If you break down their movements, it’s just a bunch of crossovers in different directions and variations.
5. Forward Cross
Just life crossover turns, forward cross is also really important when it comes to ballroom skating with your significant other.
Here’s the technique to nail it.
- Start by standing in place and making a lemon shape with your feet.
- To make a lemon, put your feet together, open them in the shape of the letter ‘V.’
- Keep opening your feet until they’re really wide open.
- Then close your feet in the shape of an inverted ‘V.’
- The movements of your feet should make the shape of a lemon.
Now when you’ve got the basic footwork down, you can start modifying the trick.
- Make the same lemon but this time with your feet staggered.
- Once you can do lemons with staggered feet, it’s time to do the forward cross.
- Now, when you do the lemon with staggered feet, don’t stop your feet when they’re together, instead cross them over as much as you can and go back to your original position.
- Keep repeating.
Congratulations, you’ve mastered the forward cross which is quite an impressive achievement.
6. Backward skating
You can do couple skating, even if you’re not comfortable with backward skating. But to add a bit of flair, it’s not a bad idea for you and your partner to learn it. It’s pretty fun to learn.
Backward skating is the most comfortable and smooth when doing a back cross, instead of an inverted ‘V’ shape. Here’s how you do it.
- Look backwards while backward skating. This is important.
- Do the usual lemons but this time in the backwards reaction.
- When you’ve got the basic lemons down, do the lemons with one foot, while rolling the other foot straight backwards.
- Now do the same with the other leg.
- You should be skating backwards in a straight line while doing this.
- After a few minutes of practice, you’ll feel your one leg lemons to be more flowy.
- When that happens, start crossing your one foot lemons over the other foot from behind while skating backwards.
- After practicing this for a while, your other leg will start crossing too automatically.
That’s how you learn a good backwards cross. This should make you and your partner look like a professional while couple skating.
It’s not over yet; you have to learn other backward things too. Your balance should be pretty good at this point so those tricks will come to you naturally. Start practicing the:
- Backwards inline
- Backwards crossover turns
- Backwards stop (power stop)
Everything in artistic couple skating is about transitions and crossovers. Here’s how you do a forward to backward transition.
- Shift your body weight on one foot.
- Lift your other foot while turning your head, shoulders, and hips and place it on a 180 degree angle with the other foot. In other words, just place it in the backwards direction.
- As long as you land that foot, pick your previous foot and place it behind the other foot.
Boom. You’ve transitioned from skating forwards to skating backwards. To transition from backwards to forwards, do the same steps, but change the direction of the feet. Transitioning is not really a big deal; it just comes to you naturally. There are other kinds of transitions as well.
When you’re doing couple skating with your partner, you have to keep record of the kind of transition you both are going to make so that your moves are synced with each other.
8. One Leg
This is going to give that classic feel to your roller couple skating. In ice pairs skating, they always do things on one leg. So people have got this idea ingrained into their head that artistic skating should be on one leg. You could jam together, but one leg couple skating can change your whole vibe.
Here’s how you can practice skating on one leg.
- Shift all your weight on one leg.
- Lean forwards with your arms spread out.
- Lift your other leg.
- Slowly straighten your leg in the backwards direction.
- Your position should resemble that of a ballerina.
- Of course, you don’t have to raise your leg really high, just raise it as high as you can.
- Raising your leg 1 to 2 feet is enough.
Your couple skating will really become spectacular if you can master this trick with your partner. It would be even better if you can learn this trick while rolling backwards.
9. Other tricks
These tricks are optional, you don’t have to learn them. But they can take couple skating to the next level.
- 180 degree jumps
- 360 degree jumps
- Toe Spins
- Heel Spins
These tricks are really difficult. But if you and your partner are determined enough, you can still learn them and incorporate them into your couple skating routine.
Make Your Own Couple Skating Routine
Here comes the fun part. It’s time to make your own couple skating routine with your partner. You can look up the internet for inspiration and ideas. Pairs ice skating videos can be a really good reference.
Go full creative mode and follow the following steps.
- Choose a song if you want.
- Listen to the song carefully.
- Make your couple skating routine.
- Take inspiration from online ice skating videos.
- Incorporate your arsenal of tricks into your routine.
- Select and plan your moves according to the beat and music.
- Plan your hand movements.
- Use a rough notebook to divide the song and plan moves accordingly.
- Practice with your partner.
- Have fun.
It may seem like a lot, but the satisfaction of finally nailing your performance routine is the most satisfying thing in the world. Performing in front of other people is even more exciting.
Here are some other fun things you can do.
- Make matching costumes for you and your partner.
- Put on glow in the dark or light-up wheels.
- Make your skate routine according to a theme like Christmas, Halloween, ballerina, rock, punk, cute, rainbow, etc.
Trust me, you and your partner will have a really good time couple skating.
So are you ready to put on an amazing show with your partner, and fulfill your dream fantasy? Now’s your chance. Get your partner to skate with you and have fun together. I hope this article helped you in your roller skating journey.
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Good luck and have fun skating!