There are three major factors that judges look for when evaluating spins:

  • Speed. Speed and number of rotations go together since faster spinners can get more revolutions during the same period of time. Fast spins with several rotations show mastery and skill.
  • Centering. Centering a spin is the ability to rotate several times in the same spot on the ice. If a spin isn't centered, it will "travel," which is kind of like a top wobbling across a table as it slows down. Being able to have a good center is a sign that you are a masterful skater.
  • Control. Judges want skater to look totally in control. Flailing or sloppy arms, for example, are a no no since they show the judges that you aren't balanced. Similarly, a beautiful spin is marred by a wobbly exit, so it is important to maintain control throughout.

There are many kinds of spins and new ones are being invented all the time. Here are a few major types:

1. Scratch Spin. One popular type of spin is the Scratch Spin (also known as a Blur Spin, a Corkscrew Spin, or an Upright Spin). In this move, the skater stands up straight with the legs crossed. Arms are either held overhead or in front of the body while the skater turns. These spins are always crowd pleasers so they are often used as the ending move in a program.

2. Camel Spin. Another common spin is the Camel Spin, in which the skater stands on a straight leg with the other leg and torso in a parallel line to the ice. There are several variations on the Camel, including the Flying Camel (in which the skater jumps before settling into the spin), a Hamill Camel (in which the Camel Spin turns into a Sit Spin, named for Dorothy Hamill), and a Catch Foot Camel (in which the skater arches her back to grab the blade of the free leg-it is also called the Donut Spin since the body ends up in an O shape).

3. Sit Spin. During a Sit Spin, the skater bends one leg while extending the other out in front. The lower the bent standing leg, the deeper the sit, which results in a better all around spin.

4. Layback Spin. A common spin done mostly by women is the Layback. In this position, the body is leaning either backward or sideways while the free leg is bent diagonally toward the back.

5. Biellman Spin. In this spin, again, mostly done by women, the skater arches her back and pulls her free leg high over her head.

SoYouWanna know more? Check out our full-length article SYW learn how professional figure skating is scored?