Pairs Skating Elements: Pair spins & twist lifts
This post covers two entirely different elements, pair spins and twist lifts (aka. twists). Pair spins (PSp or PCoSp for combinations) are spins where the two partners are in physical contact and spin together. Pair spins are almost always combination spins and must include at least two different basic spin positions (camel, sit, upright). Partners can do different positions at the same time. Depending on the season, one pair combination spin may be required in the short program. One pair combination spin with a change of foot is required in the free skate. Pair spins are leveled from 1 to 4 just like regular spins and level features include variations in position, number of revolutions, changes of foot and direction, difficult entries, etc.
None of the examples shown here show the entire combination spins because they wouldn’t fit into single gifs. These are only a few examples of the possible variations in pair spin positions; there are a lot more than shown here. In the first gif, Tatiana and Max both start in a camel position; she goes into a sit spin while he does a catchfoot while still in the camel position. In the second gif, Narumi and Mervin both start in a camel position and go into an upright spin position. In the third gif, Aliona and Robin both start with a camel spin and go into a sit spin variation. In the fourth gif, Qing and Jian both change the foot they’re skating on after the sit spin and go into a camel spin.
A twist lift (“twist”), abbreviated “Tw” on protocols, is an element where the man throws the woman up into the air and catches her by the waist after she does a number of revolutions in the air. Twist entries are almost always based on the lutz or flip jump entry and the man must set the woman down on a back outside edge. Axel and toeloop entries are also possible, but are very rare. Twists are a leveled element and can consist of one to four rotations; the greater the number of rotations, the greater the base value of the element. Most senior teams do double or triple twists; some teams have done quad twists.
The twists shown above both have lutz entries; in both cases the female partner enters the twist on her left back outside edge and taps her right toepick into the ice as her partner throws her. She exits the twist on her right back outside edge. Examples of triple and quad twists are shown. The woman can also hold an arm above her head during a twist, which would count as a level feature: