The moment of the turn
If you are skating forward and want to turn around and go backward, the Mohawk turn is the easiest way to do it. Come into the turn on a left inside edge, leaning your body into the circle as in the figure at left. Keep your right shoulder pressed back and your left shoulder in front of you until the moment of the turn. Then quickly switch the shoulders, drawing the left shoulder back and thrusting the right shoulder forward. At the same instant shift your weight onto the right foot. Warning: don't try to hop onto the right foot (see below). Keep the motion smooth, and let the shoulders do the work.
The movement of the feet
Start by drawing the right foot in toward the left until the back of the right boot lightly touches the inside of the left heel (1). Weight is on rear of left foot as indicated by dot. Then, keeping toes turned out as far as you can (2), with both knees bent, you are ready for the instant of the turn. Now, using the shoulder action shown at top, ease the weight quickly down onto the front of right skate. Slide the left foot out (3) and glide backward with left leg fully extended. Small figures at right show full pattern of movement in the Mohawk before and after exact moment of turn.
THE THREE TURN
First of the fancy figures
The three is the first of the fancy turns. It looks tricky, but if you time your movements correctly it will be as smooth and easy as the Mohawk. Practice the three carefully. It is the basic maneuver for the flowing waltz which Maribel teaches in Part II.
Shoulders follow the feet
The three turn is a quick movement, takes a fraction of a second and about 18 inches of space. Start with a right outside forward stroke as shown in first figure (left), with free leg back and free shoulder forward. Skating hip is forward and free hip pressed back along line of circle. When you want to turn, bring free leg close behind skating foot to form T position, as in second figure. Then increase backward pressure on skating shoulder and shift your weight onto forward part of skating foot. These two movements will start pivoting action of the turn. At instant of turn (third figure) allow body to swing around with skating side as axis. As soon as you feel your back inside edge grip the ice (last figure), quickly reverse your shoulders, press back hard on the left shoulder, keeping same inward body lean.
The four small figures set on the clocklike circle above show that the three turn itself actually takes place at 9 o'clock, exactly opposite to the pushing start at 3 o'clock.
Shift weight quickly
Coming into turn (right) bring free leg in behind skating foot but keep it off the ice. As you approach the turning point, shift weight from back of blade to ball of foot. At pivot point, back half of blade lifts completely off ice to allow body to swing around in a full 180° turn. Ride out turn, gliding backward, with weight on forward part of right foot.