Ice Dance Technical Elements: Turns
All turns involve a change of direction from forward to backward or vice versa, but they can also involve a change of edge, change of foot and change of lobe or curve. (Think of two circles touching each other - travelling along one lobe is staying on the same circle, changing lobe is going from the curve on one circle to the opposite curve on the other circle, going from clockwise to anti-clockwise or the other way round.) For example, this is what the ice tracing of a three turn (no change of lobe) looks like, and the tracing of a rocker, where there is a change of lobe.
All these turns can be entered on an inside or outside edge on either foot, and can be done from forward to back or back to forward.
Three Turn: Change of edge on one foot, where the skater continues travelling on the same curve and turns in the direction of the curve. In this example Maia enters on a left forward outside edge, curving, anti-clockwise, turns anti-clockwise, and exits on a left back inside edge, still curving anti-clockwise. Alex is not turning, ignore him.
Bracket: Same idea as a three turn, but the skater turns in the opposite direction to the way they are curving. Meryl & Charlie enter on a right forward inside edge curving anti-clockwise, turn clockwise and exit on a right back outside, still curving anti-clockwise.
Rocker: Turning on one foot where the edge remains the same, but the curve the skater is travelling along changes & the turn is in the same direction as the first curve. Elena & Nikita enter on a right forward outside edge, curving clockwise, turn clockwise and exit on a right back outside edge, now curving anti-clockwise.
Counter: Same as a bracket, but the turn is in the opposite direction to the first curve (but in the same direction as the second curve). Anna & Luca enter on a right forward inside edge curving anti-clockwise, turn clockwise and exit on a back inside edge, now curving clockwise.
Mohawk: A turn along the same curve and on the same edge, but with a change of foot. Penny & Nick enter on a right forward outside edge curving clockwise, change foot and exit onto a left back outside edge still curving clockwise. Mohawks and choctaws can either be open or closed - in an open turn the free foot is placed around the instep of the skating foot on the change of foot, in a closed turn the free foot is placed behind the heel of the skating foot.
Choctaw: Same idea as a mohawk with the turn coming from a change of foot, but it also has a change of edge & change of curve the skater is travelling along. Tessa enters on a left forward inside edge curving clockwise, changes foot and exits on a right back outside edge curving anti-clockwise & Scott does the mirror of that turn - right forward outside going anti-clockwise to left back outside going clockwise.
For all turns, the exit edge should be as deep & controlled as the entrance edge, & the skater should turn directly onto that edge, and not onto a flat and then into the edge. To get a level 4 on a step sequence, they must show 5 difficult turns (any of those listed above apart from a three turn, plus a twizzle, which is getting its own post), the turns must be in both directions and the steps must include a one foot section which includes all of the one foot turns.