Three’s & Rockers
In my last post ‘One-Foot Turns’, we looked at the four main aspects of the six one-foot turns in roller figure skating, drawing a basic overview of them all. During that post i mentioned that the 4th aspect of a one-foot turn, it’s rotation or more specifically direction of rotation in relation to the initial edge, is one of the hardest concepts to understand.
As a result, I have decided to split up the 6 one-foot turns in relation to their rotation to help shed some light on this particular aspect. Hence, we will be discussing the six one-foot turns in groups; Three’s & Rockers (same), Brackets & Counters (counter), and Loops & Travelings (miscellaneous).
In this post we are going to look at Three Turns & Rockers, the two one-foot turns that rotate in the same direction as their initial edge.
Three’s are a one foot turn that have a change of direction, change of edge and rotates in the same direction as the initial or entry edge causing an inside cusp (i.e. the foot to intersect the circle as it rotates).
For example, if i was traveling in a forward outside direction and decided i wanted to perform a three turn, i would rotate in the same direction my body was traveling and create an inside cusp. As i exited my cusp, I would now be on a backward inside edge.
What i would also notice in this example is that my overall trajectory (or the path in which I, an object, is travelling) would have changed. Let’s use the below diagram for reference, initially on my entry edge i am traveling North, but after the inside cusp my exit edge is now traveling south.
Three’s are also (definition-wise) the most versatile of the one-foot turns, as it can be a three, a double-three, dropped three or held three!
Double three’s are just a version of three turn that are presented twice (i.e. 2 = double) on the same figure circle and will therefore divide the circle into thirds.
As far as dropped vs held, this basically refers to whether the exit edge is held for either less than (DROPPED) or more than (HELD) one beat of music. Noting that in the case of a dropped three, the next succeeding step would occur on the following beat of music (i.e. three turn on the count of 1 and then raised chasse immediately after on the count of 2)
Rockers are a one-foot turn that have a change of direction but NO change of edge, whilst rotating in the same direction as the initial or entry edge and therefore presenting an inside cusp.
For example, if i again was traveling in a forward outside direction but this time decided i wanted to perform a rocker, i would rotate in the same direction my body was traveling and create an inside cusp BUT as i exited my cusp, I would now be on a backward outside edge.
What i would also notice is that my overall trajectory had NOT changed. Using the below diagram for reference, you can see that during my initial entry edge i am traveling North, but after my cusp the exit edge results in me STILL traveling north.
So what is the big difference between a Three & Rocker?
- Both have a change of direction (i.e. forward to backward or vice versa)
- Both have an inside cusp
- Both rotate in the same direction as the initial entry edge
- Three has a change of edge whilst a rocker does not.
- Three = outside to inside/inside to outside
- Rocker = outside to outside/inside to inside
- Three’s have a change in overall trajectory, however rockers do not.
- Three = north/south or east/west etc
- Rocker = north/north or east/east etc
In my next blog, we will be discussing brackets & counters, the two one-foot turns that rotate counter, or opposite, to their initial edge!
Founder of Māia Fitness
Skate Australia (2012). Australian Artistic Committee Dance Manual Part 1. Edition 14. Retrieved from https://www.sk8info.org.au/manuals/dance1.pdf
Skate Australia. (2016). Australian Artistic Committee Figure Manual. Edition 11. Retrieved from
World Skate. (2019). Rules for Artistic Roller Skating Competitions General 2020 Retrieved from