Spinning Arms in Motion: Exploring Mathematics within the Art of Figure Skating

Tetyana Berezovski, Diana Cheng and Rachel Damiano
Proceedings of Bridges 2016: Mathematics, Music, Art, Architecture, Education, Culture (2016)
Pages 625–628 Workshop Papers


In this workshop, participants will explore middle and secondary level mathematics related to a figure skater’s arm movements while performing an upright spin. From the bird’s eye view, the skater’s elbow and hands travel in curves. We provide two dynamic animations of the arms’ motions to model and explore the trajectories in which the hands and arms travel. Some of the mathematical topics used in these activities include proportional relationships, regression, circular geometry, and trigonometry.