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Home » Learn » The Roller Skate Dad Podcast » Getting Started Roller Skating – Part 12 – Doing Two Foot Turns – 029

Getting Started Roller Skating – Part 12 – Doing Two Foot Turns – 029

In today’s episode, I discuss how to do two foot turns while roller skating. We discuss rolling forwards and then doing a two foot turn to get rolling backwards. Then, how to go from skating backwards into a two foot turn to return going forwards. I also talk about why learning these skating tricks are important to your flexibility, strength and avoiding crashes with other skaters.

To see me doing two foot turns, check out my Roller Skating Tricks article where I have videos of me performing some of the techniques I discussed today.

And, if you are having a hard time roller skating, be sure to check out my page all about How to Roller Skate. On that page you will find videos of yours truly skating.

Episode 29 Transcript

[0:04] Hey everybody. Welcome to the Roller skate Dad podcast.
This is episode number 29.
Let’s get started.

[0:17] Welcome to the roller skate Dad podcast.
The show that covers everything and anything in the wonderful world of roller skating.
Now, here’s your host, the roller skate dad himself, Jeff stone.

[0:37] Hey everybody! I want to welcome you to the Roller skate Dad podcast. I’m so glad you all could join me today.
Today we’re going to continue the getting started roller skating series and we’re gonna be discussing doing two ft turns.
Yeah, another fun intermediate technique for all of you beginners out there who are leveling up.

[1:01] Or maybe you’re a more intermediate and advanced skater and you just want to learn how to do two ft turns better or maybe you don’t know how to do them already. That’s okay.
That’s what today’s episode is going to be all about.
So we’re going to start slowly and you know, quickly build up.
And first I’m gonna do a quick recap of everything that I’ve covered so far in the getting started roller skating series. There’s been a lot of episodes. Now We are up to part 12.
So, you know, the first episode was all about the skaters mindset believing that you can do this.
And then I talked for a couple of episodes about picking out your first pair of roller skates.
Then I covered in another episode um getting the right safety equipment. So this is things like helmets and pads.

[1:52] Then we talked about roller skating basics like falling down and how to properly get back up from the ground.
Then the following episode was about 10 different ways to stop on your roller skates.

[2:04] Then I discussed skating forwards without falling down in the next episode, and then we went on to balancing, standing on one ft and doing forward crossovers.
Then the next episode was all about skating backwards for the first time, and last week was all about doing backward crossovers.

[2:29] Woo, that sure is a lot of stuff, I mean that’s a lot of episodes, that’s a lot of talking, so if you’ve,
you know, if you’ve progressed this far, you can really count yourself as an intermediate skater in my book.
I mean, if you’re to the point where, you know, you’re skating backwards and you’re doing forward crossovers and backward crossovers.

[2:53] I can definitely say you’re past the beginner stage at that point, so that’s great, but are we going to give up now?
Heck no, I gotta keep going.
So this week we’re going to go over to foot turns, you know, going from skating forwards to skating backwards, and then from going from skating backwards to skating forwards,
you know, now, before we get started, you need to make sure that you can skate forwards and backwards without falling down well before you progress to this.

[3:29] You know, it’s I think that goes without saying right, you also should be able to balance on one ft,
going both forwards and backwards, That’s really important, you know, uh you should be able to do front and backward crossovers, you know, you don’t really need to be able to do them,
to do backward and forward turns, but I really think they are easier to do than turns.
That’s just my take, I think crossovers are easier to do than turns,
you know, they also require a level of balance that you need,
if you want to successfully stay upright while you’re turning right, so both of those things require balance both turns as well as crossovers and so.

[4:13] Being good at both is a is a definitely a good thing.
But being able to have balance skating forward and backwards is super important before uh you know, you move on to this step, so okay, disclaimers are over, you’ve been warned.
So anyway, this is gonna be so much fun. Let’s get started.
All right. So let’s talk about doing two ft turns going forwards to backwards.
So you’re gonna want to make sure obviously you’ve got your skates strapped on And you want to get rolling forward on two ft uh first make sure your knees are bent.
And while you do all these moves, you know, you always want to make sure your knees are bent and then you’re going to skate on your right foot, right? I think most of you are probably right handed out there, I’m left handed, but a lot of times I do things.

[5:06] Right handed, as most of us lefties do. And so as you’re skating on your right foot, you’re going to pick up your left foot And you’re going to turn it 180° until the heel of your left skate,
is parallel to the heel of your right skate.

[5:24] So in order to do this, you’ll need to turn your shoulders and your hips into this more open 180 880° position.
Right. You’re going to like have to gonna have to pivot, you know, and remember, you need to do all this while you’re still rolling forward on your right foot.
So this is where balance comes in right.
You need to make sure you can skate on one ft before you can do to foot turns.
Then you’re gonna place your left foot down on the ground and your feet should be making an uppercase letter I or a lowercase letter L. Shape.
And you should still be rolling right? So both feet are rolling on the ground,
your right foot is rolling forward, your left foot is rolling backward, your left foot is immediately behind your right foot with maybe about I don’t know. Let’s say.

[6:20] Six inches to a foot, not a foot, that’s that’s really wide, probably about 3 to 6 inches apart.
Right? You don’t want your right foot and your left foot to clip each other obviously. But that’s that’s the shape they should be in.
Now. You’re going to pick up your right foot And turn it 180° and place it beside the left foot.
So you should now be rolling backwards Right? And again, you’re just gonna want to remember to turn your shoulders and your hips as you pick your right skate up and turn it 180° and then set it back down.
It’s really hard to do this if you don’t turn your shoulders and your hips like really hard.
So, you know, anyway, you should be rolling backwards now.
So the question was that easy or hard for you.
You know, if it was easy, congratulations, you rock. Even if it was hard and you’re struggling, you still rock right? You’re trying it.
That’s the most important thing, you know? No worries. We all are going to struggle anytime we’re trying something new in the very beginning.

[7:23] So if you are struggling, um and you know, you didn’t just nail it on the first attempt, which is totally understandable.
You know, let’s let’s dig a little deeper.
So if you’re losing your balance, it can really help to practice these moves on carpet or in grass with your skates on,
and without rolling, you know, the whole motion of like Pick up your left foot, turn it 180°, put it behind your right foot, heel to heel,
and then pick up your right foot, Pivot and turn 180° and set it down next to your left skate.
That can be really useful to practice with your skates on.

[8:07] Somewhere where you’re not rolling if you’re not used to doing that move and you’re not used to you know what that feels like practice at first uh with your skates on without rolling.
Um So that’s one technique that can really really help.

[8:22] Um Or you can practice it without your skates on.
You really don’t need your skates on to practice that. You know you could you could be standing waiting in line at the grocery store and you could just practice it.
That would be pretty funny. I would like to see people practicing that at my local grocery store. That would that would make me laugh for sure if I saw people doing that.
But you know if you’re just standing there you can you can pretty much practice this anywhere right without skates on.
So this really helps to get the motion down. And I can’t tell you how many things as an artistic skater.
As a teenager, we practiced without our skates on.
When I was on the speed skating team, I wasn’t technically on the speed skating team but I practiced with them all the time down here in Austin at Playland.
Um We did ah land, dry land exercises.
Dry land speed skating is dry land too. But um we would practice without our skates on. We would practice the technique without our skates on.
Practicing the technique is the most important part, right?
If you can practice any of these techniques that I’m telling you without skates on, it will be easier when you move back to putting your skates on and trying the same thing.

[9:43] Um, The other reason why you may be having trouble is maybe you’re not losing your balance, but you just are like, I really suck at flexibility.
Like I just am not flexible at all.
I am, you know, the Tin man from Wizard of Oz, I need an oil can, um, if that’s you.

[10:04] I don’t want you to blame it on that, you know, don’t blame it on your lack of flexibility. You don’t need a ton of flexibility to be able to do two ft turns, you know, don’t give up.
Uh, instead first make sure you’re bending your knees right.
You really need to make sure you bend your knees, you know, pro artistic skaters.

[10:23] Will often touch their boot heels when they do these turns, especially if you’re into like, uh, dance, you know, uh, artistic dance skating.
Um, they’ll actually judge you on this. You know, how close are your boots when you’re doing these two footed turns with a partner.
Say, for instance, something something I did, I’ll see if I can scrounge up some old videos from VHS to show you guys, but um, but you don’t have to be that good.
Like, you don’t need your heels to touch each other or get real close when you’re,
when you’re doing these moves, you just need to bend your knees a little more and maybe allow a little more space between your left and right foot, right, as you’re doing that two ft turn in your heels, you’re doing a heel to heel turn,
you know, that may help you write, just maybe put a little bit of extra space.
Maybe you’re trying to put your feet too close together or you’re forgetting to bend your knees.

[11:19] Um, also really make sure that you’re pivoting your hips and your upper body, especially your shoulders when you’re doing this turn, it’s not all just about the feet right.
You know, trying to just turn your feet without turning your body, I’m not even sure how you do that.
I’ve actually preparing for this episode. I tried I tried actually turning my feet without turning my body and it was really hard so just make sure you’re paying attention to that, right?
You’re pivoting your hips, it’s a whole body movement, you’re going from forwards to backwards and then you’re gonna hear me use this as a tip over and over again. Use your arms right in a t position to help balance you.
Uh Not only will you look like a super cool figure skater, everybody wants to look like that, you know when you do when you do it like this?
Um But you’re also going to have a much greater chance of staying upright, right?

[12:17] So those are some tips if you’re struggling, remember again, just have patience with yourself.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, I don’t even think it was built in a week, so give yourself some time and some grace.
Right, Alright, so for those of you, How have now conquered doing a 2-foot turn going clock or counterclockwise from forward to backward.
Now let’s talk quickly about doing that same two ft turn forward to backward but going clockwise. Um.

[12:53] So what we’re going to do is you’re going to skate forwards just like before and it’s just going to be reverse Basically.
You’re going to pick up your right foot, turn it 180° until it’s parallel and behind your left foot Heel to heel and then you’re gonna pick up your left foot, turn it 180° and set it beside your right foot.
And today ah there there you go, you did it. So you know most skaters are going to find uh one way easier than the other two turn every time I skate I try practicing turning both ways.
It helps to make sure you know that you don’t get rusty with your turn’s mine.

[13:36] I can turn right to left on on my right foot and then put the left foot behind it going counterclockwise better than going clockwise.
And that’s kind of true about pretty much everything for me, skating wise I can do everything counterclockwise better than clockwise and I’m left handed.
And I attribute that to the fact that I do a lot of my skating or had done a lot of my skating growing up in roller rinks and they’re always going counterclockwise.
So you just get really good at doing everything counterclockwise because of that.
Um I don’t know maybe in England they go clockwise all the time.
I mean they do drive on the wrong side of the road over there so maybe, hmm I’m gonna have to ask that.
I’ve never asked my british listeners and friends whether they go whether they go clockwise overseas when they have.
I know they don’t have that many rinks in places like, uh, the U. K.
But, um, I know there’s still a few out there or a couple.
So anyway, uh, those of you who are from that area can, can shoot me a quick email and let me know about that.
Um, anyway, um, so we’ve done counterclockwise, we’ve done clockwise.
Um, you know, and if you’re struggling, don’t worry, you know.

[14:55] Turns are, are really an intermediate skill,
you know, in fact in the art club that I skated for as a teenager,
uh this was actually in our advanced group lessons, we had, we had three group lessons, three skill levels, one was absolute beginner, one was intermediate,
and then one was advanced, and once you got out of the advanced then you went into private lessons, that was your next step.
And the private lessons were with a X.

[15:32] World champion, artistic figure skater who taught at our skate club and he he did private lessons like, you know,
five days a week, it was like monday through friday every day after school, and the rink was opened for like three or four hours for us to practice before uh night sessions came in.

[15:54] And in order to get out of that advanced group lesson and make it into private lessons, you had to be able to do uh two ft turns, you have to be able to do a two ft spin,
a bunny hop, which is a type of jump and a waltz jump.
Those were the prerequisites. Once you could do those, then you could move into private lessons, so I’m gonna be taking you all the way up through that point in these upcoming lessons.
So, you know, the skill level is going to go up over these next few episodes, but I just kind of wanted to let you guys know that if you’re struggling,
don’t feel bad, like often to go from like this beginner level class where all you have to be able to do was skate forwards to get to the next level.
Then when you got into the intermediate, you had to be able to, you know, do forward crossovers, skate backwards and do backwards crossovers before you could move into the advanced group, right?

[16:54] Um And so if you’re still struggling, that’s okay.
I mean, most of our beginner skaters to get to the private lesson point,
I mean, we’re talking, they came every single Saturday and skated multiple times a week usually, and it would take some people six months to get to the point where they could do private lessons, right?
So, I mean, you’re talking about doing something 2-3 times a week and getting group instruction on how to do that stuff.
Um And we’re talking like half a year for a lot of people.
Um Now some of the kids did it faster because I mean, kids seem to do everything faster, they’re just, I think it’s because they’re lower to the ground, so it’s maybe it’s just easier.
I think my sister and I were probably in these uh group lessons for three or four months before we advanced into the private into the private lessons.
Um So so anyway.

[17:52] Don’t worry if you’re struggling, you know, you know, don’t think you can’t do it, you can, it’s just going to keep, you gotta keep practicing right. I promise you’re gonna be able to do anything that I’m teaching in these podcasts.
Um nothing in here is super difficult.
Like it may take you some time to get good at it, but I think any adult could do most of the stuff that I’m going to teach in these lessons. It just takes some time.
All the kids out there can probably do what I’m going to teach in these lessons and then some, so, um, so anyway, I want to talk a little bit though.
I’m gonna do a little aside on something that I think is important because some of you might be listening to me and be like, hey, I can skate forwards, I can skate backwards.

[18:37] Um you know, it’s all great, Jeff. I don’t really care about being able to do all these fancy tricks.
You know, I’m good with just forward and backward skating and you know, if that’s you great.
You know, there’s no worries. You’ve made it, you know, congratulations for how much you already know how to do.
That is actually really good. Most, most people who skate don’t know how to skate forwards and backwards and do basic, you know, maybe some basic crossovers and stuff, you know, but for me, I’m just always trying to learn something new on my skates.
You know, it’s just, it’s just something fun. I like to do. It’s who I am.
Um I also think there’s a lot of benefits though to learning these more advanced skating skills.
Um Besides just, hey, I can do these cool things, Look at me.
Um I think there’s more to it than that, you know, first I think crossovers, turns, spins, you know, some low impact jumps.
I really think they help a ton with balance. I mean a ton and I don’t just mean like balance on the skating rink floor or when you’re skating, I just mean balance in life in general, right?
Uh doing any kind of activity, you know, and and balance is really the key to staying upright.

[19:52] Um I think if you get good at skating and the better your balance gets, it gets really easy to cross over into other sports.
So like if you want to ski or you wanna water ski or you want to skateboard or you know, snowboard, uh you know, all kinds of activities, paddleboard, they do a lot of that out here in Austin, right?
Um canoeing, I don’t know, all kinds of, there’s all kinds of balance sports yoga, right?
Um I think that all these things helped to perfect your balance and you know, you have less of a chance of falling when you’re just skating regularly. If you know how to do more.

[20:34] Tricks and techniques if you’re better on your skates, um I find that I hardly ever fall unless somebody tripped me,
or I am being ah dumb, you know, or I’m trying to learn something new, I still fall when I’m trying to learn something new, but when I’m learning something new, I’m going slow,
so my falls tend to be like super slow mo and dramatic, so anyway, um you know, second another,
the reason why these things I think are important is, you know, you get really good and fast, it turns,
crossovers and even spins, you know, you can use those techniques when you’re skating to avoid obstacles and other skaters,
I can’t tell you how many times I have averted a crash with a beginner skater, you know, simply because I had one of these skating tricks in my arsenal,
right, because I knew how to do a turn or I knew how to, I don’t usually jump over people.
Like I know some advanced skaters who do that, I don’t recommend that it’s way too easy to kick somebody in the face.

[21:47] But I do use turns and crossovers, really super exaggerated crossovers to like,
cut really sharply um to avoid people and to avoid obstacles, it is a great way to ensure that other people don’t take you out and if you’re at a really crowded rink.

[22:10] And there’s a lot of beginner skaters, it’s very easily, you know, even if you’re advanced, it’s very easy to get taken out if you’re not paying attention or if you are paying attention, you know, people can just come from behind and take your legs out from under you.
So I feel like being able to do these turns and crossovers, especially um really help.

[22:34] To ensure that you don’t fall. And I’m all about that, right?
Um, so 3rd, I think that these techniques and skills that I’m teaching you, they bring a lot of flexibility and strength to you, you know, both physically and mentally, right?
You know, learning all these skills, it helps your body and I think it helps your mind right, get stronger and be more flexible, you know, the more often you push your brain to learn something new, especially something you suck at when you first try it,
the better you get at being able to challenge yourself the next time, something hard is presented to you.
You know, whether that’s something hard that’s presented to you with skating or just at your job or in life in general, right?
Um you know, if you’re just stuck all the time in like, oh, I’m just gonna always do things the way I’ve always done them then, like, you know, you’re not really challenging yourself.
And so this is just my personality, y’all, you may not all be like this, that’s okay.
I like to push myself, I’d like to learn something new all the time.
Um I’m also probably what most we consider a type a personality, I don’t sit still very easily.

[23:44] So anyway, I think that the skills that I’m teaching you, even if you’re not good at them at first,
they really help to provide uh, you know, flexibility and strength because all these tricks require that to be able to perform them.
You know, you have to have good balance and you have to be flexible enough to turn and like in this case with two ft turns, be able to pivot your hips and your shoulders, you know, may sound silly, but there’s a lot of people out there that don’t have that ability.
Like even without skates on, you’re like, hey, I want you to take your, your feet and put them side by side and then pivot and turn your heel to heel 180° while you’re off skates and then turn around.
I mean I know that sounds silly, but there’s actually people out there that can’t do that even without skates on and I like having that ability as I get older.
You know, I’m not as flexible as I used to be, um approaching 50 and you know.

[24:44] I hope continuing to skate like this can make me think at least, or at least hopefully stay flexible and strong as I get older.
And you know, then the last reason and I think this is honestly the most important reason for me why I like to constantly learn these new things on my skates is that it’s just fun.
You know, it’s fun and you know, I love to skate, I have ever since I was eight years old and just skating around in circles for hours without trying anything new.

[25:23] Would be super, super boring to me, like around and around and around and around. I mean I feel like a nascar driver, left, turn, left, turn, left turn, that’s all Nascar drivers do right, left turns.
Sorry, I know some nascar fans are probably out there listening to me screaming at their at their phone or their podcast player right now.
But um yeah, I mean that would be like super boring to me to just go around in a circle all the time.
I mean it’s great exercise, but like I need some variety when I skate,
and so you know, learning these different tricks for me, you know, it helps to spice it up, you know, make it exciting, give me something new to try.

[26:07] So I was just a little aside that I wanted to do in this episode because I know that as I’m going further and further with some of these more advanced techniques, some of you, beginners out there may have um,
maybe dropped off or like uh I don’t really care that much about doing,
these more advanced things, they’re not really that important to me and I was like, you know, I think I’m going to tell folks why, I think these are important, even if you’re not going to become, you know, a,
artistic skating champion, right?
Or you’re going to go off competing in some of these uh roller sports.
I think, I think all these tips and techniques and a lot of a lot that I see in some of the other sports like speed skating and roller derby and jam skating,
rhythm skating I think they’re super important because they really help with all these things I just mentioned.
So anyway let’s round out this episode with the more advanced harder thing to do which is to turn forwards while you’re skating backwards.

[27:13] So you know now that I gave you more incentive to keep going and you know learn even more uh let’s do those same two ft turns while you’re going backwards.
Um So now that we can you know do them going forward to backwards, we’re going to do them going backwards to forwards.
So you start off you know you’re rolling backwards, you’re going to lift your left foot up, You’re going to turn it 180° until it meets your right heel and then turn forward.

[27:47] Yeah that’s it, you did it nice job you know just remember keep your knees bent, use your arms for balance.
I mean it’s really not any more difficult than that, it’s the exact same thing that you did um You know going from.

[28:02] Backwards from forwards to backwards as it is backwards to forwards.
Um You know, and if you’re struggling, you know, don’t worry, you just got to keep practicing once you can turn forwards,
counterclockwise, practice going clockwise right, just like I talked about earlier, so it really is the exact same step.
It may take you a little bit longer to be able to perfect backward to forward.
I know for my daughter lily she can go one direction but she can’t go the other, she can turn backwards, going both directions but she can’t turn forwards, going both directions unless I’m skating with her.
Like if we’re couples skating, that’s the only time she can seem to do it.
So it just takes practice. Um Now if you don’t practice it you won’t get good at it, I can guarantee you that.
Um All right, so the last thing I’m going to talk about before we wrap up here is doing what I like to call,
around the world, it’s not really called that, I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s what I call it and so that’s what it’s going to be called.
So it is hereby dubbed around the world and what this basically is is um turning forward to backward and then backward and forward,
and then just doing it over and over and over again and that’s why I call it around the world because you’re basically doing little mini.

[29:26] Jerky 3 60 you’re doing a 1 81 81 81 81 81 80.
And just keep going and um so all you need to do is skate forwards turn backwards on two ft.
Then while skating backwards, turn forwards onto two ft, and then you just do that over and over again and there you go around the world, baby.
So for you, an intermediate and advanced skaters who can already do that, switch directions, try doing it clockwise instead of counterclockwise, right?
And if you’re doing this going counterclockwise and clockwise and you can do that well, then speed it up, go faster, right, and you know, you’re going to find one direction is easier to do than the other for me.
Like I said earlier, it’s always counterclockwise, I can do the clockwise, but it still feels different even after all these years of practice, right, It still feels different.
So you can really get this down to where you can, if you can do it a ton, it looks like, let’s say you do seven or eight revolutions.
Uh it can look really cool, you can go all the way down the straightaway just doing this.
And I mean, trust me, if you want to turn some heads, um this is a great way to get some attention at a ring because most people can’t do even forward to backward to foot turns much less around the world. So.

[30:56] So really if you break this down though and I know it may seem difficult to a lot of you out there, it’s really just one skill, it’s just two ft turns, but it can be done so many different ways, right?
You can go forward to backwards going counterclockwise or you can do it going clockwise and you can do backward before backwards forwards going counterclockwise,
or going clockwise, and then you can do around the world where you pair those two things up with each other going in both directions, so one turn, but like six different,
skills within their right and each one of those is going to take practice to get good at it.
I could have broken all these up into separate episodes but I was like that’s crazy, it’s really just one skill.
Once you can do to foot turns you can really do it, just keep practicing going all the different directions and then pairing them up, you know, and this is going to be really good as we move on to the next episode, right where I’m going to cover,
one ft turns, that’s right, they’re coming and so you’re going to really need balance to be able to perform that.

[32:04] Okay everybody, I think that’s all we’re going to have for today’s episode.
I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, I had a good time with that one and as you can tell, we’re continuing to build up these skills, it’s getting harder and harder.
So I plan to take you still a little further, we’ve got someone foot turns coming up in the next episode.
That’s gonna be super fun. We’re going to talk about doing one ft turns going forwards and then, you know, going forwards to backwards and then doing the same one ft turns going backwards to forwards,
and we’re going to then move into some more, you know, advanced artistic skating, things like bunny hops and waltz jumps and two ft spins.
Um So if you want to see a transcript of today’s episode, or just get more information about some of the things I discussed today, then check out the show notes.
You can get those at roller skate dad dot com slash 29.
Alright, everybody, I think that’s a wrap until the next time. Get on out there and skate.

[33:12] Thank you for listening to the Roller skate dad podcast at www dot roller skate dad dot com.
If you liked what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe rate and review the podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify google or wherever you’re listening.

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Want more reviews on roller skates? Check out my Best Roller Skates page for a list of all of the quad roller skates I recommend. I also have pages for roller skates for menroller skates for women and roller skates for kids where I recommend the best skates on the market today. Or, check out my roller skates for beginners if you are completely new to roller skating.

Or, if rollerblades or inline skates are more your style, then check out my rollerblades for menrollerblades for women or rollerblades for kids pages. Or, if you are completely new, check out my rollerblades for beginners page.

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Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone started the website RollerSkateDad.com back in 2015. The site specializes in roller skate reviews and advice about skates and all things roller skating. When Jeff isn't skating with his two daughters Lily and Violet, he enjoys writing code, cooking, watching movies and hanging out with his wife Claire and their german shepherd, Electra.

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