- Figure Skating FAQ
What happens after CanSkate?
Congratulations! Your child has completed our CanSkate program. Many parents at this point have the
same question – “what happens next?” If your skater is interested in furthering their skating career
there are several options – Hockey, Ringette, Speed Skating and Figure Skating.
Figure Skating: www.skateabnwtnun.ca
Speed Skating: http://www.albertaspeedskating.ca/
If figure skating is your skater’s passion, STARSkate (or PreSTARSkate) is the next step in their development.
What is STARskate?
Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition - this is what STARSkate is all about! STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in a private/semi-private lesson format. With individualized lessons and more ice time, skaters work independently to practice the techniques learned during their lessons.
Skaters will learn about Free Skate, Skating Skills, Dance, Interpretive and Synchronized Skating. Each of these disciplines will be taught by Skate Canada Professional Coaches. It is up to you as a parent to arrange for these lessons.
What are the main elements of each discipline: Free Skate, Skating Skills, Dance & Interpretive?
The Skate Canada free skate program consists of 4 main elements: jumps, spins, footwork and field movements. Once skaters begin to master some of the free skate elements, they may learn a solo that
they perform to music. They may enter the test stream, or even begin to compete.
The Skate Canada skating skills program incorporates turns, edges, positions, crossovers, field movements and stops. They are intended to improve balance, lean, flow, power, speed, focus and presentation skills. Skating skills are designed as patterns on the ice and once skaters begin to master some of their skating skills, they may decide to test them.
The Skate Canada dance program teaches the skater knowledge of dance, turns, basic dance elements as well as an understanding of music, timing, and rhythm. The skater progresses through a variety of ice dances set to music. The first dance that your skater will learn is the ‘Dutch Waltz’ and once this dance is mastered they may decide to test it.
The Skate Canada interpretive program (formerly called the Artistic program) is a form of skating in which the emphasis is placed on the skater's artistic ability to use their skills to interpret music rather
than on their technical abilities. Evaluation focuses on interpretation of music, skating skills, and development of theme and creativity.
What is Synchronized Skating?
Synchronized skating, or synchro, is a specialized discipline of skating involving groups of eight or more skaters performing various formations and maneuvers. The objective is for the team to perform as one
unit executing circles, blocks, lines, wheels and intersections in unison to the music, while demonstrating quality edges, power and flow.
WHAT IS AN ASSESSMENT?
Assessments will occur in the skater’s natural training environment, during their regular lesson time.
This may take place in a group, semi-private or private lessons.
WHAT IF MY CHILD WANTS TO COMPETE?
Many skaters will become interested in competing and there are many competitions in each region that your child could attend. Depending on their level, your child will enter the Skate Canada STAR 1-5 program and compete with children at the same age and ability. Entry levels are assessed to standard, and higher levels compete for a ranking. The decision to compete is generally made in conjunction with a Skate Canada Professional Coach. They will be able to provide you with detailed information on how competitions will work and what will be expected of both the skaters and parents.
WHAT KIND OF EQUIPMENT DO I NEED?
Proper equipment is essential in ensuring your skater has a safe and enjoyable skating experience.
All skaters must where a CSA approved helmet until they have passed their Stage 5 CanSkate badge.
Skate Canada Professional Coaches will assess your child throughout the session and let you know when
they are ready to remove their helmet. More information about helmets can be found in the Skate
Canada Helmet Use Policy https://info.skatecanada.ca/index.php/en-ca/policies/58-helmet-use-
Figure Skates are necessary at the STAR skate level. Skates have two key components: The boot and the blade.
The boot - Traditionally, figure skating boots were made from many layers of leather. In recent years, synthetic materials with heat moldable linings have been popular because they combine strength with lighter weight.
The blade - When viewed from the side, the blade of a figure skate is curved slightly, forming an arc of a circle. There are two edges, inside and outside, with a "hollow" in between. The depth of the hollow determines how sharp the blade is. A deeper hollow results in a sharper blade that grips the ice better. A shallower hollow results in a blade that glides over the ice better. The saw-like teeth at the end of the blade are known as "toe picks". They are necessary for proper balance and the execution of spins, jumps and footwork.
If you have questions about skates, please speak with a Skate Canada Professional Coach about proper fit and support. Or click on our link below:
Clothing should enable skaters to use their full range of motion and allow them to perform jumps, spins
and other skating skills without restriction. Skaters should dress in layers so that they can adjust their
clothing if they are too hot or too cold. Female skaters should wear a skating dress or yoga attire, warm
tights, leg warmers, sweater and mitts/gloves. Hair should be pulled back away from the skater’s face.
Male skaters should wear running or yoga attire, sweater and mitts/gloves.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS ALBERTA
Special Olympics Alberta offers sports programs (including figure skating) in more than 100 communities
around the province for Albertans with an intellectual disability. Special Olympics promotes an active
lifestyle and better quality of life for persons with intellectual disabilities through their participation in
sport. Special Olympics Alberta is an accredited chapter of Special Olympics Canada.
Contact your local skating club to see if an inclusive skating program is offered for athletes with any
physical or intellectual disability.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND HELPFUL LINKS
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