Figure skating is a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime, but it can be confusing to learn about. The following is a basic overview for parents.
The “basic skills” are the fundamentals of the sport. 8 levels introduce foundational moves: forward skating, backward skating, stops, edges, crossovers, and turns. Upon completion of the Basic 1-8 levels, skaters will have a basic knowledge of the sport, enabling them to advance to more specialized areas of skating.
Each Free Skate level is divided into four sections: moves in the field, spins, dance/footwork sequence and jumps. The Free Skate levels are designed to give skaters a strong foundation on which to build their skills. This is the point where the skater can choose whether to pursue a recreational or competitive approach to the sport of figure skating. This is still figure skating at a very basic level.
and Free Skate
The Aspire Program bridges Basic Skills and Competitive Figure Skating, answering the question “What happens after my child finishes the Basic Skills and Free Skate?” Many rinks have a bridge program. There are many ways to continue participation!
Skaters can test their skills in front of a panel of USFSA (United States Figure Skating Association) judges. There are 4 areas for USFSA testing: Moves in the Field (MIF), Freestyle, Pairs and Dance. Clubs offer test sessions throughout the year. Skaters may choose to pursue testing for the following reasons:
● To further develop their skating skills using set standards
● To compete with a more advanced group of skaters
● To better focus their practice ice time
● To gain credentials to meet future goals of becoming a coach
Your testing level determines what level and who you compete with. There are no tests to take in Synchronized Skating (team skating), but most skaters on teams are required to train in MIF, Freestyle, and Dance to achieve levels to compete on teams.
Competitions can be at the introductory and local level, or the Olympics, or anything in between.
Very few people will ever go to, or want to go to, the Olympics. There are so many ways to participate and have fun!