How to get into the figure skating program:
When a skater completes Stage/Badge 6 in the Canskate program, they move up to the Junior figure skating program the following session.
When a skater has completed Stage/Badge 5 in the Canskate program, they have two options. They can remain in Canskate to complete their Stage/Badge 6 or they can move up to the Junior figure skating program the following session. These skaters will complete their Stage 6 in this entry level figure skating program.
STARSkate is the figure skating program which follows the guidelines and program structures of Skate Canada. Figure skating instruction covers four distinct elements: ice dancing, freeskating, skating skills and stroking. The entry level figure skating program provides group lessons (see "Levels" below for more information).
Ice Dancing teaches skaters the steps and patterns for a specific set of dances, each with its own piece of music. The skater learns to perform each dance both alone and with a partner (typically the coach who is teaching the group dance lesson).
Freeskating comprises the jumps, spins, field movements and footwork that we are all familiar with from watching televised skating events. Skaters progress through a variety of jumps and spins, each with a greater degree of difficulty.
Skating Skills, like Ice Dancing, teaches skaters the steps and patterns for a specific set of steps, each with its own piece of music. The skater learns to perform the Skating Skills alone. There are no partners for Skills.
Edges & Turns: Formerly known as Stroking sessions, Edges & Turns are sessions taught in a group format. At the Junior level, it will be the first 15 minutes of each session and taught by a club professional coach. At the Intermediate level and above these sessions will be taught by the skater's individual coach, similar to the Spins and Field Moves sessions. Edges & Turns is included with specific sessions, as noted in the schedule. During these sessions, the coaches will focus on a number of different things including
- proper pushing technique
- turn quality
- step sequences
- turn combinations (clusters)
There are four levels of figure skating in NSC. The entry level is Junior followed by Intermediate, Senior and Advanced. Skaters progress to the next level by performing skating tests in front of an evaluator. Please see "Skating Tests" below for a listing of all skating tests and see "Qualifications" for a listing of the specific tests required for each level.
At the Junior level, skaters skate a minimum of two skating sessions per week. Each 60-minute session includes 15 minutes of stroking, one 15-minute group lesson with a professional coach, one 15-minute group lesson with Program Assistants and 15 minutes of free time where the skater is encouraged to learn how to practice elements on their own. An Information Session is held for parents of Junior level skaters at the beginning of each skating session.
At the Intermediate level, skaters skate a minimum of three skating sessions per week. The only group instruction at this level is a 15-minute group Edges & Turns lesson taught by the skater's individual coach. Any other instruction the skater receives will be on a private basis. For the remainder of each session, the skater is to work on their own. It is at the Intermediate level that skaters typically purchase a "Skills" session in addition to their regular skating session. The Skills session is 30-minutes of ice time, once per week, where the skaters practice the figure skating element known as "Skating Skills". While the instruction is on a private basis, coaches typically take all of their skaters together and charge them a group fee. An Information Session is held for parents of Junior level skaters at the beginning of each skating session.
A full program at the Senior level has four skating sessions per week and at the Advanced level has five skating sessions per week. As with Intermediate, the only group instruction at this level is a 15-minute group Edges & Turns lesson taught by the skater's individual coach. The remainder of the session is for private instruction and practice time. At the Senior level, skaters my skate a "partial" program of three sessions per week. At the Advanced level, skaters my skate a "partial" program of a minimum of two sessions per week.
There are skating tests in Ice Dance, Freeskate and Skills. All three elements have six categories: Preliminary, Junior Bronze, Senior Bronze, Junior Silver, Senior Silver and Gold. In addition, the ice dances have a number of dances to complete within each category.
There are also tests in Interpretive skating, Singles and Couples. Each of these have four categories: Introductory, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Qualification dates for Intermediate, Senior and Advanced are December 31st for placement the following Spring session and June 15th for placement the following Fall/Winter session. The following are the tests required to be completed, by the qualification deadline, for a skater to move to the next level:
Must have passed CanSkate Stage/Badge 5 by the end of the previous session.
Must have passed the Preliminary Dance tests which include the Dutch Waltz, Canasta and Baby Blues
Must have passed the complete Preliminary Freeskate test
Must have passed the complete Junior Bronze Freeskate test
Must have passed all Senior Bronze Dances AND the the complete Preliminary Freeskate test.
Must have passed the complete Senior Bronze Freeskate test
Must have passed all the Senior Silver Dance tests or the Senior Silver Skills test, AND the complete Junior Bronze Freeskate test.