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Figure Skating Frequently Asked Questions

I'm interested in learning to figure skate. Where do I start?

Our group Learn-to-Skate classes are the perfect way to begin your figure skating journey! Our fun and friendly coaches guide you through a specialized curriculum endorsed by US Figure Skating which teaches the fundamental building blocks of skating.

When should I consider joining the club?

The right time to join the club is whenever you or your skater is ready for one-on-one lessons with a coach. You can sign up for membership here.

What are the benefits of club membership?

Your membership with Red Rose FSC also gives you full membership with US Figure Skating (the governing body for figure skating in the United States), a yearly subscription to Skating Magazine, access to members-only freestyle ice time at Regency Ice Rink for practice and lessons, the ability to formally test and compete through USFS-sanctioned test sessions and competitions, as well as performance opportunities. 

How long is my membership good for?

Membership follows the USFS calendar year and is valid from July 1 - June 30. It must be renewed each year.
When do I need a coach?
You can start private lessons with a coach at any time; however, beginning to work one-on-one with a coach after completing the Learn-to-Skate Basic Skills program is an ideal time.

How do I choose a coach?

You can start by talking with our club's Skating Directors to determine your or your child's skill level and goals (Do you or your child want to test and compete? Or perform in shows? Or simply want the satisfaction of learning new skills?). If you or your child 'clicked' with a particular Learn-to-Skate instructor, this person may be a good fit. You can also view all of our USFS-certified staff coaches, including their professional bios and contact information, here. US Figure Skating offers these tips on how to choose your first private coach.

How do I pay my coach?

Unlike Learn-to-Skate lessons, the fee you pay to enter the ice is separate from the fee for your private lesson. In addition to paying for ice time through the clipboard at the ice entrance, you must also make separate payment arrangements with your coach for your lesson with them.

How do I change coaches?

From time to time a skater may decide that they wish to change coaches. This can be a sensitive issue for everyone involved. The Professional Skater's Association (PSA) has a Code of Ethics which must be adhered to by all when a coaching change is made. You can find more information at Changes in coaching should always be done in person and in a way that is respectful to all involved. Any outstanding financial obligations must be met before a new coach is chosen.
How do I choose a pair of skates?
The type of skates you choose is dependent upon your or your child's level. Your coach can recommend an appropriate boot and blade for your level. A skater should be professionally measured and fitted for skates by a reputable skate dealer. Ask your coach for a recommendation.

How do I care for my skates?

Always dry your blades immediately after each use with a towel. Skates should be stored with moisture-wicking 'soakers' covering the blades to prevent rust. Never walk on your skates without hard guards covering the blades to protect the blades from being nicked or damaged.

How often should I sharpen my skates?

It is recommended that you sharpen your skates every 20-40 skated hours. Always have your skates sharpened by a professional who specializes in sharpening figure skates.
What is a Freestyle Session?
A freestyle session is different from a public skating session. Freestyle  sessions are for club members only, and they are designed for figure skaters to practice jumps, spins, moves in the field, perform their programs to music, and take private lessons. 

Freestyle Session Courtesy and Etiquette

Freestyle sessions will have skaters of different ages and abilities, and as such, it is essential for ALL skaters to be constantly aware of who is around them and to be respectful of other skaters on the ice. Never stop or hold conversations in the middle of the ice. Headphones may not be worn on the ice, and cellphones should be kept by the boards at all times. This map is a handy visual to help new skaters understand the flow of traffic and areas of the ice where various moves are generally executed.

Right-of-Way in Freestyle Sessions

Any skater who is running a freestyle program or dance pattern to music has the right of way at all times, and other skaters are expected to be vigilant and give them room to execute their program. After that, skaters in lessons have right of way and should be yielded to.
How do I measure my progress?

Competitive skaters in the US are required to participate in the U.S. Figure Skating test structure in order to compete in qualifying competitions. This is not required for recreational skaters; however, it is still a great way for these skaters to challenge themselves and their skating abilities. Tests are available in skating skills (formerly moves in the field), singles, pairs, pattern dance (partnered or solo), and free dance (partnered or solo), and a separate track is available for adults age 21 and older. As a skater advances, the tests become more difficult, so each test passed is a definite cause for celebration! Passing the final test in a given test pathway earns a skater the designation of U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medalist. Skaters can earn multiple gold medalist designations over the course of their skating careers.

What are the US Figure Skating Test Levels?

More information on USFS testing may be found here.
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