If a skater enjoys skating and wants to learn more, so now what?


Any skater of any age can take lessons and compete if they would like to try.  If you have tried Learn to Skate and/or group lessons, then Private lessons are the next step.  The difference is that now you have to pay for ice separately from the coach that you choose.  Coaches are private contractors that do not own the rink.  You pay for their time directly for as much or as little as you need.   Each person can choose how often that they are interested in working.  A good reference for questions and answers is the USFSA website. www.usfsa.org


How do you know which coach to try?


Ask other parents/skaters about how they have used the available coaches.  Not all coaches are the same and not all students are the same.  Each coach has different skill level ability and focus. Personalities of the coach and the student may or may not work with the skater’s needs.


How are coaches qualified?


Coaches are required to be members of USFSA, go through a background check, have liability insurance and take either online or in-person courses. They must take yearly updates to maintain current status. 

Should you buy your own skates?


Yes, because the house skates may not be a matched set with evenly sharpened blades.  Having a consistent feel to the skates will help the skater notice their foot position better and how it connects with the ice.  A used pair of skates is a good place to start until the skater knows which direction that they want to go. Instant Replay Sports


Are all skates the same?


Depending on whether you are a dance skater, freestyle skater or a hockey skater, you will need a different width blade, length of blade, curve (rocker size), size of toe pick and stiffness of boot.  Try on several different skates to find the right brand.  Each brand has a different variety of sizes that they make.  The cheapest skates are not the worst and the most expensive are not the best. Always protect the blades with blade guards. A good place to go for new skates is The Skater's Edge in Williamsville, NY. 

I see Gold Medalist on the back of certain jackets and some people say they are a “Gold Level” skater, what does this mean?


A gold level skater is a person that has completed an entire series of tests in either Moves in the Field, Dance or Freestyle.  Very few skaters complete all of the tests in multiple categories.  See the next section.


What are all of the names of the levels of “moves” or “skills”?


Basic Skills fundamentals List of requirements - Basic Skills PDF

2015 Rulebook and Skill pattern Manual - The Patterns for Moves in the Field start on page 299

                                                                - The Patterns for Dance start on page 374                                                               

2015 Rulebook and test manual    

How often do you have to test or compete?

That is up to the skater.  No competition or test is required.  Each person is in charge of what they learn, how fast they learn it and when they wish to perform it.  Some skaters want to earn medals, some want to perform and some want to compete.  Each person should decide what they wish to accomplish and how fast.  All ice rinks are different and to become more comfortable performing or testing in different rinks, you should try them out so that they become more familiar and decrease stress.  Your test results are recorded at the USFSA website in the members only section.


How do you know where to skate and who has the right of way on the ice?

The priorities are in order as follows:


1.     Program within a lesson- if it is really important the coach will call out over the speaker.

2.     A lesson

3.     Program not in a lesson- overtime you become familiar with a person’s music and learn where they skate.

4.     Everything else


Where do I skate depending on what I want to try?