Free skating is the more exciting and athletic part of figure skating. As mentioned, it is usually the starting point into the STARSkate Program. The duration of free skate ice is normally between 45 minutes and an hour. Normally each child will receive a 15-minute lesson (prearranged with with the coach) and will be expected to practice on his or her own for the remainder of the session. Shortly after starting the free skating program, the coach will choreograph a program to music that they think is suitable for the child. The solo will consist of different jumps and spins with interconnecting footwork and stroking. A one-time fee will be charged by the coach to develop the music and the solo for your child. Each Bedford home club Ice Star and Junior Skater has the opportunity to have the club contribute $50.00 towards their first solo. The skater must have completed the Canskate Program (all 7 badges) to qualify.
Ice dancing is really ballroom dancing on ice. It is distinguished from pairs skating by the absence of jumps, spins and lifts above the shoulders. Each dance is a set of required steps performed to music. There are 21 compulsory dances in the test stream. The coach will recommend when your child is ready to begin dance. Often a partner will also give a skater lessons to prepare them for a test. Additional fees will be charged for the partner.
Skating skills are exercises containing edges, turns, and field movements designed to teach fundamental movements to skaters at all levels. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are incorporated into the program. The objectives of the skating skills program are to develop edge quality for all edges, control of turns, power and speed, flow, correct posture, agility, flexibility, and musicality. The skating skills program is divided into 6 classes, beginning with preliminary and proceeding to gold. Each class consists of 3 exercises and is skated to music. Coaches are capable of teaching these skills either one on one, semi-private or to small groups of skaters. Generally, the coach will advise when a child is ready to begin skating skills, normally after some time has been spent in the Free Skate sessions.
Interpretive skating is another component of the STARSkate Program. Interpretive skating is a form of skating in which emphasis is placed on the skater’s ability to use their skills to interpret music rather than on their technical prowess. Skaters have the ability to try tests and compete in the interpretive stream of skating.