Split jump by Alyssa Cross, Age 13
STARSkate & Competitive Skate
STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, free skate and interpretive skating. This program teaches figure skating skills in a group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and sequential manner and includes specifically designed awards and incentives. Skaters have the opportunity to take Skate Canada Tests through a nationally standardized testing system with the focus being on testing and local competitions over qualifiying for national level events. Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition – this is what STARSkate is all about!
CompetitiveSkate is a program for skaters in singles, pair and ice dance wishing to compete in qualifying events within Skate Canada. Categories are based on technical level as well as age. Competitive skaters begin in the STARSkate program and move into Competitive based on coach direction.
How does STARSkate work?
The STARSkate program consists of figure skating skills in four areas – Skating Skills, Ice Dance, Free Skate and Interpretive. Each area is divided into the following levels:
- Skating Skills: STAR 1 - STAR 5 & Senior Bronze - Gold
- Free Skating: STAR 1 - STAR 5 & Senior Bronze - Gold
- Dance: STAR 1 - STAR 5 & Senior Bronze - Gold
- Interpretive: Introductory, Bronze, Silver & Gold
Halifax Skating Club is proud to be one of the pilot clubs for the new STAR test system. This helps ensure our skaters are on the forefront of skating development.
What do the areas of figure skating mean?
Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements that include edges, turns, field moves and basic skating. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are incorporated into the program. The movements are derived from former compulsory figures, free skating and ice dancing. The objective of the Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed.
Ice Dance teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison. In addition to the traditional compulsory dances, there are also Creative Dances to challenge skaters’ creativity, artistry and originality.
Free Skate consists of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music. Each test consists of 2 parts – elements in isolation and a choreographed program (except for STAR 1 which is just elements in isolation).
Interpretive programs encourage and develop skaters’ creativity, expression, musicality, movement, interpretation of music, as well as the use of space, rhythm, line and style. The program provides skaters with the opportunity to explore the performance aspect of skating without focusing on technical elements like jumps or spins.
How do I choose a private coach?
Once your skater has completed the CanSkate (or STARSkate Development) program, the club coaches will be notified that a new skater is ready to move into private lessons. They will put their names forward as interested coaches if they feel they have time for a new student and if they feel they would be a good match regarding technical elements, personality and goals. Once all interested coaches have out their names forward, you will get a list of the names along with some more detailed information about the coach and their background. You will then make your choice from the list and your coach will become your main point of contact regarding session and lesson scheduling and budgeting, further STARSkate program education, competition and test preparation, and anything else specific to your skater.
How do private lessons and payment work?
Most new STARSkate skaters will receive semi-private lessons with their private coach. This means 2+ skaters at the same level will be grouped together for lessons. This not only helps ensure all skaters get more lesson time, but does so without adding a large expense for you. Your coach will run semi-private lessons on their discretion and with your lesson budget in mind (if you've discussed one with them).
Payment for lessons in the STARSkate program is made directly to your private coach. The club fee paid when registering for sessions covers things like ice, club led group stroking, off-ice training, and administration. Most coaches bill at the end of every month and require payment within 15 days. Your coach can discuss billing and payment options with you if you have questions.
How does CompetitiveSkate work?
Skaters enrolled in CompetitiveSkate learn a variety of life skills as they progress up the competitive ladder. These include goal setting, focus, ability to deal with success/failure, time management and principles of fair play and sportsmanship. In addition to the life skill benefits, skaters in this program receive:
- access to provincial and national funding programs (as applicable)
- the opportunity to be selected to Skate Canada’s National Team
- the opportunity to compete at Skate Canada Sectionals, Skate Canada Challenge, and/or the Canadian Figure Skating Championships
- opportunity and potential to be selected to represent Canada internationally
- access to sport science services
How does the program structure work?
The Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program offers nationally standardized competitions to competitive skaters. These events are the stepping stones to things such as the National Team and the World and Olympic teams. Skaters competing in the qualifying event structure can do so at the Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, Pre-Novice, Novice, Junior and Senior levels in singles, pair and ice dance.
Can I return to STARSkate if I try Competitive?
Yes, you can. There are a number of options once a skater decides that Competitive may not be the program for them. Skaters may choose to return to STARSkate (which can include synchronized skating). Skaters age 16 or older and with at least a STAR 5 test level may be interested in becoming coaches, evaluators, judges, technical specialist, technical controller or data specialists. Skaters age 18 or older may even continue skating as an adult under the AdultSkate program.