Info For ParentsGearing Up, Basic Skills & So Much More
The ice center rents figure skates, but properly-fitted leather skating boots with figure blades will help your skater make faster progress. Some boot brands to look for: Jackson, Reidell, Harlick and SP Teri. Nearest figure skating shop (www.iskateomaha.com) is in Omaha at Rockbrook Village. The shop also carries skate guards, skate soakers, skate bags, tights, leggings and other apparel.
Skate guards are the hard plastic covers that allow the skater to walk around off ice without dull-ing their blades. Soakers are the fabric blade covers that protect the blades from moisture while in the skater’s bag. Never leave skate guards on the blades while in the skater’s bag. It will cause the blades to rust.
Ask any club board member about getting skates sharpened when needed.
This is U.S. Figure Skating’s official skills development program, taught as part of Learn To Skate USA (www.learntoskateusa.com):
- Snowplow Sam — four levels for skaters age 6 and under. Helmets are strongly recommended.
- Basic 1 through 6 — figure skating fundamentals that take skaters from forward stroking to beginning one-foot spins.
- Pre-Free Skate — beginning jumps and footwork
- Free Skate 1 through 6 — advanced jumps, spins and combination moves
There are similar skills progression programs for adults and special needs skaters, plus synchronized skating, dance, pairs and theater on ice.
You can download a collection of apps that feature video demonstrations of all the skills.
U.S. Figure Skating has a series of skills tests (http://www.usfsa.org/content/AllAboutTests.pdf) in freestyle, pairs, dance and moves in the field. (Moves in the Field are sets of footwork and turns to demonstrate speed, control and edge quality.) Skaters who successfully complete an entire test sequence earn a gold medal from USFS.
The level of test you’ve passed also determines what group you’ll be in at skating competitions. There are test sessions in Omaha almost every month. Test sessions require a paper test application to be sent in advance along with payment for the test. Your coach will help get the test application.
The club periodically organizes skating showcases. These are a chance for individuals and groups of skaters to perform to music to show off their skills. The club provides costumes for skating groups and charges a fee for the costumes as well as an entry fee for being in the show.
An individual skater must work with a private coach in order to perform a solo. Coach and skater usually work together to choose the music.
There are several competitions during the skating season, which runs from July 1 to June 30.
The club hosts a Basic Skills competition in the summer, which includes all levels, including Snowplow Sam. There are several competitions in Omaha. Skaters from our club have also traveled to St. Joseph and Kansas City, Mo., Des Moines, Iowa, and Fort Collins, Colo. Learn more about how these events are structured in the club’s handbook.