Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition – this is what STARSkate is all about!
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. Unique in Canada, 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.
What are the main differences between Bridging and STARSkate? In the STARSkate skating level, your fees paid to the Weyburn Skating Club only cover your use of ice time and do not include coaching fees. The skater is allowed to skate at designated ice block times where they can practice their skills. During that time, they may have private or small group lessons scheduled with a coach (usually 15 minute lessons). The remainder of the time is spent practicing on their own. Coaches will invoice you monthly for the lessons they give each skater.
How do I arrange lessons with a Coach?
Our club is using a Team Coaching Strategy. When you indicate that you would like your child to move into StarSkate, the coaches will arrange lessons for you during the sessions you skate. All the coaches work together to ensure that skaters are looked after.
How much do the coaches charge for lessons? Depending on the coach’s level, they will charge between $7 - $10 for a 15 minute lesson. Group lessons are prorated based on the number of skaters in the group. In a typical month your monthly coaching bill could be anywhere from $50 - $90 depending on the number of lessons and the coach.
What is Stroking? This is a 15 minute session offered to the skaters where, as a group, they work on various exercises to help improve their stroking and use of edges. These lessons are included in the ice fees you pay at the beginning of the year.
What is Off-Ice Training? Each week a ½ hour of fitness training is offered to the skaters to help improve their strength, flexibility, and stamina. The trainer will focus on exercises that will specifically help the skaters to perform their jumps, spins and other elements on the ice. This is based on Skate Canada’s LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) goals. The sessions are included in your ice fees.
What are the skating levels included in StarSkate? Skate Canada is implementing a new program called StarSkate 1-5 where specific skills and tests are performed at each level. After level 5, the skater can then move on to the Senior Bronze level and from there progress through Junior Silver, Senior Silver, and finally Gold levels.
What tests can be taken at the StarSkate level? 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: Preliminary, Junior Bronze, Senior Bronze, Junior Silver, Senior Silver, and Gold.
What Options do I have as a StarSkate Athlete? Once a skater is in the Skate Canada STARSkate Program, there are several options. Skaters may choose to remain in the STARSkate Program, taking tests at organized test sessions and honing learned skills. Skaters may also choose to enter competitions, while still trying Skate Canada tests. Other skaters may feel that they have progressed to a point where they may wish to enter the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program.
What are Skating Skills Tests? Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo. 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.
What are the Ice Dance tests?
Consisting of seven levels of tests, the Dance Test program teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison. The dances in the STARSkate Program can be tried in any order but a candidate must pass the required number of dances in a dance test level before proceeding to the next level. In addition to the traditional compulsory dances, there are also Creative Dances to challenge skaters' creativity, artistry and originality.
What are the Freeskate tests? Free skating consists of the execution 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 Free Program.
What are Interpretive tests? The objective of the Interpretive program is to 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. The Interpretive tests consist of skating to and interpreting a piece of music 2.0 to 3.0 minutes (+/- 10 seconds) in length. Skaters can take Interpretive tests as individuals and/or as a couple (male/female, female/female or male/male) at four levels: Introductory, Bronze, Silver, and Gold
What Competitions are available for STARSkate Athletes? STARSkate participants love to compete! Our feedback indicates that even though a skater may choose not to participate in the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program, they still want the opportunity to test their skill in a competition situation. Skate Canada offers several opportunities to do this. There is a Provincial Competition called the Jean Norman Open Free Skate and Dance Competition. There are also competitions offered by each region of the province which are typically a smaller competition. Many skaters have also travelled to Minot for their International competition. It is the skater’s choice to enter in any competition. There are no mandatory competitions. The competition dates are usually finalized early in the fall so skaters can determine which competitions would best suit them.
When entering a competition, the skater is responsible for covering the cost of their entry fees. They will also be charged for various expenses incurred by the coaches including mileage, hotel, and meals. These costs are divided among all skaters at the competition. You will also be charged for the coach’s time for each event you are entered in. The Weyburn Skating Club covers the coach’s expenses for the Provincial Competition but not the regional competition or other invitational competitions such as Minot.
When can a skater be tested? The club arranges for judges to come on various test days scheduled throughout the season. Your coach will charge a separate fee for accompanying you during the test. The club also charges a test fee which is forwarded to Skate Canada. The skater should be well groomed and dressed as if participating in a competition.
What is the Competitive Skate Program? 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. Coaches will discuss the program with you if they determine that your skater is at a level where they can join this group. There are age requirements within in the levels so coaches try to identify potential skaters as early in their skating years as possible.