Figure Skating Getting Started
Choosing Figure Skates
Figure Skate Blades
Figure Skating Equipment
Figure Skating Glossary
Find and Ice Rink
Figure Skating is great for both mind and body...
For the very young

Not only does figure skating help young children develop coordination, strength, and agility, it helps to develop their minds. Even at the lowest basic skills levels skaters learn step sequences and can even learn a complete program to be used at local competitions. One of the skills kindergarten teachers look for is that new students can complete a sequence of three tasks. Early skating programs often include upwards of 20 tasks. The young skater will stroke, glide, turn, hop, turn again, swizzle... All of this is done to the rhythm of the music.


A skater can begin competing soon after starting a learn to skate program. Competing at an early stage helps skaters build confidence. Low level competitions are fun events where medals are plentiful since groups are usually small. We have been to competitions with only 3 skaters in a group so everyone got a medal.

As you move up in skill level the competitions get tougher and the groups get larger, This gradual increase in difficulty and group size prepares the skater for the highest levels of skating. Groups in the middle levels tens to be around 7-10 skaters, depending on the event.

Once a skater reaches the Juvenile level they can begin competing in qualifying competitions such as regional, sectionals and nationals, Beginning with intermediate the skater(s) sill need two programs a short and a long. The juvenile and intermediate levels go from regionals directly to junior nationals. The novice, junior, and senior levels go from regionals to sectionals to nationals. At regional events there may be 50 skaters in a level all competing for the top spots.

Too old to get started as a competitive figure skater?

I see this question asked all the time on figure skating and other forums. When my daughter started skating at the age of 10, a parent at the rink commented that she was starting too late and that "competitive skaters need to start when they are 3-5 years old" Another myth I have heard more than once is that "you need to have all your doubles by age 12." Don't believe any of these urban myths. Don't get me worng starting late means working harder to catch up however here are some examples of very successfull competitive skaters that started later than 5 years old:

Johnny Weir started figure skating when he was 12 years old. He is 3 time US national champion, 2001 World Junior Champion, 2008 World bronze medallist, and placed fifth at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games.

Dick Button began skating seriously when he was 12 years old after his father overheard him being told he would never be a good skater. He was seven time US national champion, five time world figure skating champion, and won two olympic gold medals.

Miki Ando started figure skating at age 9. Ando has won World figure skirting titles, Japanese Championship titles, and is the first and only female skater to complete a quadruple jump successfully in competition.

Peggy Fleming started figure skating when she was 9 years old. She went on to win three wolrd championships, five US figure sjkating championsips, and won the gold at the 1968 winter olympics,

Sasha Cohen
started figure skating when she was 7 years old. Cohen is one of the most popular skaters of the past ten years. She won gold at the 2003 ISU grand prix finals, medals at three world figure skating championships, and was one of the first women to land a quadruple jump (in a practice session)

Michael Weiss started figure skating at age 9. Michael is a 3 Time U.S. National Champion, 2 time world bronze medalist, and a member of U.S. Olympic team. He is the first American man to land a quad toe loop in competition and also the first American to land a quad toe loop in a short program. He is also among the first to have earned the U.S and World Junior Champion and U.S. Senior Champion titles.

  USFS has a track that is perfect for adult skaters. There are learn to skate adult programs, and training camps just for adults. There are adult test tracks, and competitions as well. There is even a USFS national adult championship held every year.
Figure Skating Disciplines
Single Freestyle
  Just as the name implies Single Freestyle is all about one skater on the ice performing skill in solo events. The skater learns and competes in singles programs. They perform jumps, spins, spirals, footwork and connecting moves, all choreographed to a piece of music. What makes singles difficult is the level of jumps and spins that the skaters perform.
Pairs Skating
  Pairs skating as the name implies involves two skaters skating together on the ice. All of the moves are similar to singles with some added moves such as lifts and throws that require two people to perform. This is an extremely difficult discipline of that requires strength and preside timing. Skaters must perform skills in unison which means that they must spins at the same rate, jump and land together, and perform footwork and choreography together.
  This discipline puts the emphasis on choreography, carriage, flow, footwork, timing and musicality. Just as with paris, the skater must do everything in unison. While there are no lifts above the shoulders or throws, the footwork and positions are very difficult.
  Synchronized skating involves form 16-20+ skaters on the ice skating together. As the name synchronized implies, emphasis os on together.
follow us
Skate tube
Get Started Figure Skating!
Research Figure Skates
Recreational Figure Skates
Beginner Freestyle Figure Skates
Intermediate Level Figure Skates
Advanced Level Figure Skates
Figure Skate Blades

Find an ice rink near you.

© 2007 RCS Inc.