A fun and challenging program that provides skaters of all ages and abilities with many opportunities to “learn figure skating”
STAR Skate stands for Skill – Test – Achievement – Recognition…
Skate Canada’s learn to figure skate program. The transition from learning to skate in CanSkate, this program introduces skaters to Interpretive skating, Dance, Free-skating, Stroking and Skating Skills beginning with group lessons at the STAR 1 level (formerly intro-Star Skate.
Skaters in STARskate are able to progress through the program at their own pace, exploring many avenues of interest. STARskate provides the tools for skaters to develop self-confidence, motivation, time management skills and determination. This is where most skaters develop a passion for the sport that carries with them for a lifetime. When your child lands their first jump, executes 3 turns or learns the Dutch Waltz, it is a very exciting time for them. They are learning skills and developing confidence in themselves. Friendships are made, goals are achieved and celebrated as skaters learn about themselves and develop their self-image.
Interpretive Skating – Encourages skaters to develop their artistic side with movement to music being the main focus.
Dance in the STARskate program consists of 6 levels (Preliminary, Jr./Sr. Bronze, Jr./Sr. Silver and Gold with 3-5 dances per level). For the keen dancers, there is also a diamond level with 6 dances.Skaters may challenge the dances for the female steps and/or the male steps. Each dance has specific steps, pattern and music… much like ballroom dancing, except on ice.
Free Skating levels match the dance levels for testing (Pre-Preliminary, Preliminary, Jr./Sr. Bronze, Jr./Sr. Silver and Gold). The testing corrolates with the STAR competitive program in terms of criteria being taught and executed at these levels. Each Free Skating test consists of 2 parts: Part A – Elements in isolation and Part B – Program.
Skaters may try each part of the test separately if they wish.
Free Skate is a series of jumps, spins, field movements and footwork. When skaters are ready to compete or test, these elements are artistically choreographed to a specific timed piece of music. Examples of these elements your skater will become familiar with are:
Jumps – waltz, salchow, toe loop, loop, flip, lutz
Spins – 2 foot, 1 foot corkscrew, back spin, sit, camel
Field Movements – spiral arabesque, ena bauer, spread eagle, pivot
Footwork – turns, Mohawks, edges, mazurkas, gallops
Skating Skills: is the essence of skating. This program incorporates the language and skills of the sport that make skating unique (loops, counters, rockers, brackets). It’s back to basics with edges and turns for the skaters to have the opportunity to train balance, control and power. They are similar to the dances, but intricacy is increased as well as use of the ice surface. There are 6 levels that follow the same format as Dance and Free Skating (Preliminary, Jr./Sr. Bronze, Jr./Sr. Silver and Gold). For each level there are 3 exercises the skaters must perform solo.
STAR is the competitive structure which replaces the following levels in Freeskate:
Post-Canskate – STAR 1
Pre-Preliminary – STAR 2
Preliminary – STAR 3 & 4
Junior Bronze – STAR 5
Senior – Sr. Silver/Gold; Pre-Juvenile/Juvenile
Thoughts on competing….
STAR provides a gradual introduction to performing elements and programs in a non-competitive environment. It also provides feedback for each element and program component. It focuses entirely on the learning outcomes in long term athlete development (LTAD) while providing a fluid structure for skaters to advance through. Specific criteria are evaluated and calculated for the overall result.
STAR 1 – Introduces skaters to performing elements in a group environment without the anxiety of competition. Skating within a group makes performing fun and removes fears as your coaches are on the ice with you! Focus is on the fundamentals! These skaters receive a report card and a simple ribbon corresponding to their overall assessment rating (Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit).
STAR 2 – Preserves the rite of passage for skaters to “have their own program.” It introduces performing elements in a program without the anxiety of competition. At this point, the program is used for timing to music, focuses on fundamentals and assesses Skating Skills and Performance/Execution. Like STAR 1, these skaters receive a report card and a simple ribbon corresponding to their overall assessment rating (Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Merit).
STAR 3 – Introduces skaters to performing more challenging elements in a program without the anxiety of competition. Music becomes more important and Interpretation is assessed along with the fundamentals. The Axel jump is encouraged at this level, while trying to remove “axel anxiety” (until it’s consistent, that axel causes everyone stress!) Like STAR 1 & 2, skaters receive a report card and a simple ribbon corresponding to their overall assessment rating (Gold, Silver, Bronze, or Merit).
STAR 2 and 3 may share programs and choreography as skaters are not competing against each other.
STAR 4 – Introduces skaters to performing a program in a competition environment. It combines the CPC marking system with the STAR assessment process to produce a ranking. Execution of an axel is strongly encouraged at this level (even with a fall) to prepare skaters for executing more challenging jumps at higher levels. Skaters receive a report card listing their individual element assessments and rank for their group but no point total or overall assessment (Gold, Silver, Bronze, Merit and rank in that group on report card).
STAR 5 – Introduces skaters to performing in a competition environment on the CPC system with points scoring. It is like Jr. Bronze except there are only 4 components: Skating Skills, Transitions, Performance/Execution,and Interpretation. Choreography is not scored. This level allows skaters to attempt any two double jumps. Most skaters in this category have a consistent axel and are working on two double jumps.
Skaters Expectations of this program
Etiquette on and off the ice
Some expectations may include:
– Hair must be tied back away from face
– Skating attire must be worn – no jeans, long scarves, bobby pins, etc.
– Skaters must get up promptly after a fall, unless seriously injured.
– Skaters who are in a lesson or performing their program, dance or skills to music have right of way
– No standing in the middle of the ice
– Promote good sportsmanship by encouraging fellow skaters and respecting their work time on the ice.
– During practice time, spins should be done towards the middle of the ice and jumps to the perimeter.
– Arrive on time
– Music rotation
– Skates to be put on in the club room
– Any problems see your coach (if your coach is not coaching at this time, please speak with another coach that is on the ice)
– Use time wisely….if not in a semi/private lesson consult coach as to what to practice.
Parents’ roles and responsibilities
May include the following….
– To ensure skaters get to the arena on time
– To be supportive, patient and encouraging
– To work as a team with the coaching staff and skater to achieve goals
– To stay informed on club development and activities
– To know the contact person for their skater’s session
– To volunteer some time within the club’s operation
Now that your skater has moved up from Intro-Star Skate with group lessons and working into STAR 1 & 2 of the STARSkate Program, coach’s fees will apply. They are paid by the club and also by parents for semi/private lessons. A private lesson is a one-on-one lesson with coach and skater, and a group or semi-private lesson is 2 or more skaters with a coach during their lesson. Lessons can be booked for any and/or all of the 3 main disciplines of skating…Dance, Skills and Freeskate. These lessons are booked in 15 minute time slots and the fee for these depends on the coach’s qualifications and years of experience.
It is up to the parent to make arrangements with the coach for lessons (i.e. type and amount/week) and to discuss fees for lessons (the coach(s) of your choosing will have a fee schedule for you). Parents will also be responsible to pay the coach(es) for time involved in creating their skater’s music (solo above STAR 5), and for coaching at tests or competitions. These fees can be paid directly to the coach who will bill you on a bi-weekly or monthly basis.
Demographically, there are a few competitions that rotate through the East and West Kootenays. Also, ask your coaches about the STAR Skate Super Series Competitions and how your ranking in the region increases with every competition attended (this will only apply to skaters Sr. Bronze and up). If you are interested in thefoer mentioned Invitational Competitions, please contact Heather, Dorothy, Daniela or Cindy and they can direct you and your skater in the area of semi/private lessons and music.
Equipment and Clothing
As your child moves into the Skate Canada test system, it is important that they have good quality equipment. Better quality boots and blades will provide the needed support as your child advances technically and will help prevent injury. Used skates are readily available for a fraction of the cost of new ones and a good used pair is a better investment than a poor quality new pair (or ones that need a long period of breaking in). Your coach will be able to advise you what is best for your child.
Your child’s skates are an investment and need proper care. Make sure guards are worn when walking around and off of the ice. Once the skates are taken off, both the blades and the soles should be wiped thoroughly dry with a towel or chamois. Periodically check the screws holding the blades assuring they are tight.
Skaters need appropriate skating clothes. Girls should wear skating skirts/dresses and warm tights. Athletic or jazz pants are also acceptable. A sweatshirt (no hoodies), sweater or jacket that is not too bulky or restrictive is great for warmth.
Fundraising is an important part of our club’s activities and necessary for sustainability in our not for profit organization. It is essential in keeping our ice costs down. Other than your $100 paid for Travel Voucher Tickets, our fundraisers this season may include:
- Chocolate Almonds
- Bottle Drive
Please approach any of the coaches if you have any questions now, or in the future, regarding the STAR Skate program. After all, this is a lot of information to receive at once. In addition, we encourage you to read newsletters, bulletin boards and any other information that we put out.
The Executive, the core of our Skating Club, still has positions open that need to be filled. We are all parents with busy lives and families to balance, however, without a directive council to run our club, we may not have one. We meet the first Monday of the month, at the East Kootenay Realty building across from City Hall, and would love to have your input, attendance and involvement to make our Club the best it can possibly be!
Thank you to everyone for taking the time to read about our program. We are excited about sharing our passion with our sport and with having your skater move up to the STAR skate Program! We look forward to an awesome skating season and in getting to know you and your skater!