Commonly Asked Figure Skating Questions  -
What skills does a skater need to develop to be successful as a single, pair, dance, showcase, Theater On Ice, or synchronized team skater?

All of the forms of skating are based upon the skater’s ability to perform all of the basic edges and turns on both feet, all edges, forward and backwards, and clockwise and counterclockwise directions. These tasks must be performed at various speeds (slow to rapid) with depth of edges and flow over the ice with absolute core body control that is essential to artistic presentation/musical expression.

All jumps and spins are based upon the skater’s ability to have continuous flow into and out of jumps and to convert forward or backward momentum into a centered rotation (spin).

Matching height, body build, and complimentary personalities are essential when two or more individuals must work together as a member of a pair, dance, or synchronized team.

Pair partners must have equivalent technical skills (MITF and Free Skating) and have the potential to be able to consistently perform double/triple jumps and complex spins as a matching unit.

Dance partners must have equivalent advanced MITF technical skills, Intermediate/Novice Free Skating (consistently able to perform axel through double flip jumps and moderately complex spins), and very advanced presentation skills as a matching unit. 

Theater On Ice teams can accommodate different levels of fundamental MITF skating, ice dance, ballet, and musicality skills while performing complex choreography that ensures 99.9% successful completion of program elements. Free skating skills in Theater On Ice depend on a core group of skaters who are able to consistently perform double jumps and basic spins.

Synchronized team skaters require each team member to have matching MITF and dance skating skills that allows complex team choreography at a 99.9% successful completion of all program elements. Levels of free skating abilities required in Synchro are more demanding each year. Free skating skills require all skaters to be able to consistently perform full revolution jumps through axel and all basic spins.

Submitted by Claude Sweet
USFS Gold MITF, Free Skating, Pair, and International Dance test judge; Intermediate Figure judge.

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