Figure Skating


What is StarSkate?





STARSkate has been the mainstay of figure skating in Canada for more than four decades.

The StarSkate Program teaches figure skating skills in a group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and sequential manner. “Starskaters” develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of skating skills, ice dance, free skate and interpretive skating. As skaters progress, they may take Skate Canada Tests and participate in competitions.

What is the difference between Skating Skills, Ice Dance, Free Skate and Interpretive?

DSC_4786 anna mclean

Skating Skills – consists of a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo; the objective is to master the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed.

Ice Dance – by learning traditional compulsory dances, skaters learn timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison

Free Skateconsists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.

Interpretive encourage and develop skaters’ creativity, expression, musicality, movement, interpretation of music, as well as the use of space, rhythm, line and style.

What are the different test levels?

To find out more about test levels, go to

How do Riley Park Figure Skaters progress in StarSkate?

StarSkate 1 – Skaters are recommended by the Coach to advance from CanSkate to StarSkate 1 where they will be introduced to stroking, edgework, and turning, in a group environment.  StarSkate 1 skaters skate a minimum of once a week and take at least one off ice class each week.

anna and marygeo jump

StarSkate 2 – Skaters will be recommended by the coach to advance from StarSkate 1 to StarkSkate 2. In StarSkate 2, skaters continue to develop the basics of stroking, edgework, and turning, and begin to focus more on spinning, jumping, and basic ice dancing steps within a group environment. StarSkate 2 skaters skate a minimum of two classes a week, attend a biweekly on-ice enrichment session and take at least of one off ice classes each week.

“Ice Only” Skaters (Junior/Intermediate/Senior) – Skaters will be recommended by the coach to advance beyond StarSkate 2 to Junior (followed by Intermediate then Senior). Our Junior, Intermediate and Senior Skaters engage our Club Coaches for private lessons and sign up for sessions where the ice time fees are paid to the Club, while private lesson fees are paid to the Coach.  As a result, these skaters are often referred to as our “Ice Only” Skaters at RPFSC.

Our Ice Only skaters continue to develop and learn new skills in all areas: Skills, Dance, Freeskate and Interpretive. They may also be taking tests and participating in competitions.

What is an “Off Ice” Session?

Off Ice sessions (or dryland training) are intended to help improve on ice performance and to reduce injury risk. They are taught by our Club Coaches and are designed to teach skaters the basics of warm-up, cool-down, stretching, & strengthening as well as balance and technique for jumps and spins, and creative expression. Athletic shoes (runners) and appropriate active wear clothing are required for an Off Ice Session.

What is the difference between Junior, Intermediate or Senior Skaters?

Our current criteria to differentiate between our three levels is based on a skater’s current skating level in Free Skate, Dance and Skills.  (see table below).  Specific descriptions for each level for Freeskate, Dance and Skills can be found on the Skate Canada Website.

Group Level for Free Skate Session Level for Dance and Skills Session
Junior Preliminary Free Preliminary
Intermediate Junior and Senior Bronze Free Junior and Senior Bronze
Senior Junior Silver Free and up Senior Bronze and up

However, the final decision on which group a skater will be in is at the discretion of the Coach.

IMG_6657-64_Big_PrintWhat do the names of the sessions mean?

Our club designates sessions in order to group skaters by ability (Junior, Intermediate and Senior) and by fundamental figure skating skills (Dance and Skills, FreeSkate) while an Open Ice session is open to Ice Only Skaters and not limited to Dance and Skills or Freeskate during the session.  A well rounded figure skating program will include Dance and Skills and FreeSkate.

Again, these serve as a guide as the the final decision on which session a skater will register in is at the discretion of the Coach.