Skate Canada Programs
Every Skate Canada skating program complements the others and allows for unrestricted movement and development through the system. All programs are taught by professional coaches certified through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and they are offered at member clubs and skating schools across the country.
Skate Canada programs are based on a Participant Development Model and an Athlete Development Model.
Skate Canada Programs: CanSkate (includes the PreSchool classes)
CanSkate is Canada's only national learn-to-skate program. It was developed by experts to teach the fundamentals of skating in a progressive and sequential manner.
When you/your child registers for a CanSkate program at your local Skate Canada club, you also become a member of Skate Canada, the national sport governing body for figure skating in Canada.
CanSkate is Skate Canada's flagship learn-to-skate program, designed for beginners of all ages. When you sign up for CanSkate you will be in a program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. You will earn badges and other incentives as you learn fundamental skating skills. Lessons are given in a group format and led by an NCCP certified professional coach. Professional coaches are assisted by trained Program Assistants. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, music and a wide variety of activities that create a fun environment and promote learning. CanSkate is the feeder program to all other Skate Canada Skating Programs.
The CanSkate program focuses on the development of six fundamental movements organized in six stages of learning, with an optional 7th level for skaters who want to move into figure skating. The skills are arranged in progressions, from very simple to the more complex. Each stage has a primary focus. Once the skills on each stage are mastered, a badge is awarded.
The names of the STAGE badges are:
Stage 1 - Balance
Stage 2 - Glide Forward
Stage 3 - Glide Backward
Stage 4 - Edges
Stage 5 - Power
Stage 6 - Speed
Stage 7 (optional) - Pre-Preliminary
Skate Canada Programs: STARSkate
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. Skaters who have mastered figure skating skills in STARSkate may also choose to pursue synchronized skating or pairs skating.
How STARSkate works
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:
Primary Level Tests
Skating Skills: Preliminary, Junior Bronze Free Skating: Preliminary, Junior Bronze
Dance: Preliminary, Junior Bronze
Intermediate Level Tests
Skating Skills: Senior Bronze, Junior Silver Free Skating: Senior Bronze, Junior Silver
Dance: Senior Bronze, Junior Silver
Senior Level Tests
Skating Skills: Senior Silver, Gold
Free Skating: Senior Silver, Gold
Dance: Senior Silver, Gold, Diamond
Interpretive: Silver, Gold
What Options do I have as a STARSkate Athlete?
Once a skater is in the Skate Canada STARSkate Program, there are several of options. Skaters may choose to remain in the STARSkate Program, taking tests (although not mandatory) 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 or become involved in synchronized skating, evaluating or judging, or participate as an adult or varsity member.
Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo to prescribed music. 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.
There are 6 Skating Skills tests in the STARSkate program:
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 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.
The Dance Tests are as follows:
Free skating consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.
There are six Free Skating tests in the STARSkate Program:
Each test consists of 2 parts - Elements in Isolation and a Free Program.
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:
Competitions 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.
Clubs offer competitions for their own members to compete against each other. The club determines the categories which generally follow Skate Canada STARSkate guidelines (e.g. length of program, category name, type of event offered, etc.) The club may also offer other creative events such as longest shoot-the-duck, similar pairs, spins and jumps, etc.)
STARSkate Interclub Competitions
These are events involving a number of clubs in the same region or area. The competition categories offered generally fall in line with the applicable Skate Canada Section specifications, so that all Interclubs within the Section are standardized (this allows Skate Canada Sections to offer a Section Final). The National STARSkate Interclub Championship stream provides opportunities for skaters who want to remain in the STARSkate program but also want to have the challenge of competing up to a national level in a credible, nationally standardized event.
These are events coordinated by a Section or Club(s) and offered, generally, to STARSkaters and competitive. Most events fall within Skate Canada's specifications regarding program length and eligibility to compete. For more information contact the hosting Section or club.
Skate Canada Programs: CanPowerSkate
CanPowerSkate is an action-packed, high energy instructional power skating program geared to hockey and ringette skaters that focuses on balance, power, agility, speed and endurance. Skills, techniques and conditioning drills are taught in a progressive format that emphasizes how the skills apply to game situations. CanPowerSkate provides an alternative to figure skating and is an excellent complement for those athletes playing on hockey or ringette teams. Its unique skill award program provides incentives and motivation for skaters to continue to achieve.
CanPowerSkate is geared to skaters aged approximately six or older who already have basic forward and backward skating skills (they must be able to skate the length of the rink using alternate strides) and are able to stop on command without use of the boards. For safety reasons participants should wear full hockey/ringette equipment that is CSA approved.