Here are answers to some frequently asked questions by beginning parents. 

Q:  WHERE CAN I GET A SKATING DRESS?

A: You can purchase skating dresses online or from either of our club seamstresses:  Angela Brearton at 801-205-3486 or at Custom Figure Skating Dresses by Angela , or Kristyn Malone at 801-440-7854 or at KLM Skatewear.


 

Q: WHERE CAN I PURCHASE SKATING TIGHTS?

A:  You can purchase tights in the pro shop at the Utah Olympic Oval and online.  Also contact Shaun Pace of Utah Ice Skating at 801-787-5452 for tights and any other sort of skating gear.


 

Q: WHERE CAN I PURCHASE FIGURE SKATES?

A: There are many different brands and models of figure skates, and so it is important to consult a professional to ensure that you order the correct size and model to suit your needs.  Shaun Pace, owner of Utah Ice Skating, offers measuring and multiple brands of skates.  Contact information: 801-787-5452.


 

Q:  HOW OFTEN DO I NEED TO SHARPEN SKATES AND WHERE CAN I GET THIS DONE?

A: Sharpen your blades when they start to slide uncomfortably when you try to push or stop. On average, you will want to sharpen after about 20 hours of skating. To tell if a skate is sharp, drag the blade edge across the back of your fingernail, if it easily pulls off a layer of fingernail without pressing down, it is still sharp.

You can have skates sharpened by Utah Ice Skating owner Shaun Pace at 801-787-5452 or by Stewart Sturgeon at icedsturgeon@comcast.net.  OFSC does NOT recommend using the local hockey shops to sharpen blades on figure skates.


 

Q: WHEN SHOULD I GET A PRIVATE COACH?

A: There are many reasons to hire a private coach for your child. Coaches can help skaters excel at a faster pace than in group lessons, supplement group lessons, provide assistance on a difficult skill, or help when the skater is ready to compete more seriously.

Things to consider when selecting a coach are personality, learning and teaching styles, experience and technical know-how.  Not all athletes respond the same to all types of coaches. Some need disciplinarians, while others might respond better to coaches who are very reserved. Determining your child’s unique predispositions will go a long way toward choosing a coach who is a good fit. Once you have identified what type of coach would work best with your child, spend time watching a variety of coaches work with other students and set up meetings with coaches that you believe would be a good fit for your child.  A few good questions to ask are:

A few questions we recommend asking include:

  • What is your coaching philosophy?

  • How long have you been coaching?

  • What is your skating background? Do you specialize in coaching certain disciplines (singles, pairs, dance, synchronized skating)? What levels have you passed? Did you skate competitively?

  • Are you a member of U.S. Figure Skating and the Professional Skaters Association (PSA)?

  • How do you stay current with the sport and the profession of coaching?

  • What are your rates for lessons, competitions, cutting program music, etc.? How often do you bill for charges? When do you expect to be paid?

  • What is your policy if we have to cancel a planned lesson?

  • Are there any other policies that we should be aware of in advance?


 

Q: WHAT IS A TEST SESSION?

A:  The test structure is the common core of figure skating. Every athlete in every discipline must take tests, the foundation and building blocks to develop strong skating skills, to move throughout the pipeline of figure skating.

Here are some things you need to know about the test structure:

Everything in figure skating is based on a skater’s test level: entry to competition, participation in various programs, placement within programs, etc.
Skaters move through the test structure at their own pace. There are no rules on age or time requirements.
Skaters can use the test structure as an entry point to competitions or it can be a unique achievement on its own.
Test record and qualifying (and international) competition history is the only permanent record that follows a skater through their career.
Passing the highest test in any discipline earns the skater the title U.S. Figure Skating Gold Medalist
Skaters start with the Moves in the Field (MITF) structure. MITF is a basic skating skills progression. Each test level has several set patterns of step sequence elements including turns, edges, spirals, etc., that get progressively more difficult.

The Free Skating & Pairs structure requires skaters to perform a program with jumps, spins and step sequences. Please note, skaters must pass the corresponding MITF test before taking the free skating tests.

The Dance & Solo Dance structure requires skaters to perform 3-4 set pattern dances per level. The Free Dance & Solo Free Dance track requires a free dance.

A test session is a slotted time set aside by USFS member clubs to allow skaters to test in front of official USFS judges. You can find the test session schedule for Utah clubs here: http://intmntclub.org/event-calendar/


 

Q: WHEN SHOULD A SKATER START COMPETING?

A:  This is entirely individual. Most figure skating competitions offer events starting at Snowplow Sam for tots all the way up to Adult. There are a multitude of competitions offered in Utah and the surrounding states.  If your skater would like to begin competing, it is suggested that you consult with their Learn to Skate instructor or coach who will be able to help suggest competition level, music and choreography for the skater.  You can find the competition schedule here: http://intmntclub.org/event-calendar/


 

Q:  WHAT ARE THE RULES ARE FOR CLUB ICE?

A:  First priority goes to skaters skating their program with music. Skaters with coaches have next priority and then skaters skating moves or programs without music. Skaters are asked to not stand around on the ice and to make sure that they are watching for other skaters who have right of way. The complete freestyle etiquette rules are located on the back of the monthly schedule for Freestyles at the Utah Olympic Oval.


 

Q: How do i get involved?

A:  We as a club rely on volunteers to support skaters and coaches as they participate in figure skating at both the competitive and recreational levels.  You will learn more about skating, and at the same time, you and your child will make lifetime skating friends!