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The mission of Learn to Skate USA is to provide a fun and positive experience that will instill a lifelong love of skating.

Objectives of Learn to Skate USA:

  • Teach children and adults the fundamentals of ice skating while building confidence and skills through each lesson.
  • Provide a progressive curriculum that ensures success from the first steps on the ice to the mastery of advanced skills.
  • Promote the health and fitness benefits of ice skating.
  • Equip each participant with the foundation necessary to reach their goal, be it recreational or competitive in nature. 

Stemming from the rebrand of the Basic Skills Program, Learn to Skate USA offers an abundance of enhancements tailored toward improving the experience for program directors, rink manager, owners, instructors, parents and skaters.

Learn to Skate USA is the only ice skating program endorsed by U.S. Figure Skating, USA Hockey, and U.S. Speedskating. Learn to Skate USA offers every participant a rewarding experience rooted in the lifelong benefits of ice skating.



Snowplow Sam Curriculum:

The Snowplow Sam levels are designed to help the preschool age skater develop preliminary coordination and strength necessary to maneuver on the ice.

Snowplow Sam 1

  1. Sit and stand up with skates on – off-ice

  2. Sit and stand up – on-ice

  3. March in place

  4. March forward (8-10 steps)

  5. March, then glide on two feet

  6. Dip in place

Snowplow Sam 2

  1. March followed by a long glide

  2. Dip while moving

  3. Backward walking, toes turned inward, shifting weight (4-6 steps)

  4. Backward wiggles (6 in a row)

  5. Forward swizzles (2-3 in a row)

  6. Beginning snowplow stop motion – in place or holding onto barrier

  7. Two-foot hop, in place (optional)

Snowplow Sam 3

  1. Forward skating (8-10 strides)

  2. Forward one-foot glide, two times skater’s height (R and L)

  3. Forward swizzles (4-6 in a row)

  4. Backward swizzles (2-3 in a row)

  5. Moving forward snowplow stop (two-foot)

  6. Curves

Snowplow Sam 4

  1. Forward skating

  2. Backward two-foot glide, length of skater’s height

  3. Backward swizzles (4-6 in a row)

  4. Rocking horse – one forward, one backward swizzle, repeat twice

  5. Two-foot turns from forward to backward, in place (both directions)

  6. Two-foot hop, in place 

 

Basic Skills Curriculum

The Basic Skills are the fundamentals of the sport. These six levels of the program introduce the fundamental moves — forward skating, backward skating, stops, edges, crossovers, turns and mohawks. Upon completion of the Basic 1-6 levels, skaters will have the basic knowledge of the sport enabling them to advance to the more specialized areas of skating.

 

 

 

Hockey Curriculum

The hockey curriculum is designed to teach the fundamentals of hockey skating. In four badge levels, skaters will learn how to maneuver faster and be more agile on the ice. Proper skating techniques are the primary focus of the levels. All elements are taught without a stick or puck. Skaters will learn the necessary fundamentals to be successful in game situations. Participants will need hockey skates and an ice-approved certified hockey helmet.

Sample elements in each level include:

  • Hockey 1
    1. Proper stance
    2. Dip or squat
    3. Snowplow stop
    4. Backward skating
  • Hockey 2
    1. Skating forward using full strides
    2. Backward hustle
    3. Glide turns, both directions
    4. Moving snowplow stops
  • Hockey 3
    1. Hockey turns, R and L, with speed in and out of turn
    2. Forward slalom
    3. Backward V-stop
  • Hockey 4
    1. Forward crossovers — clockwise and counterclockwise
    2. Alternating backward C-cuts in a line (1/2 swizzle pumps)
    3. Hockey stop

Adult Curriculum

The adult curriculum is designed for the beginning adult skater. It will promote physical fitness and improve balance and coordination while learning proper skating techniques. Divided into four levels, adult skaters will progress at an individual rate while being challenged and motivated.

Sample elements in each level include:

  • Adult 1
    1. Falling and recovery
    2. Swizzles
    3. Backward skating
    4. Two-foot turns, in place
  • Adult 2
    1. Forward stroking
    2. Forward crossovers — clockwise and counterclockwise
    3. Backward one-foot glide, R or L
    4. Forward pivot
  • Adult 3
    1. Backward crossovers — clockwise and counterclockwise
    2. Inside mohawk, either direction
    3. Backward snowplow stops — R or L
    4. Beginning two-foot spin
  • Adult 4
    1. Forward three-turns, outside and inside, R and L
    2. Footwork sequence
    3. Power three-turns

Free Skate Curriculum

Each free skate level is divided into four sections:

  • Moves in the field
  • Dance/footwork sequence
  • Spins
  • Jumps
    The free skate levels are designed to give skaters a strong foundation on which to build up their skills. This is the point where the skater can chose whether to pursue a recreational or competitive approach to the sport of figure skating.


    Sample elements in each level include:

     

    • Free Skate 1
      1. Advanced forward stroking
      2. Scratch spin from back crossovers (minimum three revolutions)
      3. Half flip
    • Free Skate 2
      1. Basic back outside and back inside consecutive edges (4–6 edges)
      2. Waltz threes
      3. Beginning back spin (two turns)
    • Free Skate 3
      1. Waltz eight
      2. Salchow
      3. Back spin with free foot in crossed leg position (minimum three revolutions)
    • Free Skate 4
      1. Spiral sequence
      2. Sit spin (three revolutions)
      3. Loop jump
    • Free Skate 5
      1. Camel spin (minimum three revolutions)
      2. Flip jump
      3. Forward upright spin to back scratch spin (three revolutions each foot)
    • Free Skate 6
      1. Alternating back crossovers to back outside edges
      2. Camel/sit spin combination (five revolutions)
      3. Lutz jump

     

  • Dance Curriculum:

    The dance badge program focuses on the components of ice dancing and reviews the basic edges and turns while skating to music. Skaters will learn the first six dance patterns in the U.S. Figure Skating test structure. Dances can be skated solo for testing Dance 1-6.

    Sample elements in each level include:

    • Dance 1
      1. Forward outside swing rolls to a count of six
      2. Kilian hold
      3. Corner steps in Dutch Waltz
    • Dance 2
      1. Continuous forward progressive chassé sequences in a circle to a count of four, clockwise and counterclockwise
      2. Forward outside cross rolls
      3. Reversed Kilian position
    • Dance 3
      1. Continuous promenade progressives on a circle to a count of four
      2. Cross behind steps on end pattern of the Rhythm Blues
    • Dance 4
      1. Consecutive inside chassé with wide step sequence
      2. Slalom motion with close feet and lifting knee action
    • Dance 5
      1. Forward swing rolls to a count of four
      2. Forward inside open mohawk
    • Dance 6
      1. Advanced open mohawk with closed free foot position on exit
      2. Two outside edges

    Synchronized Team Skating Curriculum

    The synchronized team skating badge program is a fun introduction to the five basic elements of the discipline: circle, line, block, wheel, and intersection/transition. The purpose of these tests is to introduce skaters to synchronized team skating and to familiarize them with elementary holds, formations and transitions. A group can consist of six or more skaters to get started.

    Sample elements in each level include:

    • Synchronized 1
      1. Circle: forward skating clockwise and counterclockwise
      2. Wheel: two-spoke wheel, forward or backward skating
      3. Holds: shoulder to shoulder and hand to hand
    • Synchronized 2
      1. Line: forward skating with alternating forward crossovers
      2. Block: forward skating with a change of axis
      3. Intersection: one line forward intersection
    • Synchronized 3
      1. Circle: small circle to large circle, or large circle to small circle
      2. Wheel: parallel wheel
      3. Hold: basket weave
    • Synchronized 4
      1. Block: a block sequence that creates a circular pattern covering the ice
      2. Wheel: backward “S” wheel

    Pairs Skating Curriculum

    The pairs skating badge program is an introduction to the basic elements of pairs skating and includes pairs spins, side-by-side jumps, lifts, hand holds and positions. Candidates for the pairs curriculum should have passed at least Basic 8. Partners pass as a team.

    Sample elements in each level include:

    • Pairs 1
      1. Basic hand-to-hand hold with a side-by-side position
      2. Advanced forward stroking side by side both directions
      3. Bunny hops side by side
    • Pairs 2
      1. Basic Waltz hold and position
      2. Advanced backward crossovers to back outside edge, side by side, both directions
      3. Waltz jumps side by side from two to three backward crossovers
    • Pairs 3
      1. Kilian and reverse Kilian hold and position
      2. Circling pairs spin
      3. 1/2 flip jumps side by side
    • Pairs 4
      1. Open dance lift position with armpit grip
      2. Toe loops side by side
      3. Waltz lift
    • Pairs 5
      1. Waist lift position with one partner behind the other, and lift position with hand-to-hand grip
      2. Flip jumps side by side
      3. Loop lift
    • Pairs 6
      1. Sit spins side by side from backward crossovers (minimum of three revolutions)
      2. Loop jumps side by side
      3. Lutz lift

    Artistry in Motion (AIM) curriculum

    The Artistry in Motion program is designed to educate skaters on the basic principles and philosophy of choreography and style. The badge program will give them a foundation in basic body alignment, movement and line. Skaters must pass Basic 8 before enrolling in AIM.

    Sample elements in each level include:

    • AIM 1
      1. Introduction to basic dance movement and terminology
      2. Basic head movements
      3. Program construction
    • AIM 2
      1. Introduction to classical music
      2. Utilization of basic dance movements in classical style
      3. Program mapping
    • AIM 3
      1. Introduction to jazz/contemporary music
      2. Development of lower body extension
      3. Music interpretation exercises
    • AIM 4
      1. Advanced spins
      2. Incorporation of body levels
      3. Development of artistic presentation