Our Skating Programs
We offer a wide range of quality skating programs from Learn-to-Skate (CanSkate), Synchronized Skating, to Figure Skating for all levels. We have certified, professional coaches for all of our programs and adhere to the national recognized standards of Skate Canada. We welcome skaters of all ages and abilities and offer programs throughout the year.
CanSkate is a dynamic learn-to-skate program developed by Skate Canada that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. CanSkate centers on fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity. Each session runs for 50 minutes and we offer it twice a week. Skaters receive a 15 minute group lesson with a professional coach and 35 minutes of supervised practice time.
Who’s it for?
For beginners of all ages, children or adults, as well as for those wishing to improve their basic skills whether their focus be for figure skating, hockey, ringette, speed skating or just skating for fun.
Who teaches it?
NCCP-trained professional coaches, assisted by trained program assistants.
What will you learn?
A complete series of balance, control and agility skills taught in six stages of learning that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating as well as general recreational skating. CanSkate uses nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster.
What can you expect?
Action, movement and fun! Lessons are given in a group format with a coach-to-student ratio of a maximum 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivational environment and promote learning. Badges, ribbons and other incentives are used to benchmark skaters’ progress and reward effort and participation.
What do you need to participate?
All you need are skates, a CSA-approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater or jacket. Dress in layers – it will get warm!
How do you sign up?
Register online on our website anytime! We have lesson sets starting in September and January but you can join at anytime. We offer the program twice a week, you can register for one or both days.
Some of the best skaters in the world learned to skate with CanSkate including Olympic figure skaters, Olympic speed skaters, men’s and women’s Olympic hockey players and NHL players.
Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Olympic and World ice dance champions.
Patrick Chan, Olympic medalist and World men’s figure skating champion.
Ivanie Blondin, Olympic and World long track speed skater.
Matt Duchene, NHL Colorado Avalanche and Olympic hockey team gold medallist.
Jeff Skinner, NHL Carolina Hurricanes, NHL Rookie of the Year and former Canadian juvenile men’s figure skating medallist.
Excel is a recreational figure skating program using a group format to introduce skaters to free skate, stroking, dance and skills. Skaters need to have completed CanSkate level 5 before moving up to Excel. Excel prepares skaters for the Development sessions where they will begin working on the different levels of STARSkate, a nationally recognized Skate Canada program.
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.
Development – STARSkate Program
STARSkate development is a group and semi-group format, to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of dance, skills, free skate and interpretive skating.
STARSkate is going through some changes over the next few years. One of the biggest changes is that skaters will now be tested by their coach in the first levels during regular skating sessions. They will get a ranking of either Bronze, Silver or Gold, and must receive at least a Silver ranking to pass a test.
STAR 1–5: Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition – this is what STARSkate is all about!
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: Star 1–5
Free Skating: Star 1–5
Dance: Star 1–5
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:
• Taking tests on regular skating sessions and then on organized test days and at the Senior level at organized high test days.
• Competing at local or out of town competitions.
• Enter Skate Canada Competitive Skate Program
• Join a synchronized skating team
• Become an Evaluator or Judge
• Participate as an Adult skater
Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating, turns and edges executed on a pattern and skated solo. The objective of the Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed.
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 level 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.
Free skating consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.
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 Competitive Skate 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 STARSkate Championship program provides opportunities for skaters who want to remain in the STARSkate program but also want to have the challenge of competing up to a Sectional level in a credible, nationally standardized event.
These are events coordinated by a Section or Club(s) and offered, generally, to STARSkaters and competitive skaters. Most events fall within Skate Canada’s specifications regarding program length and eligibility to compete. For more information contact the hosting Section or club.
Private lessons are available Tuesday & Thursday mornings with our club coaches. They can be used in conjunction with any of our development programs pending coach approval. It is up to the parent to contact a club coach to arrange for private lessons before attending the session. Fees vary for these lessons. Semi-privates are also available.
Synchronized skating, or “synchro” is a specialized discipline of skating involving groups of eight or more skaters performing various group formations and maneuvers. The objective is for the team to perform as one unit executing circles, blocks, lines, wheels and intersections in unison to the music, while demonstrating quality edges, power and flow.
Skaters must be working on level 5 of the CanSkate program to participate in this program.
The Aldergrove Skating Club is proud to have synchro teams of all levels, abilities and age groups. Levels include: Beginner, Elementary, Juvenile, Pre-Novice, Adult 2 and Adult 3.There are specific age and skill requirements for each of these levels and each year the team categories may change depending on the ages/skill level of the skaters wishing to participate. AFSC welcomes new and returning skaters at the beginning of each Fall/Winter season (September) to try out for a team or participate in an "Try-It" session. If you would like to try synchronized skating with our club, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The competitve synchro season ends in early spring but AFSC runs a synchro skills class April–June and invites all to attend, drop-ins welcome. It's a great way to try the sport if you are new or to develop new skills if you are wanting to improve. The Spring Synchro Skills class is announced in the Spring Skating Schedule each year.