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Differences in Artistic
and Interpretive Events

Differences Between Artistic and Interpretive Skating
        Canada has one of the strictest definitions of these terms and seems to be the only country that has developed an actual test structure for interpretive skating tests.  Canadian figure skaters of all ages can participate in competitive interpretive skating events that are based on their test level.

       Artistic events include light, dramatic and interpretive for singles. Please see official entry forms for appropriate classification and levels of eligibility. Events are also offered for Theater on Ice teams. Same rules of eligibility apply for artistic events that apply to free skating events. Juvenile and Open Juvenile levels may be combined.

       An interpretive skating program requires a skater’s movement to express the emotion that the music's composer was expressing when he/she wrote the composition. Credit should be rewarded for individuals who can expand their horizons beyond the conventional themes of musical composition including abstract movements inspired by patterns of sound. 
       Creative movement usually has a theme; however, acting out a story line is not a requirement. There are no required elements. A program can include as many spins and jumps as fit the music. C
redit for being creative is given based on how the skaters is able to use their body movements to project the chosen theme. The skater's ability to performed various technically difficult elements is not considered. 

       Canadian figure skaters have the longest program times; the length must be between two and three minutes long.

       The concept is that you enter events in which the competition provides the music for each interpretative event. The skaters do not know what the selected music is until the event where they hear the music twice and then have to create a program to the music. The next time they hear it is on the ice in front of the judges and spectators.

        Far to many skaters attempt to adapt their current free style program fit the music. This event can be very challenging by using the repertoire of moves you have learned in new and creative ways. It is a real difficult experience if the music chosen is completely uninspiring and the cuts are not particularly well done.

Interpretive Events
       Skaters are to create a program without assistance. Coaches and parents will not be allowed in the skaters’ area once a skater has checked in.

The organizing committee will supply a different piece of music for each interpretive event. Music will be approximately 1 minute to 1:30 in length.

The skaters will be escorted to an area in the arena that is sound proofed. They will listen to the music twice and then be escorted to the ice for their warm-up.

During the warm-up, the skaters will hear the selected music two times. After the warm up the first skater will remain at ice side while the other skaters will be escorted to an area where they will not be able to view the performance or hear the music played for the skaters preceding them.

The music will be played again for the first skater before he/she takes the ice.

As the first skater is announced the next skater will be brought to a place where he/she can hear the music for a third time, but will not be able to view the performance of the skater preceding him/her.

This procedure will continue for all skaters in the group. Programs will be judged on artistic impression, choreography and pattern, creativity, musical in-terpretation, posture and carriage.

Showcase Type of Events
       Programs are intended to enhance the skater’s artistry and interpretation of the music rather than focusing just on the technical difficulty. Skating attire must fit the program and be appropriate for a family event. The idea is to entertain the audience.

       Hand held props (no glass objects) are allowed and can be set down on the ice. Except for Theater on Ice, no props may remain on the ice for the entire program. All programs will be skated on full ice. Vocal music is permitted.

Light & Dramatic Events
       Light programs should have a “feel good” nature compared to Dramatic programs that should be more serious or melancholy in nature. Movements are to be selected for their value in enhancing the skater's artistry and interpretation of the music rather than for the technical difficulty of an element that is poorly executed or lacks any relevance to the musical score.

There are no requirements for jumps and spins, except that the difficulty may not exceed the equivalent free skating level. Cartwheels are permitted. Credit for jumps or spins will be based solely on the choreographic effectiveness.

Program times

➢    Light, Dramatic, and Interpretive level events; No minimum time
➢    Freeskate 1 – Preliminary; Time 1:40 Maximum
➢    Pre-Juvenile – Novice; Time 2:10 Maximum
➢    Junior – Senior; Time 2:40 Maximum
➢    Adult; Time 1:40 Maximum

       The following resource articles discuss efforts to introduce performance skills into a well balanced and choreographed figure skating program.

Recommended Reading:
  • DOC 1 - US Figure Skating  Jan. 10, 2012 ... equivalent to the specified U.S. Figure Skating test requirement. Costuming and make-up for showcase/artistic/theatrical/interpretive skating.

Information About Competitions with the Bozeman Figure Skating Club The artistic programs usually music with or without words.

Event Eligibility Rules - Ice Skating Institute

PDF 2011 Desert Ice Open Competition May  April 24, 2011 Place 1st through 4th in one of our singles artistic events. 2) Have passed the Preliminary Free Skate test or Adult Interpretive Free. Sanctioned by Skate Canada and USFS. Sanctioned by Skate Canada and USFS.

PDF U.S. Figure Skating    entertainment/comedy Adult Figure Skating Championships. All four events are sanctioned by U.S. Figure ...interpretive free skate, adult artistic/dramatic ...

ISI NATIONAL COMPETITION INFORMATION  ARTISTIC SOLO 1-10. Skaters perform a program to music with emphasis on strong ..... in those events – along with Artistic, Footwork, Interpretive, etc. ...

PDF ANNOUNCEMENT 2010 ORANGE COUNTY FIGURE SKATING  July 19, 2010 You may access this by going to the club's web site. Free Skating. Pairs. Artistic. Interpretive. Dance, and Adult Events.

Summer Competition - Sun Valley Figure Skating Club  Events will be offered Basic Skills through Senior. Compulsory, Artistic, Free skating, Showcase and Interpretive.

Download Competition Entry Applications:

1st Annual Independence Spring Classic Basic Skills Competition
Skate KC Basic Skills Competition Sunday, April 3 for Basic Eights Level 1
Skate KC 2011 Competition USFS Beginners through Senior Level
Sun Valley Winter Games Announcement


Choreography and Artistic Performances

Learn to Skate Program

Table of Contents - Basic Skills Bridge Program Handbook

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:
All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

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