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Forms of Figure Skating

 
Ice Skating has developed into the sports of Hockey, Speed, and Figure Skating
       Ice skating began as recreational activities and a means transportation utilizing bodies of frozen water, such as canals, ponds, lakes and rivers.  Ice skating was largely a male activity in the late 18th century when became identified by its two main disciplines, speed skating and figure skating. 

       Major changes occurred in ice skating with the development of specially made boots, shorter metal blades designed with a radius, and blades with a sharpening that allow skaters to achieve outside and inside edges. Another significant change occurred as refrigeration allowed the construction of outdoor ice rinks which were soon followed by indoor ice rinks.  Dehumidification systems allowed indoor rinks to operate all year and to expand beyond the typical cool weather climates to warmer southern regions around the world.

The Evolving Sport of Figure Skating
       In the beginning of the 20th century, ice skating progressed beyond the tracing of patterns on the ice to the standardization of the structure of "Figures" and the beginning of  modern "free skating" programs to musical selections with fixed duration.  Dancing on ice quickly became a social experience with the creation of fixed pattern dances performed to ballroom dance tempos.  Pair skating combined the ability to perform individual free skating jumps and spins with spins and lifts performed as a team consisting of a male and female skater. Eventually the idea of groups of skaters functioning as a team performing precision skating moves morphed into today's Synchronized Skating Teams. The concept of professional ice shows became embodied into showcase events and Theater on Ice competitions.

The sport of figure skating includes multiple disciplines with organized
USFS tests, plus non-qualifying and qualifying competition events:
 
        
    
Forms
    
Tests
Competition Requirements

     
Free Skating - Singles
   
Free Skating
MITF
Free Skating

   
Pair Skating
   
Pairs
MITF
Pairs


*Ice Dancing
   
Compulsory dances
Free Dance
MITF
Compulsory dances
Free Dance

   
Synchronized Team Skating
   
MITF
MITF
Compulsory dances

   
Theater On Ice
   
No tests
MITF
Free Skating

Showcase Artistic and Interpretive Skating    
No tests
MITF
Free Skating

Moves In The Field (MITF) MITF No Competitions

School Figures Figure
No Competitions

Fours (Pairs)
Pair Tests
Club or Open Competitions

Similar Pairs
No tests Club or Open Competitions

  
Formation Dance
Partnered
Dance tests
  
Club or Open Competitions

*Compulsory Dance tests can be performed with a partner and as a solo

Recommended Reading:
  • History - Welcome to US Figure Skating Although skating was born in Europe, Americans can be proud of the fact that figure skating, as we know it today, traces its origins directly back to an American.
  • History Of Figure Skating Dec. 19, 2010 ... The history of figure skating is mixed with the origins of ice skating itself, and the sport's popularity is attributed to a few key people in history.
References:


Resources:

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:

Forms of Figure Skating
Moves In The Field (MITF)
School Figures - the Basis of Free Skating
Fours (Pairs)
Similar Pairs
Formation Dance

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  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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