Figure Skating
hosted by
San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization

       Learn to Skate with the USFS Basic Skating Skills Program. It is a comprehensive series of group class lessons for all ages and skating abilities. Snowplow Sam is a beginning ice skating program that is fun, challenging, and rewarding. The program also extends to a wide variety of more advanced  skating activities including free skating, pair and dance couples, synchronized team skating, and ice hockey.

       Participation in the program allows beginning skaters of all ages to learn correct techniques for the fundamentals of the sport at a modest cost. In addition, the program is designed to instill a love for skating as a lifelong sport promoting health and fitness while making life long friendships.
Snowplow Sam 1 - 3
He's big, he's fuzzy and he loves to skate! Snowplow Sam, the USFSA's own polar bear on skates, introduces preliminary moves to preschool age skaters not yet ready for the Basic 1 level.

Basic Skills 1-8
Eight levels designed
to allow the beginning skater to feel comfort- able on the ice while gaining the basic skating knowledge needed to advance into the Specialized Program classes.

Hockey 1 - 4
Introduces the basics of hockey skating skills with power and agility.

Specialized Programs
Each of these specialized skating programs is available for skaters to enroll after successfully completing of the Basic 1-8 programs.
Free Skate 1-6
Skaters learn jumps, spins and other exciting athletic and artistic moves.   
Synchronized 1-4
Introduces skaters to the elements of Synchronized Team Skating
Dance 1-6
Teaches participants footwork, timing, patterns and dance holds.   
Pairs 1-6
Skaters will learn hand holds, positions, side by side jumps and spins, partnered spins, and techniques of skating in unison. 
Artistry in Motion 1-4
Incorporates overall body awareness, choreography, composition and artistic expression.


Theater On Ice

Specials Olympics Badge Program

Therapeutic 1-14
                Upon completion of each level and passing the test, the skater will receive a badge that
                represents he/she is equipped with the necessary knowledge and technique to advance
                to the next level in the program.

  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 to 10 steps
  5. March, then glide on two feet.
  6. Dip in place.
  1. March followed by a long glide
  2. Dip while moving
  3. Backward wiggles - 6 in a row.
  4. Forward two foot swizzles; 2 to 3 in row.
  5. Rocking Horse; one forward, one backward swizzle action.
  6. Two foot hop in place.
  1. Forward skating - 8 to 10 steps.
  2. Forward one foot glide - right and left.
  3. Forward swizzles - 4 to 6 in a row.
  4. Backward swizzles - 4 to 6 in a row.
  5. Forward snowplow stop.
  6. Curves.

  1. Sit on ice and stand up.
  2. March forward across the ice.
  3. Forward two-foot glide.
  4. Dip
  5. Forward swizzles - 6 to 8 in a row.
  6. Backward wiggles - 6 to 8 in a row.
  7. Snowplow stop.
  8. Rocking horse - 2 to 3.
  9. Two foot hop in place (optional)
  1. Forward one foot glides - right and left
  2. Backward two-foot glide.
  3. Backward swizzles - 6 to 8 in a row.
  4. Two foot turn from forward to backward in place.
  5. Moving snowplow stop.
  6. Forward alternating 1/2 swizzle pumps, in a straight line (slalom like pattern).
  1. Forward stroking. showing correct use of blade.
  2. Forward 1/2 swizzle pumps on a circle; 6 to 8 consecutive clockwise and counter clockwise.
  3. Moving forward to backward two foot turn; clockwise and counter clockwise
  4. Backward one-foot glides; right and left.
  5. Forward Slalom.
  6. Two foot spin - up to 2 revolutions.
  1. Forward outside edge on a circle; right and left.
  2. Forward inside edge on a circle; right and left.
  3. Forward crossovers; clockwise and counter clockwise.
  4. Forward outside three-turns; right and left, from a stand still position.
  5. Backward 1/2 swizzle pumps on a circle; clockwise & counter clockwise.
  6. Backward stroking.
  7. Backward snowplow stop; right and left.
  1. Backward outside edge on a circle; right and left.
  2. Backward inside edge on a circle; right and left.
  3. Backward crossovers; clockwise and counter clockwise.
  4. Beginning one foot spin; up to 3 revolutions, optional entry & free foot position.
  5. Hockey stop.
  6. Side toe hop - both directions.
  1. Forward inside three-turn ; right and left, from a standstill position.
  2. Moving backward to forward two foot turn on a circle,; clockwise and counter clockwise.
  3. T-stop; right or left.
  4. Bunny hop; either right or left.
  5. Forward arabesque/spiral on a straight line; right or left.
  6. Forward lunge; right or left.
  1. Forward inside open Mohawk from a standstill position; right to left and left to right.
  2. Backward outside edge to forward outside edge transition on a circle; right and left.
  3. Ballet jump; right or left
  4. Backward crossovers to a backward outside edge glide (landing position); clockwise and counter clockwise.
  5. Forward inside pivots; right or left.
  1. Moving forward outside three-turn on a circle; right and left.
  2. Moving forward inside three-turn on a circle; right and left.
  3. Combination move; Forward crossovers (2) into forward inside Mohawk,
  4. cross behind, step into backward crossover (1) and step to forward inside edge - repeat 3 times, clockwise and counter-clockwise.
  5. One foot spin, optional entry & free foot position.
  6. Waltz jump.
  7. Mazurka; right or left.
  1. Falling and recovery.
  2. Forward strides and glides.
  3. Forward swizzles (4 to 6 in a row).
  4. Backward skating.
  5. Backward swizzles (4 to 6 in a row).
  6. Forward one-foot glides (one times the skater's height, R&L).
  7. Two-foot turns in place.
  8. Snowplow stops (R or L).
  9. Forward curves on 2 feet.
  10. Forward 1/2 swizzle pumps on a circle (CW & CCW).
  1. Forward stroking.
  2. Backward 1/2 swizzle pumps on a circle (CW & CCW).
  3. Moving 2-foot turns on a curve (CW & CCW).
  4. Forward edges on a circle (FO & FI, CW & CCW).
  5. Forward crossovers (CW & CCW).
  6. Backward one-foot glide (R or L).
  7. Forward pivot (one direction only).
  8. Forward chassés on a circle (both directions).
  1. Backward edges on a circle (BO & BI, CW & CCW).
  2. Backward crossovers (CW & CCW).
  3. Inside mohawk (R to L or L to R).
  4. Basic FO and FI consecutive edges (4-6).
  5. Forward progressives (CW & CCW).
  6. Beginning 2-foot spin.
  7. Backward snowplow stop (R or L)
  1. Forward 3-turns (FO & FI, R & L).
  2. Perimeter stroking with crossover end patterns.
  3. FO to FI change of edge sequence.
  4. Alternate backward crossovers with 2-foot transition.
  5. Footwork sequence: 3-5 forward crossovers to an inside mohawk,
  6. 3-5 backward crossovers, step-forward inside the circle and repeat.
  7. Power 3-turns (one direction only).
  8. Backward chassés on a circle (CW & CCW).

  1. Sit on ice and stand up.
  2. Proper stance.
  3. March forward across the ice.
  4. Forward two-foot glide (one times the skater's height, R&L).
  5. Scooter pushes or T-push.
  6. Dip or squat.
  7. Forward swizzles; 6 to 8 in a row.
  8. Snowplow stop.
  9. Backward skating - across the width of the rink.
  1. Backward stance.
  2. Skating forward using full strides.
  3. Forward one-foot glides (R & L).
  4. Backward hustle - small alternating backward steps/pushes.
  5. Backward swizzles.
  6. Glide turns, both directions.
  7. Moving snowplow stops.
  1. Forward C-Cuts (1/2 swizzle punps) on a circle (R & L).
  2. Hockey turns, R & L, with speed in and out of turn.
  3. Forward slalom.
  4. Forward stop and starts.
  5. Backward V-stop.
  6. Lateral marching crossovers, both directions.
  1. Forward one foot pushes on a circle (R & L).
  2. Forward crossover glides - hold feet in crossed position for 2 counts.
  3. Forward crossovers (CW & CCW)
  4. Alternating backward C-Cuts in a line (1/2 swizzle pumps)
  5. Backward one foot glide, (R & L), one time skater's height.
  6. Mohawks, R to L and L to R.
  7. Hockey stop.

  1. Advanced forward stroking
  2. Basic forward outside and forward inside consecutive edges (4-6)
  3. Advanced back outside three-turns clockwise and counterclockwise (R and L)
  4. Scratch spin from back crossovers – three revolutions minimum
  5. Waltz jump – from 2-3 back crossovers
  6. Half flip
  1. Basic BO & BI consecutive edges (4-6 edges).
  2. FO & FI spirals (CCW & CW, R&L).
  3. Continuous forward progressive chassé sequence (CW & CCW).
  4. Waltz 3s.
  5. Beginning back spin (2 turns).
  6. Jump sequence: Waltz jump, side toe hop, waltz jump.
  7. Toe loop.
  1. Forward & Backward XOs in figure-8 pattern.
  2. Waltz Eight (MIF).
  3. Advanced forward consecutive swing rolls (4-6 edges).
  4. BI 3-turn (CW & CCW).
  5. Backspin with free foot in crossed leg position (min 3 revs).
  6. Salchow.
  7. Half Lutz.
  8. Jump combination: waltz-toe loop, or salchow-toe loop.
  1. Spiral sequence: FI spiral, FI mohawk, BO spiral (CW & CCW).
  2. Forward power 3-turns (R&L).
  3. Continuous back progressive, chassé sequence on a circle (CW & CCW).
  4. Sit spin (3 revs).
  5. Loop jump.
  6. Jump combination: waltz-loop.
  1. BO 3-turn, mohawk into 3 back XOs (repeat 3 times).
  2. Spiral sequence: FO spiral, FO 3-turn, one back XO, BI spiral (CW & CCW).
  3. FO slide chassé swing roll sequence (3-6 times, alternating feet).
  4. Camel spin (min 3 revs).
  5. Forward upright spin to back scratch spin (3 revs per foot).
  6. Jump combination: loop-loop.
  7. Flip jump.
  8. Jump sequence: waltz, falling leaf, toe loop.
  1. Alternating back XOs to BO edges.
  2. 5-step mohawk sequence (CW & CCW).
  3. Spin combination: camel/sit (5 revs).
  4. Split jump / stag jump.
  5. Jump sequence: waltz, half loop, Salchow.
  6. Lutz jump.
  7. Axel walk through; preparation, jump. (Axel does not need to be landed to pass this test; skater should have an understanding of the mechanics.)
Dutch Waltz
  1. FO swing rolls to count of 6.
  2. Alternating forward progressives to count of 6.
  3. Description & demo of Kilian hold.
  4. Corner steps in Dutch Waltz (LFO / RFI - 3 beats each).
  5. Skate Dutch Waltz pattern with music.
Canasta Tango
  1. Consecutive forward progressive chassé sequences to count of 4 (CCW & CW).
  2. Forward slide chassés to count of 4 on a circle (CCW & CW, min 4).
  3. Consecutive forward swing rolls to count of 4.
  4. FO cross rolls (cross strokes).
  5. Description & demo of reversed Kilian position.
  6. Skate Canasta Tango pattern with music.
Rhythm Blues
  1. Continuous promenade progressives on a circle to a count of 4.
  2. Consecutive inside swings to a count of 4.
  3. Skate the lilt action of step #5.
  4. Cross-behind steps from end pattern of Rhythm Blues.
  5. Skate Rhythm Blues pattern with music.
Cha Cha
  1. Consecutive inside chassés with wide step sequence.
  2. 4-beat edge with double knee bend and leg expression from step #6.
  3. Slalom motion, with close feet and lilting knee action.
  4. End pattern of ChaCha step sequences with crosses, showing edge quality.
  5. Skate ChaCha pattern with music.
Swing Dance
  1. Forward swing rolls to count of 4.
  2. FI open Mohawk.
  3. Back swing rolls to count of 4.
  4. Backward chassé.
  5. Demo waltz position (closed position) and hand-in-hand position for partners.
  6. Demo moving to and from waltz position and hand-in-hand position with partner.
  7. Skate Swing Dance pattern with music.
Fiesta Tango
  1. Swing roll with change of edge in relation to an axis
  2. (proper counting; 4-beat FO edge, 2-beat FI edge).
  3. Advanced open Mohawk with closed free foot position on exit.
  4. Cross-behind inside chassé.
  5. Rounded end pattern step sequence (steps #10-16).
  6. Two outside edges.
  7. Demonstrate Kilian position and reversed Kilian position;
  8. demo changing these positions.
  9. Skate Fiesta Tango pattern with music.

  1. Hold and Position: Basic Hand-to-Hand hold with a side by side position.
  2. Advanced forward stroking side by side in both directions.
  3. Advanced forward stroking side by side both directions with a handhold.
  4. Advanced forward crossovers in a figure 8 with a hand-to-hand hold in both directions.
  5. Bunny Hops side by side.
  1. Hold and Position: Basic Waltz hold and position.
  2. Advanced backward crossovers to back outside edge, side by side, both directions.
  3. Advanced backward crossovers to back outside edge, side by side, both directions with a handhold.
  4. Advanced backward crossovers in a figure eight with a hand-to-hand hold both directions.
  5. Waltz jumps side by side - from two to three backward crossovers.
  1. Hold and Position: Kilian and Reverse Kilian hold and position.
  2. Continuous forward Progressive Chassé sequence, CW & CCW.
  3. Spirals - One skater forward/one skater backward hand to hand.
  4. Spirals - Skaters in Kilian position.
  5. Circling Pair Spin.
  6. Two foot spin side by side.
  7. 1/2 Flip jumps side by side
  1. Hold and Position: Open dance lift position with armpit grip.
  2. Five step Mohawk sequence.
  3. Pull Spiral: Male on BO edge (BO pivot optional), Female in forward spiral inside or outside. One hand to one hand hold.
  4. Scratch spins: side by side from backward crossovers, (3 rev. min.).
  5. Toe loops side by side.
  6. Waltz Spin.
  7. Waltz Lift.
  1. Hold and Position: Waist lift position one partner behind the other and lift position with hand to hand grip.
  2. Pull Spiral: Male on BO edge (BO pivot optional), Female in backward spiral inside or outside. One hand to one hand hold.
  3. Back scratch spin side by side.
  4. Flip jumps side by side.
  5. Upright spin in Kilian Position.
  6. Loop Lift (Waist lift position one partner behind the other).
  1. Pull Spiral: Male on BO edge (BO pivot optional), Female in backward spiral inside or outside. One hand to one hand hold.
  2. Sit Spins side by side from backward crossovers (3 rev. min.).
  3. Loop jumps side by side.
  4. Camel Spin in Kilian position.
  5. Lutz Lift.

  1. Circle: Forward skating (CW & CCW).
  2. Line: Forward skating, 10-15 steps covering length of ice.
  3. Block: Shoulder hold, 10-15 steps in a simple block.
  4. Wheel: Two spoke, F or B.
  5. Holds: Shoulder to shoulder, hand to hand.
  1. Circle: Containing transition from F to B.
  2. Line: Forward with alternating forward crossovers.
  3. Block: Forward with one change of axis.
  4. Wheel: Four spoke with backward skating.
  5. Intersection: One line forward.
  • A wheel and circle.
  • A circle and line.
     6.  Transition:
  1. Circle: Small to large or large to small.
  2. Line: Forward footwork sequence.
  3. Block: One change of axis and one change of direction.
  4. Wheel: Parallel.
  5. Intersection: One line forward with turn to backward after intersecting.
  • A line and an intersection.
  • An intersection and a block.
     6.  Hold: Basketweave.
     7.  Transition:
  1. Circle: That includes the combination move (element C) from Basic 8.
  2. Line: Forward, transitioning to backward.
  3. Block: Sequence that creates a circular pattern covering the ice.
  4. Wheel: Backward "S" wheel.
  5. Intersection: Forward, skaters perform forward lunge while intersecting.
  6. Transition: Combine all five of the basic elements in a compulsory type program not to exceed 1:30 minutes.

  1. Introduction to basic dance movement and terminology.
  2. Introduction to rhythm/musical styles.
  3. Eye focus, facial expression.
  4. Basic head movements.
  5. Introduction to overall body awareness/levels.
  6. Program construction.
  1. Introduction to Classical Music.
  2. Introduction to correct upper body placement.
  3. Development of port de bras.
  4. Utilization of basic dance movements in classical style.
  5. Program mapping.
  6. Demonstration of a compulsory program.
  1. Introduction to Jazz/Contemporary Music.
  2. Development of lower body extension:
  • Ina Bauer
  • Spread eagles
  • Unique spirals
  • Knee/body slides
     3.  Footwork and edge work sequences into jumps.
     4.  Two spiral sequences.
     5.  Music interpretation exercises.
  1. Development of artistic presentation in a skating program.
  2. Advanced spins.
  3. Incorporation of body levels.
  4. Footwork and edge work sequences to music to be choreographed by the skater - 20 steps each.
  5. Demonstration of a program choreographed by the skater to music of skater's choice .
  6. 1:30 in length with elements from Free skate 6 and below.

Recommended Reading:



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:

   Learn to Skate Program
Table of Contents - Basic Skills Bridge Program Handbook
USFS Basic Skills
Basic Skating Skill Classes
Basic Skating Skills Program
Badge Levels - ISI & Basic Skills
Basic Skills Competitions
ISI & Basic Skills Competitions
Test and Competition Strategies
Transferable Skating Skills
Basic Skating Skills Q&A Topics
Figure Skating Development Programs
The Sport of Figure Skating
Figure Skating Disciplines
Free Skating
Ice Dancing
Pair Skating
Synchronized Team Skating
Artistic and Showcase
Theater On Ice

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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