Showcase Artistic Events

Hosted by

San Diego Figure Skating Communications

Questions and Answers 

Q.     What is Showcase?

A.      Showcase is a program in US Figure Skating that fuses artistic creativity with figure skating for singles, duets, small ensembles of three to seven and production numbers of eight to thirty.  Showcase offers the categories of light entertainment, dramatic entertainment and extemporaneous improvisation to single skaters.

Single skaters participating in light entertainment and dramatic entertainment as well as duets compete under spotlights.  All other categories compete under full house lighting.

Q.  What are the definition of the events?

A.    EVENT Descriptions:

  1. Singles events are:
    • Dramatic entertainment: a serious emotional artistic interpretation;

    • Light entertainment: any performance not serious enough to be considered dramatic

    • Extemporaneous improvisation; a performance choreographed by the competitor, unaccompanied and unassisted, to music supplied by the organizers. The music will be played during a 30-minute off-ice session and twice during a warm-up on ice prior to performance.  All competitors will interpret the same music.

Skaters may enter any or all of these singles events for which they are qualified by test level.

Duets are theatrical/artistic performances by any two competitors.

Mini production ensembles are theatrical/artistic performances by three to seven competitors.

Production ensembles are theatrical/artistic performances by eight or more skaters. Theater On Ice Teams are eligible as production ensembles.

<>NOTE: Skaters may enter only one duet, mini production or production event.

Q.  What are the event levels ages and test requirements needed to compete at National Showcase?

A.  Class -  Test Level  - Age

  • Preliminary - Preliminary Free Skating Test, no higher
  • Pre Juvenile - Pre Juvenile Free Skating Test, no higher
  • Juvenile -  Juvenile Free Skating Test, no higher - Under l3
  • Teen - Juvenile Free Skating Test, no higher – 13 to l7
  • Intermediate - Intermediate Free Skating Test, no higher - Under l8
  • Young Adult - Juvenile/Intermediate Free Skating, no higher – 18 to 20
  • Novice - Novice Free Skating, no higher
  • Junior - Junior Free Skating, no higher
  • Senior - Senior Free Skating
  • Adult/Master - Adult/Master’s Rules 3820/3810 (Interpretive) 21 years minimum
  • Duets - As above, according to the level/age of the highest tested
  • member. Both members of adult/masters must be of age.
  • Ensembles -  No levels, age or test requirements 

Q. Who is eligible to compete at National Showcase?

A.  Required age and test qualifications must be in effect at the date entries are closed.  Subsequent changes will not affect eligibility.         

  • Events are open to eligible or reinstated persons and members of other governing bodies.
  • Singles contestants must have placed first, second, third or fourth in a contested artistic/theatrical/interpretive skating event in the twelve months preceding the close of entries or in the immediately prior National Showcase.
  • Duets, ensembles and members of other governing bodies are not subject to Singles requirements above. In fulfillment of this requirement, junior and senior competitors who have entered a competition subsequently canceled for lack of other entries may substitute a testimonial letter from the chair or the registrar. 

Q.  What guidelines must be followed for Performance Times?

A.  The following times are to be adhered to for competition:

  • Extemporaneous Improvisations: One minute, 20 seconds max.
  • Light and Dramatic Entertainment:
  1. Preliminary and Pre Juvenile: One minute, forty seconds max.
  2. Juvenile thru Novice: Two minutes, ten seconds max.
  3. Junior and Senior : Two minutes, forty seconds max.
  4. Teen and Young Adult: Two minutes, ten seconds max.
  5. Adult and Masters : One minute, forty seconds max.
  • Ensembles:
  1. Duets: Same as above, according the level of the higher test skater.
  2. Mini Production Ensembles: Three minutes, ten seconds, max.
  3. Production Ensembles: Six minutes, fifteen seconds max.

Q.  Is the 6.0 system or IJS system used for judging and marking?

 A.  The 6.0 system is used.  Performances will be judged from an entertainment standpoint, for theatrical and artistic qualities. Technical skating skills and difficulty will not be rewarded as such; however, skating must be the major element of the performance and be of sufficient quality to support the selected theatrical elements.

  • Unintended falls, poorly executed skating elements and obvious losses of control will reduce contestant’s marks.
  • Theatrical elements evaluated will include energy, poise, acting, pantomime, eye contact, choreography, form/extension and the use of props and ice.
  • One mark will be given by each judge for each performance. No technical standpoint, skating mark will be used.

National Showcase Skater Guide (from USFS website)
Skating Under Spotlights (and other advice)

   Skating under spotlights is only scary until you have done it and figured out how to make it work. Then, it's like skating in a new rink - not a problem unless you make it into one.

   It's a lot like driving at night when oncoming cars shines headlights at you. But it's easier than that because spotlights are usually above your line of sight, not at eye level.

   First, it takes a minute for your eyes to adjust so expect that. Don't ever look into the spotlights. Look under them and between them. Try to stay aware of the barriers; they will help you know where you are. Don't look at the ice either; you'll get reflected light.

   Other Advice

  • Delete any jumps you don't do with style and flow and confidence. You get no credit at all for jump difficulty in showcase, but errors lower marks.
  • Skate and perform with energy! Weak performance gets weak marks.
  • Look at and play to the audience and judges. Ignore them and they will be happy to ignore you.
  • Exaggerate your gestures and the physical aspects of performance. You are a small creature in a large space, seen from a distance. Good luck and a great time to you!

   For any other questions related to National Showcase 2013 please contact 

Paula Wagener
National Vice Chair,
National Showcase

Judy Edmunds
Theatrical Skating Committee
Brenda Glidewell
Skating Programs
p: 719.635.5200
f: 719.635.9548


National Showcase News

National Showcase 2013

August 1-3, 2013
Hyannis, Mass.
Hosted by the Bourne Skating Club
PDF  National Showcase 2013 Announcement


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:

National Showcase Championships
Showcase Theatrical Productions
Artistic, Interpretive, & Showcase Events
Artistic and Interpretive Skating
Showcase Q & A
Showcase Events
Choreographing Showcase Events

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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