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Role of Figure Skating Technique in Choreography

Improving Technique actually Improves Performance
      As a competition strategy, elite skaters can achieve a stage where concentration on their technical performance is not on “autopilot”, but they are “In their Zone” or “Peaking” and their practice and competitive programs are indistinguishable assuming skaters develop the stamina to increase their tolerance levels to accumulated fatigue without a decline in skill performance.

      When skaters do decide to concentrate on the presentation aspect of their performance, their focus should be on developing their ability to express their personality and personal experiences. Ultimately, the goal should be to take possession of the intellectual concepts and use their own vocabulary to express their thoughts rather than become a clone of their choreographer.

Simulate the Performing Stage to Gain Experience and Confidence
      In this stage, skaters perform their program in workouts that simulates the competitive experience in front of an audience. This can occur through participation in exhibitions or shows.

      It is the repetition of simulated competition performances that provides a skater with an experience that sufficiently realistic to provide the desired self-confidence without actually skating in a real competition.

      Such performances allow a skater to experience how the program feels to perform, rate potential areas of difficulty, identify places to recover, and important areas that require more focus to achieve the highest standard of excellent can be achieved.

      It is very important that the athlete has a major stake in the amount of input into the evaluation process. It is also important for them to understand how to positively use the audience reaction for emotional support. If judges are available to critique the performances, the skater has an excellent opportunity to acquire important feedback information from a different perspective than their coaching team. It is very important that any critiques occur early in the training season so corrective efforts can be made. Last minute changes are likely to trigger additional stress on the skater(s), and may have little potential for constructive modification of the program's choreography or the skater's performance.

      The Coach/Choreographer and the skater should continue to seek ways to improve the choreographic concept. As long as the program is used, the program needs to be “tweaked” to reflect continued improvement of the athletic skills.

      Sometimes a different choreographer may be selected to continue the process. If this occurs, it is important to have a clear understanding of each person's boundaries, their responsibilities, and a clear expectation of what is the desired goal before all parties enter into an agreement/contract.

Levels of Exchanging Ideas Between Choreographer(s) and Skater(s)
  • The Choreographer is the innovative engine providing the ideas to fuse the music and talents of the skater into a seamless performance.

  • The Skater and Choreographer collaborate to develop the concept of the program and the steps/movements to bring the music to life for the audience.

  • The skater develops the concept of the program and creates the steps/movements to bring the music to life for the audience under the guidance of the choreographer.

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

Recommended Reading

How to Choreograph Your Own Figure Skating Routine  How To Choreograph Your Own Figure Skating Routine. This is a diagram that shows the layout of a figure skating routine.

Rhythm and Motion Dance Workout Classes   
Class begins with choreography to wake up the body, focusing on specific muscle groups. This thorough warm-up is followed by high energy dancing designed to improve stamina and strength. Class continues on the floor with abdominal strengthening as well as leg work to increase flexibility and muscular development. Each class ends with stretching and relaxation.

The Skaters Consortium – THE ART of skating  Coaching for Technique and Performance Enhancement - bringing the choreography out from within, rather than imposing it on the skater.

Basic technique and figure skating from Lifeskate (videos, ...  Basic technique and figure skating. ...  The leading role in the movement of the arms as they go from one position to another, or as they are opened and closed.

Technical Figure Skating Welcome to the Technical Figure Skating Page! The purpose of this page is to provide ... I can see every minor difference and nuance in technique.

Strength and Conditioning Technique is the most important component of ice skating, in-line skating and figure skating. ... Muscle length and flexibility also play a key role.


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:

Choreography and Artistic Performances
Choreography - An Art or Science?
Role of Skating Technique in Choreography
Music's Role in Creating Skating Programs
Role of the Choreographer in Figure Skating
A Choreographer's Role & Duties
Choreography & Presentation
The Role of Choreography in Presentation
Event Required Elements
Choreographing Free Skating Programs
Choreographing Artistic Skating Programs
Artistic, Interpretive, & Showcase Events
Choreographing Showcase Events
Theater On Ice
Creating Dance Content
Skater Feedback

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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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