San Diego Figure Skating Communications
a non-profit educational organization
Theater on Ice
Overview of Basic Skills Theater On Ice
What is Theater on Ice?
Theater on Ice is a relatively new discipline of US Figure Skating using all aspects of skating, incorporating a theme, emotion and story, enhanced by music. NOTE: In Europe the spelling is "Theatre."
It is a package that includes five dimensions:
The second type of program has been compared to the short program in singles skating, and is called the Choreographic Exercise.
Basic Skills Teams are eligible to compete in the Choreographic Exercise only.
The intention of the Choreographic Exercise is to promote the gliding and edge development of TOI teams. It is being introduced at the Basic Skills level to create a better understanding of Theater On Ice at the beginner level as well as to instill the basics of portraying a theme and emotions through the use of choreography and movement, as opposed to using costumes, props and scenery to tell a story.
Choreographic Exercise is centered on three elements which are:
*The idea behind this is to provide a uniform look to the team as the program is performed. The focus must be on the three elements described above with the visual image created through the team’s skating and body demonstration and not through dress, scenery, or props.
The Choreographic Exercise is evaluated by two marks: choreography and technical execution.
#1, Choreographic Mark - Encompasses the use of the skaters and the use and treatment of the music. The marks will cover treatment of the gesture format, choreographic process and exchanges and formations.
#2 Technical Mark is for the technical execution of that choreography. This mark will cover basic skating skills such as quality of edges, pushes, glides, quality of execution of movement and gesture, body placement, and pertinence and consistency of the above elements with the theme and sound environment.
In the case of a tie, the team with higher Choreographic Mark will be given the better placement.
The quality of the TOI performance requires that the music, theme and
choreography are consistent with one another and that they give the feeling of harmony and balance. Additionally no one aspect on the performance should be redundant. The goal is to transcend the literal and to create emotion.
Theater on ice has to be adapted to the specific dynamic of figure skating: quality of gliding and edges, speed, ease, and amplitude of movements. It must also look for the proper treatment of groups, and for a good variety in the use of the different elements of skating. The quality of edge, speed, ease and flow of movement should enhance the performance and there should be a balanced incorporation of groups.
There is no limit to the number of free skating, ice dancing, pair or synchronized skating elements used in the routine; however, judges will have to evaluate the congruity of all elements used to the theme and music. Any imbalance of any one element will be reflected in the marking. Likewise, any over-use of highlighting (soloing or spotlighting of a skater/skaters) that detracts from the overall concept will be reflected in the marking.
The competitive elements for the Basic Skills Choreographic Exercise change each year. Here are a sample of the elements:
Basic Skills Theater On Ice 1
A. THEME – JOY
B. CHOREOGRAPHIC PROCESS – REPETITION
C. MOVEMENT OR GESTURE – RAPID MOVEMENT
Basic Skills Theater On Ice 2
A. THEME – FEAR
B. CHOREOGRAPHIC PROCESS – CASCADE
C. MOVEMENT OR GESTURE – ROUND MOVEMENT
Basic Skills Theater On Ice 3
A. THEME – ANGER
B. CHOREOGRAPHIC PROCESS – MIRROR
C. MOVEMENT OR GESTURE – SHARP MOVEMENT
Basic Skills Theater On Ice 4
A. THEME – GROWTH
B. CHOREOGRAPHIC PROCESS – CANON
C. MOVEMENT OR GESTURE – SLOW MOVEMENT
For more information on the Theater On Ice Program
visit the US Figure Skating website at
PDF Theater On Ice The initial and final events are judged separately. All levels will be judged on both programs for a combined score at the national and international competitions.References:
Theater On Ice Basic Skills
Theater On Ice - Welcome to US Figure Skating Theater On Ice (TOI) is a form of competitive figure skating that is popular in Europe, where it is known as Ballet on Ice. TOI uses all aspects of skating, incorporating a theme, emotion and story, enhanced by music. etc.
PDF Theater on Ice Team Levels for the 2010-... Theater on Ice categories have been defined according to the level of moves
PDF BASIC SKILLS/THEATER ON ICE TEAM SKATING qualifying Theater on Ice skating competition or U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills competition.
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.