Port Hope, ON
info@phfsc.ca

What are Skills, Freeskate, Dances and Jumps?

What are skills?

Skating skills are exercises containing edges, turns and field movements designed to expand on the fundamental movements for skaters of all levels. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are contained in the program. Edge quality, control, power and speed are basic skating fundamentals that are mastered in the skating area. Skating skills consist of the following six test levels: 

  • Preliminary
  • Junior Bronze
  • Senior Bronze
  • Junior Silver
  • Senior Silver
  • Gold

What is a Freeskate?

In a Freeskate, skaters learn how to jump and to spin in a variety of positions and to incorporate those and other skills in a program of a specified length using connecting steps and music.       It is also divided into six different level:

  • Preliminary
  • Junior Bronze
  • Senior Bronze
  • Junior Silver
  • Senior Silver
  • Gold

Each freeskate test is divided into two parts: Elements in Isolation and Free Program. The Elements in Isolation consist of stroking exercises (which all must be assessed as Satisfactory or better in order to pass), jump and spin elements, field movements and step sequences. Of the 14 elements performed at each level, 12 must receive Satisfactory or better evaluations in order to pass that portion of the test. The Free Program is a program of a specified length skated to music of the skater’s choice. The program must demonstrate certain elements in order to be passed.

What are the dances?

The Discipline of Dance consists of seven levels of tests. It teaches timing, musicality, rhythm, interpretation and structure, as well as, basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison. Dancers skate with partners and sometimes by themselves to various musical rhythms, including waltz tango and blues. Each compulsory Dance has a series of steps that must be skated in a specific pattern. Dancers progress through the six different test levels and can skate the Dance tests in any order within each level. A skater must pass a specified number of the test Dances at one level before proceeding to the next.

  • Preliminary
  • Junior Bronze
  • Senior Bronze
  • Junior Silver
  • Senior Silver
  • Gold

What are the different jumps?

Waltz Jump

A waltz jump begins with along glide on a right back outside edge. The skater steps forward onto a left forward outside edge, kicking the right leg up and through to begin the lift into the air. The arms should be held away from the body since this is only a half rotation jump. As with all jumps, the skater lands on a right back outside edge. The waltz jump and the axel are the only jumps where the skater takes off while facing forwards.

Salchow Jump

It was invented by Ulrich Salchow. The salchow is an edge jump which starts with the skater going forwards and stepping into a mohawk to a right back outside edge. Without pausing, the skater continues the momentum established by the mohawk by stepping onto a shallow left forward outside edge. The right shoulder should be firmly back and the left should be a strong check following a three turn onto a left back inside edge. The right shoulder should stay firmly back during and after the three turn. The skater brings the free leg around up and through in a scooping motion from the back inside edge to lift the jump into the air. By the time the blade leaves the ice, the skate is actually facing forwards. Some skaters like to substitute the mohawk for the three turn although it is recommended a beginner use the three turn approach.

The Toe Loop

The toe loop begins with a skater moving forwards with both feet on the ice and apart. The skater does a right forward inside three turn with a check at the end of it. The skater reaches back with the left free leg and jabs the toe pick into the ice, thus pole vaulting off the toe pick and into the air.

Loop

The loop starts with both feet on the ice about a foot apart on a right back outside and left back inside edge. the weight is squarely over the right hip. The skater begins the jump by bending the knees and falling onto a deep right back outside edge. The left leg drifts across the right as the edge deepens. As the edge is about to turn into a three turn, the skater jumps off the right leg straight up into the air. It should feel like you’re popping straight up.

Flip

The flip jump starts on a left forward inside edge with the right leg off the ice and in front of the body. The left shoulder is in front and the right shoulder is in back. The skater pushes forwards off the right toe. As the left foot passes the right foot, it switches from an inside edge to an outside edge. The motion is like a skate boarder standing on his skate board with his left leg and pushing forwards with the right leg. The skater uses the momentum from the toe pick push to do a left forward outside three turn to a left back inside edge. The skater reaches back with the right leg and jabs the toe pick into the ice thus pole vaulting into the air.

Lutz

It was named for inventor Alois Lutz. The lutz jump is similar to the flip jump in that it is a toe jump which takes off from the left foot. The difference is in the setup and the take off edge. The jump starts with a long glide on a very shallow left back outside edge. The skater reaches back with the right leg with the left shoulder across and the right shoulder back. The skater jabs the toe pick into the ice and pole vaults into the air. In theory, the take off happened on a left back outside edge as opposed to the inside edge the flip takes off from.

Axel

It was named for Axel Paulson, the 1908 Gold Medallist who invented it. The axel is the only major jump where the skater takes off while going forwards. The setup begins by gliding on a right back outside edge. The skater steps onto a left forward outside edge kicking the right leg up and through lifting into the air. Up to this point, the axel is identical to the waltz jump. After leaving the ground, the skater pulls the arms and the legs in, which forces the jump to rotate a little less than one turn. The jump itself is one and a half rotations. The first half rotation should take place while the skater is in an open position.