Forms‎ > ‎

Freestyle (USFSA)


Dear Parents and Skaters,

    CONGRATULATIONS! You have graduated from Basic Skills levels 1-8 and have moved up to the next level of skating called Freestyle.   At the BFSC we often refer to this group as USFSA skaters.

We have put together important information for Parents and Skaters.

    Before skating starts you will need to contact a coach. You can have an individual lesson or a small group lesson with two or three skaters.  Skaters usually have one half hour lesson per week (Sunday night or Tuesday night) and the rest of the skating time is to practice new skills and improve strength and speed.

    USFS Freestyle skating time:        Tuesday 7:30-8:45             Sunday 6:30-8:15

    USFSA skaters are responsible for the BFSC registration fee of $330, which covers only ice time on Sunday and Tuesday, as well  as show practice ice time.  USFSA skaters are also responsible for paying for separate lessons, and scheduling these with a coach.  It is the skater's responsibility to contact their coach if they will not be at a lesson.  Lessons and practice are very important at this level, and skaters will not improve, or advance in levels, if they do not take lessons and practice.

    In order to advance in levels, Freestyle skaters must go to a testing session; please see your coach for testing information. USFSA offers testing in Moves in the Field (specific patterns of skating, edges, various turns, spirals, etc.) and Freestyle Skating (jump, spins, etc.)  There are 8 levels – Pre-Preliminary through Senior.  You must pass the equivalent moves test in order to take the free skating test.  You can continue taking moves tests as high as you want without taking the free skating test.  Test sessions are hosted by a club with judges that have been appointed by USFS.  Most skaters in the BFSC have taken their tests in Burlington, with the Champlain Valley Skating Club.   

    There are several local opportunities for competitions.  Burlington Parks and Recreation usually offers a Basic Skills competition in December and March.  These competitions are a great place to start. They offer events where only specific elements are skated, as well as programs both with and without music.  These competitions are judged by a mix of adult skaters, coaches, and USFS judges. Champlain Valley Skating Club usually hosts a competition in April.  This is a higher level of competition, with skaters from out of the area.  Only USFS judges are used.  Both testing and competitions are something to discuss with your coaches.  They will help you decide what is most appropriate for you.

    Skaters in the USFS Freestyle level will have opportunities to be in large group, and small group, numbers in the end of the year show. Remember that at the time of show practice, this becomes a team sport. The skaters around you rely on your attendance of all practices.


SAFETY:  During practice time, be aware of other skaters on the ice.  Please move out of the way of other skaters in this order:
                *solos with music-first priority
                *working with coach-second priority
                *working on testing moves- third priority
                *all others practicing on skills

**Remember, simply being in a lesson does not mean all skaters will notice and avoid you. Be aware of each other and use the ice as a team.**

PRACTICE: Make sure you have a notebook with skills to work on during practice time. Have your coach give you a list of skills to practice. If you have practiced all the skills your coach has given you many times you can do crossovers back and front and power stroking around the rink, this helps build muscles and speed necessary to improve.  Ask your coach how to stretch before, during and after skating.

SKATE CARE:  Hard guards are for walking around, but store your skates in terry cloth soft guards. Get skates sharpened at least once during season. You will need time to get used to your newly sharpened skates so do not sharpen them a week before the show/competition/testing. Allow at least 6 practices between sharpening and specific events if possible. See coach for good places to get skates sharpened. Figure skates are not sharpened like hockey skates. Wipe off skates before putting in your bag. Have your coach or an older skater teach you how to properly tie your skates.  Good quality figure skates cost more but they will truly improve your skating. Feel free to change into skates in locker room with other USFS Freestyle skaters.

PERSONAL CARE:  Bring a water bottle; water is the best way to keep hydrated while skating.

WHAT TO WEAR: Skating tights or thin socks, leggings, yoga pants, skating skirts or dresses. Jeans or baggy pants are not good skating attire. Wear a T-shirt under sweatshirt or fleece jacket; make sure you can move freely in your skating wear. Gloves keep your hands warm while skating. Ipods and other electronics are never a part of your skating; we will run music from the box upstairs.

Venus Dean,
Sep 14, 2019, 12:53 PM