STARSkate

135The STARSkate program, formerly known as the Test Stream, provides a framework for setting and meeting specific skating goals. STAR stands for Skills, Tests, Achievements, and Recognition. Skaters progress through the levels by working with their coaches and passing tests adjudicated by Skate Canada certified judges. (Skating sessions at Minto are organized by test level.)

The STARSkate program consists of figure skating skills in four disciplines: skating skills, free skate, ice dance and interpretive skating.

In each of these, a full range of progressive skills and tests are offered from introductory to advanced levels. Skate Canada achievement cards are awarded to mark each test level passed.

Each of the four disciplines is described briefly below. For more details, including the skills taught at each level, you can consult your coach or the Skate Canada website at www.skatecanada.ca.

Skating Skills are prescribed exercises comprising edges, turns, and field movements which are fundamental to the sport, and form the basis for everything the skater does on the ice. Skills are tested as patterns skated to music, and emphasize edge quality, control, power and speed.

Free Skating is generally the starting point for the STARSkate program. It consists of the various jumps, spins, footwork and stroking elements that comprise figure skating. Once a skater has enough of a repertoire and sufficient control, the coach will choreograph a solo program to music. Skaters are tested on free skate elements in isolation as well as on the solo program.

Ice Dance improves a skater’s timing, balance, and fluidity. Each dance is a set of required steps and edges performed to prescribed music. The 30 compulsory dances are grouped in seven progressively difficult levels. In the STARSkate stream, ice dancers work as individuals with their coach, who will often partner them for dance tests.

Interpretive Skating challenges the skater’s ability to use his or her skills to interpret music. Skaters present programs that express feelings or themes suggested by the music, focusing on creativity and expressiveness rather than technical elements or prescribed patterns. These are also tested.

The STARSkate program offers an opportunity for skaters to compete at local invitational competitions, and also at the annual Eastern Ontario Section Invitational Championship (EOSIC). Top skaters from the EOSIC competition go on to the provincial championship Trillium event.

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