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Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition – this is what STARSkate is all about!

Upon completion of Canskate level 4, 5 or 6, STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, free skate, interpretive skating and Synchronized Skating. Unique in Canada, this program teaches figure skating skills in a group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and sequential manner and includes specifically designed awards and incentives. Skaters have the opportunity to take Skate Canada Tests through a nationally standardized testing system.

Sherwood Parkdale Skating Club has three levels available for registration

  • Jumpstart: skaters fresh out of Canskate (completed stage 6), or skaters who have completed stage 4 or 5 (with permission of a club coach) may fast track into this Starskate program. Skaters working on the Star 1 level will also register at the Jumpstart level. Jumpstart is an opportunity for skaters who desire to be figure skaters to fast track and progress into the Starskate Program. This is the entry level into Starskate.
  • Junior: skaters working on Star 2 level or higher. Star 1's will be considered at the recommendation of the club professional.
  • Senior: skaters who have achieved the complete Star 2 or higher, or on the recommendation of a club professional.
All starskate level programs participate in group lessons with a Club Professional. The cost of these lessons is included in the registration fee. In addition to group lessons provided, parents are able to hire a coach for private lessons if they wish. Though there is no obligation to do so, it is highly recommened (especially at the senior level) that skaters have a private coach for further development, assessment opportunities & for competition. If private lessons are taken during group time, they should not interfere with or disrupt the progress of the group lesson. The skater may leave for a private lesson and rejoin the group session. However, the Club Professional may not be able to reiterate the missed portion. Skaters at the Junior and Senior levels have regular private practice time during their weekly session times. Jumpstarts are introduced to independant practice time for the last 20 minutes of their session on Saturday mornings.
 

All our athletes  are expected to exhibit good behavior and responsibility to work independently when they are not under the direction of their coach, and follow skaters code of ethics. While they are working toward their goals, they find time to make friends and have fun.

PRIVATE LESSONS

Private lessons are the result of parents engaging a professional coach (Club professional or a freelance coach) to provide one-on-one instruction in freeskate, skating skills, dance and interpretive. A private lesson usually lasts 15 minutes and may cost on average $7 - $10. The number of private lessons to be taken weekly may be recommended by the coach, but is ultimately determined by the parents. The Club has no responsibility for any arrangements regarding private lessons, or for any issues arising among the parties involved.

What Options do I have as a STARSkate Athlete?

Skate Canada  introduced  a new STAR 1-5 Program Nation Wide during the 2016-2017 Season. Full implementation started September 2017.  Though geared to learn-to-train and to progress through learning-to-compete, skaters are not required to compete and may continue with the program to develop skills for their own enjoyment. Below is a message from Skate Canada on the STAR 1-5 format.

Congratulations on being the parent of a figure skater; the STAR 1-5 competition program is where figure skating begins! The STAR competition program is comprised of five different levels of events for skaters who have completed the CanSkate program.  It introduces participants to key components of figure skating including performance, assessment, and competition. STAR 1-5 fits into the Learn to Train level of Skate Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTADM).

Each stage of this national program emphasizes key skills such as turns, stroking, jumps, spins, and different aspects of performance that have been designated by figure skating experts as necessary for development and progression in our sport. It is important to note that every skater is unique and will advance at different rates due to various factors such as growth spurts and participation.  To accommodate individual needs, the STAR 1-5 competition program is designed to be fluid and allow skaters to progress at their own pace, even skipping levels if appropriate; skaters may move through several levels in a season or stay at the same level – it’s all dependent on individual athlete development!  At all stages and levels, parents should discuss their skater’s progress with their coach to determine the best options for them. The chart below provides a brief description of each level at competition:

 

STAR

Format

Description

1

Group Elements Event

Introduces skaters to performing elements like jumps and spins in a fun group environment with their coaches. Skaters are evaluated and receive a report card and ribbon based on their performance.

2

Evaluated Program

Skaters now take many of the elements they learned in STAR 1 as well as new skills and perform them in a program in front of judges. Many skaters may learn a program in a group and even share music. Like STAR 1, skaters are evaluated and receive a report card and ribbon.

3

Evaluated Program

STAR 3 continues to build on the skills learned in STAR 1 and 2. More difficult elements like an axel jump are added and judges evaluate the programs based on more challenging criteria.  Skaters also receive a report card and ribbon.

4

Ranked Program

Axels are encouraged at this level and receive a bonus for successful completion. STAR 4 serves as a transition point between evaluated levels and competition incorporating a points system. Assessments are used to produce a ranking for each group of competitors. Each skater receives a report card with top finishers in each group receiving either a ribbon or medal.

In STAR 1-4, skaters are evaluated against a national standard by a panel of certified judges. Each element they perform receives an assessment of Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit as well as an overall standing.

5

Ranked Program

Skaters may perform double jumps at this level. STAR 5 is the first time skaters are rewarded points for elements and performance; it is the same scoring system used to judge top competitive figure skaters. Skaters are ranked based on total points and are provided a detailed report card. Top finishers receive medals.

 

What Happens After STAR 1-5?

Skaters may choose to continue in higher levels of the STARSkate program. The New STAR 6 - Gold will be piloted during the 2018-2019 Season with full implementation by the Start of the 2019 -2020 Season. After STAR 5 skaters may also transition into CompetitiveSkate (Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, etc.) that leads to Provincial to National qualifying events. Skaters may also explore ice dancing, pair skating, interpretive skating, or synchronized (team) skating.  There are many opportunities for skaters and the best path for athletes to take should be a decision made collaboratively (child, parent and coach).

 

Helping your skater get the most out of STAR 1-5

There are a lot of options within figure skating and that can sometimes be overwhelming; here are some tips to make this a positive and fun experience for parents and children.

  • Keep it Fun. The focus of STAR 1-5 should be on enjoyment and developing figure skating specific skills. Encourage skaters to have fun, try their best, and learn to find joy in all aspects of the sport. Remember this is their sport.
  • Ask Questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the way the skating world works!  Your coach is a good place to start as are experienced parents and club volunteers.  You can also find excellent information on-line at www.skatecanada.ca, as well as your section and club websites.  
  • Reward Effort.  Do not get hung up on results; instead, focus on personal progress and effort. Rankings only reflect the performances on the ice and not who skaters are as individuals. Skaters are not machines and top world skaters have bad days too.
  • Provide Emotional Support.  This is a really challenging sport. Even in the STAR 1-5 competition program skaters attempt fairly complex movements on a tiny blade and slippery surface; that’s enough to make anyone nervous!  Being anxious before competition is normal and it can be helpful to explain to your children that their nerves just show they care about how much they want to do their best.
  • Model Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.  Even beginner athletes need the right fuel to help them perform at their best.  Modeling healthy eating behavior and providing meals that are nutritious and balanced will benefit your entire family.  Encourage participation in a range of physical activities in addition to skating - can you find physical activities that you can do together as a family?
  • Communicate with your Coach.  Your coach is there to help you as well as your child.  Communicate with them regularly about the progress of your skater and to chart a course for development that works for your family and your budget.

                                                                   

Why Register in the STARskate program?

STARSkate has been the mainstay of figure skating in Canada for more than four decades.

When you/your child registers for a STARSkate program , you also become a member of Skate Canada and will have access to:

  • opportunities to be recognized through a nationally standardized testing system for achieving specific figure skating skills
  • complimentary Gold Test pins
  • invitational and interclub competitions, including the STARSkate championship stream
  • specifically designed awards and incentives such as badges, tattoos and stickers
  • STARSkate Skater of the Year awards program
  • Progress updates and report cards
  • Special STARSkate events and club functions
  • Opportunity to be talent-scouted
  • Opportunity for personal growth and the development of important life skills such as goal-setting, self-discipline, confidence, time management, healthy lifestyle and coping strategies to deal with success and failure.

These are some of the awards and incentives that have been developed to encourage athletes in the STARSkate Program.

Achievments

Skating Skills: Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are incorporated into the program. The movements are derived from former compulsory figures, free skating and ice dancing. The objective of the Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed.

Ice Dance: The Dance Test program teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison.The dances in the STARSkate Program can be tried in any order but a candidate must pass the required number of dances in a dance test before proceeding to the next level. In addition to the traditional compulsory dances, there are also Creative Dances to challenge skaters’ creativity, artistry and originality.

Free Skate: Free skating consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.Each test consists of 2 parts – Elements in Isolation and a Free Skate Program.
 

Interpretive: The objective of the Interpretive program is to encourage and develop skaters’ creativity, expression, musicality, movement, interpretation of music, as well as the use of space, rhythm, line and style. The program provides skaters with the opportunity to explore the performance aspect of skating without focusing on technical elements.

Competitions for STARSkate Athletes: STARSkate participants love to compete! Skate Canada feedback and our clubs experience indicates that even though a skater may choose not to participate in the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program, they still want the opportunity to test their skill in a competition situation. Skate Canada offers several opportunities to do this. Skate Canada PEI runs an ADL Jr.STARskate Championship and The STARSkate Championship towards the end of our Winter Season. There are also invitational events held by our neighboring provinces.  Watch our events page for more details.  Your professional coach can answer questions regarding competitions for your child or go to our CONTACT US page and we will be happy to help you.