At Silver Blades, when kids complete CanSkate and want to continue figure skating, they will move into the Skate Canada STARSkate program. This is when skaters can start testing Skills, Dance, Freeskate and Artistic/Interpretive programs with either their own coach or a Skate Canada judge. Skaters must have a private coach to try a Skate Canada test. Tests are divided into low tests and high tests.
Why is testing important?
Sanctioned by Skate Canada, Silver Blades follows the Skate Canada STARSkate Program. STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, freeskate and interpretive skating. Unique in Canada, this program teaches figure skating skills through 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.
Taking Skate Canada tests moves a skater through the STARSkate program, and therefore is an important part of figure skating progression.
When do skaters try tests?
Skaters who have completed CanSkate and have moved on to STAR 1-5 will be assessed by the coach who teaches them in each discipline. They will usually be assessed on their regularly scheduled session time, although some of the higher-level tests may require a solo performance on clear ice. In these cases, coaches will either make arrangements to clear the ice near the end of a session, or assess skaters during any one of our four regularly scheduled Test Days or during a competition.
Skaters who have completed the STAR 1-5 levels and are at the Senior Bronze level or higher will be assessed by Skate Canada judges during any one of our four scheduled Test Days.
When are Test Days held?
Each year Silver Blades runs four Test Days—three during the Fall/Winter season and one in the Spring season. Typically, they are scheduled in November/December, January/February, March/April, and on the last day of the Spring season in May. Regular sessions are often cancelled to accommodate Test Days, generally with the exception of CanSkate and/or CanPower.
Who decides if a skater will try a test?
Your child's coach will prepare them for tests and decide when they are ready to try one.
Is there a fee to try a test?
Yes. The Skate Canada fee for each single test is $12. There is also a fixed Test Day Administration fee of $15 per skater for the Fall/Winter season and $5 per skater for the Spring season.
Test fees must be paid in full prior to Test Day. If you have not paid the test fee, your child will not be allowed to try their test, and we will record a "retry" result. No exceptions.
As directed by Skate Canada, once the final test lists have been submitted to the Test Chair (two weeks prior to Test Day), NO refunds will be provided, except in some medical cases. If a skater does not show up for Test Day, the test fee must still be paid. No refunds will be provided, and we will record a "retry" result. No exceptions.
How do I pay the test day fee?
You can pay the test day fee online or by cash or a cheque.
The best way to pay is online-it's fast and easy:
- Login to www.silverblades.ca
- Click on the Registration tab
- Under Categories, click on Test Day
- Select the number of tests you wish to pay for (you can choose from one to four tests)
If you are unable to pay online, place the exact cash amount or a cheque in a test envelope and leave it in the mailbox by the front doors of the rink or in the office.
How should my child dress for Test Day?
Typically skaters should wear neat and simple skating apparel. Consult with your coach for guidance on appropriate attire for testing, however, here are some general guidelines:
- Females should wear a freeskate dress with beige skating tights for Freeskate tests. For Dance or Skills tests, they should wear a dance dress, a dance skirt and form-fitting top, or a freeskate dress, with beige skating tights.
- Males should wear skating pants, or trousers with some stretch, and a long sleeved shirt for all tests.
A jacket or sweater and gloves may be worn during the warm-up period immediately prior to a test, but should be removed during the actual test. It is a good idea for your child to practice in their test outfit at least once before Test Day to ensure they are comforable.
It is also a good idea for females who have longer hair to pull it back into a neat ponytail or bun.
What happens leading up to and during Test Day?
The schedule will be posted approximately one week prior to Test Day. Please arrive at the rink 45 minutes before to your child's scheduled test time. This allows them to do any off-ice warm-up that their coach may recommend, put on their skates and allow for variations in the schedule. Sometimes the schedule does run more quickly than anticipated, and you do not want your child to miss a test that they have worked hard to prepare for.
There will be a volunteer "gate keeper" who will check in skaters as they arrive. Please ensure that your child stays close to the arena door or in the dressing room and does not wander. The tests are scheduled in groups of approximately five skaters. Once the scheduled time arrives, the names of the skaters will be announced, and they can go onto the ice for a four-minute warm-up. Typically, their coach will be at the boards instructing them during the warm-up. Once the warm-up is over, skaters will be asked to clear the ice and then called individually to perform their tests. The tests are evaluated by an external test judge certified by Skate Canada.
Skaters can remove their skates once they've completed a test, and it's customary to wait for the results. Generally speaking, results are ready within 15 to 20 minutes of the test's completion. They will be given to a skater's coach, who then typically shares them with the skater first, then the parent(s). The judge usually writes comments on the tests, as well as detailed marks. While there are individual components to each test and a mark associated with each component, the overall mark is either "pass" or "retry". If a child does need to retry a test, they should not be discouraged as this is a part of figure skating—even the world's best skaters have had to retry a test at some point. There is no limit to the number of times a skater can try a skating test, but it cannot be tried more than once on the same day.
As with most activities at Silver Blades, Tests Days are run by volunteers. If you're interested, you can volunteer for Test Days using SignUp. Information about Test Days will be posted on the bulletin board and in the newsletter throughout the season.