Moving Up From CanSkate to Preliminary
Congratulations! Your child has graduated from CanSkate to Preliminary. At this level, skaters will learn the basics of figure skating, including introductory jumps and spins and more advanced edgework. Below is some information about the format of the Preliminary sessions we offer at Silver Blades, as well as some guidance on private coaching.
Preliminary sessions are between 60 and 70 minutes long, split up into the following components:
- 5 or 10 minutes of coach-led group warm-up
- Three 10-minute group lessons
- 20+ minutes of free time, during which skaters may practice on their own, or have a private lesson
One thing to note about this last point is that coaches may be working privately with up to four students during a session, which could mean that your child occasionally has to miss one of his or her group lessons. The coaches will try to coordinate their scheduling to minimize overlap with group lessons as much as possible, but if it does happen, it should be on a rotational basis so that your child only misses a group lesson once every four weeks. If you have any questions about this, please contact your child’s coach.
We are fortunate to have many talented and experienced professional coaches at Silver Blades, and most of them contribute to the Preliminary group lessons. But beyond this, skaters at this level will need a professional coach to oversee their development and testing, and guide them through participating in local competitions. This is for a number of good reasons:
- Figure skating is an individual sport—every skater has different strengths and masters skills at a different rate. And individual attention is required so that each child can progress to the best of their ability.
- Coaches are responsible for moving skaters through the figure skating test streams, and they conduct assessments of their skaters at the Preliminary level. Without a coach, your child will not be able to test their skills and advance to higher levels.
- A coach is responsible for informing and advising parents/skaters about entering competitions, and they provide essential guidance and support as skaters prepare to compete.
You will find a list of Silver Blades coaches who are available for private lessons online, along with their contact information. The club is not involved at all in the arrangements and payments made between parents and coaches, so you will need to set up private lessons for your child by reaching out directly to a coach. One additional thing to note about private lessons is that you should not wait until the Fall/Winter season starts to choose a coach. Their schedules fill up quickly, so we recommend that you try to make these arrangements in early August. If you have questions about any aspect of the Preliminary program, please feel free to email us anytime.