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Moving Up From CanSkate to Preliminary

Congratulations! Your child has graduated from CanSkate (must have passed the complete stage 5 CanSkate badge) 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. Quality figure skates (not hockey skates or recreational skates) must be worn. 

Two Options for Preliminary skaters

The transition from CanSkate to Preliminary is an exciting time for the skaters, but sometimes a challenge to navigate for parents.  While we recommend commencing private coaching once reaching this level, we recognize that this is not the preferred option for some families. Therefore we offer two options to Preliminary level skaters. They will run concurrently on the same sessions:

Option 1: Intro to Preliminary (CanSkate 6 - STAR 2)

Intro to Prelim will offer rotating group lessons conducted by multiple club coaches for the entire 60 minute session (30 minutes x 2 groups). Groups will be arranged by skating level and are geared towards first year preliminary skaters. This option may be of interest to skaters who are new to preliminary and do not wish to start with private coaching immediately, for those who do not want private coaching every session, or for those easing in by "bridging" from learn-to-skate to learn-to-figure-skate. If you register for Option 1: Intro to Prelim and wish to switch for Option 2: Regular Preliminary mid-season, a $50 admin fee will apply and you will be refunded a pro-rated amount. 

Note: Skaters should only participate in the Intro to Preliminary program for their first year at this level.  After the first season, registration in regular Preliminary and supplemented with a private coach is strongly recommended. 

Option 2: Regular Preliminary (CanSkate 6 - STAR 2)

This option will include a group lesson for 30 minutes, leaving 30 minutes for the skater to arrange a private lesson and/or train independently. 

If you are a Preliminary skater who already has a private coach, please reach out to your coach to discuss your skating schedule and which options are right for you before registering. Private coaching is a relationship formed between parents and coaches independently and invoiced separately. 


Private coaching

We are fortunate to have many talented and experienced professional coaches at Silver Blades, and most of them contribute to the Preliminary group lessons. 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 prior to the season opening. If you have questions about any aspect of the Preliminary program, please feel free to email us anytime.


As a volunteer-run club, each family registering a skater in our Intro to Preliminary and Preliminary sessions (as well as junior, intermediate, and senior), is required to complete club volunteer hours. This season, the commitment is 10 volunteer hours (10 credits) over the course of the season or a fee of $250 (to be processed on June 1st, 2024 if you don’t fulfill your family’s minimum 10-hour volunteer commitment).

Click here for current volunteer opportunities!

Please contact for more information regarding volunteer opportunities at Silver Blades.  


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