STAR=Skills, Tests, Achievement, and Recognition
STARSkate is a Skate Canada program that offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of
1) Ice Dance
2) Skating Skills
3) Free skate
The STARSkate program teaches figure skating with a small group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and systematic manner that includes opportunity to take Skate Canada tests through a nationally standardized testing program. STARSkaters may also participate in competitions. STARSkaters with the Prince of Wales club are divided into different programs depending on their abilities as established by successfully completed STARSkate tests (Pre-Junior, Junior, Intermediate and Senior).
Pre-star/Star 1 is a learn-to-figure skate program. It is the next step up from CanSkate for a skater who is interested in learning skills specific to figure skating. Skaters can enter the program once they have successfully completed Stage 3 of the CanSkate program. The program is a group session taught by Skate Canada Professional Coaches and supported by trained Program Assistants.
Currently there are two Pre-star/Star 1 sessions offered each week (Saturday & Sunday). Some skaters wish to skate more than once a week at this level. For skaters who have passed CanSkate Stage 3, it is recommended that the second session be a CanSkate session. For skaters who have passed Stage 4 or higher, a CanSkate session or a Junior session can be added as a second session. For skaters choosing to skate in the Junior program, a private coach is required. (See further information below). As moving from group lessons to private coaching is a big step for young skaters, it is best to seek the advice of one of the clubs Professional Coaches regarding the best placement for your child. Skaters entering the Junior program must be motivated to practice skills independently for part of each session. Not all skaters are ready for this step and therefore may benefit from more time in a group setting ( ie. CanSkate).
If your skater is interested in learning figure skating skills in the pre-star/star 1 program but has not yet passed CanSkate Stage 3, you may consider registering your skater for an additional CanSkate session each week. The extra ice time will help your child progress quickly through the required CanSkate levels.
Skaters who have passed Stage 4 of the CanSkate program wishing to further develop their figure skating skills may choose to enter the Junior program. There is no try out for acceptance into this program; however, skaters are required to have a private coach. On each junior session, a skater will spend some time being instructed by their private coach and spend some time practicing independently. Coaches who have skaters of similar levels and abilities may choose to offer small group lessons during the Junior session. At this level, skaters should be skating at least 2 sessions per week but can skate up to four times. Your coach will provide recommendations regarding the frequency of skating suitable for your child. A list of Professional Coaches with contact information is available on the Prince of Wales website (www.powsc.ca/web). It is the responsibility of the parent to arrange a private coach for their skater. In addition to the session cost paid to the club at registration, parents are also responsible for paying the private coach directly for all time spent with their child.
As skaters in the Junior program develop more advanced skating skills, the club will move skaters into the Intermediate and Senior programs. This helps keep ice sessions safe, as skaters of similar abilities will skate together. Moving skaters from the Junior program also allows the club to introduce new skaters to figure skating.
The club uses successful completion of Skate Canada Free Skate tests to determine the program your skater will skate. For the current skating season, skaters skating in the Junior program are working towards Preliminary and Junior Bronze Free Skate tests. Skaters working towards the Senior Bronze Free Skate test will skate with the Intermediate program. Once a skater successfully completes the Senior Bronze Free Skate test, he/she will be promoted to the Senior program.
The club has executive members representing the Pre-junior/Junior, Intermediate and Senior programs. Coordinators are available to answer any questions on their respective programs. Contact information is available on the web site.
At the STARSkate levels, skaters begin preparing to attempt Skate Canada tests. Star 1-5 tests will occur during a normal practice time, with your child’s coach as the evaluator. Once your skater has completed a test, he/she will be given a paper copy of the test results for your skater and coach to review. It is important that you keep all test records in a safe place as proof of all tests passed.
Once your skater completes the star 5 testing, they will advances to high level test day. These tests will occur on a scheduled test day with a Skate Canada evaluator. Skaters attempting these tests are expected to wear competition outfits. Girls should wear a skating dress and tights. Boys are expected to wear black skating pants. A sweater without a hood is permitted for warm up.
Tests are attempted in the areas of:
1) Dance: progression of set dances each performed to music. The dances are learned solo but most dances are tested with a partner, usually a coach at the beginner levels. In some situations, a male and female skater may learn and test the dances skating together.
2) Skills: set patterns designed to improve skills, edges and turns
3) Free Skate: There are two parts to all Free Skate tests. The skater is required to complete a collection of elements (stroking, jumps, spins and field moves like spirals) in isolation and then complete a program skated to music that incorporates many of the same elements. In order to receive credit for the complete Free Skate test, skaters must successful complete both the elements and program components of the test. A skater only passing one component of the Free Skate test receives credit for the completed portion but will not be promoted to the next level until both components are successfully completed.
4) Interpretive: a solo program skated to music. The emphasis is on the interpretation of the music rather than on jumps and spins.
The sequence of test levels for Dance, Skills and Free Skate is as follows:
- Star 1-5
- Junior Bronze
- Senior Bronze
- Junior Silver
- Senior Silver
Competitions for STARSkaters:
Once a skater enters the STARSkate program, they may choose to participate in competitions. Competition levels are different than the club program you are skating with (Pre-Junior, Junior etc.) and skaters are placed in a category based on coach recommendation.
STAR 1-3 are the earliest levels of STARSkate competitions (not to be confused with CanSkate Stage1-3). For STAR 1-3 competitions, the skater is evaluated on a selection of elements, either in isolation (STAR 1) or in a program to music (STAR 2 and 3). Each element performed is awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit level by the judges. The focus is on participation, there are no medals or ranking of skaters. Skaters are given the opportunity to participate and receive a report card from the evaluators with feedback on ways to improve.
A skater competing in STAR 4 category will perform a program to music and will be given a ranking. Skaters are again evaluated on a selection of elements, and receive a report card from the judges, where each element is awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit. This is used to determine the skaters ranking. Skaters competing in the STAR 4 category compete in age groups. Ages for the competition are determined by the age of your skater on July 1st of the preceding year. For example, a 10-year-old skater born on June 30th will compete as a 10-year-old whereas a 10-year-old born on July 2nd will compete as a 9-year-old because on July 1st the skater was still 9 years old.
A skater competing in the STAR 5 category will skate a program to music and receive a ranking based on a combination of a technical and skating skill scores in the CPC judging system.
Following the STAR categories, skaters can compete in categories reflective of their highest complete Free Skate level. These categories include Senior Bronze, Junior Silver, Senior Silver, and Gold.
For STARSkaters interested in competing, there are a variety of competitions available. Your coach will discuss appropriate competitions for your skater with you. Information and applications for all competitions can always be found on the Skate Canada NL website (www.skating.nf.ca). Once your coach suggests a competition for your skater, you will be responsible for obtaining and completing the application, obtaining your coaches signatures and submitting the completed application along with the competition fee to the club by the club deadline. Your coach will inform you of the club deadline as this will be different from the competition deadline. The club deadline considers the time it will take to submit all applications to the host club by the competition deadline.
For all competitions, your skater is required to have proper competition wear. For females, a skating dress is required along with a warm-up sweater/jacket. Hair should be pulled back into a bun or ponytail. Most girls enjoy wearing a little makeup on competition day. Boys should wear black skating pants and a plain color shirt. The club recommends black jackets embroidered with the club logo for competition warm up. In NL, skaters are usually able to compete in Singles, Dance, Pairs, and Interpretive. There may be some exceptions, particularly for Invitational competitions.