Q: We're new to skating - what should my skater wear to class?
A: The rink can get very cold at times. Your child needs to be comfortable, warm, and able to move easily. We suggest dressing in layers, since heavy winter coats and snowsuits can be hard to skate in. Sweat pants or wind pants are fine. Gloves are important at all times of year, and some skaters wear hats. Young skaters must wear helmets.
Q: How old does my child need to be to start?
A: Generally, four years old is a good rule of thumb, but we have had younger skaters, and not all children are ready at four. The KEY is that the child is able to be on the ice by themselves, and be able to listen to their coach.
Q: Can I be on the ice with my child?
A: Parents are not permitted on the ice at any time. Parents may watch lessons from the bleachers or the warm room. If your child needs to leave the ice a coach or junior coach will bring them to you. In order to learn, the skater needs to be focused on the coach.
Q: Can my child use a "walker"?
A: While our staff may use games and toys on the ice, we do not use walkers. Skaters learn faster without them. Students needing extra help will be paired with a junior coach in order to help them get comfortable on the ice.
Q: What about socks?
A: Thick socks will not keep feet warmer, can cause blisters, and make it hard to feel the foot in the skate. We suggest trouser socks, tights, or very thin socks be worn. Ankle socks are not recommended - they can be very uncomfortable. If your child's feet get cold, there are fleece skate covers that can be worn over the skates.
Q: What if my skater has to miss a lesson?
A: A student can begin at any point in the session - you don't have to wait for the first day of a session. You will pay for the remaining classes in the session. However, once you are enrolled, there are no refunds for missed classes.
Q: When does my child change class levels?
A: Each level has a set of skills that must be mastered for the skater to pass to the next level. Each skill level builds on the last, so mastering the levels is very important. Our coaching staff continuously assess the progress of their students, and students move to the next level when they are ready. Some students may progress quickly, others may take a while to pass a level. THIS IS NORMAL. As a student moves up, the skills get more difficult and it generally takes longer to pass a level. The key is that the skater is learning and having fun.
Q: The weather is really bad, does my skater still have class?
A: If the arena is open, then we are skating! The arena rarely ever closes. If you are in doubt, call the arena at 603-516-6060 to check if they are open.
Q: Why don't you cancel classes when the weather is bad?
A: We must schedule all of our ice in advance for the entire year. We are obligated to pay for the ice whether or not we use it. Ice costs almost $300 per hour, and we use two hours of ice for our classes. This doesn't leave us much of a choice. This is the same reason that hockey games and practices are rarely cancelled or postponed.
Q: What is Flex?
A: Flex ice is what we call the other half of our club programs. During flex ice you might notice skaters practicing jumps and spins, or skating a program, or working on ice dancing or moves in the field. They might be taking a private lesson or practicing on their own. We call it Flex because while some clubs have different practice sessions for freestyle, dance, or moves in the field, our skaters can work on any of these during Flex ice.
Skaters who skate on flex ice have a ―Full US Figure Skating membership, which allows them to take skating tests, skate on ―club ice, and attend competitions, camps, and workshops at our club or other clubs. Skaters on flex ice may also have a Bridge membership (see section below). Bridge membership helps skaters make the transition to flex membership, which is a bigger time and financial commitment than Basic Skills membership.
Saturday flex ice is open to all full and bridge membership skaters who are looking to practice more. Some skaters will move on the ice quickly so be sure you talk to a coach before your first time out so they can review ice safety. Skaters who buy session punches in advance save 10% per session. If you wish to skate on Saturday morning Flex/Open ice during the 2017/18 season, you must register as a full member or be a part of the Bridge program.
Monday Flex is open only to Flex and Bridge Club members. Don’t hesitate to ask a coach about when your skater might be ready to join the Flex program.
Q: What is bridge membership?
A: Bridge is for skaters who are not quite sure if they are ready for full club membership and our flex program and private lessons. Bridge membership is the bridge to full club membership, or a transition period. A skater may be registered in basic skills and in Bridge, or may choose to move from Basic Skills to Bridge at any time during the year. This entitles you to full membership in US Figure Skating, including Skating Magazine, and the ability to skate on any flex session and participate in sanctioned competitions at our club or other clubs.
A skater may hold a Bridge Club membership for one year only, and then will need to transition to full club membership. If you register as a Bridge member this year, you must register as a Full Flex member next year.
Skaters with Bridge or Full memberships can remain in the Basic Skills program.