Starting Figure Skating as an Adult: My Story


figure skates adult
Yes, Adult Figure Skating is a thing. No, I'm not planning/trying to go to the olympics. 
Okay, so I started ice skating the first winter that I could truly walk. My mom bought me double runner skates and took me down to our lake (overstated pond) to learn to skate. Keep in mind this would have been New Jersey circa 1993-94 and my mom skated because my uncles played hockey. I then skated recreationally for many years there after. 
Approximately 22 years later, I was at an event at law school and met a woman, who is now a good friend. From a brief conversation I learned that there were group figure skating lessons for adults. I had been under the impression that my dreams of being Michelle Kwan had been dead for years, and lets be honest I realize they are still pretty much dead. However, there is an entire system for adults reaching goals and competing in figure skating. 
I believe that ISI (Ice Skating Institute) has a setup for adults too, but I am going to talk about USFSA (United States Figure Skating Association). 
USFSA supports a program called Learn to Skate USA (this is a recent rebranding), which includes a basic skills program for adult skaters. This program starts from day one never been on the ice, and goes to a level called Adult Basic 6 where you begin learning one-foot spins. After you complete the Adult Basic Skills program you go into the Freeskate Curriculum and whether this is offered in group lessons specifically for adults will depend on your ice rink. My rink doesn't have Freeskate for Adults  so I am currently in a group lesson with some of the little ones who are about 15-20 years younger than me, but it surprisingly works. Outside of group lessons there is also the option of private lessons.
USFSA also has a system for adult competition, which I will cover in more detail when I get to that point in my skating.
Currently, I am considered to be in Freeskate 2 for the group lessons, though in my private lessons I feel like I'm way back in basic skills sometimes because we work on technique for skills I learned roughly in group lessons. My current goal is to take the Adult Pre-Bronze Moves in the Field Test in March, once I've tested I can compete if I want.
Recap: 22 years a recreational skater, about 1 year of group lessons, 1 month of private lessons, and I'm around Freeskate 2.
Have you ever wanted to Learn to Skate?
Locate a Learn to Skate class near you here.
Bests, Cittie

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