I'm turning 17 and i recently got intrested in learning to figure skating. but i was wondering what do i do? are their begginer classes for my age? were do i start? how much will it cost etc.
- Parent Category: General Figure Skating
If you're just learning to skate at the age of 17 and have never skated at all up until now, then you'll probably want to start in a learn-to-skate program. In Canada, SkateCanada member clubs offer a program called CanSkate which teaches everything from learning to stand up on your skates to the basics of figure skating like spins and waltz jumps. If you're in the US, I believe the USFA has a similar program called Basic Skills.
At our club, we usually get enough teenagers to sign-up for CanSkate that we can run a separate group with an older teenager (Skate Canada certified coach) as the instructor, so teens aren't grouped in with young kids. Not all clubs have enough skaters to make this work, so depending on where you are, you have to be prepared for being on the ice with some much younger kids.
Once you're past the Learn-to-skate stage, a lot of clubs offer some form of group lessons for starting to learn more advanced figure skating skills. Group lessons help keep the costs down and give you a chance to make some new friends as well.
Once you start group lessons you may also decide to start private lessons. For example, you might do group lessons on Tuesday and private lessons on Thursday. Private lessons mean that you're on the ice with other skaters but you receive individual, 1 on n1 coaching time.
Being a late starter in skating means you've got a lot to learn but that doesn't stop you from enjoying the sport. How far and how quickly you progress in the sport will depend on your natural ability, and how much you train and how hard you train. Learning to figure skate is a lot of work and you can count on years of training but you will also get years of enjoyment out of it as well. The important thing is to get out there and do it. Be active and have some fun.
The cost for learning to skate is really a function of how much you train and how much you train depends on how quickly you want to progress. You can take a one night of skating lesson a week and you'll probably spend $200-$300 per year for group lessons (not including skates or clothes). If you want to train 3 or 4 hours per day, 5 days per week, you'll be spending $10,000-$20,000 per year by the time you pay for ice time, coaching, dresses, off-ice training, skates, competitions, etc. If you haven't done so already, read http://skatersdad.com/money-money-and-more-money.html and you'll have a good idea of all the things that cost money but don't be scared off. You don't have to spend a huge amount of money to enjoy learning to figure skate.
The first step is to find the skating clubs in your area and find one that you like that has a program that suits you. Talk to the clubs in your area and find out what skating programs they offer for beginners. If you already have some skating experience, you may need to go out to the club to be evaluated to know what program you should join. Keep in mind that lots of clubs are run by volunteers and don't have many if any full-time staff running the club so it might take a little while to find out everything you need to know, but it will be worth it.
Figure skating is a lot of fun and a beautiful sport. Good luck on your quest to learn to skate.