Frequently Asked Questions
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What can I do as a figure skater?
A lot! You can challenge yourself to learn new skills and improve current ones. You can get a good workout. You can develop strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and discipline. You can attend skating camps and training clinics. You can test your skills, compete against others, and perform in ice shows. You can dance on the ice with a partner or without one. Perhaps best of all, you can do all of this while meeting new people and having fun!
Is there an age limit?
No! People can skate at nearly any age. Our club members range in age from young children to retirees. For our Learn to Skate USA group lessons, we welcome children 4 years old and up as well as adults of all ages. While some people begin skating shortly after they are able to walk, others don’t take up the sport until they are in their golden years, and people as old as 90 have performed on ice skates in front of an audience!
Are there any guys?
Yes! Both male and female skaters regularly participate in our Learn to Skate USA program, which teaches fundamental skills applicable to all ice skating disciplines. We also currently have both boys and men in the club, and we are always happy to welcome more. So come on guys – give our ladies some more dance partners!
Do I need my own skates?
No! If you’re participating in our Learn to Skate USA program (group lessons or Parent Skate), both figure and hockey skates are available at no extra charge during scheduled program hours. At other times, you can rent skates from the rink. However, entry-level skates can be purchased at low cost, and students are encouraged to provide their own skates with strong ankle support and a snug fit. If you decide you’re going to stick with the sport, you can purchase a quality pair of figure skates from a reputable dealer. Sharpen purchased skates at a rink or skating store before using them for the first time.
What should I wear?
Wear clothing that allows for freedom of movement but isn’t baggy. Layered clothing is best, as rink temperature may vary and you can add and remove layers according to your level of activity. Thin socks will provide a snug skate fit and better ankle support than heavy socks (which can cause rubbing and a loose skate fit around the ankles). Helmets/padding are recommended, especially for young children. For our Learn to Skate USA program, gloves or mittens are strongly encouraged, and gloves will be available for purchase at the information table.
Is it expensive?
For upper-level competitive skaters, it can be. However, skating is a sport that can be enjoyed on any budget. Open skate costs around $10 a session with skate rental (less if you have your own skates), and group lessons with practice time are reasonably priced. For those interested in joining the club, we allow you to sign on and off of club ice as you skate so you don’t need to pay for a whole session or commit to a fixed schedule. This offers you great flexibility to skate when it is convenient for you while paying only for the time you use. See Learn to Skate USA for further details on group lessons, and Club Ice for further details on club membership and ice packages.
Is it dangerous?
Like any sport, figure skating involves some degree of risk. However, proper instruction, skating within your ability, and knowing and following proper skating etiquette while on the ice reduce that risk and promote everyone’s safety. Skaters may also choose to wear protective gear (helmets, pads, etc.) to reduce their risk even further.
Where would I be skating?
Our home rink is the SUNY Broome Ice Center, located on the SUNY Broome campus on Upper Front Street in Binghamton. We also skate at the Ice House Sports Complex just a few miles away on River Road (adjacent to the Chenango Commons Golf Course), as well as at the Floyd L. Maines Veterans Memorial Arena. All three are indoor facilities featuring warming areas and options for food and drink. The more adventurous among us have been known to travel further afield for additional ice time in places such as Cortland, Ithaca, and Skaneateles, especially during the summer, when ice skating is a great way to get a break from the summer heat!
What do I need to join the club?
A desire to learn figure skating and a positive attitude! For everyone’s safety, young skaters who wish to skate on club ice unsupervised by an adult must demonstrate a skating skill level of Basic 3 or higher. However, both children and adults of any level are welcome to join the club at any time. Come skate with us!
Sounds great! How do I get started?
There are several ways to get started in figure skating:
- Join a group lesson: There are periodic opportunities throughout the season to get started in a safe and controlled environment with our Learn to Skate USA group lessons. We especially recommended this option for those who have never skated before. Club membership is not required.
- Join our Rising Stars: The Rising Stars program is designed for students at Learn to Skate USA Level 4 and higher as a more comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of figure skating, including more advanced skills, choreography, artistic expression, and element combination. Participants skate on club ice in a small group setting, but club membership is not required. This is an excellent way to get a feel for what it’s like to be a club skater!
- Join the club and take private lessons: If you’re looking for a higher degree of individual attention, private lessons may be the right option for you. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or have never skated before, we have coaches that can help you take your skating to the next level.
- Go to open skate: If you’re not quite ready to take group lessons or join the club, open skating sessions (not sponsored by the club) are available at local rinks for those just looking for some casual ice time. In addition, you are always welcome to come watch a group lesson or club practice session and ask us any questions you may have.
Still have questions? Contact us today and a club member will get back to you as soon as possible.