July 10, 2010

How to: Get Into Figure Skating As An Adult

You might feel that as you are no longer a 7 year old, figure skating is not an adventure you're allowed to embark upon. You couldn't be more wrong! Adult skating has grown so much since it's beginnings, and now the Adult World Championships exist, among many other amazing international events. Whether that's where you want to be, or you're happy to dance a foxtrot or two on a sunday morning, skating is something open to everyone.


So if you're looking to break into figure skating as an adult, simply start at the same place kids do. Skate schools which generally run on weekends are the perfect way to pay a fixed fee to receive tuition which will teach you the basics you'll need to feel confident enough to skate onto patch ice (sessions for figure skaters to practice on, which does not allow the general public or hire skates). You can read more about these beginner courses in my post entitled How to: Start Figure Skating.

As an adult you might feel different and often ostracized among younger experienced skaters. A good way to get around this feeling is to work out which patch ice will permit you to skate on a quiet session (for example during school hours), and feel more self-confident in the knowledge that their are less high-end skaters on the patch. The other option is deciding that you rock for starting skating and that you have just as much business there as anyone else (unless you just stumbled on to a dedicated high-level session, which you wouldn't without knowing about it). It's just a state of mind!

You can choose to go into free skating (jumps), ice dance (dances) or even synchronized skating (in a team). The discipline you decide upon depends, of course, on your own personal preference but will also depend on what's available at the rinks you're willing to travel to.

A number of fantabulous adult skaters train at my rink on the same patch ice as me and they compete in national and international events. They make their skating fun by not only planning on competing in skating competitions in France or Germany, but planning a week long holiday in a French villa (or picturesque German chalet, anyone?), with a bit of skating on the side! There is a great sense of community and the general atmosphere is much more relaxed than in elite figure skating competition. The adult skaters I know have huge fun working on their costumes, programmes, and dances, and ultimately skate because they love to be active and have a true passion for the ice.

So why not give it a go? Just visit the local ice rink and ask for information. It is no longer taboo in any way to ask what is available for adult skaters, and/or adult beginners! Check out Sk8stuff.com's "Adult Focus" page if you are based in the US for info specifically directed at adult skaters.

Don't forget that reaching out via the plethora of social media available to us nowadays online is a great way to interact with other adult skaters, whether they are in your area or not! Having online friends that you may be able to meet up with while travelling for competition is just another great facette to being an adult figure skater! Don't forget that starting a new activity can be easier if you start with someone you know, so if you fancy gliding across that sheet of sweet white ice to the tune of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake (insert your favourite music here!) but are too tentative to go it alone for the first time, get your frinds involved (coffee and chocolate cake afterwards you say? Yep, I'd do that!).

Until next time, I hope you get out on to that ice and make your dreams come true!
Gigi
XOXO
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7 comments

  1. I was nervous about joining adult beginner lessons in Streatham but they have been fantastic. Really good fun, great teachers who stretch you but not too much and I'm amazed at the progress I've made.From someone who was scared to let go of the barrier I'm now attempting 3 turns and crossovers. Not that I'm very good at either.

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  2. Julia thanks for your comment it's so good to know that you have gotten off to a successful start in skating! I was rather under the impression Streatham ice rink has closed, where did I get that from? I remember competing there once, in a 'Southern League' event! Old times!

    Are you planning on moving onto private lessons and maybe even the national testing system after you've finished skateUK?

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  3. Hi GiGi,

    I've been a skater since age 21 and later became a coach. I began skating when there was barely a presence of adults on the ice and now I see new adults all of the time! I want to encourage adults to take that first step and try ice skating--anyone can learn to skate! The Ice Coach

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  4. This is a very inspirational article, Gigi :-) Fun to see that your other post got so many comments by such a young audience (makes me feel like hundred). I'm living in the Netherlands almost nine years now, and so far I always had something why I didn't start skating (babies and such ;-) ), but this season I found a beginners' course.
    Naturally, they didn't mention that it was speed skating, and not figure skating! :-D Have to laugh about it every time (wrote a post about it myself). The good news is that I did find the adult figure skating group too, and I'll switch in October :-D

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  5. hey,
    Is there any ice skating classes happening in Dublin for Adult beginners i would to know how to skate ? let me no my email is: aoife.rox@hotmail.com

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  6. I've been thinking about trying to pick ice skating up as an adult. I've been really anxious and nervous about the idea, but I think you've convinced me to give it a try. Thank you for mentioning that some schools that teach kids also teach adults. This sounds like it would work out for me since I am a complete beginner!

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  7. I finally decided to take absolute beginner ice skate lessons as a present to myself for my 61st birthday. I just finished my 3rd lesson and am looking forward to more gliding in my future! Luke Yancy - relax and enjoy!I also enjoyed this blog post!

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