Learning to figure skate: The basics

HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) – “24 Hour News Daybreak” has Olympic fever.

In the latest of “Daybreak Goes Olympic” series, Koco McAboy has been looking into the sport of competitive figure skating.

She used to figure skate when she was 8 years old but hasn’t skated since. Everyone kept telling her that it’s just like riding a bike. And for the most part, she agrees.

So she attended a figure skating class and spoke to coaches about the basic skills you need to start skating.

“It depends on how far you want to go with it when you need to start, but you really can start skating at any age,” said figure skating teacher Jaqueline Alimpich.

Alimpich is among a group of skating instructors at The Edge Ice Arena in Holland.

Jaqueline Alimpich teaches children how to figure skate at The Edge Ice Arena in Holland. (Feb 2014)
Jaqueline Alimpich teaches children how to figure skate at The Edge Ice Arena in Holland. (Feb 2014)

During the lessons, students are broken up into groups to learn the basic skills.

“Stopping, backwards, forwards, one-foot glides, two-foot glides…we start basic spins, jumps,” said Alimpich.

Learn-to-skate classes at the arena cost $80, Mondays and Saturdays for seven weeks.

Private lessons are priced by the hour.

“That ranges anywhere from probably $20 an hour to $75 an hour,” said Alimpich.

“It depends on where you’re skating, how many lessons and who your coach is.”

Sydney, 6, has already taken to the sport of figure skating.

“I like when we do turns, and I’m really good at skating,” she said.

Alyipich said competing at a higher level means a lot more dedication and more than just a few lessons.

“Be prepared to spend a lot of time at the rink. If you are willing to spend the money, then be prepared to only have one sport because we skate year-round, we are on the ice five days a week.”

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