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 The STARSkate Program 

Click here to register for STARSkate

Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition - 

this is what STARSkate is all about!   

STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, free skate and interpretive skating. Unique in Canada, this program teaches figure skating skills in a group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and sequential manner and includes specifically designed awards and incentives. Skaters have the opportunity to take Skate Canada Tests through a nationally standardized testing system. Skaters who have mastered figure skating skills in STARSkate may also choose to pursue synchronized skating or pairs skating.

The STARSkate legacy  

STARSkate has been the mainstay of figure skating in Canada for more than four decades.

When you/your child registers for a STARSkate program at your local Skate Canada club, you also become a member of Skate Canada and will have access to:

  • opportunities to be recognized through a nationally standardized testing system for achieving specific figure skating skills
  • complimentary Gold Test pins
  • invitational and interclub competitions, including the STARSkate championship stream
  • specifically designed awards and incentives such as badges, tattoos and stickers
  • STARSkate Skater of the Year awards program
  • Progress updates and report cards
  • Special STARSkate events and club functions
  • Opportunity to be talent-scouted
  • Opportunity for personal growth and the development of important life skills such as goal-setting, self-discipline, confidence, time management, healthy lifestyle and coping strategies to deal with success and failure.

These are some of the awards and incentives that have been developed to encourage athletes in the STARSkate Program.

How STARSkate works

The STARSkate program consists of figure skating skills in four areas – Skating Skills, Ice Dance, Free Skate and Interpretive. Skaters must be registered for a minimum of 2 days of skating and 1 day of off ice. 

What Options do I have as a STARSkate Athlete?

Once a skater is in the Skate Canada STARSkate Program, there are several of options. Skaters may choose to remain in the STARSkate Program, taking tests (although not mandatory) at organized test sessions and honing learned skills. Skaters may also choose to enter competitions, while still trying Skate Canada tests. Other skaters may feel that they have progressed to a point where they may wish to enter the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program or become involved in synchronized skating, evaluating or judging, or participate as an adult or varsity member.

Skating Skills

Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are incorporated into the program. The movements are derived from former compulsory figures, free skating and ice dancing. The objective of the Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed.

Ice Dance

Consisting of seven levels of tests, the Dance Test program teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison.

The dances in the STARSkate Program can be tried in any order but a candidate must pass the required number of dances in a dance test before proceeding to the next level. In addition to the traditional compulsory dances, there are also Creative Dances to challenge skaters’ creativity, artistry and originality.

The Dance Tests are as follows:

  • (Dutch Waltz, Canasta Tango, Baby Blues)
  • (Fiesta Tango, Swing, Willow Waltz)
  • Senior Bronze (Ten Fox, Fourteenstep, European Waltz)
  • Junior Silver (Keats Foxtrot, Harris Tango, America Waltz, Rocker Foxtrot)
  • Senior Silver (Paso Doble, Starlight Waltz, Blues, Kilian, Cha-Cha Congelado)
  • Gold (Viennese Waltz, Westminister Waltz, Quickstep, Argentine Tango, Silver Samba)
  • Diamond (Ravensburger, Tango Romantica, Yankee Polka, Rhumba, Austrian Waltz, Golden Waltz)

Free Skate

Free skating consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.

Each test consists of 2 parts – Elements in Isolation and a Free Program.


The objective of the Interpretive program is to encourage and develop skaters’ creativity, expression, musicality, movement, interpretation of music, as well as the use of space, rhythm, line and style. The program provides skaters with the opportunity to explore the performance aspect of skating without focusing on technical elements.

The Interpretive tests consist of skating to and interpreting a piece of music 2.0 to 3.0 minutes (+/- 10 seconds) in length. 

Competitions for STARSkate Athletes

STARSkate participants love to compete! Our feedback indicates that even though a skater may choose not to participate in the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program, they still want the opportunity to test their skill in a competition situation. Skate Canada offers several opportunities to do this.

Club Competitions

Clubs offer competitions for their own members to compete against each other. The club determines the categories which generally follow Skate Canada STARSkate guidelines (e.g. length of program, category name, type of event offered, etc.) The club may also offer other creative events such as longest shoot-the-duck, similar pairs, spins and jumps, etc.)

STARSkate Interclub Competitions

These are events involving a number of clubs in the same region or area. The competition categories offered generally fall in line with the applicable Skate Canada Section specifications, so that all Interclubs within the Section are standardized (this allows Skate Canada Sections to offer a Section Final). The STARSkate Championship program provides opportunities for skaters who want to remain in the STARSkate program but also want to have the challenge of competing up to a Sectional level in a credible, nationally standardized event.

Invitational Competitions

Please see Skate Canada/Skate Alberta website for further information.

STAR 1-5 Competition Guide - Skate Canada

The STAR 1-5 competition program is where figure skating begins! The STAR competition program is comprised of five different levels of events for skaters who have completed the CanSkate program.  It introduces participants to key components of figure skating including performance, assessment, and competition. STAR 1-5 fits into the Learn to Train level of Skate Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development Model (LTADM).

Each stage of this national program emphasizes key skills such as turns, stroking, jumps, spins, and different aspects of performance that have been designated by figure skating experts as necessary for development and progression in our sport. It is important to note that every skater is unique and will advance at different rates due to various factors such as growth spurts and participation.  To accommodate individual needs, the STAR 1-5 competition program is designed to be fluid and allow skaters to progress at their own pace, even skipping levels if appropriate; skaters may move through several levels in a season or stay at the same level – it’s all dependent on individual athlete development!  At all stages and levels, parents should discuss their skater’s progress with their coach to determine the best options for them. The chart below provides a brief description of each level:





Group Elements Event

Introduces skaters to performing elements like jumps and spins in a fun group environment with their coaches. Skaters are evaluated and receive a report card and ribbon based on their performance.


Evaluated Program

Skaters now take many of the elements they learned in STAR 1 as well as new skills and perform them in a program in front of judges. Many skaters may learn a program in a group and even share music. Like STAR 1, skaters are evaluated and receive a report card and ribbon.


Evaluated Program

STAR 3 continues to build on the skills learned in STAR 1 and 2. More difficult elements like an axel jump are added and judges evaluate the programs based on more challenging criteria.  Skaters also receive a report card and ribbon.


Ranked Program

Axels are encouraged at this level and receive a bonus for successful completion. STAR 4 serves as a transition point between evaluated levels and competition incorporating a points system. Assessments are used to produce a ranking for each group of competitors. Each skater receives a report card with top finishers in each group receiving either a ribbon or medal.

In STAR 1-4, skaters are evaluated against a national standard by a panel of certified judges. Each element they perform receives an assessment of Gold, Silver, Bronze or Merit as well as an overall standing.


Ranked Program

Skaters may perform double jumps at this level. STAR 5 is the first time skaters are rewarded points for elements and performance; it is the same scoring system used to judge top competitive figure skaters. Skaters are ranked based on total points and are provided a detailed report card. Top finishers receive medals.

What Happens After STAR 1-5?

Skaters may choose to continue in higher levels of the STARSkate program (Senior Bronze, Junior Silver, etc.) or transition into in CompetitiveSkate (Pre-Juvenile, Juvenile, etc.). Skaters may also explore ice dancing, pair skating, interpretive skating, or synchronized (team) skating.  There are many opportunities for skaters and the best path for athletes to take should be a decision made collaboratively (child, parent and coach).

Helping your skater get the most out of STAR 1-5 

There are a lot of options within figure skating and that can sometimes be overwhelming; here are some tips to make this a positive and fun experience for parents and children.

  • Keep it Fun. The focus of STAR 1-5 should be on enjoyment and developing figure skating specific skills. Encourage skaters to have fun, try their best, and learn to find joy in all aspects of the sport. Remember this is their sport.
  • Ask Questions.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the way the skating world works!  Your coach is a good place to start as are experienced parents and club volunteers.  You can also find excellent information on-line at, as well as your section and club websites.  
  • Reward Effort.  Do not get hung up on results; instead, focus on personal progress and effort. Rankings only reflect the performances on the ice and not who skaters are as individuals. Skaters are not machines and top world skaters have bad days too.
  • Provide Emotional Support.  This is a really challenging sport. Even in the STAR 1-5 competition program skaters attempt fairly complex movements on a tiny blade and slippery surface; that’s enough to make anyone nervous!  Being anxious before competition is normal and it can be helpful to explain to your children that their nerves just show they care about how much they want to do their best.
  • Model Healthy Eating and Physical Activity.  Even beginner athletes need the right fuel to help them perform at their best.  Modeling healthy eating behavior and providing meals that are nutritious and balanced will benefit your entire family.  Encourage participation in a range of physical activities in addition to skating - can you find physical activities that you can do together as a family?
  • Communicate with your Coach.  Your coach is there to help you as well as your child.  Communicate with them regularly about the progress of your skater and to chart a course for development that works for your family and your budget.



For further information about STARSkate/Competitive Skate please contact us by email:


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