A Question and Answer Session with the Cottonwood Heights Figure Skating Club
Q. My child has been taking group lessons in the Learn to Skate program but we have noticed that some skaters work on an individual basis with the coaches. How does that work?
A. Your child may begin to take private lessons at any time. He or she doesn't have to complete all of the Learn to Skate lessons first. The main reasons for taking private lessons are: to progress at a faster rate; to receive the benefits of individualized instruction geared to your child's learning rate and personality; or if your child has expressed an interest in entering competitions.
Q. How do I set up private lessons?
A. There are two different ways to set up private lessons. You may put your name on a list at the front desk of the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center (CHRC). The skating professionals periodically review the list and will contact you. Or, you may approach one of the pros directly.
Q. How would I know which skating pro to choose?
A. Perhaps your child has a favorite from Learn to Skate lessons or you have noticed one whose particular style of working with the skaters has impressed you. If you are still in doubt, you may contact an officer of The Cottonwood Heights Figure Skating Club (CHFSC). We would be happy to give you some guidance or put you in contact with some parents who could give you references.
Q. When are these private lessons given?
A. Private lessons are given during public sessions at the CHRC or during special times designated for figure skaters to take lessons and practice. These are called Freestyle Sessions.
Q. I bet this is going to be expensive isn't it?
A. It can be; but not necessarily. Your expenses will depend on your budget and how involved in skating your child becomes. No one will pressure you to spend more money than you are willing or able to spend.
If your child takes lessons and practices on public skating sessions AND is a member of the CHRC, your ice time is free. Otherwise there is an admission fee. If you take lessons and practice on the freestyle sessions, there is a charge of $4.50 per session. Sessions are forty-five minutes to an hour long. Discounts are available for CHRC members.
The cost of private lessons vary with the different pros but range from about $8.00 for a fifteen minute lesson to $20.00 for a half hour lesson. Depending on the pro lessons are given in fifteen, twenty, or thirty minute increments. You may take as few as one lesson a week or as many as four or more. You should also plan to have your child practice several times during the week to improve the skills learned in his or her lessons.
Q. Where do I pay for this?
A. Tickets for freestyle session and for private lessons are purchased separately, but both are purchased at the CHRC front desk. The ice ticket is given to the ice monitor when the skater checks in. The lesson ticket is given to the pro.
Q. What should my child wear?
A. Your child can wear anything that is comfortable for practice. For lessons coaches prefer skatewear or dancewear so that they can see the skater's body lines. This type of clothing can be purchased at outlets such as Danskin or Dancewear Unlimited or even at such stores as Meryvns, J.C. Penney or Kids R Us.
Q. What about skates? My daughter wants a white pair like she has seen some of the other skaters wear.
A. A new pair of beginner level skates can usually be purchased for around $100.00. You need to be sure that they provide good support for the ankles. As your child progresses and begins doing jumps and more difficult elements he or she will need a stiffer boot that will provide more support and blades that will hold the edges and stand up to the punishment they take. Many skaters at the lower levels purchase used skates. These are a fraction of the cost of new ones and are sufficient especially at the lower levels where skaters usually outgrow their skates before they wear them out. The skates you see worn by skaters doing double and triple jumps cost in the neighborhood of $1,000.00, but don't panic. That's a long way down the road. You should probably talk to your child's coach about the type of skate he or she needs and whether there might be a pair of good used ones available in the right size.
Q. You mentioned competitions. How does that work and when can my child expect to begin competing?
A. There are competition levels available for all skill ranges. Your coach can help you decide when your child is ready. He or she will help you choose appropriate music and plan a skating routine that incorporates the necessary elements for your child's level. For competitions, you will want a little more dressy skatewear. These costumes can be purchased new or used, made by a seamstress, or, if you are handy with a needle and thread, you may make them yourself.
There is an entry fee for competitions and medals or trophies are given for the top three or four placements.
The competitions that are held in Utah are:
OKTOBERFEST - Hosted by the Cottonwood Heights Figure Skating Club (CHFSC) and held in the Fall at the Cottonwood Heights Recreation Center (CHRC).
SKATEFEST - Hosted by the Centennial Park Figure Skating Club and held in June at the Acord Ice Arena in West Valley City.
COPPER CUP - Hosted by the Utah Figure Skating Club in July at the Bountiful Recreation Center.
WASATCH CLASSIC - Hosted by the Wasatch Figure Skating Club and held in July at the Ice Sheet in Ogden.
THE UTAH WINTER GAMES - Hosted on a rotating basis by each club and held in January.
SPRING FLING BASIC SKILLS COMPETITION - Held in May by the CHFSC at the CHRC.
REACH FOR THE PEAKS - Hosted by the Timpanogos Figure Skating club at Seven Peaks Ice Arena in Provo Utah.
Q. How is it determined what level my child will skate and compete at?
A. At the beginning levels your coach will make that decision in conjunction with you and your skater. After you skater has progressed through the basic and freestyle levels he or she will begin taking tests conducted in front of a panel of judges in order to advance from level to level. Again your coach in conjunction with you and your skater will determine when it is time to test.
Q. You keep mentioning the Cottonwood Heights Figure Skating Club. What exactly is that?
A. The CHFSC is the second oldest figure skating club in the state of Utah. Incorporated in 1978, we are known throughout the region for our well organized competitions and test sessions and for our friendliness and hospitality. We are frequently chosen to host the Central Pacific Regional Championships, which encompasses skaters from Utah, California, Nevada, and Hawaii. Regional Competitions are the first qualifying round to advance to Nationals.
We also host our own very popular Oktoberfest competition each fall, host the Utah Winter Games on a rotating basis, produce a yearly Spring Show to showcase the talent of our skaters in group numbers and solos, and hold a basic skills competition in May.
There are several types of membership in the CHFSC. Each Monday night, our club sponsors club night with ice skating and other special programs and parties.