Designed by U.S. Figure Skating, the Basic Skills Program is a beginning ice skating program that is fun, challenging and rewarding. Participation in the program will enable beginning skaters of all ages and abilities to learn the fundamentals of the sport and begin a life-time commitment to health and wellness.Whether your goal is to aim for the Olympics, learn to skate backward, improve your overall health and fitness, impress your friends, or just to have fun on the ice, you can find it with the Basic Skills Program.The objectives of the program are:

The objectives of the program are:

  • To provide a fun and safe skating experience for beginners as well as advanced skaters.
  • To teach correct techniques of the basic elements.
  • To develop coordination and balance.
  • To promote physical fitness.
  • To have fun!
Register here for Spring and Summer Learn to Skate classes

If you are under age 6, the best place to start is Snowplow Sam 1. If you are 6 years or older and have never skated, Basic 1 is the place for you. Once you finish Basic 8 you are ready to move into the Free Skate and Dance levels.

Snowplow Sam introduces preliminary skills to preschool age skaters. If the skater needs assistance, is unable to get across the ice alone or falls often this level is the place to start. Learn dips, swizzles, wiggles and stops with Snowplow Sam. There will not be one on one instruction. It is advised skaters attend some open skate sessions before enrolling in a class; they should have some skating experience.

The Basic 1-8 are eight carefully planned levels that allow the beginning skater to feel comfortable on the ice while gaining the basic skating techniques needed to move into any of the advanced curriculums. Skaters will learn forward and backward skating techniques, turns and stops.Free Skate and Dance are advanced skating programs available to those who have successfully completed the Basic 1-8 levels.

In Free Skate individual skaters will learn jumps, spins, footwork and other exciting athletic and artistic moves. Skaters will learn the essential elements and patterns in the preliminary and pre-bronze levels of the U. S. Figure Skating test structure in Dance.

Ice rinks are cold so wear warm clothes. Sweatpants or warm-up pants, a lightweight jacket or sweater, lightweight socks and gloves (or mittens) are essential. If you prefer figure skating dresses or pants wear figure skating tights as well. Stay away from bulky clothing that may hinder movement. If possible wear a hat or safety helmet.

U.S. Figure Skating and the RRVFSC strongly recommend the use of helmets for beginner skaters of all ages. To select a helmet that best suits your needs, consider the following information. A helmet should be comfortable and snug.

Be sure that it is level on your head and not tilted back on top of your head or pulled too low over your forehead. It should not move in any direction. The chin strap should be securely buckled so that the helmet doesn't move or fall off in a fall or collision. The individual that will wear the helmet should be present when purchasing it to ensure a good fit.
Correct Helmet Usage
  • Wear helmet low in front to protect forehead
  • Fasten buckle and check strap adjustment often
  • Replace your helmet immediately if it shows sign of damage
  • Clean helmet with mild soap/water only
  • Store in a cool, dry place
INCORRECT Helmet Usage
  • Wear anything under your helmet
  • Attach anything to your helmet
  • Replace your helmet immediately if it shows sign of damage
  • Wear a helmet that does not fit or cannot be adjusted properly
  • Leave a helmet in direct sunlight or in a car on a sunny day
Which helmet works for figure skating? A hockey, skateboard or ski helmet (multi-sport) is suitable in beginning ice skating lessons. These helmets are designed to withstand more than one moderate impact, but protection is provided for only a limited number of impacts. Consult the manufacturer's instructions for guidance on replacing the helmet.

Skaters need time to put on their skates and gloves; if possible arrive at the rink 10-15 minutes before your scheduled class time.

Your skate size may not match your equivalent shoe size. A supportive boot is required for ice skating. Make sure your feet do not move around in the boot. The boot should feel snug, and the heel should not move inside it. Take care of your skates by not walking on hard surfaces or concrete with uncovered blades. Always dry your blades after skating. Wear skate guards when walking to and from the ice surface. After drying the blades, store them inside cloth or towel-like soakers, not skate guards.

How to lace figure skates. First, loosen the skates. Pull the laces out so that your foot can easily be placed inside. Put your toes in first, and then push your heel all the way down. Make sure your socks are straight and your foot is all the way down in the boot. Tighten the laces in the bottom half of the boot first, working up from your toe to your ankle. The most important place to pull the laces tight is where your foot and ankle meet. Once you reach the top of the boot, wrap extra lace around the upper hooks. Leave some room for your ankles to bend, and finish with a secure bow.

Several skating skills may be introduced in a skating lesson, so pay attention to the instructor's directions. Parents should encourage listening skills, parents should not be interacting with the skater through the glass while the class is going on. The instructors need the full attention of the whole class. Skaters can not eat candy or chew gum during class. Falling is a part of figure skating. Expect to fall once in a while. Falling means that you are learning. The Red River Valley FSC is a Basic Skills group member of U.S. Figure Skating and offers Snowplow Sam 1-3 and Basic 1-8. For those who have finished the Basic 1-8 we offer Free Skate 1-6 and Dance 1-6 through our Novice Patch program.
Our classes are held at the Moorhead Sports Center, 2300 4th Ave S, Moorhead, MN. The RRVFSC and the Sports Center do not have skate rentals. We can be reached by emailing rrvfsc@ gmail.com