Learn to Skate

For beginning skaters who are just learning to skate, we recommend joining the Michigan Tech Learn to Skate program. The program has group instruction with skaters at similar levels and offers practice time to skaters and parents. Learn to Skate participants are eligible to be in the CCSA Annual Ice Show and Holiday Recital.

Basic skills skaters earn badges when they have completed training milestones. Badges are offered at the Snowplow SAM level and Basic Skills Levels 1-8.

Joining CCSA

Skaters who are self-motivated or younger skaters who have reached Basic Skills Levels 4-8 are encouraged to join CCSA in addition to or instead of Learn to Skate. CCSA membership will allow skaters to purchase ice time to practice skills and may arrange for lessons with a private coach to focus on individual development.

How to join CCSA

Every skater under the age of 18 must register and also have a parent or guardian join as a primary member. Log into EntryEeze to create a membership for your family and pay the annual dues.  If you are new to CCSA, an Introductory membership may be purchased at a reduced rate for the primary member for the first year.

How much does it cost to join CCSA

One year of full membership consists of the following components:

  • $30 Club membership per family
  • $60 United States Figure Skating Membership for first member, and $24 for each additional member
  • $100 Volunteer fee (refundable after 10 hours of service)

New members may join at the Introductory full membership rate of $160, which waives the $30 club membership.  Skaters who already have a primary club, may join CCSA as a limited member for $80, which includes a $50 volunteer fee (refundable after 5 hours of service).  

How many lessons

Lessons are individually arranged between coaches and skaters and lesson fees are paid directly to the coaches. It’s important to have enough lessons to give your skater guidance, but not so many lessons that they will not have enough time to practice skills independently.

Consider how long your skater will want to be on the ice and consider scheduling no more than half of their time in lessons. For a typical 45-minute session, one 15-minute lesson is generally appropriate.

How much ice time

Ice time is purchased as a session, which meets at the same time every week. Each session is generally 45-50 minutes long. Sessions are offered on Sundays (1-5pm) and on most weekday evenings (7-9pm). Skaters may also drop-in on sessions for a per-time fee or pre-purchase a punch card to allow dropping in on several sessions through the season. Skaters will often drop-in on a session when they are preparing for a test session or competition.

How many sessions to sign up for will vary depending on the age of your skater, their attention span, and their enthusiasm toward skating. When skaters first join CCSA after Learn to Skate, one or two sessions per week is a good introduction to the sport and club. If your skater’s goal is to improve their skating, 2-4 sessions per week are recommended for younger skaters, and 4-6 sessions per week for older skaters.

Some of our youngest skaters who are enthusiastic about the sport skate 6-10 sessions per week, while older skaters with additional commitments might only skate 2 sessions per week.

What does club membership entail

All members of the club (including parents!) may purchase ice time and participate in test sessions. Testing sessions allow skaters to earn levels of accomplishment in the sport, and can be necessary to participate in certain competitions or be eligible for solos in the Ice Show. Skaters enrolled in at least one ice session are eligible to participate in the Holiday Recital and Annual Ice Show. To keep costs low, all members are expected to either complete at least ten hours of volunteer time per season or pay a fee to the club.

How do I get involved

It’s easy and fun! Skaters and parents can play music in the music box, assist with competition and test sessions, or work on the Annual Ice Show. CCSA also has a board of directors, and there are multiple opportunities to become more involved in club management with a position on the board.

What to wear

CCSA skaters are a casual group. We don’t have a dress code, and younger skaters in particular usually wear whatever is comfortable for them. Jeans are not recommended for skating. Female skaters typically wear leggings, t-shirts, and fleeces, but can also be seen in skating skirts or dresses when preparing for competition or testing. Male skaters typically wear athletic pants, t-shirts, and fleeces. Skaters can find used skating apparel from other skaters or CCSA for their first competition or testing sessions. It’s important to dress in layers, as the rink may vary in temperature, and skaters can get warm while practicing. Helmets are not required, but are encouraged. Advanced skaters often wear pads to protect themselves from falls during jumping.

What kind of skates to buy

When buying skates for beginning skaters it is not always necessary to purchase new ones. Keep in mind that children grow out of their skates very quickly and do not abuse them very much. More often than not parents can find a pair of used children’s skates in excellent condition. The importance of a proper boot fitting shouldn’t be underestimated. Getting a pair of skates that fit well and provide good support are essential to an enjoyable and successful skating season. For this level, skates that come with the blade already attached are most common. At a skate store, these are commonly called “recreational skates” and will be suitable for beginning skaters. Plastic skates or soft skates are not recommended.

Skaters who play or are intending to play hockey can wear hockey skates. After they’ve reached a certain level, however, there will be some skills that cannot be achieved on hockey skates. Many hockey players find that their game is improved with stronger foundational skills obtained in figure skating lessons. [link to article about this]

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for skate shopping:

  • Do NOT buy skates that are too large, thinking your child will grow into them. If you anticipate a growth spurt, you could buy no more than a half-size larger pair of skates and wear a thicker sock in them at first.
  • Ideally, a thin sock or better yet leotards/tights should be worn in skates. Feet actually stay warmer!!!
  • Avoid skates that are molded out of plastic – they do not allow for the kind of ankle flexibility needed.
  • If buying used skates, be sure there is some sharpening steel left on the blade. There should be a slight curve to the blade, so if it appears to be flat, its lifespan is complete and won’t sharpen/skate properly.
  • Skaters who play or are intending to play hockey can wear hockey skates. After they’ve reached a certain level, however, there will be some skills that cannot be achieved on hockey skates.

Follow these steps for trying on skates:

  • Unlace the boot very loosely and pull the tongue forward as far as the laces go.
  • While seated, insert the foot. Slide it all the way forward, being sure to keep toes flat.
  • Check to see if you can insert your index finger behind the heel. Ideally, it’s a tight squeeze — only half a finger width is recommended. If you can get a full finger in, the boot is too long. If you can’t fit it in at all, the boot may be too small.
  • Now kick the heel to the very back of the boot. Curl the tongue in around the foot and ankle and do up the laces firmly, but not too tightly.