Welcome to the Learn to Skate Classes at Morgan Park Sports Center!
As you prepare for your skating classes, there are a few things you should know!
Things to Know
All participants are advised to wear gloves or mittens, a warm sweater or jacket, and loose fitting pants that will not inhibit free motion. Jeans are highly advised against. Helmets and other safety equipment are suggested, but optional. Helmets are available to borrow, for no charge (ID required in exchange).
Quality figure skates with firm support in the ankles are recommended. Figure Skates are strongly recommended for beginner skaters (especially skaters under the age of 6) – they have a flatter blade and require less core strength to stay standing. If the skater does not have his/her own skates, they may be rented each class for a $3 fee.
Double “Runner” blade skates are not permitted for classes.
**AVOID THE LINES AT THE FRONT DESK!** A Skate Rental Punch Card, good for 10 uses is available for purchase, for $30. You can head directly to skate rental with your punch card, bypassing the pay line!
Proper fitting and lacing of skates is essential for support. Skate support should be strong (not bendy) all the way to the top of the ankle. Ankles should not fall inwards, when skater stands up: Either tie skates tighter, or acquire a pair of skates with more ankle support. Skates should fit snugly, over a thin sock. Skates tend to run larger than street shoes, so generally, adults and children should wear skates one size smaller than their shoes.
Suggested brands for beginners: Jackson and Riedell — (AVOID “LAKE PLACID” BRAND)
When putting on the skates, be sure the laces are very loose and socks are free of wrinkles. Once the foot is in, pull up the tongue firmly. When lacing the skates, tie as tightly as possible across the arch and around the ankle. Lacing should be secure, but not tight above the ankle.
Skaters who have their own skates should wipe the blades dry after each use. Moisture left on the blades may cause rust and affect the quality of the edges. Hard guards should not be left on the skate blades in between each use, to avoid rusting. While in any skates, skaters should walk only on the rubber flooring, not on the concrete. Rental skates are not allowed on concrete surfaces at any time.
It is important that the skater be ready to go on the ice when the class begins. Therefore, it is necessary to arrive at least 15 minutes before class begins, to put on the skates. Regular attendance is also important, since skills are taught in sequence.
On the first day of the session, please meet in the lobby for attendance. The instructors will meet the skaters there, before going onto the ice. After the first week, skaters may wait by the ice rink door and take the ice when their instructor gives the go ahead. They will meet in the same “zone” on the ice each week.
**If you arrive late and do not know your class level or which instructor is teaching your class, please go to the Business Office to find out this information before going on the ice.**
Skaters are entitled to one make-up class per session. The make-up must be made during the session in which the class was missed. All make-up classes must be scheduled ahead of time! Please contact the Skating Coordinator to schedule your make-up class. On the day of your make-up class, you must stop by the Business Office to get a make-up slip before going on the ice. No skaters will be allowed to partake in a class without a Make-Up slip. This keeps class sizes the appropriate size for everyone.
Skaters are evaluated during class time near the conclusion of each session. Testing is done in the 6th Week of an 8-week session. Each skater will be tested on specific maneuvers in his/her level. A skater with a successful evaluation (passing all maneuvers) will pass to the next level. If a skater knows that he/she will miss the test, arrangements must be made to test ahead of time or on another test day. There are no make-up tests the last week of the session! If you miss testing altogether, please re-register for the same level.
Our figure skating program at Morgan Park Sports Center follows the standards of the US Figure Skating Learn to Skate USA Program. US Figure Skating is the national governing body of figure skating for all skaters. The average skater is in each level for 2 sessions before he/she may be ready to move on to the next level. It is recommended that each skater spend additional time outside of his/her group lesson, to enhance the quality of the skills. Each skater will progress at his/her own pace, resulting in skaters advancing to levels at different times. Don’t be discouraged if the evaluation requires you to repeat your current level.
Curious about where skating can take you? Click here to see the Pipeline Progression, and advanced opportunities.
Parents and Caretakers
Parents/caretakers are welcome to watch classes from the bleachers while lessons are in progress. Please do not block the entrance to the ice rink. Parents are not allowed to step on the ice with shoes on at any time.
Parents can help by staying involved and by encouraging their child(ren) to practice. Practice, in addition to group classes, is vital to mastering skills and will help skaters progress more quickly from one level to another. Take advantage of the public skating sessions that are scheduled throughout the week. The Public Skating schedule is available at the Business Office.
Private lessons will benefit skaters who are having trouble progressing to the next level; who wish to accelerate their progress; or who would like to participate in competitions. Many of our staff instructors teach private skating lessons on their own time, during the Freestyle Ice sessions. Private lessons are arranged between the instructor and parent, according to their schedules. Interested individuals may approach an instructor directly to schedule lessons or see the Skating Director for more information. Private lesson fees vary by instructor.
Now that you’ve read up on what to do for your first day, check out our class schedules to find out a day and time that fits your schedule! Our facility runs year-round and offers classes approximately every 8 weeks. Find the upcoming class schedule and next registration date here!
Morgan Park Sports Center – Skating Coordinator