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Skating for Families since 1951

Frequently Asked Questions

Where does the Watertown Skating club skate?

At the Taft School in the main Odden rink off Guernseytown Road behind the iron gates. Taft has two rinks.  The Odden Rink is the newer facility directly in front of the parking lot.  The Mays Rink is the older arena to the lower right of the parking area.  Parking is limited. Both rinks are seasonal and private.

What to wear when skating at Taft?

Taft is a very cold rink. Dress in layers, wear mittens to protect your fingers from sharp blades and a hat to protect your head.

What is USFS testing?

This is testing beyond the BS 1-8. This is done once a year for Dance, Free style and Moves in the Field. It is special testing day in front of a panel of 1-3 judges accredited by the USFS organization to rate your own skills by a National set standard. No general skating occurs on test day. There is a fee to test. No one else is on the ice. Spectators are welcome. Retrys allowed after 30 days.

Who are the Junior Instructors (JI)?

JI are children who have passed BS 1-8 and have also passed the first three dances, the first free style and the first Moves in the Field test before a USFS Judging Panel. Adults and Pros mentor them in teaching skills to the younger kids. In return they are rewarded for their teaching efforts with privileges in the adult ice time. They augment our teaching staff.

How do I know if skating is cancelled?

Check your email and the web site. We also have a Facebook Page.  Since we are guests at Taft, and we have the privilege of skating in the main hockey arena, Taft sometimes has to cancel our normally scheduled sessions when they need the ice rink for their own activities.  Cancelled days may or may not be rescheduled.

How can I help?

Just ask. We are run by volunteers. The paid coaches are teaching.  We ask adults to help with attendance and clear up the hospitality table at the end of the session.

What is Ice Dance?

Ice Dance is skating edges to the music on a set pattern. Each stroke is held for 1-4 beats depending on the Dance. It can be done alone, with a partner or shadowing.

What is Synchronized Skating?

Synchronized skating consists of a group of about twelve to twenty figure skaters skating on the ice at one time. They work together as one unit. A synchronized skating team performs a program set to music.

What is Moves in the Field

Moves are a series of edges that replaced School Figures. It is skated the entire length of the rink. These tests help skaters increase power and strength.

When should I sharpen skates?

When they get dull. When you cannot hold an edge. Do not get a hockey sharpening for figure skates.  New skates in a box have usually never been sharpened. Ask your pro.

Where can I buy good skates?

Shop at a reputable skate store or rink not at a department store. We recommend either


Westco in Brookfield, CT-www.wescosportscenter.com

If you go to WESCO, find out when Barbara is working and have her help you.

Skaters Landing has several locations including North Haven-www.skaterslanding.com

Will my ankles collapse and my feet hurt?

Good skates have incredible support around the ankle without being tight. Good skates can be ordered in wide widths too. Good skates are thick and keep your feet warm. Heat moldable skates need no breaking in.  Adults will not grow out of their skates so buy a decent pair.

Questions Concerning Young Skaters

Should my child wear a helmet?

Helmets are recommended but not enforced for beginner young skaters who are learning to balance.

What is the check in procedure?

An adult volunteer logs in all children on the ice by their badge numbers which identify them as a paid member so we have an accurate account of attendance. No badge no skating. Lost badges cost $1 to replace. We ask parents to help man the attendance table.

How do I get tested into the next Basic Skill (BS) group?

As a child masters all the required basic skills in one group the Instructors ask another pro usually Jeannie or Sue to review their proficiency. They can be moved on to the next group whenever they are deemed ready. Testing is on going throughout the season.

Why do some children get moved on as faster than others?

Groups can be large. Some children get stuck on one skill or are absent for a basic skill. Everyone learns best on a one to one basis, therefore an occasional private lesson may help them progress. Regular private lessons for 15-30 min show are invaluable.

What is USFS testing?

This is testing beyond the BS 1-8. This is done once a year for Dance, Free style and Moves in the Field. It is special testing day in front of a panel of 1-3 judges accredited by the USFS organization to rate your own skills by a National set standard. No general skating occurs on test day. There is a fee to test. No one else is on the ice. Spectators are welcome. Retries allowed after 30 days.

How does my fee get spent?

WSC is a non profit organization. All fees are used to run the club. We pay the USFS a portion of your fee to be a member for insurances and their program. The remainder buys ice time and pays our coaches for the numerous group lessons offered.

How do I know what BS level my child is in?

Each level has a color which is designated on the name tag with colored dot. 1 Red, 2 Orange, 3 Yellow, 4 Green, 5 Blue, 6 Dk Blue, 7 neon orange, 8 Neon Green.

How do I get a Basic Skills Book?

BS books are given out to new members only. This is the only book you will ever receive. It contains the skills and the Dance patterns. The USFS gives an iron-on year patch to returning members yearly. They will be in your registration packet.

How do I get my BS badges when I pass into another group?

They are given out only at the beginning of the season in your child’s packet for the BS levels passed the previous year.

What is the Stroking Clinic?

Stroking for figure skating means moving from one skate to the other. This is what everyone does when they skate. A skater can stroke forward or backward. Proper edges, posture enhance power and agility and style. Beginner skaters skate on the flat of the blade. The BS 4-8 are learning to skate on the single outside or inside edges.

What ages can a skater start?

We recommend that children be 5-17 years old to start as a Junior member of the WSC. We group beginner with their own age group so they feel comfortable. Older kids progress faster than the wee ones.

Can my family skate with me?

We like to keep families skating together. Sibling must be full paid members to skate. Subsequent siblings in the same family get a price break. Parents may guest on Sundays for $5 to skate with their little WSC skaters. General skating is only on Sunday between 5:30-6:30pm for BS 1-3 skaters and their parents. Parents may skate during the later times on Sunday with the BS 4-8 kids if they choose.

My sibling skates at a different time than I?

You can skate on the sibling’s ice providing you stay out of the way of lessons or behind the goal lines. You will be asked to leave if you disturb the group.

Can I help teach?

On Saturday mornings parents may help out on-ice if they can skate. A volunteer or a pro will mentor them. Please notify Donna of your interest.

Do I have to be in the show?

The show is optional. Practices do not interfere with basic skill lessons

What can I do with the skates my child has outgrown?

If you don’t need to save them for a sibling. You can trade them in at a reputable skate store for a discount on a new pair. You can paint them black for a boy. You can wear boot covers too to disguise the color.

Can I bring food in the locker rooms?

Sorry no food allowed in the lockers rooms because in the past the sticky spills and food have been left for the clean up staff at Taft. We need to keep in their good graces.

What are the Basic Skills 1-8?

Questions Concerning Adult Skaters

What group class do I belong in?

The Watertown Skating club offers a range of classes that can change depending on the year and season. We will be happy to explain what classes are currently available.

When should I take a private lesson?

Start early! Everyone learns best on a one to one basis, therefore an occasional private lesson will expedite your progress and enhance what you learned in group. Regular private lessons for 15-30 minutes are invaluable. Find a partner and split a private lesson.

I am an adult and have never learned to skate, am I too old?

No, you are never too old. Get a good pair of supportive skates and join. Many of our adult skaters began at age 40+  Contact us for information on adult Learn to Skate programs.

Do I have to join for the whole season?

No. we allow adults to guest for a fee to try us out.  Adults skate Sat 11-12 noon $10, Sun 8-10pm includes lesson $25, Wed 7:30-9:30pm $20. Full membership includes all sessions and is the best bargain.  Guesting fees can be put toward membership. 

Will skating hurt my knees?

Skating is actually therapeutic for knees because it is a low impact exercise. It strengthens the muscles and ligaments around the knees. 

What are the Basic Skills for adults?

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