Q: Are there skating aides, such as crates, available to assist beginners during class?
A: Walkers are available in our skate rental room to rent for $5. to assist beginners.
A: We do offer a Parent/Tot class that allows parents to join their child on the ice for class in shoes. All other classes only allow the registered participant on the ice.
Q: Where can I watch my child when he/she is in class?
A: Most of our arenas have bleacher seats or a lobby viewing area from which your child’s class will be visible. We ask that spectators use these areas so that our participants engage in their classes fully and we can keep the areas by the ice clear for safety. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
A: Our class participants are permitted to skate free during our public skating sessions, however, they must wear their badge to be permitted onto the ice. The free public skating is offered during the session you are registered for. Public Skating is a wonderful way to get extra practice. For more information on Public Skating schedules and other practice options, visit our Public Skating Page. In Addtion: Basic 1- FS 6 classes offer 45min of instruction with 15min of supervised "free time" after class to practice.
LEARN TO SKATE PROGRAM PROGRESSION
LEARN TO SKATE PROGRAM PROGRESSION
Q: What skills will my child learn in their class?
A: Helpful information including class criteria, skill sets and a program progression chart are listed on our website. Instructors work with the children by simplifying core elements into fun and easy to understand steps, making sure each child can fully comprehend instructions in an enjoyable and encouraging environment.
Q: How many sessions will it take for my child to progress to the next class level?
A: For Learn to Skate levels, the majority of kids advance in one to two sessions, however, every student is unique and will progress at his or her own pace. Often, students go through spurts of progress followed by plateaus. This is normal and explains why some kids can start at the same place and progress differently. We recommend reminding students that their main goal is to have fun learning and remember that mastering the skill set can take time. We believe each child should progress at their own rate, allowing them to become comfortable on the ice and to appreciate their learned skills while growing their desire to advance to the next level. Please approach your class instructor and/or the Skating Director with questions about progress.
Q: Is there an appropriate time to talk with my child’s class teacher?
A: We want your child’s skating experience to be enjoyable and we value your feedback. Instructors may be available to discuss your questions before or after class depending on how programs are scheduled in your arena. You can also contact the Skating Director who may be able to assist you or pass on your contact information.
Q: My child eventually wants to play hockey. What is the procedure that we follow to get him/her into that program?
A: All skaters need to learn to skate before they can be in pre-hockey or figure skating and our classes are designed to provide a positive atmosphere and prepare participants for whichever pathway they may choose. Future hockey players should complete the Learn to Skate classes for their age group and then will be recommended to register for SIA’s Pre-Hockey where they will have fun learning the basics of hockey.
Q: My child eventually wants to get into figure skating. What is the procedure that we follow to get him/her into that program? Who should I speak to about figure skating?
A: All skaters need to learn to skate before they can be successful in hockey or figure skating and our classes are designed to provide a positive atmosphere and prepare participants for whichever pathway they may choose. Future figure skaters should complete the Learn to Skate classes for their age group and then will be recommended to register for Skating Fundamentals where they will have fun learning the basics of figure skating. Speak to your Skating Director for additional information.
Q: Can I get supplemental private lessons for my child to help him/her progress quicker in classes?
A: Most programs have instructors who teach private lessons and some also have specialized programs to facilitate one-on-one instruction. Skating Directors can refer you to an instructor or program that is right for you. Approach your Skating Director after classes or find their email information by clicking the “Contact Us” link at the top of our website.
PREPARING FOR CLASSES
Q: Are helmets required for class? What kind of helmet is acceptable?
A: Participants enrolled in Learn to Skate classes are NOT required to wear a helmet. Only in Pre-Hockey programs are they required to wear HECC helmet.
Q: Are there rental skates available for class?
A: Rental skates are $3.00 to rent per class.
Q: What size and type of skates should my child wear?
A: Any single blade skate is appropriate however hockey skates can be more challenging to a beginner because of the blade shape. Sizing varies depending on the manufacturer and type of skates and therefore there is no general rule. If you are using rental skates, be sure to come early to allow time to find the right fit. If you are purchasing skates, it’s best to be fitted or at least have the skater try them on in the store.
A: Most athletic stores will carry skates and skating attire can be purchased at skating or dance stores. Some facilities will have an onsite pro shop that can offer these items as well. To ensure a good investment, it is recommended to talk to a staff member and ask for a retail referral before purchasing skates.
A: Southwest Ice Arena offers skate sharpening. Arrive early to allow enough time to sharpen skates.
A: Make sure that the skater’s foot is fully in the boot by asking them to stand up in the skate. Also, because they look alike, make sure the skates are on the right feet. Just as you would a work boot, tighten the laces over the foot so they are snug and don’t pull if you run your finger over them. Work your way all the way up to the top making sure that all hooks or loops are used then tie the laces like you would a shoe. For further assistance, please see a staff member.
A: Many of our skaters have never skated before and this will be their first experience. Arrive 15 to 20 minutes early to allow enough time to get skates on and find your class. While waiting for your class, have the child march in the skates to help learn balance (be sure to stay on the rubber mats or carpet to protect the blades).
A: Skaters should wear long pants and sleeves, gloves or mittens. Layers are recommended. Water proof pants can be beneficial to beginners as they will spend time on the ice, although thick snowpants can hinder movement.
POLICIES AND PROTOCOLS
A: The easiest and most efficient way to register for classes is at Southwest Ice Arena a Customer Care Representatives are happy to assist you over the phone with any questions or concerns. In addition, brochures are available at the rink and online to download and mail or fax to the registration office.
A: The incentive to sign up early is to secure a spot on the class roster. Classes may fill up, especially during the winter months.
A: We do offer discounts for immediate family members only. We discount $5 for each additional family member that participate in the same session.
A: Generally speaking, make ups are not permitted. However, in some instances, the Skating Directors may be able to accommodate a make up if additional classes of the same level and adequate staffing are already in place. For this reason, contact the Skating Director of your program to see what accommodations.
ON THE ICE: SKATERS, TEACHERS AND LESSONS
ON THE ICE: SKATERS, TEACHERS AND LESSONS
A: Please arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to class start time. If you need to register or utilize rental skates, please allow more time to do so.
Q: What can I expect to happen on the first day of class? What is the procedure for checking in?
A: Expect that there will be many students and classes that will need to be coordinated and checked in and the areas surrounding the arena, in addition to the lobby, will be used to do so. Look for staff members with SIA attire to assist you and as always, arriving early, reading literature prior to class and paying attention to posted signage on the day of, can make the boisterous nature of the first day of class much easier for both students and staff.
A: The class levels in our curriculum represent skill sets that are appropriate for the ages and abilities listed. These skill sets often are building blocks for skills in later levels and for this reason it is in the best interest of each participant to follow the progression as intended. Still, each participant is unique and therefore, each class will have its own personality which may not fit neatly into the class structure. Therefore, Skating Directors may combine or split the registrants of class levels to create groups that allow classes to run and/or participants with like age and ability to learn in a more comfortable environment. Changes are most often solidified by the second bweek.
A: Each program is taught at the Studio Rink at Southwest Ice Arena, the skating office is located next to the small rink to the right as you enter in SIA. Staff will be onsite to assist participants to their classes.