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Mastering Figure Skating Terminology: Your Ultimate Guide

Posted by Skateraati Team / Feb 08, 2024

Figure skating is a captivating sport that combines athleticism, grace, and precision on the ice. Whether you’re a passionate fan or a budding skater, understanding the terminology used in figure skating is crucial for fully appreciating the performances and competitions. This glossary delves into various figure skating terms, covering everything from general terms to technical elements and scoring systems.

1.General Figure Skating Terms


Edge: The curved portion of the blade that allows skaters to grip the ice while performing manoeuvres.

Glide: The smooth movement across the ice surface is achieved by pushing off with the skate blades.

Spin: A rotational movement performed on one foot, showcasing the skater’s balance and control.

Jump: A dynamic movement where the skater propels themselves into the air and rotates before landing.

2.Figure Skating Competitions


Singles: Competitions where individual skaters perform solo programs consisting of jumps, spins, and footwork.

Pairs: Competitions where teams of two skaters perform together, showcasing lifts, throws, and synchronized elements.

Ice Dance: Competitions where couples perform choreographed routines that emphasize rhythm, timing, and expression.

3. General Scoring System Terms


  • Technical Score: The portion of a skater’s score is based on the execution of required elements, such as jumps, spins, and footwork.
  • Program Components Score: The portion of a skater’s score is based on artistic and technical performance, including skating skills, transitions, and interpretation of music.
  • Grade of Execution (GOE): A numerical value assigned to each element based on its quality and execution.

4. Technical Elements and Components


  • Axel: A jump with a forward takeoff and one and a half rotations in the air.
  • Biellmann Spin: A spin where the skater lifts one leg above their head and grasps the blade with one or both hands.
  • Choreographic Sequence: A program section showcases the skater’s creativity and musical interpretation through intricate footwork and movements.

Figure skating encompasses various terms and concepts, from basic movements to complex technical elements and scoring systems. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a newcomer to the sport, understanding these terms enhances your enjoyment and appreciation of figure skating. As you continue to explore the fascinating world of figure skating, remember to embrace the beauty and athleticism that define this graceful sport.

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