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Thread: How long to get to freestyle through ISI We Skate and private lessons?

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    Default How long to get to freestyle through ISI We Skate and private lessons?

    I am curious as to how long I should expect to take to get to freestyle skating if I have just started learning the basics in an ISI program? I have just started as a beginner in group lessons, and I am getting boots from the pro shop though I would like to know what a good time frame is for an adult who learns at a reasonable rate and is mobile on the ice. It seems like it would take about two to three eight week sessions to cover all the content from pre-alpha to delta. What is the cost of private lessons, and how do you approach a group instructor or a skating school director about them or maybe more pertinent is when? I don't have a parent to take me through this LOL. I am living in the hotbed of American skating with all the rinks and figure skating clubs, so I have opportunity in front of me. Do adults ever take skating school classes with children to learn jumps and spins once one gets to freestyle level or should one find a rink with adult only freestyle classes? I am afraid to ask these questions until I appear more serious, so please fill me in before I become inquisitive at the rink.

  2. #2
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    You've got to pass all basic levels first. Sometimes the later basic levels include basic freestyle. You definitely don't want to rush yourself. Perfecting the basics is most important. I'm eager to learn the salchow, but my teacher won't let me until I've gotten more consistent in what I'm already doing. I'd say a year before private or even semi-private lessons would really be necessary, but that would depend on you. Some people need a more personal approach, others learn well in groups. It'll be good to have different teachers for the first few levels so you can get a feel for what kind of teacher you need. I stuck with the teacher I got in my third group class session (adult basic 3). That said... I don't know anything about ISI. ( I just looked up the levels... I'd be able to test all the way through at least FS2 and some elements from FS 3 & 4.) I've been skating for three years, but didn't start private lessons until January 2008.

    Basically, it all depends on your ability once you're skating regularly.
    Last edited by synnabun; February 4th, 2009 at 06:10 PM.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyfan View Post
    I am curious as to how long I should expect to take to get to freestyle skating if I have just started learning the basics in an ISI program? I have just started as a beginner in group lessons, and I am getting boots from the pro shop though I would like to know what a good time frame is for an adult who learns at a reasonable rate and is mobile on the ice. It seems like it would take about two to three eight week sessions to cover all the content from pre-alpha to delta.
    Yikes! Unless you're a prodigy, it will take longer than that. Most adults I have seen have to repeat levels beta through delta at least once in order to pass. I'm not saying it isn't possible to get to freestyle faster. It's just not typical.

  4. #4

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    it really depends on the individual. are you a quick learner? are you a risk taker?

    for me i learned pretty quickly by watching other skaters. i was doing waltz jumps and toe loops in rental skates after about three months of skating.

    then i got my own pair of figure skates (riedell gold star i believe) and started doing the more advanced single jumps. i didnt have a huge fear of falling, so i just learned by imitating what i saw the other skaters did.

    that being said, i now wish i had taken the time to learn more of the non-freestyle portion of skating, like brackets, counters, etc. i think that would have helped my overall skating.

    i guess, my advice is not to rush things. really learn strong edging and three turns. this will help your takeoffs and landings.

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    I think it depends on how much time you skate, and how often you practice. I started out with private lessons and was able to pass pre-alpha - FS 1 in about 3 months time. I took a 30 minute private lesson a week and practiced for about an hour or two every day in between.

    As for private lessons, I'd watch coaches give lessons and see if you see one that you think you might work well with. Then you can either ask the skating director (or someone at the front desk) to leave a message that you are a begining adult skater and are interested in taking private lessons with whatever their name is. Or you could approach the coach directly, provided they aren't in a lesson with another student. Some coaches don't work well with adults, but many do. For me I found that group classes weren't my thing, and it was well worth the money for private lessons. On occaision my rink would offer special classes with guest instructors, and I would sign up for those, and even though I was usually one of the few adults with a bunch of kids, they were still very valuable learning experiences.

    Good luck!

    Dawn

  6. #6

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    Thank you. I am just starting, and I just want to make sure I optimize my time. How are private lessons different from group lessons. I think I already know, but I am wondering how many basic skills do you get taught if you are a quick learner in like an hour or half of one.

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    Every coach does things differently. But we would ussually spend half my lesson working on "the basics" such as stroking and turns, and then eventually MITF. And then the other half working on freestyle elements such as jumps or spins.

    The one thing that is different with private lessons, is if you are stuck on something, they can spend more time on just that element, or if you get something pretty quickly, then you can move on to a different element. Basically they can move at your pace. Whereas in a group class, they have to cover certain material in a certain time frame, so they need to move on whether everyone gets it or not, or if you get it right away, you may have to wait a bit for the others to catch up.

  8. #8

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    I agree, it depends on how good you want to get. I mean, you can pass beta (skating backwards, ten crossovers in a row) but be quite terrible at it. I didn't feel like my backwards skating had real flow till I passed gamma. All in all, it took me less than a year, but I would say I am pre-freestyle rather than really freestyle. I started knowing nothing but how to go forward, and they kicked me from pre-alpha to alpha in five minutes and to beta in another two weeks. I am fairly active in general and practiced twice a week in addition to a weekly group lesson. Throw in the vacations, etc. and I still think it was pretty fast.

    OTOH, a guy with a lot of dance experience started around the same time as me, went to beta quickly, and progressed level-wise no faster than I did but is a gorgeous skater and is now progressing far more than I ever will. So the tests and levels only mean so much.

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