yale Yale Figure Skating Club
2015–2016 Brochure
General Information
USFS Tests
Club Coaches
Contact Information

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Table of Contents
  Our Skating Program
  Our Testing Program
  Professional Instruction
  Members and Guests
  Clothing and Equipment
  Ice Rules
  Accident Policy
  Club Administration
  Weather Emergencies


Welcome to the Yale Figure Skating Club!

We skate at Ingalls Rink (the Yale Whale), located at the corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets in New Haven, CT. The telephone number at the rink is 203-432-0876. For information about the Club, call 203-432-1233, or contact one of the Club officers.

This brochure is designed to acquaint you with figure skating and the skating program of the YFSC. Please read it carefully and feel free to contact any of the officers if you have questions.

Other opportunities for skating instruction and recreation, not connected with YFSC, are provided at Ingalls Rink through Yale University. See the Ingalls Rink web site for further information.

Our Skating Program
Our Club is a member of the United States Figure Skating Association (U.S. Figure Skating), the national governing body of ice skating in the United States. We offer sessions for skaters at all levels and provide group instruction in the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills program and in the U.S. Figure Skating Bridge, Synchro, and Dance program. Private, semi-private, and group instruction can be arranged directly with our professional skating coaches. Information is available at the rink and also here.

Disciplines of Figure Skating

  • Moves in the Field are patterns of basic stroking, steps and turns which form the foundation for freestyle and dance.
  • Freestyle skating refers to spins, jumps and choreographed programs skated to music. Skaters may earn Free Skate badges in the USFS Basic Skills program.
  • Ice Dance consists of a number of set patterns of graded difficulty, each of which has a particular rhythm (e.g., waltz, foxtrot, tango) and a set sequence of steps. Dances may be skated solo or with a partner. Skaters may earn Dance badges in the USFS Basic Skills program.
  • Synchronized Skating is a team sport in which 8–20 skaters perform a choreographed program to music. Skaters perform skating steps in unison and create a series of formations. Skaters may earn Synchronized Team badges in the USFS Basic Skills program.

Enrollments for the Practice Ice sessions are kept small so that the rink is a safe place for faster skating, jumps, dance footwork, and various moves. All skaters on Saturday session D and Sunday session A are expected to be especially cautious; double jumps and fast-moving, high level skating are not appropriate on those sessions.

Skaters may arrange for private or semi=private instruction during the Practice Ice sessions. Coaches will take turns playing skaters’ music. Skaters are encouraged to wear a brightly colored vest when their music is playing.

Our Testing Program
Tests are an important part of our skating program. Passing a test provides a measure of achievement and is a source of real pride for the skater.

  • Basic Skills Badge Tests.
    The U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills badge tests are conducted continuously throughout the season during the regular sessions, with badges awarded upon completion of each test. Tests are always low key; the professionals recommend a test when a skater seems ready. Often, parents and children start lessons together and progress together through the badges.

  • USFS Tests. USFS also provides a testing structure for more advanced skaters. We hold Moves in the Field, Freestyle and Dance tests in the spring. Further information is available from our test chair, : Eva Sapi.   Test applications will be posted here a few weeks before each test session: Click here for a March 2014 test application.
Professional Instruction

Our active approved professional skating coaches are listed on the Coaches page. Each coach has provided a resume and a photograph to help you make contact with the right person for your needs. All coaches are required to adhere to standards set by the Board of Directors. Most are members of the Professional Skaters Association (PSA), an organization which promotes the highest standards in teaching and provides seminars for its members to expand knowledge of teaching techniques. All are covered by the Club’s blanket liability insurance policy when teaching Club-sponsored group lessons, and all are required to carry individual liability insurance when teaching privately.

Most beginners progress rapidly during the group lessons provided in the Basic Skills sessions. Sometimes, however, a skater may get stuck on a particular skill and would profit from individual lessons. Other skaters, even at the early skating levels, want to prepare a program to perform during our show or our annual basic skills competition. Our coaches are happy to work with them.

Skaters may arrange for private or semi-private lessons with approved coaches during a Practice Ice session, to which the skater must subscribe. The coach must supervise the skater on the ice at all times until past Level 8 or the equivalent.

You may speak with our Basic Skills Director for help in arranging lessons or for advice on selecting a coach. YFSC maintains information on the qualifications of all approved coaches. This information is kept at the rink and is available to any member or parent who is seeking a coach.

If you would like to contact one of the coaches to arrange for private lessons, please use the contact information listed on that coach’s page. The coach does not need to be the same one that teaches the skater’s group class. Coaching fees vary, but start at approximately $25 for a 25-minute individual lesson, and go up from there.

Advanced skaters usually take private lessons. 25–minute to one hour lessons are arranged in advance with any of our approved coaches. Guest coaches are welcome to teach session subscribers, but must be registered with the Club. (Contact the Coach Committee Chair for information.)

Guest Policy
Only subscribers may skate at the Basic Skills sessions. Space permitting, other sessions are open to qualified skaters on a per-visit basis upon payment of the established guest fee for the session. The full guest policy and fees can be found on the Guesting page.

Club Membership and Dues
This is your Club. As a voting member, you have a say in how the Club is run. We encourage everyone to join and to participate in some of the many Club activities. You do not need to be a member of the Yale community. Current session times and prices can be viewed on the Program page.

To join YFSC, go to the Membership page, and follow the instructions given there.

The skating season is divided into three 8-week terms: fall, winter, and spring. Fees for each term are payable in full before the beginning of that term unless other payment arrangements are made. USFS membership fees are paid on an annual basis and are payable before the first term skated. They are not reduced for mid-year registrations.

All members of YFSC are required to be members of USFS. Membership in USFS may be maintained through our Club or through another club. Those who register through our Club are called Home Club members of the YFSC; others are called Non-Home Club members. Membership is open to non-skaters as well as skaters. Voting privileges in YFSC are restricted to Home Club members age 18 and above.

Home Club or Non-Home Club members who are affiliated with Yale University (faculty, staff, fellows, students, or alumni) and members of their immediate family are said to be Yale-affiliated members Non-affiliated Club members are known as Community members. They enjoy the same member benefits as Yale-affiliated members except for certain fee discounts.

USFS Basic Skills membership cards are distributed by session chairs at the rink. New Basic Skills skaters should pick up a Record Book which outlines the skills to be learned at the various levels. Cards for USFS Regular Members are sent to home addresses. More advanced skaters can order USFS rulebooks online at www.usfigureskating.org .

YFSC Items
Club pins are available. Club sweatshirts are sometimes offered for sale at Basic Skills sessions.

Equipment and Clothing
Required equipment includes a good-fitting pair of skates and warm clothing, including gloves. Figure skates are recommended, but hockey skates can also be used at the beginning levels. Please lace the skates properly. The laces should be tight across the instep to support the ankles. Then tie a know, and lace them more loosely, above, to allow the knee to bend. Leave short lace ends and loops.

A protective helmet is required for Snowplow Sam, Basic 1 and 2, and Adult 1. Look for a skating helmet that covers the back and sides of the head, as well as the forehead and top. Hockey, skateboarding, inline skating, or ski helmets may be a better choice than bicycle helmets, especially for older children and adults.

YFSC Skate Exchange YFSC has a board on which you can post skates for sale and where you can look to find skates. During sessions, it will be attached to the Club storage cabinet, in the hall at the bottom of the stairs, near the drinking fountains and the gate through which we enter the ice.

Putting on Figure Skates Loosen most of the laces to insert the foot. Make sure the heel is all the way back in the skate. Then tighten the laces across the instep up to the ankle. (This supports the ankle.) Tie a single knot, then lace the top of the boot more loosely, with the knee and ankle flexed. Make sure there are no floppy lace ends or loops.

Fitting Figure Skates A good fit is vital. When buying skates, wear lightweight socks or tights. Put the skates on as described above. If the toes pinch, the skates are too small. If you can insert a finger between the heel and the back of the boot, they’re too large. The heel must not slide up and down in the back of the boot. The boot must support the ankle properly so that standing up over the blade comes naturally. A boot that is too long or too wide or too flimsy cannot do this and permits the ankle to drop over, making skating difficult and painful. If you cannot get a good fit in one brand of skates, try another brand.

Buying Figure Skates. Very good equipment is important. It is better to buy good used skates which fit well than a new pair to "grow into" from catalogs or discount store skates. Some reliable brands for modest priced skates are Gam, Jackson and Riedell. Avoid "bottom line" skates. Suitable skates generally have leather uppers, not vinyl or plastic, and the blades are attached with screws, not rivets. Beware of lower quality skates sold by mass merchandisers and some low-end sport shops.

Advancing skaters move into higher quality skates that give them the support and control for jumps, spins, moves, and dance. At this level, boots and blades are sold separately. Some boots currently favored by skaters and coaches are Edia, Graf, Harlick, Jackson, Risport, and SP-Teri. Major blade brands are MK, Ultima, and Wilson.

Skates for Children and Snowplow Sam Good skates for this level are essential for growing feet. The Jackson brand comes in sizes small enough to fit tots. Two models are Tot’s Glacier and Tot’s SoftSkate. The Excel-JS1294 Tot’s models feature better construction and better blades. Glacier and Excel models are available in larger sizes as well. Excel skates also come in black for boys.

Where to Buy Skates Choosing appropriate skates and fitting them takes some expertise. Club members have had good experience in the past with the skate dealers listed below:

  • Ferguson’s Ice Pro Shop, 307 Race Brook Road, Orange, CT 06477 (203-799-7200).
  • Hockey Locker, the skate shop at the Northford Ice Pavilion, 24 Fire-Lite Place Northford, CT 06472 (877-217-6636).

Sharpening. All blades become dull after prolonged use and need periodic sharpening. Special equipment and expertise are required to sharpen figure skate blades properly. Recommended vendors are: Chris Bartlett at Skaters Landing Hamden, 85 Willow St - Building B, New Haven, CT 06511 (203-234-3923); Ferguson’s Ice Pro Shop, 307 Race Brook Road, Orange, CT 06477 (203-799-7200); George Knakal, Norwalk, CT (203-857-4670); and Michael Sklutovsky, Skate Escape LLC, Middlefield, CT (860-983-5044). Be sure to call ahead—appointments may be necessary.

Clothing should be warm and non-restrictive, including pants, a warm sweater, one pair of thin socks, and knitted mittens or gloves. Girls who are more advanced often like to wear tights and a short skating dress. Local sources for skating apparel:

  • Dancer’s World, 2348 Whitney Ave., Hamden (203-248-9304).
  • The Dancer’s Shop, 1935 State Street, Hamden (800-822-DANCE).
  • The Dancer’s Boutique, 224 Main Street, East Haven (203-469-6637).

Accessories. You will need these things:

  • A skate bag big enough for skates and helmet.
  • A clean cotton rag or chamois for wiping skate blades. When you take your skates off, remove the guards and carefully dry the blades. Do not put the guards back on since they cause the blades to rust.
  • Cloth blade covers. The best way to protect your blades while they are in your bag is to use cloth blade covers. The cloth allows air circulation and prevents rust.
  • Rubber or plastic skate guards. Use skate guards whenever you walk around off the ice. There are no mats in the stands or stairways. Your child will need guards for the year-end show.
  • Spare gloves.

Ice Rules and Safety
Safety and courtesy are of utmost importance. Each skater must respect the right of others to make effective use of their ice time.

General Rules
  1. Only skaters who are registered in or have paid a guest fee for a session may skate during that session. Guesting is not allowed in Basic Skills sessions.
  2. Skaters must check in with the Session Chair when entering the ice.
  3. Skaters may not enter the ice until their session time, and they must leave the ice promptly at the end.
  4. The Club is not responsible for personal property.
  5. The session chair has the responsibility and authority to enforce all rules and may ask a skater to leave the ice or withdraw from the session.
Etiquette and Safety
  1. Parents or guardians of children under 8 must remain in the rink. They should stay in a location known to the skater and visible to the child’s coach.
  2. Children between 8 and 12 must be in the care of a responsible adult.
  3. Skaters must stay with their group instructor during lessons.
  4. Helmets are required for all Snowplow, Basic 1, Basic 2 and Adult 1 skaters.
  5. Eating, drinking and gum chewing on the ice is strongly discouraged.
  6. Coaches must teach and skaters must learn how to avoid standing in the way of others. If you have been standing still, please look at the traffic before you move!
  7. Skating and instruction must be in keeping with the number of people on the ice. Double jumps are not appropriate in sessions with a large number of very young skaters.
  8. Coaches should take turns playing music on the rink’s system.   Other music systems should not be brought onto the ice.
  9. A skater who is wearing one of the colorful vests has the right of way while their program music is being played.
  10. Jumpers who create pits in the ice must fill them with "snow" before the ice is resurfaced.

This is a partial list of rules. Some safety rules are simple common sense. Ultimately, personal safety is the responsibility of each skater and/or skating parent.

Accident Policy and Procedure
  • It is the policy of YFSC to require signed medical release forms of all its members.
  • If an accident occurs, notify the session chair immediately.
  • If the injury is serious, or might be, do not move the injured person.
The session chair will call 911 for help. (To reach Yale Police, dial 911 from a campus phone, located in Zamboni room, or 203-432-4400 from an outside phone.) The session chair will then attempt to notify the parent, or emergency contact, if the parent cannot be immediately located.

Club Administration
The Yale Figure Skating Club, Inc. (YFSC) is an independent non-profit organization that is sanctioned by United States Figure Skating (USFS). It is tax exempt under sections 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Contributions are welcome and are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law. Our bylaws are available on the Bylaws page of this website

The business of the YFSC is conducted by a Board of Directors elected by adult Home Club YFSC members in odd-numbered years at the annual meeting, which is held each year shortly after the end of the skating season. All members and parents are encouraged to participate in Club activities throughout the year. The Directors for 2015–2016 years are listed below, along with any office held.

Nancy Brittingham, president, safe sport 860-614-1087 (cell)
Peter Ellis, vice president 203-776-0808
Michael Fischer, vice president 203-288-9599
Merceditas Villaneueva, secretary 203-654-6559 (cell)
Alice Fischer, treasurer 203-288-9599
Mary Lee, membership 203-777-8517
Eva Sapi, test chair 203-980-5688 (cell)
John Cain, program director, safe sport 860-790-0871 (cell)
Bo Wang, director 917-575-1979
Daniel Yang, director 217-898-1128 (cell)
Susan Olson, director, safe sport 203-623-4115 (cell)
Wayne Dean, ex officio, Yale Athletic Dept.   203-432-1462

Weather Emergency
If a storm comes or is threatening, Yale University may cancel our ice. Cancellation notices are posted on our website,   http://www.yale.edu/yfsc
and on the Club’s voice-mail number,   203-432-1233.

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