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
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
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
- 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
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.
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
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
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.)
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
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
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
Club pins are available. Club sweatshirts are
sometimes offered for sale at Basic Skills
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
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
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
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
- Dancer’s World, 2348 Whitney Ave., Hamden
- The Dancer’s Shop, 1935 State Street, Hamden
- The Dancer’s Boutique, 224 Main Street, East
Accessories. You will need these
- A skate bag big enough for skates and
- 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
- 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 SafetyGeneral Rules
and courtesy are of utmost importance. Each skater
must respect the right of others to make effective
use of their ice time.
Etiquette and Safety
- 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
- Skaters must check in with the Session Chair when entering the ice.
- Skaters may not enter the ice until their
session time, and they must leave the ice promptly
at the end.
- The Club is not responsible for personal
- 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.
- 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.
- Children between 8 and 12 must be in the
care of a responsible adult.
- Skaters must stay with their group instructor during lessons.
- Helmets are required for all Snowplow, Basic
1, Basic 2 and Adult 1 skaters.
- Eating, drinking and gum chewing on the ice is strongly discouraged.
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!
- 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
- Coaches should take turns playing music on the rink’s system.
Other music systems should not be brought onto the ice.
- A skater who is wearing one of the colorful vests
has the right of way while their program music is being played.
- 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
Accident Policy and Procedure
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.
- It is the policy of YFSC to require signed
medical release forms of all its members.
- If an accident occurs, notify the session chair
- If the injury is serious, or might be, do not
move the injured person.
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
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
|Peter Ellis, vice president
|Michael Fischer, vice president
|Merceditas Villaneueva, secretary
|Alice Fischer, treasurer
|Mary Lee, membership
|Eva Sapi, test chair
|John Cain, program director, safe sport
|Bo Wang, director
|Daniel Yang, director
|Susan Olson, director, safe sport
|Wayne Dean, ex officio, Yale Athletic Dept.
If a storm comes or is threatening, Yale University may
cancel our ice. Cancellation notices are posted on our
and on the Club’s voice-mail number,