How To Choreograph Your Own Figure Skating Routine

This is a diagram that shows the layout of a figure skating routine. Courtesy of Artist Larisa Gendernalik

You've worked hard on mastering a number of figure skating moves; now it’s time to set a program to music.

Here's How

  1. Select a piece of music that is about 1½ to 2 minutes long.
    Classical music is always acceptable, and movie themes can be a popular and trendy source for music. Something with a definite, identifiable crescendo or change is a good choice since there are natural places to insert jumps or other dramatic moves.
  2. Select a place in the rink to start, and decide on a starting position.
    Almost anything will work; putting your toe to your side, with one arm up, or just standing in a nice "T" with arms down, are good choices.
  3. Decide on a starting move.
    You might want to begin the routine with a pivot, bunny hop, or spiral.
  4. Take advantage of the connecting moves.
    Use moves such as three turns, mohawks, strokes, and crossovers to connect each element. Try a jump, followed by some footwork, then go into a spiral on a curve, transition into running threes, into another jump, followed by a spin, and finally some more footwork.
  5. Use of space in the rink is artistically important.
    Don’t skate in the same area over and over, and don’t do one spin followed by another spin--it’s generally not aesthetically pleasing.
  6. Make sure you know your music well.
    Practice your routine enough times to know when in the music to anticipate when certain moves will happen, and memorize your routine, every beat, every step.
  7. Finally, once the choreography is complete, end in a definite pose.


  1. Practice the program to music daily, and build up endurance to do it again and again. As you perfect it, you always have the option to add to it or change things around.
  2. If you do get a chance to perform the program in public, make sure you know it really well, and if you make a mistake, just go on to the next move and keep a smile on your face.

What You Need

  • Figure Skates
  • Music
  • A CD Player or Tape Player
  • A Creative Mind