In Figure Skating the Term "Freestyle" Has Two Meanings

Figure Skating Practice
Figure Skating Practice.

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A freestyle session is a practice session. Freestyles are different than public skating sessions. Usually, they cost much more than a public session and skaters must be able to skate at a freestyle level. This means that freestyle sessions usually don't have beginning ice skaters on them.

Next, the word "freestyle" can mean doing single skating on the ice. It might be common to hear a skater say, "I like freestyle better than dance." That would mean that this skater prefers skating alone and doing jumps and spins to ice dancing.

Most figure skaters do "freestyle." Freestyle can be practiced on public skating sessions if the rink permits free skating, but freestyle is usually practiced on special freestyle sessions.

Until most rinks stopped holding practice sessions to practice figures (patch sessions), it was common to hear a figure skater say, "I'm going to do one patch and one freestyle this morning."

Pair skaters must do freestyle. Ice dancers need freestyle experience to do the complicated freestyle moves that are in free dancing. Free dancing is not freestyle. In fact, certain freestyle moves are not allowed in ice dancing.

At one time, the figure portion of a competition counted for more than sixty percent of the total competition score. Skaters weren't even able to do their freestyle program unless they placed in the top eight at regional events.

Freestyling Is Also Known As Freeskating

Freestyle is also known as singles skating or free skating. Sometimes the word free skating is put together in one word. Freeskating means freestyle. Jumping and spinning means freestyle.


If a serious ice skater says, "I'm going to do three freestyles today," the translation of this statement in layman's terms means the following: "I'm going to practice my jumps and spins on three forty-five minute to one-hour practice sessions today. During that session, I'll probably do my program to music." Despite the multiple meanings of this word, every figure skater understands the meaning of the word "freestyle."