What to Expect At an Introductory Group Ice-Skating Lesson for Kids

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Meet the Teacher and the Class

Boy laughing after iceskating fall
Merten Snijders / Getty Images

On the first day of class, your ice skating instructor will gather all the students in the class together. In this photo, the skaters are already on the ice, but usually beginning ice skating classes meet off the ice at the rink's entry door.

Once the skating instructor gathers the skaters together, he or she might check all the students' skates to see if they are tied up properly. Skaters are reminded to dress warmly and to wear gloves. Helmets are optional for all beginning ice skaters.

The instructor will sometimes take skaters through some off-ice exercises, but some instructors will immediately take the students to the ice.

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Get on the Ice While Holding the Rail

The class will now move onto the ice and hold on to the rail. Some skaters will be frightened when they step on the slippery ice surface; others will be excited. It is common for young toddlers to cry as the instructor leads skaters onto the ice, so parents of young children may want to stay nearby.

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Move Away From the Rail

Next, the instructor will get the beginning ice skaters to move a bit away from the rail.

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Falling Down on Purpose

The ice skating teacher will now have the skating students fall down on purpose. Usually, the skaters will dip down first and then fall to the side.

This "planned fall" will never hurt, but some young children may be surprised or frightened when they realize how cold and slippery the ice is.

Some skating teachers might have young ice skaters feel the cold slippery ice with their gloves or mittens.

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Getting Back Up

The ice skating instructor will now teach the new figure skaters how to get up.

Skaters will get themselves on "all fours" first. Then, they will put their hands between their skates and will push themselves up.

Some skaters will find that their blades will slip and slide as they try to get up. Figure skating coaches will recommend using the toe picks of the blades to keep the skates in one place as the skaters try to pull themselves up.

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Standing Up and Marching Across the Ice

Each of the ice skaters in a beginning figure skating class may get up at different times. Once each skater is standing, the class instructor will begin to help skaters march across the ice.

The group skating class teacher may have the skaters fall and get up over and over during the lesson, if that's a part of the lesson, the teacher will remind students that falling can be fun.

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Gliding on Two Feet

The beginning ice skating class students will march or step across the ice and then "rest." When the skaters rest, they should be gliding forward for a short distance on two feet. This is the first moment young skaters really begin to feel the magic of ice under their blades.

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Next skaters will learn to dip. While gliding, the skaters will skate forward on two feet and squat down as far as possible.

The skaters' arms and the skaters' rear ends should be level. It is very hard for new ice skaters to do this move correctly.

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Learning to Stop

The first stop skaters learn is the snowplow, in which the feet are pushed apart and the flat of the blade pushed against the ice to make a bit of snow on the ice. Some new figure skaters will push their feet apart too far, and even start to do a split accidentally.

Ice skating teachers will have beginning skaters practice stopping over and over. Learning to stop on the ice takes much practice and patience.

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Practice, Practice, Practice!

All beginning figure skaters must practice in order to perfect basic skills. It is best to supplement every group ice skating lesson with at least one practice session per week.