Arctic Edge Unity Frequently Asked Questions
What is Synchronized Team Skating?
A: Synchronized skating or “synchro” is a competitive discipline of figure skating recognized by US Figure Skating. In synchronized skating, teams of 8-20 skaters skate on the ice as a team, moving as one flowing unit. For a synchronized team to flow in unison, individual skaters must work as a team and be competent at a variety of skating skills, including speed, footwork and ice presence. The team performs a routine set to music, with required formations including circles, lines, blocks, wheels, and intersections.
What/who is Arctic Edge Unity?
A: Arctic Edge Unity (AEU) is a comprehensive synchronized skating program based out of the Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Canton, Michigan. AEU is made up of a committed group of skaters, dedicated parents and volunteers as well as an experienced staff of coaches to accommodate skaters of all levels, ages 4 and above.
Is Synchronized Team Skating a seasonal sport?
A: The regular AEU season starts in September and ends in March. However, at the more advanced levels, teams may begin some training as May or June. Clinics and Team Placement Days (tryouts) are generally held in the Spring and Summer of each year for the following season.
How often do the teams practice?
A: The frequency of on and off ice practices is dependent on skating level and team. For example an AEU Regional-Competitive Team will generally practice once a week, while a Sectional-Competitive or National Qualifying Team may practice 2-3 times per week. Also, there may be more practices on the ice the week before competition. On days where teams meet for ice time, skaters will also participate in some form off-ice practice before and/or after practice.
Are team practice sessions mandatory?
A: Absolutely! Synchronized Skating is a team sport, so when even one skater is missing, it affects the entire team, especially for younger skaters. Skaters get used to who they hold on to (height, weight, and idiosyncrasies to how they skate, step, etc.) who they intersect with, and whom they cross through when practicing their routine.
Once I am on a team, what is my skating commitment in addition to synchronized skating?
A: Synchronized Skating is NOT a replacement for your regular individual or group skating lessons. Though synchronized skating opens new avenues of competition and greatly develops each skater’s individual skills (especially speed, power, presentation and performance), AEU team skaters are expected and required to continue individual skill development either in their Learn-to-Skate classes or in a figure skating club with private instructor(s).
Q: When and where are practices for Arctic Edge Unity?
A: Arctic Edge Unity teams train anywhere from 1-3 days per week, depending on the team level (i.e. a Beginner level team may only train 1 day per week, but a sectional or national-level team may practice 2-3 days per week). We are based out of the Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Canton, Michigan, but can train at other rinks local to the area.
Q: Can a skater compete in other disciplines of skating while participating in synchronized skating?
A: Yes! it is definitely possible to compete in other skating disciplines besides synchronized skating. Synchronized skating involves all aspects of figure skating: moves-in-the-field, freestyle, dance, and even pair and group lifts! If your skater wants to compete in any other discipline, we encourage it. One thing to remember is that if you would like to compete in other disciplines, it is important that you discuss this schedule with your team coach as soon as possible. As a part of a team, your training committment is not just between you and your coach anymore, but with your teammates as well. Missing a training session can have a very negative effect on your teams' performance.
Q: How can I get involved with my skaters team?
A: Synchronized skating teams would not be able to operate without the incredible support and contributions of volunteers. Should you decide to join Arctic Edge Unity, we encourage you to get involved in any way you can. Do you have a special skill set that could be useful to the organization? An overall positive attitude? Always feel free to reach out to the program leadership and see how you can become a deeper part of the team!
For more information on Synchronized Skating at Arctic Edge, contact Program Director Erin directly at email@example.com.