Synchronized skating is considered figure skating's newest discipline. Although it is not yet an Olympic figure skating event, it is becoming more and more popular and there is hope that the discipline will eventually be included at the Winter Olympic Games.
In synchronized skating, a team of figure skaters work together as one cohesive unit and perform programs on the ice to music. They skate in various formations and also do jumps, spins, steps, turns, spirals, creative moves, and even do pair skating lifts.
Approximately eight to twenty-four figure skaters make up a synchronized skating team, and although most synchronized figure skaters are girls or women, it is not unusual to see boys and men in the teams. When synchronized figure skating teams compete, they are grouped according to their skating level and age.
Skaters compete at a variety of levels and skate in teams according to their age and skating skill level. In February of 2014, the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships took place in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Haydenettes, from Boston, Massachussetts, won another senior national synchronized skating title and will compete once again at the world synchronized championships. That team has won the bronze medal four times at the world championships and hopes to win silver or gold this time around.
All figure skaters should consider giving synchronized skating a try since there is something fun about skating with a team of skaters on the ice. Those who do that figure skating discipline say that the friends they make and the places they get to travel to add a new dimension to their skating and help improve their skating skills. If you are interested in joining a synchronized skating team, check with your skating club or rink to find out if there is a synchronized skating program in your area that may match your age and skating level. You will be glad you did!
- Five basic synchronized skating terms
- Ice Skating Institute's synchronized skating programs
- All about synchronized skating