CanSkate is Skate Canada's flagship learn-to-skate program, designed for beginners of all ages. When you sign up for CanSkate you will be in a program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. You will earn badges and other incentives as you learn fundamental skating skills. Lessons are given in a group format and led by an NCCP certified professional coach. Professional coaches are assisted by trained Program Assistants. The coach to student ratio is a maximum of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, music and a wide variety of activities that create a fun environment and promote learning. CanSkate is the feeder program to all other Skate Canada Skating Programs.


Why sign up for CanSkate?

CanSkate is Canada's only national learn-to-skate program. It was developed by experts to teach the fundamentals of skating in a progressive and sequential manner.

When you/your child registers for a CanSkate program you also become a member of Skate Canada, the national sport governing body for figure skating in Canada. 

Program Structure

The CanSkate program focuses on the development of six fundamental movements organized in six stages of learning, with an optional 7th level for skaters who want to move into figure skating. The skills are arranged in progressions, from very simple to the more complex. Each stage has a primary focus. Once the skills on each stage are mastered, the skater will move to the next stage. 

The names of the STAGE are:Stage 1 - Balance Stage 2 - Glide Forward Stage 3 - Glide Backward Stage 4 - Edges Stage 5 - Power Stage 6 - Speed Stage 7 (optional) - Pre-Preliminary

The names of the FUNDAMENTAL MOVEMENT  are: Go Forward Go Backward StopTurn SpinJump

The names of the FITNESS are: Fitness I Fitness II

Helmet Requirements

Skaters will not be permitted on the ice unless they wear a  WEAR A CSA HOCKEY HELMET IF BADGE 5 HAS NOT BEEN PASSED

star program 

Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are incorporated into the program. The movements are derived from former compulsory figures, free skating and ice dancing. The objective of the Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating - edge quality, control, power and speed.

There are 6 Skating Skills tests in the STARSkate program:


Junior Bronze

Senior Bronze

Junior Silver

Senior Silver


Ice Dance

The dances in the program can be tried in any order but a candidate must pass the required number of dances in a dance test before proceeding to the next level. In addition to the traditional compulsory dances, there are also Creative Dances to challenge skaters' creativity, artistry and originality.

STAR 1 – Dance Step Elements

  • STAR 2a - Dutch Waltz

  • STAR 2b - Canasta Tango

  • STAR 3a - Baby Blues

  • STAR 3b – Dance Step Elements

  • STAR 4a - Swing Dance

  • STAR 4b - Fiesta Tango

  • STAR 5a - Willow Waltz

  • STAR 5b – Dance Step Elements

Senior Bronze Dance Test

  • Ten-Fox

  • Fourteenstep

  • European Waltz

Creative Dance

  • Bronze Creative Dance

Junior Silver Dance Test

  • Keats Foxtrot

  • Harris Tango

  • American Waltz

  • Rocker Foxtrot

Senior Silver Dance Test 

  • Paso Doble

  • Starlight Waltz

  • Blues

  • Kilian

  • Cha Cha Congelado

Creative Dance

  • Silver Creative Dance

Gold Dance Test

  • Viennese Waltz

  • Westminster Waltz

  • Quickstep

  • Argentine Tango

  • Silver Samba

Creative Dance

  • Gold Creative Dance

Free Skate

Free skating consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.

There are six Free Skating tests in the program:


Junior Bronze

Senior Bronze

Junior Silver

Senior Silver


Each test consists of 2 parts - Elements in Isolation and a Free Program.


The objective of the Interpretive program is to encourage and develop skaters' creativity, expression, musicality, movement, interpretation of music, as well as the use of space, rhythm, line and style. The program provides skaters with the opportunity to explore the performance aspect of skating without focusing on technical elements.

The Interpretive tests consist of skating to and interpreting a piece of music 2.0 to 3.0 minutes (+/- 10 seconds) in length. Skaters can take Interpretive tests as individuals and/or as a couple (male/female, female/female or male/male) at four levels:






Club Competitions:

Clubs offer competitions for their own members to compete against each other. The club determines the categories which generally follow Skate Canada guidelines (e.g. length of program, category name, type of event offered, etc.) The club may also offer other creative events such as longest shoot-the-duck, similar pairs, spins and jumps, etc.)

Interclub Competitions

These are events involving a number of clubs in the same region or area. The competition categories offered generally fall in line with the applicable Skate Canada Section specifications, so that all Interclubs within the Section are standardized (this allows Skate Canada Sections to offer a Section Final). The Championship program provides opportunities for skaters who want to remain in the program but also want to have the challenge of competing up to a Sectional level in a credible, nationally standardized event.

Invitational Competitions

These are events coordinated by a Section or Club(s) and offered, generally, to and competitive skaters. Most events fall within Skate Canada's specifications regarding program length and eligibility to compete. For more information contact the hosting Section or club

Special Olympic Program

As part of Port Dover Skating Club’s existing programming. We recognise the need for skaters with an intellectual disability are integrated into the appropriate Skate Canada program. Competition opportunities are available through Skate Canada & Special Olympics at the Regional, Provincial, National & World levels.

The Port Dover Skating Club will make accommodations for special needs skaters. Depending on their skating ability, skaters will be placed in a Canskate or Starskate programs. Depending on their needs, a shadow (a Program Assistant) may also be assigned to the skater for extra one-on-one attention.

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