What is figure skating?
Figure skating is a winter sport that takes place on a sheet of
ice. Figure skaters wear skates made usually of a leather boot with
a metal blade attached on each foot. There are three main figure
skating events: Singles, Pairs, and Ice Dance. For Singles, there
is a separate male and female event.
In Singles, skaters perform two programs, a short program and a
long program. In each, the skater must complete elements such as
jumps and spins, and is judged on how well they are performed and
the artistic quality of the performance.
In Pairs, a male and female skater perform together, and must
complete elements similar to singles. Some differences include that
there are 'throw' jumps that must be completed in addition to
side-by-side jumps, and lifts. Pairs is generally considered the
most difficult figure skating event. Pairs are required to compete
in a short and long program as well. They are judged on how well
the jumps and spins are performed, the artistic quality, and the
unison of the skaters in jumps, spins, and footwork sequences.
Ice dance is very similar to ballroom dancing, except on ice.
There are no jumps or throws performed, and the lifts cannot be
overhead. There are three programs needed to be shown- the
Compulsories, the Original Dance, and the Free Dance. Skaters are
judged on mostly artistic quality, as well as unison.