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Author Topic: How do we get figure skating more popular?  (Read 4858 times)

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Offline icedancer

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #25 on: February 24, 2014, 08:08:35 PM »
Great suggestions Bill!

I saw an interview with Gracie Gold where Jay Leno asked Gracie how she got started - she said she went to a skating birthday party and it was during a public session - she was completely mesmerized by the skaters in the middle who were practicing their spins - she thought it was SO COOL that she wanted to do that!

And look at where she is now - on top of the National podium and doing great in her first Olympics!

And yes, when I came back to skating I was always looking at the notices on the boards looking for a class or SOMETHING and there was often nothing posted - I was so shy to call or ask around that it took years before I finally found what I was looking for - in the form of an ice-dance class.

Offline jbruced

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #26 on: February 24, 2014, 09:35:52 PM »
I have one little suggestion. Allow jumps and spins at public sessions, within reason.

If they see the cool "tricks", they are instantly interested. Boys are too unless they are already deep into hockey machismo. This might be a time to tell them to check out the bulletin board or grab a brochure for LTS, or whatever the rink offers.
I agree with this observation by Bill_S. While I'm not a very skilled skater I try to skate with some grace and smoothness and have noticed newer less skilled younger skaters watching me and then trying to mimic me. I don't do jumps but I am working myself gradually back into spins. Some of the young, very graceful women do more advanced spins and a few single rotation jumps. This combination lets these very new skaters see a path from where they are to where I am to those graceful more skilled skaters. Even the young boys interested in hockey will watch an older person doing things that relate to hockey.

Offline Neverdull44

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #27 on: February 25, 2014, 11:22:19 AM »
I can see camels not allowed, especially when the rink is crowded.  Other than that, it depends on how crowded it is. 

Offline Query

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #28 on: February 25, 2014, 11:59:20 AM »
Let me add a rew more:

1. ADVERTISE: for some reason, most of the rinks around here don't understand that idea. Nor do most coaches. The few rinks here that advertise entry-level group lessons through county activity guides generally stay pretty busy.

2. Advertise Synchro, and put it on TV and in the Olympics. Far and away it seems to be the most popular think at the rinks I skate at. I think a lot of kids like team sports. Of course, it is mostly for the girls, but that's still a lot of kids.

3. Create and advertise a ballroom-and-social-dance-on-ice program for adult beginners. No I don't mean Ice Dance - the standards are too high, and you can't put enough people on the ice at once. Like the do for Contra-dance - one of the most popular activities around here for socially active adults. You get a half-hour - one-hour lesson before the dance - probably has to be a little longer for ice - and everyone gets together in a line dance, like Contra. Maybe you have a prior lesson for people who haven't skated before. You all dance at once on the ice, generally in mixed couples with progression (just like Contra), so the costs are reasonable. You don't need private lessons. You exchange advertising with ballroom and social dance places.

Something close to that existed at the turn of the 20th century, but was dropped as figure skating moved from a participatory sport into a mostly-spectator sport. I'd like to see it come back. But it needs someone who skates a lot better than me to organize it - and frankly any such new activity involves an econonomic risk - it's too expensive to expect a coach to rent the ice for a try. It needs to be organized and advertised by a rink.


Offline 4711

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #29 on: February 25, 2014, 12:12:41 PM »
Let me add a rew more:

1. ADVERTISE: for some reason, most of the rinks around here don't understand that idea. Nor do most coaches. The few rinks here that advertise entry-level group lessons through county activity guides generally stay pretty busy.

2. Advertise Synchro, and put it on TV and in the Olympics. Far and away it seems to be the most popular think at the rinks I skate at. I think a lot of kids like team sports. Of course, it is mostly for the girls, but that's still a lot of kids.

3. Create and advertise a ballroom-and-social-dance-on-ice program for adult beginners. No I don't mean Ice Dance - the standards are too high, and you can't put enough people on the ice at once. Like the do for Contra-dance - one of the most popular activities around here for socially active adults. You get a half-hour - one-hour lesson before the dance - probably has to be a little longer for ice - and everyone gets together in a line dance, like Contra. Maybe you have a prior lesson for people who haven't skated before. You all dance at once on the ice, generally in mixed couples with progression (just like Contra), so the costs are reasonable. You don't need private lessons. You exchange advertising with ballroom and social dance places.

Something close to that existed at the turn of the 20th century, but was dropped as figure skating moved from a participatory sport into a mostly-spectator sport. I'd like to see it come back. But it needs someone who skates a lot better than me to organize it - and frankly any such new activity involves an econonomic risk - it's too expensive to expect a coach to rent the ice for a try. It needs to be organized and advertised by a rink.

I don't think you have to skate better to throw ideas out (or organize the events)
Sounds like fun!

But a lot of people don't understand the need of advertisement. Some way or another you HAVE to put your name out for your business.
:blush: ~ I should be writing~ :blush:

Offline iomoon

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #30 on: February 25, 2014, 05:05:01 PM »
More popular music selections, party lights and silly dance routines that anyone can dance to. When friends come to my rink, they say they're bored because all they do is skate around in circles.

Offline alan

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2016, 06:00:25 PM »
Simple: More public skating rinks, more inexpensive youth programs and more televised skating events and shows.

Offline Neverdull44

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2016, 07:13:28 PM »
Follow up: 

Last year, I approached two Parent/Child type magazines in our area.  They are distributed at places where parents and children gather (pediatrician offices, etc.).  I was able to do free announcements of upcoming events for their print and on-line calendars.   Try to contact them about 2 months before your event to get it in the print version deadline.     

Then, there is a free, on-line calendar at eventful.com and the local news station had their own on-line calendar where I also posted the show.   For $40 extra, they would put it on Facebook & e-mail blasts to targeted audiences.

I also was able to get a free small article & picture writeup in the local 'high end' magazine advertising our holiday show!

I also visited local day-cares, posting the holiday show.  The rink was kind enough to give me some free public skate passes to hand out and flyers about birthday parties.

We had a number of people (maybe 50 or so) who came to the rink to see the holiday that were complete walk-ups.  In short, it pays to advertise.

Offline Query

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2016, 06:40:26 PM »
Recently, the Synchro Groups at our rink conducted a fund raiser. (Our rink's policy: split the proceeds with the fund raising group.) The kids in the Synchro groups recruited their family and friends to come and skate.

A lot of people came. They were very mixed in age and gender. Many were beginners. And many said they would come again.

There have been a few other similarly successful fund raisers. And yes, a few succesfull birthday parties.

This maybe shows that the best advertising comes from skaters who recruit family and friends. Rinks that want skating to be more popular should give skaters incentives to organize such events.

BUT: why do you folks want figure skating to be popular? Popular means that you compete for use of facilities and coaches with lots of other people. Popular raises ice time and coach prices. Popular isn't always good.

Offline riley876

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Re: How do we get figure skating more popular?
« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2016, 07:21:01 PM »
A thought I've mentioned to the roller skating people:   get more figure skaters (of all levels) to come to public sessions.   

At least where I skate, on wheels, you almost never see figure skaters at public sessions.   Admittedly it's not quite so sparse on ice, but the process still applies.

People will get into figure skating when a) they're already motivated to come skate at a public session  and b) when they see someone doing something amazing: "I want to do THAT!".  Especially if that person is approachable for questions (i.e. isn't part of a group).

At my roller rink, it's usually only me doing figurey stuff, but I'm no advertisement for anything/anyone.  Little Miss Freeskater turns up occasionally,  maybe once every couple of weeks,  but that's it.   If e.g. my ex-coach, the national champ dancer, showed up and showed off, she'd have gaggles of new people turning up at her LTS classes.  But no, too busy for that sort of stuff.

Particularly if you want to get the boys involved, you've got to have high level guys doing their stuff.   At the moment, the boys only have hockey skaters as role models.    If they actually see the hockey skaters can't skate worth a damn in comparison, maybe they'd be more inclined to go with the "more competent" option.

Getting people crossing over from roller sports to ice is another avenue (worked for me).

Also, I do actually think, that freestyle/slalom is a great "gateway drug" to get people into figure skating.  e.g.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDx8PFn6YIc  (LOL, aren't they the dearest? Hey, guys, admit it,  you really want to figure skate).