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Learn to Skate

The weSKATE Ice Skating Institute (ISI) Recreational Skating Program:Ice Skating Institute logo

  • Encourages individuals to skate for FUN!
  • Provides ice skating programs and attainable testing levels for skaters of all ages and abilities.
  • Provides opportunities for skaters to participate in exhibitions, shows, and in local and district competitions in many different event categories.
  • Offers the opportunity for participation each year in at least five national/international ISI competitions in various locations across the USA that are open to ALL ISI members worldwide.
  • The weSKATE program teaches skating maneuvers that can be easily mastered for measurable results. The program is designed for those who want to skate for the fun of it. The program helps you master new skills in each lesson that build on your past lessons, so your time on the ice is always fun and rewarding! After mastering the basics you can advance to higher figure skating levels and even join a synchronized skating team.
  • Interested in taking ice skating lessons? Classes are offered October through March for people of all ages through Herbert Wells’ weSKATE Ice Skating Institute Recreational Skating Program.
  • Classes begin in October.  For the most up-to-date ice skating course offerings, download the flyers below, call the ice rink for schedule or click here to view for ice skating courses in SMARTlink.  Register online; or in-person at any M-NCPPC facility. 

Starting to Skate

The weSKATE Learn-to-Skate Program consists of the following test levels:

Teddy Bear Class 
1-4 yrs.  A parent works with his/her child to help develop the skills of crawling, standing, walking, jumping, hopping, turning, and gliding on the ice.  Parents should wear tennis shoes, as they will be walking on carpet.  Helmets are recommended for the kids. 

Tot 1-4
Very young children require special classes with instruction given in a fun – rather than a more formal – atmosphere.  These tests are specifically designed for beginning skaters age 5and under. Test maneuvers are broken down into smaller parts so they can be easily learned and mastered. Fun – along with easy success and accomplishments – are the keys to any Tot level class.

tot 1

3-5 yrs.  Instruction includes standing on ice, falling/getting up properly, marching in place, marching while moving, two foot jump in place, forward swizzle, standing still & moving swizzle.

tot 2

3-5 yrs.  Instruction includes preparation for beginning stroke, preparation for snowplow stops, teapot glide, forward & backward swizzles, backward wiggle, right/left foot T-position & push.

tot 3/4

3-5 yrs.  Skaters will refine the skill of skating on one foot, stopping & beginning crossovers.

Pre-Alpha to Delta
These beginning-level tests are for skaters of all ages. This step-by-step progression of skills makes learning fun, and fast! Once the skater begins to build on the basics, the sky is the limit! It’s important to master these skating “basics” before moving on to higher levels of achievement.

After completion of the introductory learn-to-skate levels, recreational skaters may progress to the Figure Skating Levels.


For very beginners; falling & getting up properly, foward & backward swizzles, left/right 1 foot glide


For beginners; forward crossovers in both directions, forward stroking, snowplow stops


For intermediates; back stroking, left/right T stops, and back crossovers in both directions


Right/left forward inside Mohawk, right/left forward outside 3 turn, and hockey stop


Right/left forward inside 3 turns, forward outside/inside edges, shoot-the-duck or lunge & bunny hop

weSKATE Figure Skating program test levels

Freestyle 1-10
Beginning with half-rotation jumps and basic spins all the way up to triple jumps and flying spins, your skating skill level will improve at every step.  Must pass the Delta level.  All freestyle students sign up for this class; levels will be determined on the first day of class, then the group will break down according to ability.  Monday/Wednesday or Saturday/Wednesday.

Advanced Turns and Edges
Focus of the class is on edge quality.  Skater will work on basic and advanced edgework and footwork patterns including ISI dance step sequences.  Must have passed Gamma level.

Performance Essentials
For skaters looking to experience the artistic side of figure skating, this competition and performance based course will introduce skaters to the exciting world of recreational figure skating competition. 

Open Freestyle Bronze-Platinum
This new addition to the testing program opens up many more opportunities for skaters at all Freestyle levels. It’s great for a USFS skater who wishes to compete in local, district or national ISI events; current ISI skaters who might be stuck between levels but still want to advance while performing new maneuvers; and adult skaters who might not be strong enough on a required maneuver in the traditional Freestyle 1-10 test levels but still want to advance and compete.

Competitions / Shows / Exhibitions
Any skater who can pass any level of ISI test is eligible and encouraged to participate in a local, district and/or ISI national competition event. These events are so much fun that many young people and adults alike come back year after year to participate, meet new friends and improve the new skills they’ve learned.

All ISI competition events encourage “participation, not elimination.” Every skater in every event receives a medal or award, and all skaters receive team points to help their rink team’s overall score.