I'm currently taking group lessons. I'm doing the skate uk corse. I've had three lessons so far and I'm really enjoying it :) I got moved up to level 3 at my first lesson..and I'm still there now. I'm thinking about having private lessons because id like to move at my own pace and concentrate on the things I'm having trouble with :) ....but, on the website, it says that the lessons are £14 for a 30min lesson and patch ice is £4. What exactly is patch ice..and do I have to pay it to have a lesson?? Are there any other costs?? And, I'm also a bit worried about having a private lesson at such a basic level :/ i'm just worried that I'll look stupid when everybody else is doing jumps and stuff when I can hardly go forward in a straight line :p has anybody else had lessons at this level?? Do you think it would help?? Thankyouu <3 xxxx
The same thing happened to me when I first started group lessons.
I was moved immediately at my first lesson to level 3. I stuck it out
for the rest of the term as the group lesson course is prepaid by the term.
At my rink you need to be minimum level 5 to go on patch ice.
Every rink will have their own rules and regulations though.
What I did was have a private 15 minute lesson during a public session.
One end of the rink was sectioned off for private lessons.
With a group lesson and a private lesson each week, I got to level 5 by
the end of the term.I also "tried out" lots of different coaches at this time
which was great when I continued with just private lessons as I knew
exactly which coach I wanted to have.
Some rinks have different level patch ice, perhaps your rink has a teatime
session for private lessons and practice for skate uk levels and up to nisa level one.
As far as costs go, you might be able to buy a season ticket for patch ice which will
save you money if you go more than twice a week. Also some of the group lesson
sessions allow you to practice during the following public session at no extra charge.
Basically, if you are allowed onto a patch ice session, there won't be people doing
double jumps. They will have their own training ice session as it is not safe having
beginners and advanced skaters practicing at the same time.
I hope that answered some of you questions.
Patch ice is the session which figure skaters use to practice on and have lessons (in the US they are called freestyle). If you are having your lesson on a patch session, you need to pay the £4 entry for the session as well as the cost of your lesson. In group lessons, the ice time is paid for in the cost of the lessons but this doesn't happen for private lessons which is why it is an extra cost.
At the moment, the only other cost is blade sharpening but you don't need your blades sharpened every week (I skate about 10-12 hours a week and have my blades sharpened every 4 weeks or so). You can join a club if your rink has one, which will probably have a joining fee, but that is optional.
Eventually, if you want to test the NISA standard levels or compete you will need a membership and there will be other fees, but at the moment your only weekly cost will be for your lesson and patch.
In some rinks you can't take a private lesson during a public session, but if this is allowed in your rink and you can find a session that is quiet then you might prefer to have your first few lessons during public so you don't have to worry about other figure skaters so much. If your public sessions are busy or you would rather skate on patch then that's fine too - don't worry about what level the other skaters are! They were all beginners at one point and should be looking out for you. At my rink, there is a girl who is about 9 or 10, and her first private lesson on patch was the first time she'd skated. She's been taking lessons for a couple of months now and it's been lovely seeing her progress and get more confident. All of the higher level skaters keep an eye out for her because she hasn't reached the level where she is always aware of where other people are or what they are doing, and the other girls her age seem to get on with her well. There will always be those not-so-nice people who will think you're not "worthy" of private lessons until you reach a certain level, but it's up to you when you think you need them. I started private lessons after passing level 6 because that's the point where I felt private lessons would benefit me more than groups. Other people will only take private lessons when they have finished the Skate UK course and can't take group lessons any more, other people start private lessons from level 1 - it can help a lot to have the individual attention but everyone is different, some people do better in group lessons, some in private lessons.
I think private lessons are a good idea, as you say it means you can work at your own pace and focus on what you find hard and also have the coach's full attention. A lot of skaters take private lessons when they can't even go round the rink, it won't look strange at all. People of all ages and ability take private lessons. I took private lessons right from the beginning (group class was on a day I couldn't do) and nobody thought that was strange, I don't think they even noticed.
Patch ice is specific sessions for figure skaters to practice on, at most rinks there is a minimum level so you would want to check that. As long as you have the minimum required level (which often is Skate UK 3) then you wouldn't look out of place at all, if you're still worried talk to your coach about it and they might be able to help you feel more confident on patch.
If you are having a lesson at that time you do have to pay for patch as well, it's an extra cost but often worth it because the rink can be so empty.