Figure Skating Levels: Free Skate 1-6

Written By: Riedell | August 8, 2023

Ready to enter the exciting and complex world of figure skating? Before you can attempt the intricate jumps and throws you’ve watched skaters perform in the Olympics, you must first master the basics. You can’t run before you walk, and you certainly can’t successfully complete an Axel jump before you’ve mastered the art of a basic backward upright spin!

Learn to Skate USA’s Free Skate levels are designed to help skaters master the basics. There are six levels, and each introduces progressively more challenging moves. Each level builds on the knowledge gained in the previous ones.

Your instructor will ensure you’ve mastered the skills in each level before advancing to the next. You’ll learn the most basic and more specialized moves that will help you learn to be a better skater and set you up for success! 

Each level is divided into three sections: skating skills, jumps, and spins. These levels are designed to provide skaters with a strong foundation of necessary skills to continue recreational levels or advance into the competitive sport of figure skating.

Pre-Free Skate

Before you enter level one, you must show mastery of the basics. Most people will learn these by taking the Basic Skills lessons, and the Pre-Free Skate level shows an understanding and competence of the skills learned in that program.

Skaters must show they can successfully do the following to move on to Free Skate Level 1:

  • Forward inside open mohawk from a standstill position (R to L and L to R)
  • Backward crossovers to a backward outside edge glides (landing position), clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Backward outside edge to a forward outside edge transition, clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Two forward crossovers into a forward inside mohawk, step down and cross behind, step into one backward crossover, and step to a forward inside edge, clockwise and counterclockwise
  • One-foot upright spin, optional entry, and free-foot position (minimum three revolutions)
  • Mazurka (R or L)
  • Waltz Jump
  • Bonus Skill: Backward inside pivots, clockwise and counterclockwise

Free Skate 1

In Free Skate 1, skaters will focus on improving their footwork through more complex movements. You’ll also learn a few new spins and jumps! Here’s what you have to look forward to at this level:

  • Forward power stroking, clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Basic forward outside and forward inside consecutive edges (four to six consecutive edges)
  • Backward outside three-turns (R and L)
  • Upright spin, entry from back crossovers (minimum of four to six revolutions)
  • Half flip
  • Toe loop
  • Bonus Skill: Waltz jump-side toe hop-waltz jump sequence, or waltz jump-ballet jump-toe loop sequence

Free Skate 2

In Free Skate 2, you’re moving onto some more complicated skating skills, spins, and jumps. Each level gets progressively more challenging, so it’s important to set yourself up for success on the ice. In Level 2, you’ll learn:

  • Alternating forward outside and inside spirals on a continuous axis (two sets)
  • Basic backward outside and backward inside consecutive edges (four to six consecutive edges)
  • Backward inside three-turns (R and L)  
  • Beginning back spin (one to two revolutions)
  • Half Lutz
  • Salchow
  • Bonus Skill: Variation of a forward spiral, skater’s choice FREE SKATE 3

Free Skate 3

You’ve made it to Free Skate 3! Your confidence on the ice should be soaring by now. Each new skill, jump, and spin in Free Skate 3 should present a challenge, but they’ll build on the solution foundation of the previous levels to help you progress successfully. In this level, you’ll master the following:

  • Alternating backward crossovers to back outside edges – Four sets
  • Alternating mohawk/crossover sequence (R to L and L to R)
  • Waltz three-turns (forward outside three turn, backward outside edge glide), clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Advanced back spin with free foot in crossed leg position (min. three revolutions)
  • Loop jump
  • Waltz jump-toe loop or Salchow-toe loop combination
  • Bonus Skills: Toe step sequence, skater’s choice, using a variety of toe steps

Free Skate 4

Once you enter Free Skate 4, you’ve reached the midpoint of this program! Keep your focus, practice often, and soon you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Forward power three-turns (R and L), 3 sets each  
  • Waltz eight
  • Forward upright spin to backward upright spin (3 revs., each foot)
  • Sit spin (minimum three revolutions)
  • Half loop
  • Flip
  • Bonus Skill: Split jump, stag jump or split falling leaf

Free Skate 5

In Free Skate 5, skaters should have a strong mastery of basic skating skills, jumps, and spins. You’ll build on that foundation and confidence now to progress through the final two free skate levels, which feature advanced skills and moves, such as:

  • Backward outside three-turn, mohawk (backward power three-turns), clockwise and counterclockwise 
  • Five-step mohawk sequence, clockwise and counterclockwise
  • Camel spin (minimum three revolutions) 
  • Waltz jump-loop jump combination
  • Lutz jump
  • Bonus Skill: Loop-loop combination

Free Skate 6

Skaters entering Free Skate 6 (the final free skate level in Learn to Skate USA) should feel incredibly proud of themselves. You’ve mastered difficult techniques and are preparing to enter into the more intricate and intense moves that define the competitive nature of figure skating. Here’s what you’ll learn in Free Skate 6:

  • Forward power pulls (R and L)
  • Creative step sequence, skater’s choice, using a variety of three-turns, mohawks and toe steps
  • Camel-sit spin combination (minimum two revolutions each position)  
  • Layback or attitude spin or cross-foot spin (three revolutions)
  • Waltz jump-Half loop-Salchow jump sequence
  • Beginning Axel 
  • Bonus Skill: Backward outside pivot, entry optional 

Set Yourself Up for Success With Riedell Ice

Whether you’re interested in continuing recreation lessons to enjoy the nuance and physicality of figure skating or you hope to pursue the competitive side of this fast-paced sport, Riedell Ice has the skates you need to set yourself up for success. Check out our developmental series to find the perfect skates for every stage of your journey.