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All About Ice Skating Opportunities for Adult Figure Skaters


Barbara Murry began figure skating lessons when she was 62 years old.

Barbara Murry began figure skating lessons when she was 62 years old.

Photo Courtesy of Barbara Murry

Skating Opportunities for Every Kind of Skater:

Many people think figure skating is a youth sport, but that is not true. There are many opportunities for adults of various ages and levels to participate in the sport. US Figure Skating and Ice Skating Institute both have a variety of opportunities for adult figure skaters, and test and competition opportunities are also available at the local, national, and international level.

Adult Competition Opportunties:

Skating competitions for adults are divided by age and test level. Some of the competition event opportunities for adults include free skating events, solo and partner ice dancing, pair skating, and artistic showcase events.

Ice Skating Institute's annual Adult Championships and US Figure Skating's Adult Championships, also called "Adult Nationals," draw hundreds of participants each year.

Special Skating Tests for Adult Figure Skaters:

Adults who figure skate are always welcome to take standard figure skating tests, but in addition, adult figure skaters in the USA can take proficiency figure skating tests that have been designed especially for adults over twenty-one years of age and over. There are adult moves-in-the-field tests, adult free skating tests, adult free-dance tests, and adult pair skating tests. The ice-dance tests are the same as the standard ice-dance tests, but the adult and masters (for skaters age of fifty and over) ice-dance tests do not require skaters to solo dances. Special tests for adult skaters are part of the US Figure Skating's Basic Skills program.

Program Length - US Figure Skating Adult Competition and Test Levels:

Maximum length:
  • Pre-Bronze: 1 minute 40 seconds
  • Bronze: 1 minute 50 seconds
  • Silver: 2 minutes 10 seconds
  • Gold: 2 minutes 40 seconds

Competitions are Divided by Age:

In the US Figure Skating structure, the competition groups are divided by ages. Skaters are divided by age since it is not fair for a twenty-one year old figure skater to compete against a fifty year old figure skater.
  • Group I: 21-30 years
  • Group II: 31-40 years
  • Group III: 41-50 years
  • Group IV: 51-60 years
  • Group V: 61 and older

Adult Figure Skating Camps:

There are ice skating camps especially for adult skaters, ice dance weekends, adult pair skating events, adult figure skating clinics, and most rinks offer learn-to-skate classes especially for adult skaters.

For example, every summer, adult figure skaters from all over the USA congregate in Sun Valley for a summer skating camp. Participants take part freestyle, ice dance, pair skating, choreography, coffee clubs, and in group clinics. Private lessons are available and skaters also enjoy skating on both the indoor and outdoor ice sheets.

Another popular camp for adult figure skaters is Dorothy Hamill's Figure Skating Fantasy Camp. Participants join Dorothy on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts for six days. They get to enjoy exclusive training and personal instruction from "America's Sweetheart."

Ice Dance Weekends Give Adult Figure Skaters Opportunities to Socialize:

Adult figure skaters who ice-dance get together at various times each year for ice dance weekends. Ice dance weekends usually plan activities for non-skating spouses and family members. Ice dance weekends are all about social ice dancing, which is very similar to social ballroom dancing.

Adult Figure Skaters Who Inspire:

Listed below are some adult figure skaters who are truly an inspiration to others:

  • Barbara Murry began figure skating lessons when she was 62 years old. At 69, she began working on the Axel jump.
  • Dr. Marci Richards is not only a physician, but she is a grandmother and a serious adult figure skater.
  • Lynn Stone, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, believes skating can be done throughtout life.
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