Learn to Skate

The Learn to Skate program provides year-round skating instruction for participants ages 3 years to adult.

Instructor-to-participant ratio is 1:6 – 1:12, depending on the level.

The Learn to Skate program follows the Basic Skills program sponsored by U.S. Figure Skating, and we also offer classes for Special Olympians.

Looking for hockey skating lessons? Please visit our Learn to Play Hockey page for both youth and adult hockey classes.

Meet the Coordinator: Bernadette Tynan | 303-871-3820 |

Program Information

Current Series: July 11 – August 3

Next Series: August 13 – October 8

Ages: 3 years and older

Cost: $120/series

Register Now

Upcoming Series

Series 6: July 11 – August 3 (Classes meet twice a week on Mondays and Wednesdays only)

Series 1: August 13 – October 8 (no classes on September 3, 5 or 7)

Series 2: October 10 – December 10 (no classes on November 11, 23 or 26)

Series 3: January 7 – March 1

Learn to Skate classes are held on Mondays, Wednesdays or Saturdays. Fall, winter and spring series meet once a week for eight weeks. The summer series meets twice a week (Mondays and Wednesdays only) for four weeks.

Snowplow Sam 1

Monday: 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m.

Snowplow Sam 2-3

Monday: 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m.

Basic 1

Monday: 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m.

Basic 3-6

Monday: 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: 10:30 a.m.

Basic 2

Monday: 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 5:30 p.m.

Saturday: 9:30 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.

Basic 7-8

Monday: 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday: 6:30 p.m.

Free Skate 1-2

Monday: 6:30 p.m.

Free Skate 3-6

Monday: 6:30 p.m.


Wednesday: 6:30 p.m.

Saturday: 10:30 a.m.


Monday: 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday: 11:30 a.m. & 1:00 p.m.

Series Cost & Benefits

$120*/8-week series*

The Learn to Skate registration fee includes:

  • annual membership with U.S. Figure Skating
  • free skate rental
  • free on-campus parking
  • eight free public skate sessions

Learn to Skate participants may skate during our 30-minute practice sessions on their class day at no additional cost. Parents may skate with their child at no additional cost (including skate rental) during:

  • Mondays and Wednesdays, 6-6:30 p.m.
  • Saturdays, 10-10:30 a.m.

Learn to Skate Levels

Skaters progress into the next level after they pass skill evaluations given by their instructor.

Snowplow Sam

Snowplow Sam (SPS) is designed for beginners, 3 to 5 years old. Upon completion of Snowplow Sam 3, skaters usually advance to the Basic 2 class. Skaters who turn 6 before finishing Snowplow Sam 3 will move into Basic 1 or 2.

Snowplow Sam 1 - Skills

Skaters will learn to:

  • Sit and stand up, on and off ice.
  • March in place.
  • March forward.
  • Glide on two feet.
  • Dip in place.

Snowplow Sam 2 - Skills

Skaters will:

  • March forward across the ice.
  • Perform two-foot glides and dips while moving.
  • Hop in place.
  • Learn forward swizzles.
  • Perform a rocking horse.
  • Do backward wiggles.

Snowplow Sam 3 - Skills

Skaters will:

  • March forward across the ice.
  • Glide forward on one foot.
  • Skate in a slalom pattern.
  • Perform forward swizzles and a snowplow stop with a skid.
  • Learn backward swizzles.

Basic Skills

Our Learn to Skate basic skill level classes are designed for beginner and intermediate skaters, ages 6 to 12 years old, and skaters who have completed the Snowplow Sam 3 level.

Basic 1 - Skills

Skaters will learn to:

  • Safely stand and fall.
  • March across the ice.
  • Glide on two feet.
  • Dip.
  • Snowplow stop.
  • Complete forward swizzles and backward skating.
  • Hop on two feet.
  • Perform a rocking horse.

Basic 2 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Forward one-foot glides.
  • Backward two-foot glides.
  • A moving snowplow stop.
  • Backward swizzles.
  • Slalom-pattern pumps.
  • Forward-to-backward two-foot turns.

Basic 3 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Forward stroking
  • Half swizzle pumps on a circle
  • Backward one-foot glides
  • Forward slaloms
  • A two-foot spin
  • Moving forward-to backward two-foot turns

Basic 4 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Forward outside and inside edges on a circle.
  • Forward crossovers.
  • Backward stroking.
  • Backward snowplow stops.
  • Forward outside 3-turns.

Basic 5 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Backward outside and inside edges on a circle.
  • Backward crossovers.
  • A hockey stop.
  • Side-toe hops.
  • A beginning one-foot spin.

Basic 6 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Forward inside three-turns.
  • Bunny hops.
  • Spirals.
  • Lunges.
  • T-stops.
  • A moving backward-to-forward two-foot turn.

Basic 7 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Forward inside pivots.
  • Ballet jumps.
  • Forward inside-open mohawks.
  • A backward outside-edge to a forward inside-edge transition.
  • Backward crossovers to backward outside-edge glides.

Basic 8 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Moving inside and outside three-turns.
  • One-foot upright spin.
  • A waltz jump.
  • A mazurka and a combination move—including forward crossovers to an inside mohawk.
  • Backward crossovers to forward inside edges.

Free Skate

Free skate levels are for skaters who have completed the basic skills classes.

Free Skate 1 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Advanced stroking.
  • Basic forward inside and outside consecutive edges.
  • Advanced back outside three-turns.
  • Scratch spins.
  • Waltz jumps.
  • A half-flip jump.

Free Skate 2 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Back inside and outside consecutive edges.
  • Forward inside and outside spirals.
  • A forward progressive chasse sequence.
  • Waltz threes.
  • A beginning back spin.
  • A toe loop jump.
  • A waltz jump/side toe hop/waltz jump combination.

Free Skate 3 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • Forward and backward crossovers in a figure 8 pattern.
  • A waltz eight.
  • Swing rolls.
  • Back inside three-turns.
  • An advanced back spin.
  • A salchow jump.
  • A half lutz jump.
  • A waltz jump/toe loop or salchow/toe loop combination.

Free Skate 4 - Skills

Skaters will learn:

  • A spiral sequence.
  • Forward power three-turns.
  • Backward chasse sequence.
  • A sit spin.
  • A loop jump.
  • A waltz jump/loop jump combination.
  • A spiral sequence.
  • A slide chasse swing roll sequence.
  • A camel spin.
  • A forward-scratch to back-scratch spin.
  • A flip jump.
  • A loop/loop combo.
  • A waltz jump sequence.
  • A footwork sequence.
  • Free Skate 6 - Skills

    Skaters will learn:

    • A five-step mohawk sequence.
    • A camel/sit spin.
    • A lutz jump.
    • A waltz jump combination.
    • A split or stag jump.
    • Alternating back crossovers to back outside edges.
    • An axel jump preparation.

    Adult Learn to Skate

    The Adult Learn to Skate program is for adults who have never skated or those wanting to improve their current skills. Classes are taught in a workshop style where the instructor introduces a new skill and then allows participants time to practice that skill and master it. Classes include 30-minutes of instruction and an additional 30-minute practice session.

    Adult 1 - Skills

    Skaters will learn:

    • Falling and recovering.
    • Forward strides and glides.
    • Forward and backward swizzles.
    • Backward skating.
    • Forward one-foot glides.
    • Two-foot turns in place.
    • Snowplow stops.
    • Forward curves on two feet.
    • Forward half swizzle pumps.

    Adult 2 - Skills

    Skaters will learn:

    • Forward stroking.
    • Backward half swizzle pumps.
    • Moving two-foot turns.
    • Forward edges.
    • Forward crossovers.
    • Backward one-foot glides.
    • Forward pivots.
    • Forward chassés.

    Adult 3 - Skills

    Skaters will learn:

    • Backward edges.
    • Backward crossovers.
    • Inside Mohawk.
    • Basic forward outside and forward inside.
    • Forward progressives.
    • Beginning two-foot spins.
    • Backward snowplow stops.

    Adult 4 - Skills

    Skaters will learn:

    • Forward three-turns.
    • perimeter stroking with crossover end patterns.
    • Forward outside to inside change of edge sequences.
    • Alternate backward crossovers with two-foot transitions.
    • Footwork sequences.
    • Power three-turns.
    • Backward chassés.

    Hockey Skating

    Please visit our Learn to Play Hockey page for more information about youth and adult hockey lessons.

    Series 5 registration

    Snowplow Sam 1-3 & Basic 1: Begins April 11

    All levels: Begins April 18

    Please note: Registration will not be accepted on the first day of a series.

    If you’re interested in a class that has reached the maximum enrollment, please call 303-871-3820 to be added to the waitlist.

    Register Now

    Contact Us

    For additional information on Learn to Skate, please contact Bernadette Tynan at 303-871-3820 or, or complete the interest form below.

    Learn to Skate Interest Form

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What should my child bring for class?

    We suggest the following clothing for skaters:

    • long pants
    • long-sleeved shirt
    • mittens or gloves
    • a hockey or bike helmet
    • a hat and coat

    Skate rental is included with your Learn to Skate registration, though you are welcome to bring your own skates.

    Each participant will also receive a name tag at their first class, which should be worn at each session.

    Where do I park, and how do I get a parking permit?

    There are several parking options around the Ritchie Center. After you have registered for Learn to Skate, you can request a Ritchie Center parking permit by please visiting or calling 303-871-3210. Your permit will be mailed to you within 7-10 days of your request. If you need a temporary parking permit for your first Learn to Skate session, please contact our Learn to Skate Coordinator at 303-871-3820.

    Where should I meet my class?

    All Snowplow Sam, Parent/Tot and Basic 1 participants will meet their instructor off the ice during the first week of the series. All other skaters will meet the instructor on the ice under the designated sign for their level.

    How old does my child have to be to participate in Learn to Skate?

    Snowplow Sam: 3 years and older

    Basic 1: 6 years and older

    Parent/Tot: 3 years

    What are the skills requirements for each level?

    Each level has specific skill sets that must be met before advancing to the next level. For more information regarding specific skill sets and level appropriateness, please visit our Learn to Skate class levels page.

    How do I know when my child is ready for the next level?

    At the end of each series, your child will receive a progress report that indicates the level for which the instructor feels your child is read. It may take more than one series to progress through some of the levels.

    How many lessons do I receive per series?

    Our eight-week series includes eight lessons.

    Are classes divided by age?

    Classes are divided by age for the beginning levels. Snowplow Sam 1-3 is for ages 3-5. Basic 1-8 is for ages 6-12. Free Skate is for ages 6-15.