Skill Levels

The entire Basic Skills program presented by Marshalls, from beginning to more advanced, is designed to be the best beginning ice skating program. The program has nine separate sets of curriculum, including programs that focus on choreography, synchronized skating and hockey. If you're looking to learn how to skate, the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills Program is your first step! The nine programs are described below, with a listing of sample elements for each level.

Snowplow Sam Curriculum

The Snowplow Sam levels are designed to help the preschool age skater develop preliminary coordination and strength necessary to maneuver on the ice.

Sample elements in each level include:

  • Snowplow Sam 1
    1. Sit and stand up on ice
    2. March in place
    3. Dip in place
  • Snowplow Sam 2
    1. Dip while moving
    2. Forward two-foot swizzles
    3. Two-foot hop in place
  • Snowplow Sam 3
    1. Forward skating
    2. Backward swizzles
    3. Curves

Basic Skills Curriculum

The Basic Skills are the fundamentals of the sport. These eight levels of the program introduce the fundamental moves forward skating, backward skating, stops, edges, crossovers, turns and mohawks. Upon completion of the Basic 1-8 levels, skaters will have the basic knowledge of the sport enabling them to advance to the more specialized areas of skating.

Sample elements in each level include:


  • Basic 1
    1. Sit on ice and stand up
    2. March forward across the ice
    3. Forward swizzles 6-8 in a row
    4. Backward wiggles 6-8 in a row
    5. Snowplow stop
  • Basic 2
    1. Backward swizzles 6-8 in a row
    2. Two-foot turn from forward to backward in place
    3. Moving snowplow stop
    4. Forward alternating 1/2 swizzle pumps, in a straight line (slalom-like pattern)
  • Basic 3
    1. Forward stroking, showing correct use of blade
    2. Forward 1/2 swizzle pumps on a circle 6-8 consecutive clockwise and counterclockwise
    3. Moving forward to backward two-foot turn clockwise and counterclockwise
    4. Two-foot spin up to 2 revolutions
  • Basic 4
    1. Forward edges
    2. Forward crossovers clockwise and counterclockwise
    3. Backward snowplow stop R and L
  • Basic 5
    1. Backward edges
    2. Backward crossovers clockwise and counterclockwise
    3. One-foot spin up to 3 revolutions, optional entry and free foot position