STARSkate has been Skate Canada’s mainstay of figure skating in Canada for more than 40 years. The STARSkate program offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, free skate and interpretive skating. Unique in Canada, this program teaches figure skating skills in a group and/or private lesson format in a progressive and sequential manner and includes specifically designed awards and incentives. Skaters have the opportunity to take Skate Canada Tests through a nationally standardized testing system.

When you/your child registers for a STARSkate program at Thornhill, a Skate Canada sanctioned club, you also become a member of Skate Canada and will have access to:

  • opportunities to be recognized through a nationally standardized testing system for achieving specific figure skating skills
  • complimentary Gold Test pins
  • invitational and interclub competitions, including the STARSkate championship stream
  • Special STARSkate events and club functions
  • Opportunity to be talent-scouted
  • Opportunity for personal growth and the development of important life skills such as goal-setting, self-discipline, confidence, time management, healthy lifestyle and coping strategies to deal with success and failure.

Once a skater is in the Skate Canada STARSkate Program, there are several of options. Skaters may choose to remain in the STARSkate Program, taking tests (although not mandatory) at organized test sessions and honing learned skills. Skaters may also choose to enter competitions, while still trying Skate Canada tests. Other skaters may feel that they have progressed to a point where they may wish to enter the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program or become involved in synchronized skating, evaluating or judging, or participate as an adult or varsity member.


Disciplines In The STARSkate Program

Skating Skills are a combination of fundamental skating movements, executed on a pattern and skated solo. The basic components of all disciplines of figure skating are incorporated into the program. The movements are derived from former compulsory figures, free skating and ice dancing. The objective of the Skating Skills program is mastery of the basic fundamentals of skating – edge quality, control, power and speed.

Ice Dance teaches timing, musicality, rhythm interpretation, structure as well as basic skating skills such as edges, flow, control and unison. The dances in the STARSkate Program can be tried in any order but a candidate must pass the required number of dances in a dance test before proceeding to the next level. In addition to the traditional compulsory dances, there are also Creative Dances to challenge skaters’ creativity, artistry and originality.

Free skating consists of the execution of jumps, spins, footwork, field movements and stroking, either in isolation or performed in sequence to music.

Interpretive encourages and develops a skaters’ creativity, expression, musicality, movement, interpretation of music, as well as the use of space, rhythm, line and style. The program provides skaters with the opportunity to explore the performance aspect of skating without focusing on technical elements.


Competing In The STARSkate Program

STARSkate participants love to compete! Skate Canada’s feedback indicates that even though a skater may choose not to participate in the Skate Canada CompetitiveSkate Program, they still want the opportunity to test their skill in a competition situation. Skate Canada offers several opportunities to do this.

Club Competitions

Clubs offer competitions for their own members to compete against each other. The club determines the categories which generally follow Skate Canada STARSkate guidelines (e.g. length of program, category name, type of event offered, etc.) The club may also offer other creative events such as longest shoot-the-duck, similar pairs, spins and jumps, etc.

STARSkate Interclub Competitions

These are events involving a number of clubs in the same region or area. The competition categories offered generally fall in line with the applicable Skate Canada Section specifications, so that all Interclubs within the Section are standardized (this allows Skate Canada Sections to offer a Section Final). The STARSkate Championship program provides opportunities for skaters who want to remain in the STARSkate program but also want to have the challenge of competing up to a Sectional level in a credible, nationally standardized event.

Invitational Competitions

These are events coordinated by a Section or Club(s) and offered, generally, to STARSkaters and competitive skaters. Most events fall within Skate Canada’s specifications regarding program length and eligibility to compete. For more information contact the hosting Section or club.


From September-June, Thornhill offers all levels of the STARSkate program. Please check our online store for complete information regarding schedule and fees.

STAR 1: Skaters who have completed Stage 6 of the CanSkate program or Group 4 of our Talent ID program will move into the first level of the STARSkate program, STAR 1. As this is the first level of figure skating, skaters on this session must have figure skates and no helmets are allowed. On this session, there are no group lessons and skaters must hire a private coach. We recommend a minimum of 30 mins of private lessons each time they skate for skaters who are starting out for the first time on this session. These private lessons may be one-on-one, semi-private or small groups, depending on what you have agreed with with your coach.  Coaches are independent contractors so they create their own schedule and fee structure, so please contact them directly to find out their availability and fees. Skaters may choose to take Skate Canada standardized tests or compete at local regional competitions at this level. Skaters at this level must skate a minimum of 2 times per week.

STAR 2:  Skaters at this level must have passed the complete STAR 1 test or are competing at the STAR 2 level. Skaters must hire a private coach, no lessons are included.  Skaters at this level must skate a minimum of 2 times per week.

STAR 3-10: Skaters at these levels must have passed the applicable test or are competing at the applicable level. Skaters must hire a private coach, no lessons are included. Skaters at these levels must skate a minimum of 3 times per week.