synchronized skating

Your World is a series of blogs on what is going on in the figure skating world by Jo Ann Schneider Farris,'s Figure Skating Expert.  In this blog post, Jo Ann gives readers information about synchronized skating.


Synchronized figure skating is becoming more and more popular each year.  In synchronized skating, a team of figure skaters work together on the ice and skate together as one cohesive unit.

Approximately eight to twenty-four figure skaters make up a synchronized skating team. Together the skaters in synchronized skating teams perform programs to music and they skate in formations that include blocks, wheels, circles, lines, and intersections. While skating in those formations, they do jumps, spins, steps, turns, and lifts. Various holds are used as synchronized skating teams perform which include holding hands, basket weave holds, and shoulder holds. In addition, the skaters do spirals and lunges and other creative moves and positions.

Skaters compete at a variety of levels and skate in teams according to their age and skating skill level. There are both Ice Skating Institute and US Figure Skating beginning sychronized skating teams, competitive teams, adult teams, and teams made up of very advanced skaters.

Hopefully, one day synchronized skating will become an Olympic sport. Although that has not happened, there is an annual synchronized skating world figure skating championships.

Precision skating was the name synchronized skating was originally called since the original emphasis was for a group of figure skaters to keep tight formations.   Precision skaters marched to precise rhythms on the ice. Those teams looked a bit like drill teams or marching bands.  As the years have passed, the emphasis changed from marching and formation skating to the performance of high quality figure skating skills.

Most of the skaters taking part in synchronized figure skating are female, but some men and boys also participate. Many countries hold national synchronized skating events.  The discipline is especially popular in Sweden and in Finland.  

The 2014 U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships took place from February 26, 2014 through March 1, 2014. Hundreds of skaters of all ages and skating levels came to Colorado Springs, Colorado to participate in the event.

If you are interested in taking part in synchronized skating and joining a team, check with your skating club or rink to find out if there is a synchronized skating program in your area that may match your age and skating level.

Photo by Rich Moffitt