FAQ for AFSC FIGURE SKATERS
AFSC provides an opportunity for kids from Cody and the surrounding area to learn to figure skate with professional USFSA coaches. Some kids skate for fun, others skate competitively.
WHEN DOES THE AFSC MEET?
Most SUNDAYS from Sept to March at 1:30 to 5:00 at the Riley Arena, Cody.
Young beginners (Snowplow Sams) 1:30-2:00
Basic Skills Skaters 1:30-3:00
Advanced Skaters 2:00-5:00
Skaters also have a 30 minute after-school practice session midweek included in the cost of membership - please watch the Riley Arena Schedule for details.
WHEN DO FIGURE SKATERS PRACTICE?
Please check the RILEY ARENA SCHEDULE HERE for details of Freestyle Figure Skate (FFS) practice times.
Freestyle Figure Skating is an open time for figure skaters to practice jumps, spins, and moves in the field. This time is reserved for figure skaters only.
MY KIDDO IS A TOTAL BEGINNER, WILL S/HE STILL JOIN IN ALL CLUB ACTIVITIES LIKE SHOWS AND COMPETITIONS?
Each season the AFSC hosts a Winter Ice Show and the Cody Spring Classic Competition.
No matter what level skaters are at, this is an opportunity for everybody to have fun and show off the skills they have aquired from each session of lessons.
WHAT SHOULD MY BEGINNER SKATER WEAR?
Dress warmly. The arena is cold necessarily to keep the ice hard, and if you are not very mobile yet on skates,
you wil get much colder than you think. Of course when you compete or test you'll want to wear something sparkly and fun and for those few minutes you are on the ice, warmth won’t be an issue. But those hours you spend practicing are a different situation entirely. Comfort and safety are everything.
Wear something that does not restrict your motion, but never so loose it drags on the ice or gets close to your blades. Younger and/or slower skaters, LAYER! Don’t forget a hat (60% of your heat loss goes through your head) wear warm longer socks so the cuff is above the top of your boot, and take 2 pairs of gloves.
You are going to learn how to fall and get back up so they will get wet.
Heavy coats usually restrict your motion and are not so useful, but particularly for kids something like a ski jacket and snow pants works great. If you get really cold, pop a hand warmer in your pocket for a burst of heat.
Parents of children may feel more comfortable if their children wear helmets to protect their heads. Some rinks require this until
a certain level of proficiency is attained. In others, it is a matter of personal choice.
ABOUT YOUR SKATES
First time skaters don't have to go crazy buying boots. The club received a generous grant from the Daniels Foundation and we are now able to rent quality skates to club members.
If you are buying, eBay or Amazon can be great for first time skaters, and both Reidell and Jackson have 'softskate' options which don't need breaking in and work great for beginners. Expect to pay around $50-70.
Before buying, know that skate sizing is DIFFERENT to shoe sizing.
If you need better skates, talk to your coach BEFORE you buy.
Sites such as have great advice on sizing, fitting and which makes work best for different shaped feet. Many brands cater in the main for one foot shape. So if you hear people say Reidells are not as good as Jackson, likelihood is that
their own foot is wider, and better suited to Jacksons. Most skate boots brands are comparable in quality and it is just individual fitting preference that differentiates them to each skater.
ISN'T FIGURE SKATING AN EXPENSIVE SPORT?
Not here in Cody! The AFSC keeps your costs to an absolute minimum because we want all of Cody's kids to be able to participate. We are still at least half the price of some of the surrounding figure skating clubs!
An AFSC membership costs $100 (Snowplow Sam), $200 (Basic Skills) or $250 (Advanced) per session (note - there are 2 sessions per skating season) Dues to the USFSA are $17 for Basic Skills skaters and $60 for Advanced for which you receive monthly magazines, online access to great information and INSURANCE!
Some years you may also pay $20 for your Holiday Show costume.
You will need good cold weather clothing (and who in Wyoming doesn't have that already?)
You will need a punch card for practice ice ($55 for 10 practices saving $15 )
...and that will see you through the first session.
For the second session there is no costume fee, or USFSA membership to pay, but you will pay your AFSC session fee and will need another punch card from the Riley Arena.
CAN MY SKATER WORK PRIVATELY WITH COACHES
AFSC coaches are fabulous. They travel to our club 22 weeks a year from Bozeman and Florida (yep, you read that right!) and because of flight availability or road conditions, occasionally we rework dates or one of them may not be able to make it over.
The commitment they have made to our club and all of our kids is simply incredible, and we are very grateful to the Jewell family.
Private lessons are arranged with coaches in conjunction with the AFSC board, and payment ($15 for a 15 minute lesson) is made to coaches directly. You can opt for a full session of lessons (1 weekly 15 minute lesson - 10 lessons through the session) or a half session of lessons (5 bi-weekly lessons in any 10 week session).
The private lesson schedule is usually emailed out by Coach Kyla.
Parents should always be mindful not to interfere with the skater-coach relationship. On the ice your professional coach is in charge.
Sometimes your child's coach may seek you out to demonstrate something they want you to help your child practice at a midweek practice. If you have questions, please do keep them to your child's private lesson or ask before/after the club meet. Ice time is precious and we never want to cut into someone else's lesson time with things that could be dealt with off-ice.
SAFETY AND THE CLUB RULES
Safety matters. All club members are expected to abide by Rules of the Ice and be mindful of other skaters at all times.
We split the club session by level purposefully - there are few things more scary than watching a five year old skate out infront of a high level skater entering a jump at speed from backwards crossovers!
Basic skaters must leave the ice immediately at the end of their session.
Freestyle skaters are not allowed on the first hour of Basic Skate ice unless they are helping coaches with younger skaters.
THE HOLIDAY SHOW
Oh, this is so much fun! Kids are preparing for this show all through the session although them may not even realise it.
The show comprises of some group numbers and lots of solos and duets. Skaters choose their own music (younger ones may need help with this) and they skate to everything from Bing Crosby to the Chipmunks... all Christmas themed of course. No-one has to skate solo unless they want to.
The Holiday Show probably has the most supportive audience in Cody! Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends - everyone is welcome to come and cheer on our skaters, some of whom are performing for the first time. Its a FREE event.
Skaters pay $20 toward the cost of their costume for the show at the beginning of the season, and they can wear this for solos/duets too, or find a skating dress if they prefer.
Again, so much fun, although it means work for skaters and volunteer parents alike. The competition is in March and skaters come from clubs through the Rockies to compete for medals and ribbons. Basic skaters all medal, Freestyle skaters are placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd, and we have a panel of USFSA judges officiating. Basic kids enter level-specific classes and do routines they have been working on through the second session. They choose their music (which needs to be age appropriate and cut to the exact time designated) and there are additional competition events they can enter for fun like endless spiral, shoot the duck and jups and spins. Very popular is 'interpretive' where kids hear music played twice then have to make up their own routine on the spot.
The competition is also a fundraiser for the AFSC
The AFSC started a travelling team in 2015-16 season and our skaters had great fun competing in competitions in Rapid City, SD, Casper WY, and Billings, MT where they all qualified for Nationals at the State Games in Michigan.
If your skater would like to join the team, please let us know ASAP.
Parents are responsible for all travel expenses and competition fees. If coaches are able to come to support our skaters, we also pay their expenses and an honorarium. Its an invaluable experience for our skaters and all levels are eligible to enter, although younger skaters may want to try competing at our home competition first. Please see AFSC President or Board Members for more details.
YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A SKATER PARENT
CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE USFSA PAGE ON HELPING YOUR CHILD ENJOY SKATINGAs a parent of a skater, you want the best for your child. We know you want to be equiped to enjoy it to the fullest and help you make it fun and valuable for your child. To do that, you first need to understand your responsibilities as a skating parent:
Got a question of your own? Email it to and we will get it posted ASAP