What is synchronized skating? Synchronized skating (synchro) is a discipline of figure skating where 8–20 skaters skate together as one team. Skaters complete various elements in unison. Today there are approximately 600 synchronized skating teams in the United States.
Why should my skater join synchro? There are many reasons! Being part of a community, accomplishing goals with your team and learning skills that will prepare you for life after skating are just a few of the benefits of joining a synchronized skating team. Our athletes become like a family and support each on and off the ice! Many of our skaters build lasting friendships with each other. In addition to having a support network, skating on a synchro team helps skaters strengthen their individual skills and as an Ice Emeralds skater, we place a strong emphasis on improving speed and power, leg extension and expression while performing. All of these skills work to improve individual skating helping our athletes be more successful in testing and competing individually! So not only will your skaters have fun and make friends, they’ll also become better skaters through synchro.
Can I try synchro before joining a team? Yes! Depending on the time of the season we offer try synchro days, drop in clinics, and summer camps. See our ‘Upcoming Events‘ tab for details and please contact us for additional details on these or any of our events.
What do I wear to practice? Skaters should wear appropriate skating clothes—no jeans, please. Long hair should be pulled back in a ponytail or bun, neatly away from face. No gloves, jewelry or shirts with a hood for safety reasons. Skaters should wear layers to practice.
What level/age do I have to be to skate with the Ice Emeralds? We have teams at multiple levels and each team has their own requirements. Please see each team under the ‘Our Teams’ dropdown for details on age and skating requirements for each team. Local rinks also run beginner synchro programs throughout the year. Check their websites for current programming.
Is synchro a co-ed sport? Yes! In synchro, males and females skate together on the same team. There are no requirements around ratios of skaters.
How are teams selected? Skaters attend auditions in the Spring. Coaches work together to determine team placement for the following season based on numbers, skater ages, and skater skill level, and moves in the field test requirements. Each team has their own requirements which are set by the coaches prior to auditions.
What happens if I recently moved to Seattle? If skaters move to Seattle after auditions, skaters may be able to schedule a makeup audition with a WIESSO coach. If you know you are moving to Seattle, please let us know as soon as possible!
Do I have to be a full or associate member of a specific club? Washington Ice Emeralds in an Independent member of US Figure Skating. This allows us to work in conjunction with clubs and rinks across the Seattle area. A USFS membership is required to skate with the Ice Emeralds; however, we do not offer membership and welcome skaters from all clubs. Links to local Seattle clubs can be found here: Cascade Valley Figure Skating Club, Everett Figure Skating Club, Highland Skating Club, Kent Valley Figure Skating Club, Kingsgate Skating Club, Seattle Skating Club.
Can I continue to take lessons from my private coach? Yes! All skaters are required to continue group and/or private lessons. Specific requirements for each team will be communicated after auditions and team placements.
Where and how often do teams practice? Practice schedules vary by team. Please see each team under the ‘Our Teams’ dropdown for details on practice requirements for each team. This past season our teams primarily practiced at Highland Ice Arena and Sno-King Kirkland in addition to retreats and practices at Tacoma Twin Rinks, Everett’s Angel of the Winds Arena, and Lynnwood Ice Center.
How many competitions do you attend a year? Competition schedules varies team to team; however, typically we travel to 2-4 competitions a year in addition to participating in local exhibitions and shows.
How do teams travel to competitions? Skaters travel (typically fly or bus) and stay with their teams at all competitions. Youth teams travel with parent chaperones.
Where do teams stay at competitions? Teams typically stay in hotels near the competition and practice ice arenas.
Is synchro an Olympic sport? Although not currently an Olympic sport, it has been reviewed for Olympic eligibility. Why Not Synchro is an ongoing campaign which became popular over social media through the hashtag #whynotsynchro and #whynotsynchro2022 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Want to learn more about synchro? Check out the below link:
USFS – Synchronized Skating