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 Our Teams for details on age and skill suggestions for each team. Local rinks also run beginner synchro programs throughout the year. Check their websites for current programming.
What happens if I recently moved to Seattle?
If you move to Seattle after our Spring auditions or during a pandemic, you may be able to join an existing team! Please reach out to our coaches to schedule a makeup audition. If you know you are moving to Seattle, please let us know as soon as possible!
Can I try synchro before joining a team?
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.
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 minimum requirements which are set by the coaches prior to auditions, but the tests are not the only factor under consideration.
Do I have to be a full or associate member of a specific club?
Washington Ice Emeralds is an Independent member of US Figure Skating. This allows us to work in conjunction with clubs and rinks across the Greater 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.
Here are the various Greater Seattle Area clubs:
What do I wear to practice?
Come ready to move. Skaters should wear appropriate black 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. It’s recommended skaters wear layers to practice.
Where and how often do teams practice?
Practice schedules vary by team. Please see Our Teams comparison chart for details on practice requirements for each team.
With the opening of the Kraken Community Iceplex, our teams have begun practicing there.
Historically, 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.
Can I continue to take lessons from my private coach?
Yes! All skaters are strongly recommended to continue group and/or private lessons. Specific requirements for each team, if applicable, will be communicated after auditions and team placements.
Where do teams stay at competitions?
Teams typically stay in hotels near the competition and practice ice arenas.
How do teams travel to competitions?
Skaters travel (typically by plane or bus) and stay with their teams at all competitions. Youth teams travel with parent chaperones.
How many competitions do you attend a year?
Competition schedules vary by team; however, typically we travel to 2 competitions a year in addition to participating in local exhibitions and shows.
What is synchronized skating?
Synchronized skating (synchro) is the fastest growing discipline of figure skating where 8–20 skaters skate together as one team. Skaters complete various elements (blocks, circles, wheels, lines, intersections, move elements, creative elements, no holds elements, spins, and pairs moves) in unison.
Is synchro a co-ed sport?
Yes! In synchro, people of all genders skate together on the same team. There are no requirements around ratios of skaters.
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.
It does have a Worlds competition annually!