If you’re a figure skating fan, you might be curious how the sport started. Combining art with athletics, its countless jumps, twists, and turns create a magical appeal on the ice, making it a popular activity year-round. Randolph, NJ’s Aspen Ice understands the appeal, offering ice skating lessons and camps for children as young as four. They also offer public skating, giving every member of the family a chance to show off their skills. Below, the rink shares the sport’s surprising history.
American ballet performer, Jackson Haines, was the founder of modern figure skating, the way we see it performed in rinks across the country, all the way up to the Olympic level. While ice skating itself existed for centuries, the dance-based movements, leaps, spins, music, and costumes of modern skating weren’t around until Haines hit the scene. In 1914, the first U.S. figure skating competition that incorporated his style took place.
Figure skating got its name from the sport’s first movements, which were shaped like a figure eight. New figures began to take place, becoming more complicated as the sport increased in popularity. From roses to stars, these creations were designed by each skater’s blades, forming art on the ice. The first Olympic figure skating event took place in 1908, moving the art form away from the ice rink and into the public eye.
While figures were a vital performance aspect at the beginning, most viewers weren’t too interested in watching them perform—at least not at the Olympics. Figures were still practiced and performed during public skating, but they weren’t used during Olympic events, and their performance ended after the initial Olympics in 1908. Afterward, more movements were invented to create innovative, elegant routines.
Modern Figure Skating
In the 1930’s, Olympian Sonja Henie transformed figure skating forever, increasing its popularity among people of all ages. She was the one who chose white skates during her performance, as well as short, decorative skirts that enhanced skaters’ routines. Her creative, athletic style made the Olympic Champion’s passion for skating grow internationally. Today, the sport has become increasingly athletic with complex, triple revolution jumps, which is a worldwide staple, along with spins, swirls, and other eye-catching moves.
If you’re interested in figure skating, head over to Aspen Ice. The leading rink offers ice skating lessons to improve your skills and gain confidence, all taught by passionate, experienced instructors. If you’re seeking some fun, public skating is available for people of all ages and skill levels. Experience the thrill of this one-of-a-kind sport by visiting Aspen Ice online to learn more and register for classes or call (973) 927-9122.