Skate Classes

The Learn to Skate Classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings are run by the Morley Rollerdrome, but the Morley Panthers Rollerskating Club - or, more particularly, the artistic coaches and skaters of the club - provide much of the teaching.

We do this because we have a close cooperative relationship with the Rollerdrome. The rink supports the club in many ways, and we like to respond. We also find many of our competitive skaters from the ranks of those who pass through the classes.

But we know that most do not become club members, and that's fine. It's a victory for all of us when a child (or an adult, for that matter) finds a recreation they enjoy, whether they go on to become an Australian champion or simply keep coming to Rollerdrome, and enjoying skating with their friends.

The Class Levels

There are five levels in our classes, the first called "Entry Level", the rest numbered 1 to 4.

Entry Level

This is where new skaters learn to balance and roll on their skates, and gain some confidence.

The items to be mastered at this level are:

Level 1

This is all about getting balance and control in your skating. The items in level 1 are: Compared to the entry level, glides must show balance for a greater length of the floor.

The hardest part of level 1 for most skaters is the T-stop, because it requires a measure of balance, roll and control. But once skaters gain these, they are almost always ready for level 2.

A few more challenging items might be introduced for fun; "tick tocks" (which involve moving weight backward and forward on skates), backwards marching steps, and glides in the "spiral" position (with the free leg held out behind).

Level 2

When skaters gain entry to level 2, we know they're on track to becoming great skaters. As a result, there's a lot in level 2 to challenge them: Your instructor may challenge you with some "novelty" items, the spreadeagle position, two-foot jump and the "shoot the duck" position (which is basically the stoop position on one leg)

Level 3

We see anyone who enters this level as a good skater. If you're in level 3, you will become aware of this, because it's where the artistic coaches start talking to skaters about trying competitive artistic skating. Just remember you're really under no pressure; we don't want to "press gang" unwilling skaters to take on what they are not really into.

Level 3 items are:

The ones that are normally hardest for skaters are the "spreadeagle" position and "backward Arabesque / Spiral", so these are often the items that form the gateway into level 4.

Level 4

Skaters who pass level 4 tend to stand out pretty clearly in the Rollerdrome's sessions; they're the ones who seem to be floating effortlessly around the rink, turning to and from backward skating without a pause, and throwing in the odd eye-catching trick just for effect. Just to make sure, we hit you with some pretty high-level stuff: As "challenge" items, your instructor may introduce you to Mohawk turns backward to forward, one foot turns (no doubt you'll need to balance on the wall to this this one), and slaloms.

Moving Up The Levels

We occasionally are asked "When will my child be tested, to see if they can go up a level?". We used to answer "every six weeks (more or less)". The answer now is "all the time". All instructors keep a close eye on their charges, and in addition we have an instructor dedicated to this task, who roams the full length of the class, checking every skater. He also keeps a written record of skaters, once they start to come regularly.

The aim is to be sure that nobody remains in any level a week longer than necessary. (For example, some skaters take months to get out of level 1, others have moved up in a single week). And when anyone is tested, the question in the instructor's mind is not "Can this skater do all the stuff on my list?", but rather "is the standard of this person's skating enough to allow them to progress in the next level?".