Star ClassesThe Star 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.
Star Class TestsWe 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". 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)
The LevelsThere are four levels in our classes, numbered 1 to 4 (hardly a surprise!).
Level 1This is where new skaters learn to balance and roll on their skates, and gain some confidence. The items in level 1 are:
- Balancing on Each Skate
- T-Position and T-start
- Basic Forward Skating
- Forward Scissors
- Stoop/Crouch Skate
- Two Foot Jump
Level 2When 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:
- T-start to Glide
- Plough Stop
- Backward Toe / Slide Stop
- Turning A Corner
- Two Foot Turn
- Basic Backward Skating
- Backwards Scissors
- Shoot The Duck / Drop Knee
- Two foot jump, half turn
So when anyone is tested, the question in the instructor's mind is not "Can this skater do all this stuff?", but rather "is the standard of this person's skating enough to allow them to handle level 3?". True, there are items that make answering this question easier; in level 2, they're most often the "basic backward skating" and the "two foot turn".
Level 3We 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.
As with level 2, level 3 includes a lot of items:
- Balancing Backwards
- Power Slide
- Two Foot Turn Backwards to Forwards
- Backwards Stroking
- Arabesque / Spiral
- Cross Roll
- Forward Crossovers in a Figure 8
- Change of Direction
Level 4Skaters 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:
- Edging Backwards
- Backward Hockey Stop
- Backward Strikeoff and Glide
- Mohawk Turns
- One Foot Turn, Forwards To Backwards
- Backward Cross Pulls
- Toe and Heel Glides
- Backward Crouch
- Two Foot Spin
In fact, we find that after passing level 4, many skaters keep coming back to the classes, just because they love the challenges.