The Fire Crystals: Synchronized Skating in Fort Collins
The Fort Collins Figure Skating Club is home for three Synchronized Skating Teams.
About The Fire Crystals Competitive Team:
- The Fort Collins Synchronized Skating program at EPIC, which became the Fire Crystals, was founded in 1989 by coaches Linda Howes and Pamela Kurtz
- The Fire Crystals’ mission is to focus on life skills both on and off the ice
- The Fire Crystals’ dedicated and accomplished coach Pamela Kurtz is a PSA rated coach and a Synchronized National Master Champion
- The Fire Crystals compete at US Sanctioned competitions including Mid-Western Pacific Sectionals
- The team actively fundraises throughout the year to pay for training, traveling, competition dresses and ice time
What is Synchronized Skating?
Synchronized skating is a popular discipline both within U.S. Figure Skating and around the world. U.S. Figure Skating held the first U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships in 1984 and also hosted the first World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2000. There are approximately 525 synchronized teams registered with U.S. Figure Skating, and nearly 5,000 athletes participate annually in the synchronized skating sectional championships.
Synchronized skating is a team sport in which 8-20 skaters perform a program together. It uses the same judging system as singles, pairs and dance and is characterized by teamwork, speed, intricate formations and challenging step sequences. As with the other disciplines, all teams perform a free skate with required well-balanced program elements. In addition, teams at the junior and senior level perform a short program consisting of required elements.
Elements in synchronized skating include blocks, circles, wheels, lines, intersections, moves in the field, moves in isolation, no-hold step sequences, spins and pairs moves. The variety and difficulty of elements require that each team member is a highly skilled individual skater. The typical senior-level athlete has passed a senior or gold test in at least two disciplines.
Synchronized teams in the U.S. can compete in 14 different levels according to the age and skill level of the team members.
Teams competing at the Basic Skills (beginner) level may compete at any U.S. Figure Skating synchronized skating non-qualifying competition or U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills competition.
Teams competing at the developmental levels of preliminary, pre-juvenile, open juvenile, open collegiate or open adult may also compete at the Eastern, Midwestern or Pacific Coast Synchronized Skating Sectional Championships, held annually at the end of January.
Teams at the competitive levels of juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior, senior, collegiate, adult or masters compete first at their respective sectional championships. A placement in the top four at sectionals earns them a spot at the U.S. Synchronized Skating Championships. Top-performing teams at the junior and senior levels at have the opportunity to earn a berth to the U.S. Synchronized Skating Team, with the top two senior teams going on to represent the United States at the World Synchronized Skating Championships.