FAQs

As a parent, how do I stay informed about NSS?
Do you offer scholarships?
Can I rent skates? Where can I purchase skates and skatewear?
What should I wear?
Can 3-year olds sign up for lessons?
Can my child wear hockey skates? What about double-runners (2-bladed skates)?
Can parents accompany children on the ice?
Should my beginning skater wear a helmet?
What should I expect?
Do you offer make-up classes or refunds?

As a parent, how do I stay informed about NSS?

Come to our Parent Meeting! It is important for new parents to attend this meeting before their child begins lessons. These Director-led pre-session meetings are designed to introduce you to NSS and the world of skating and to prepare you for your first day and many seasons to come. Topics include proper equipment and attire, our curriculum, staff, and philosophy, policies and procedures, what to expect from lessons, a review of our schedule, class roster, and special events, your resources, Q & A, and more. Class assignments for new skaters are distributed at this meeting. You can also check this website for updates throughout the season, or contact us with questions.

Do you offer scholarships?

Yes. We offer skating scholarships as a member of the Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative. Skaters may apply for a scholarship when they register for lessons. Scholarships apply to group lessons.

Back to the Top

Can I rent skates? Where can I purchase skates and skatewear?

Yes, you can rent skates at the rink! Skates are available first come, first served.

Check out our Guide to Fitting Skates on the Skating Resources page before visiting a skate shop. When walking in skates all skaters should wear plastic skate guards to protect their blades. Cloth blade covers are recommended for storing and transporting skates. Remember to remove plastic skate guards and wipe your blades every time you take your skates off to prevent rust.

Skates and Skate Sharpening

Pierce Skate and Ski
208 W 98th St
Bloomington, MN 55420
(952) 884-1990
new/used skate, apparel

Straight River Sports & Fitness
222 W Bridge St
Owatonna, MN 55060
(507) 451-1666
new/used/seasonal rental skate

Champion Sports
407 Division St
Northfield, MN 55057
(507) 645-8229
new/used skates

Westwood Sports
9601 Garfield Ave S
Bloomington, MN 55420
(952) 881-2222
www.westwood2.com
new/used skates, apparel

Skate Clothing and Accessories

The Line Up
7121 Washington Ave S
Edina, MN 55439
(952) 829-7819
apparel & accessories

Jump ‘N Style
8220 Commonwealth Drive #103
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
(952) 944-5661
www.jumpnstyleskatewear.com
apparel & accessories

Back to the Top

What should I wear?

For beginners, no particular skating wear is required, just be sure you are warm, comfortable, and free to move. We recommend layering your clothing with a jacket on top. As you get warm, you may wish to discard a layer. We suggest close-fitting but not tight pants. Sweatpants or warm-up pants are ideal. Your feet will feel best if you wear one pair of lightweight socks or tights. Bulky or thick socks may limit the support provided by your skates, create blisters, and create “bumps” inside your boots, making them uncomfortable. Remember gloves or mittens! Learning to fall is an important part of skating, and your hands will feel much better if you are wearing gloves or mittens.

For more advanced skaters, skating tights, leggins, skirts, and/or dresses may be worn so that coaches can see your body alignment and adjust your technique to help your skating the most. A sweater or sweatshirt (preferably not “hoodie”) is a good idea until you have warmed up.

For all levels: Long hair should be pulled back and pants should not drag below your boot. Don’t forget skate guards for your blades!

Attire is discussed in more detail at the Parent Meeting.

Back to the Top

Can 3-year olds sign up for lessons?

No, they will have to wait just 1 more season. We have a 4+ age policy and we do not make enrollment exceptions for children younger than four as of the registration deadline. Younger children are welcome to observe lessons but they will have to wait until they turn 4 to sign up.

Back to the Top

Can my child wear hockey skates? What about double-runners (2-bladed skates)?

Double runners are not permitted.

Aspiring hockey players are welcome and encouraged at NSS! Learning proper skating technique is one of the best foundations for playing on a team. We do not use padding or sticks, but you may wear your hockey skates if playing hockey is your goal. Unless they are fairly certain they will progress into hockey after our beginning levels, beginners are encouraged to purchase figure skates. As skaters progress through our ability levels, differences in the structure and blades of figure skates and hockey skates will hinder skill learning for skaters with hockey skates at higher levels. Leather figure skating boots are strongly recommended from the very beginning for aspiring figure skaters, and after Basic 2 for those who choose to begin in hockey skates but are interested in taking more skating classes. Figure skates will maximize your child’s learning above these levels.

Back to the Top

Can parents accompany children on the ice?

Parents may join their children on the ice during open skate, contract ice, and some special events such as Bring a Friend Day, but not during lessons unless they are enrolled in an adult skating class. We understand that stepping on the ice for the first time can be an intimidating experience for children, however, we must ask that parents do not enter the ice surface. This is a safety and liability concern. No one is permitted on the ice without skates at any time.

Back to the Top

Should my beginning skater wear a helmet?

Helmets are recommended for skaters 6 years old and younger and for any skaters who feel more comfortable wearing one. When purchasing a helmet, make sure it has a snug fit and can not slip down to cover the skater’s eyes. Please avoid helmets with pointed backs for safety reasons. Helmets are not available at the arena.

Back to the Top

What should I expect?

Follow these simple tips to get the most out of your lessons:

  • Be on the ice on time!! Plan to arrive to the rink at least 15 minutes before your scheduled lesson. Preparing for the ice (especially the first time) often takes longer than you expect.
  • Listen attentively. Try the skill, try it again, ask a question if you don’t understand, and try it again. Your instructor should be able to show you the skill, break it down into simple steps, and offer a few suggestions for mastery.
  • Be a courteous skater, watch where you are going, and always skate in control.
  • Be prepared for your lesson with the correct fitting skates, warm attire and gloves or mittens.
  • Relax, smile, and have fun!

Back to the Top

Do you offer make-up lessons or refunds?

No. Due to limited ice availability, we do not offer make-up classes for missed lessons or evaluations. Refunds are granted for medical purposes only with a doctor’s note. Medical refunds are pro-rated for remaining lessons minus the U.S. Figure Skating registration fee. If a skater must miss an evaluation, a private lesson may be arranged with an NSS professional to complete the evaluation. Private lesson fees will apply.

Back to the Top

Do you offer private lessons?

Yes! Private lessons are a great supplement to group lessons at any level. Many NSS coaches are available to teach private lessons at the Northfield Arena and other surrounding arenas year-round. Skaters who arrange to take private lessons from an NSS coach must also be enrolled in the current session of NSS group lessons. Fees for private lessons vary by coach. Please contact Carey for additional information if you are interested in private lessons.

For additional questions in English or Spanish, please contact us!

Back to resources