Since the topic of figures was raised, I found some info some may find interesting.
History of Figures…………… Figure skating gets its name from the Compulsory Figures (also known as School Figures), a series of patterns based on the figure eight or three-circle serpentine form. There are 42 figures classified by the International Skating Union. The skater traces the pattern on clean ice three times. Performed well, the tracings will be virtually identical. To make matters more difficult, the skater had to skate the Figure using a prescribed part of the blade (such as the forward inside edge of the left skate). In 1991, figures were eliminated from international competition after 100 years.
Why Learn Figures…………. School Figures taught technical perfection. It is often said that "old school" pre-1990 skaters had much better edge control than today's skaters (who spend all their time practicing jumps), while today's skaters can have sloppy technique but still win competitions.
Learn to improve edge quality and coordination. Figures teach skaters edge control and body alignment, two of the most important elements of skating. Figure eights, loops, circles, brackets, all of these terms mean just one thing: the basis of which this sport began. Being able to control your edges at all times means that your jumps, spins, and footwork will be much more solid.