Private Skating Lessons in Vancouver

vincerooo

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
The question: Is it possible to have private coaching in Vancouver when I am disinterested in competing or taking the exams?

The context: I will be moving to Vancouver soon and I would like to continue my figure skating lessons. The thing is, the system in Vancouver seems to be very different from the system in Beijing, where I currently live. Beijing has multiple rinks located in shopping malls, and so people can drop in anytime. Private coaching at the rink I went to was much more of a thing than group coaching. From what I've seen online, the opposite is true in Vancouver. There are few to no rinks in malls, set drop-in times, and it seems the only way to get private coaching is if you join a club, aim at taking the exams, and/or compete.

I have no intention of competing, and I find myself to be more motivated to learn/do something when it's for its own sake, rather than for something else.

(This may not make much sense, but I can assure you that time and time again I've had my interest and motivation for something dimmed when I'm doing it for an assignment/standard/exam etc.)

(Yes, this is a problem in school)

I am open to group coaching, but I would prefer private coaching. So, would any who skate in Vancouver have answers, or have I perhaps gotten the situation wrong?
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
The question: Is it possible to have private coaching in Vancouver when I am disinterested in competing or taking the exams?

The context: I will be moving to Vancouver soon and I would like to continue my figure skating lessons. The thing is, the system in Vancouver seems to be very different from the system in Beijing, where I currently live. Beijing has multiple rinks located in shopping malls, and so people can drop in anytime. Private coaching at the rink I went to was much more of a thing than group coaching. From what I've seen online, the opposite is true in Vancouver. There are few to no rinks in malls, set drop-in times, and it seems the only way to get private coaching is if you join a club, aim at taking the exams, and/or compete.

I have no intention of competing, and I find myself to be more motivated to learn/do something when it's for its own sake, rather than for something else.

(This may not make much sense, but I can assure you that time and time again I've had my interest and motivation for something dimmed when I'm doing it for an assignment/standard/exam etc.)

(Yes, this is a problem in school)

I am open to group coaching, but I would prefer private coaching. So, would any who skate in Vancouver have answers, or have I perhaps gotten the situation wrong?

Private coaching is very much a thing in North America, but it's expensive, as is ice time. I'm sure you could find someone who would be willing to coach you, though. You might have to sift through a few judgmental ones first, and I doubt you'll be getting any one-on-one lessons from Brian Orser any time soon, but if you can afford it, you should do what you enjoy.

That being said, group lessons can be a great value for the money and might be worth a try. I don't know how it is in Canada, but there's no pressure in the ones I take (except pressure to do the skills properly ;)). The coaches mention what to do or what would be useful if you want to test or compete, but that might just be because they know that a few of us already want to. I don't know if they'd bother if they had a class full of people they know are only interested in learning.
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
The question: Is it possible to have private coaching in Vancouver when I am disinterested in competing or taking the exams?

The context: I will be moving to Vancouver soon and I would like to continue my figure skating lessons. The thing is, the system in Vancouver seems to be very different from the system in Beijing, where I currently live. Beijing has multiple rinks located in shopping malls, and so people can drop in anytime. Private coaching at the rink I went to was much more of a thing than group coaching. From what I've seen online, the opposite is true in Vancouver. There are few to no rinks in malls, set drop-in times, and it seems the only way to get private coaching is if you join a club, aim at taking the exams, and/or compete.

I have no intention of competing, and I find myself to be more motivated to learn/do something when it's for its own sake, rather than for something else.

(This may not make much sense, but I can assure you that time and time again I've had my interest and motivation for something dimmed when I'm doing it for an assignment/standard/exam etc.)

(Yes, this is a problem in school)

I am open to group coaching, but I would prefer private coaching. So, would any who skate in Vancouver have answers, or have I perhaps gotten the situation wrong?

I lived in Vancouver for about 2 years, and skated at a local rink with a private coach. Yes I had to "join a club" in order to be admitted onto freestyle ice, but that is only because Skate Canada requires skaters to be a member through a club, and this was for insurance purposes. The cost of club and Skate Canada memberships was negligible compared to what ice time and private coaching costs. There are many public rinks which are operated by the city or state government, which have public sessions but cater mostly to ice hockey, and there are also private rinks which may do figure skating and/or curling. Ice sports are a big thing in Canada, you should have no problem finding a rink and finding a coach.

While I agree that in Canada the typical goal among most skaters is to test and compete, it is by no means the only expectation. Many Canadian parents send their kids for skating the same way Asian parents send their kids for piano lessons. But as long as you are clear about your goals with your coach, no coach can force you to test or compete.

Rinks in malls are not common in North America, but Vancouver has a couple of outdoor rinks that operate on an all-day public session business model. Those are open only during winter months. Also be aware that many rinks in Vancouver (and North America, in general) operate only during winter season. Summer skating is very limited, and you might need to rely on your coach to pull strings for you to be let onto freestyle ice in a rink that's open during summer.
 

MiraiFan

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
I grew up in Vancouver and we did learn to skate classes at our local community center. I went back last summer expecting to do drop ins and was shocked that there was no ice until September. Good luck--it's a gorgeous city (but too rainy and dark for me in the winters). In terms of coaches, I think you can find someone who will understand your goals in the sport.
 

NanaPat

Record Breaker
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Country
Canada
Vancouver is quite large, and both transportation and housing can be difficult.

You haven't indicated where you will be living or working/going to school. That will definitely affect where you want to skate. Especially if you already have one commute from home to work/school, you won't want to add another one for skating, so will want to find skating that is easy to get to.
 

bunhead626

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I grew up in Vancouver (Richmond specifically) and indoor rinks are open year-round in this neck of the woods. Just within a small city like Richmond, there are 10 NHL-sized rinks (Minoru, Olympic Oval, Richmond Ice Centre). The Cannaught FSC is based in Minoru Arena but you can take lessons in all the rinks; you'll have to become a Skate Canada member to buy ice time and skate on FS sessions for lessons. Lessons don't take place during public skating sessions like in China or NYC.

Vancouver (proper) has even more community centres than Richmond and many include skating rinks, I think. There are also private clubs with skating rinks like the Arbutus Club. Heck, even UBC has its own rink and students get to skate there for free, right UBC students?

Another suburb is called Burnaby, and that has the Burnaby 8-Rinks for more serious competitive training (where Kevin Reynolds was based).

Hopes this helps!
 

Elija

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
I grew up in Vancouver (Richmond specifically) and indoor rinks are open year-round in this neck of the woods. Just within a small city like Richmond, there are 10 NHL-sized rinks (Minoru, Olympic Oval, Richmond Ice Centre). The Cannaught FSC is based in Minoru Arena but you can take lessons in all the rinks; you'll have to become a Skate Canada member to buy ice time and skate on FS sessions for lessons. Lessons don't take place during public skating sessions like in China or NYC.

Vancouver (proper) has even more community centres than Richmond and many include skating rinks, I think. There are also private clubs with skating rinks like the Arbutus Club. Heck, even UBC has its own rink and students get to skate there for free, right UBC students?

Another suburb is called Burnaby, and that has the Burnaby 8-Rinks for more serious competitive training (where Kevin Reynolds was based).

Hopes this helps!

Wow I’m so jealous of this! I live in a similar sized city to Vancouver and we have two rinks in the while city lol. Skating is not really big here unfortunately.
 

bunhead626

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I assumed skating rinks would be even more common in the rest of Canada. I am surprised to hear that's not the case!!! I currently live in NYC and it has so few rinks that I find it hard to keep up with the sport.
 

Elija

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 25, 2019
Yes I believe they are (I don’t live in Canada). Used to live there though and even my tiny town there of less than 10,000 had two rinks, the same as my current city of almost 2 million haha!
 

SmallAminal

On the Ice
Joined
Jul 26, 2016
I assumed skating rinks would be even more common in the rest of Canada. I am surprised to hear that's not the case!!! I currently live in NYC and it has so few rinks that I find it hard to keep up with the sport.

You know it *is* weird that there isn't more in NYC (although if you head over the bridge to Jersey, there are more). I had to take a few subways to get to Skyrink as a kid.....my parents finally said it was too much to commuting time and I had to give it up. Meanwhile, in Toronto it appears there is a rink around every corner....even ones very close to my work downtown.
 

Ducky

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
You know it *is* weird that there isn't more in NYC (although if you head over the bridge to Jersey, there are more). I had to take a few subways to get to Skyrink as a kid.....my parents finally said it was too much to commuting time and I had to give it up. Meanwhile, in Toronto it appears there is a rink around every corner....even ones very close to my work downtown.

On what prime piece of Manhattan real estate could you even afford to build a new indoor ice rink? Although I would almost be willing to forgive Hudson Yards if it had made space for one (it would be more beneficial to the city than the Shawarma... actually considering that Brookfield Place and Columbus Circle's malls are both suffering maybe adding a year round rink would be a solution to their woes). It's funny, one of my colleagues at work was just telling me about how his dad would book ice time at Skyrink at 3am so he could practice hockey as a kid.
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
Ducky makes a good point about pricey real estate. I saw a lot of rinks (and other recreational facilities) in California close one-by-one in the 80s and 90s. I heard it was due to much increased insurance costs + developers wanting the land for their projects, none of which replaced the outgoing rink.

Over the years a few new multi-surface rinks have been built but then other longtime rinks that survived the first round went under.
 

MiraiFan

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
Wow--the North Shore (where my parents live) is really lame in comparison. Tried to find a public or FS session and everything was closed, the ice melted, and the community center rinks were used for skateboarding, etc.
 

hanyuufan5

❅*:・。.✨
Medalist
Joined
May 19, 2018
This thread is making me want to get down on my knees and shout my praises to the Lord above that the rinks around here stay open all year and that I live right near mine. :shocked:

Good luck to all of you with less easy access to the ice! :ghug:
 

bunhead626

Rinkside
Joined
Oct 23, 2015
I heard the Bronx is supposed to get a new indoor rink was that project has been stalled due to various lawsuits. Brookfield Place has a smaller outdoor rink but it's expensive to skate there. SkyRink is down to 1 rink this summer (maintenance), so I've had to go as far as World Ice Arena in Flushing, Queens! It's just too inconvenient to go there regularly. I will be in Edmonton and am determined to skate at West Edmonton Mall. So jealous of you lucky folks who live close to a rink!
 

MiraiFan

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 6, 2016
This thread is making me want to get down on my knees and shout my praises to the Lord above that the rinks around here stay open all year and that I live right near mine. :shocked:

Good luck to all of you with less easy access to the ice! :ghug:

I know! One of the reasons I started skating is because Wheaton Ice Arena is five minutes away and is open year round.
 
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