Chelsea Hinkle competing in Freiburg, Germany, at the Roller Figure Skating World Championship. (Rider News) [1]

Roller figure (or artistic) skating is a performance based discipline focusing on the artistry and precision in footwork, jumps, spins and other maneuvers. The basic forms of figure are freeskating, dance, figures and synchronized skating.[2] USA Roller Sports (USARS) is the official governing body of roller figure skating for the United States. The Fédération Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) is the international governing body.[3]


Freeskating focuses in difficult maneuvers (such as jumps and spins) requiring superior balance and strength. It is skated either in singles or pairs. The elements of singles are jumps, spins and footwork, whereas pairs incorporates lifts and throw-jumps, in addition to the singles elements.[2]


Skated either solo or in teams, dance skating focuses on performing dances either prescribed in patterns or individually choreographed. The former is an adaptation of ballroom dancing, mimicking the styles of different dances (e.g. tango, blues, cha cha, etc.) The latter describes what is called freedancing, which as the name suggests is a blend of freeskating and dance skating.[2]

The ballroom pattern dances consist of two types (or styles), American and International, as prescribed by USA Roller Sports (USARS) and Comite International de Patinage Artistique (CIPA), respectively.


Figures skating involves the accurate tracing of circles (and loops) painted on the skating surface, requiring the utmost body control, balance and concentration. Circle figure routines consist of different take-offs, edges and turns, whereas loops consist of take-offs, edges and loops at the top of the circles.[2]


Skated in teams of roughly eight to twenty-four skaters, synchronized skating involves executing maneuvers, formations and footwork in unison. One form, called precision, requires teams to include specific elements in their routines, such as circles, blocks and intersecting lines, and restricts skaters on freeskating elements. The other form, called show, allows freeskating elements and has lesser requirements on maneuvers and formations.[2]

  1. Photo from Rider News
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 USARS Website
  3. FIRS Website