Star Classes

The Star Classes on Saturday and Sunday mornings are run by the Morley Rollerdrome, but the Morley Panthers Rollerskating Club - or, more particularly, the artistic coaches and skaters of the club - provide most of the teaching.

We do this because we have a close cooperative relationship with the Rollerdrome. The rink supports the club in many ways, and we like to respond. We also find many of our competitive skaters from the ranks of those who pass through the classes.

But we know that most do not become club members, and that's fine. It's a victory for all of us when a child (or an adult, for that matter) finds a recreation they enjoy, whether they go on to become an Australian champion or simply keep coming to Rollerdrome, and enjoying skating with their friends.

Star Class Tests

We occasionally are asked "When will my child be tested, to see if they can go up a level?". We used to answer "every six weeks (more or less)". The answer now is "all the time". We have an instructor dedicated to this task, who roams the full length of the class, checking every skater. He also keeps a written record of skaters, once they start to come regularly.

The aim is to be sure that nobody remains in any level a week longer than necessary. (For example, some skaters take months to get out of level 1, others have moved up in a single week)

The Levels

There are four levels in our classes, numbered 1 to 4 (hardly a surprise!).

Level 1

This is where new skaters learn to balance and roll on their skates, and gain some confidence. The items in level 1 are: The hardest part of level 1 for most skaters is the T-stop, because it requires a measure of balance, roll and control. But once skaters gain these, they are almost always ready for level 2.

Level 2

When skaters gain entry to level 2, we know they're on track to becoming great skaters. As a result, there's a lot in level 2 to challenge them: However, things are not always as they seem. With a mix of roller and inline skaters in the class, some items (such as the "drop knee" position and the "plough stop") are more inline skating tricks, while others (such as the "shoot the duck" position) are peculiar to roller skating.

So when anyone is tested, the question in the instructor's mind is not "Can this skater do all this stuff?", but rather "is the standard of this person's skating enough to allow them to handle level 3?". True, there are items that make answering this question easier; in level 2, they're most often the "basic backward skating" and the "two foot turn".

Level 3

We see anyone who enters this level as a good skater. If you're in level 3, you will become aware of this, because it's where the artistic coaches start talking to skaters about trying competitive artistic skating. Just remember you're really under no pressure; we don't want to "press gang" unwilling skaters to take on what they are not really into.

As with level 2, level 3 includes a lot of items:

Anyone in the classes will by now find a lot of these quite easy. The ones that are normally hardest for skaters are the "spreadeagle" position and "balancing backwards" (where "balancing" becomes the key word), so these are often the items that form the gateway into level 4.

Level 4

Skaters who pass level 4 tend to stand out pretty clearly in the Rollerdrome's sessions; they're the ones who seem to be floating effortlessly around the rink, turning to and from backward skating without a pause, and throwing in the odd eye-catching trick just for effect. Just to make sure, we hit you with some pretty high-level stuff: Again, some of this (like the backward crouch position and backward strikeoff) will be easy, but others (particularly the one foot turn and two foot spin) will be challenging. But level 4 skaters are all there for the challenge.

In fact, we find that after passing level 4, many skaters keep coming back to the classes, just because they love the challenges.