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LTS Frequently Asked Questions

Learn to Skate Information

The Ice Den Chandler understands that starting ice sports like figure skating and hockey can be overwhelming.  Please take a moment to review the information provided to make the most of your skater(s)' first time on the ice!

Frequently Asked Questions?

Q: If we have to miss a class, are make-up classes an available option?
A: No make-up classes are offered. With over 400 skaters participating weekly combined with limited staff and ice availability it is an impossible task to accommodate individual make-ups. Skaters miss for many reasons including but not limited to family vacations, illness, emergencies and scheduling conflicts. The Learn to Skate USA curriculum based on specific levels, required skills and progression is interrupted when skaters move in and out of class levels and lesson days. It is unfair to the coaches teaching and evaluating the skaters, and to those skaters who attend the complete 6-week session to have their learning experience disrupted by individuals making up lessons.
Q: What is the difference between hockey and figure skates?

A: Generally speaking, figure skates are easier to skate on providing a high boot with a gently curved blade that is slightly longer and thicker than that of a hockey skate. In contrast, hockey skates have a hockey boot (low front, high back) with a blade that is flat in the middle and curved at the ends. It is recommended that beginners start in a standard skate and transition to hockey or figure specific when they choose an ice sport to focus on.

Q: Can my child start immediately on a hockey team? What does the Ice Den hockey road map look like and how long does the process take?

A: The short answer is no. To be eligible to participate on a hockey team, an individual must complete three mandatory Learn to Skate classes: Pre-Hockey 1, Pre-Hockey 2 and Pre-Hockey 3. To enroll in Pre-Hockey 1, a skater must be able to skate across the width of the ice on hockey skates unassisted forward and backward and glide on one foot. Pre-Hockey classes are offered in six (6) week sessions throughout the year. Once in Pre-Hockey 3, players are invited to enroll in the 20-week Initiation Program (held twice a year). IP completion is required before being eligible to join a team in the CDP Chandler House League.

Q: What is the coach to skater ratio?

A: For classes with beginner/younger participants (Parent & Pup + Snowplow Sam) the ratio is approximately 6:1. For levels with older students/more advanced skaters, the ratio increases to 12:1.

Q: How is the path to hockey different from the path to figure skating?

A: Depending on your participant’s ice sport desires, there is the option to pursue either figure skating or hockey. By continuing through all levels (A , B + C) of Learn to Skate, participants will be taught figure skating skills. During the process, skaters will be introduced to Open Freestyle and Specialty sessions, as well as the skating club to learn more about figure skating disciplines, teams and clinics.

An individual interested in playing hockey, should be in hockey skates by Snowplow Sam 3 and can transition to Pre-Hockey as long as the skater is able to skate across the width of the ice on hockey skates unassisted forward and backward and glide on one foot. This pre-requisite is usually met after the completion of Snowplow Sam 3 or Basic 1.

Q: What is the cost of private lessons?

A: All private lesson and session fees vary based on the instructor and their accreditations. Coaches available for private lessons are listed on our website where you can review experience, awards, philosophies and certifications to assist you with identifying the coach who best meets your requirements. Please visit “Private Lessons” under the “Skating” tab for more information.

Q: Does the Ice Den operate the Little Howlers Learn to Play program?

A; No. Little Howlers is a program, facilitated by the Arizona Coyotes Hockey Club in partnership with the NHL and USA Hockey. For all Little Howlers related inquiries please contact Corey Cavanaugh, Coordinator, Amateur Hockey Development via email: 

Q: What is the curriculum for skaters advancing to the next level and is this available to me?

A:  The curriculum for all Learn to Skate USA partner programs is universal across the nation and available for the public to view. For more information, please visit Learn to Skate’s website at or via the Learn to Skate USA app.

Q: What is the difference between the Parent + Pup and Snowplow 1 programs and which should I enroll my child in to?

A: Curriculum taught is the same for these two programs, but a parent is present on the ice with their child in the Parent + Pup program, while the skater attends class by themselves in Snowplow Sam 1. The choice is left to the discretion of the parent based on the skater’s age, comfort and confidence on the ice. Parents do not need to know how to skate to accompany their child.  Parents are required to purchase an annual Learn to Skate USA membership to participate in Parent + Pup.

Q: When will future sessions and respective registrations open?

A: Annually, Ice Den runs eight (8) sessions to include Fall 1-3, Winter 1-3, Summer 1 & 2, that feature five (5) or six (6) week sessions. You can expect registration for a new session to open approximately one month prior to the session start date.  Current session registration participants are notified via the email provided at registration.  Participants are encouraged to follow the Ice Den on social media @icedenaz for additional updates.

Q: What is the Aspire program?

A: The Aspire program is an option that allows Level B/C skaters to bundle two 60-minute Learn to Skate classes per week and four off-ice classes for a discounted rate.

Q: We know in advance that we won't be able to make every class, can we pay just for the classes we attend?

A: All sessions must be paid in full.  There is no option to pay only for classes attended. However, if you do anticipate missing the first part of the session, if space availability permits, you can register late* (but no later than prior to Week #4) and prorate for remaining classes. *$25 late fee would apply. 

Q: A scheduling conflict occurred, and we can no longer attend the day/time selected during registration. Can we switch classes?

A: All day and/or time class change requests must be submitted in writing via email prior to next class for approval by the Learn to Skate Director. Not all requests will be accommodated due to capacity and situational circumstances.  Multiple changes during one 6-week session will not be permitted.

Q: We are transferring from another program, what can we expect?

A: If you are transferring from another local LTS program, your level and membership will transfer with the skater. If you are not transferring from another LTS program but have prior skating experience, your child will be evaluated during the first class and placed appropriately based on their skill level.

Q: Are we able to enroll our skater in more than one (1) LTS class per week?
A: Yes, based on availability a skater can enroll in multiple LTS classes per week. There is no limit on the number of classes you can register to participate in one session.

Q: Are there drop-in classes offered to see if my skater likes ice skating before we sign up for a session?
A: Drop-in classes are not offered at the Ice Dens. Try Skating For Free events are held various times throughout the year promoted via our website and on social media. In addition, scheduled public skate sessions provide the opportunity to try skating without the commitment of lessons. Our recommendation for Learn to Skate is to bring your potential skater to a scheduled Level A skating class as a spectator to observe prior to registering to participate.

Q: I have a skater in a session currently. How do I know which level sign them up for come next session?
A: Evaluations are held during the last week of a LTS session. Evaluation results with designated next level are sent via email (to the address provided at time of registration) within 24 hours of the completion of the final class. We recommend registering your skater early into the level they are currently enrolled in to solidify your desired class day and time before it sells out. Next session registered skater profiles will be automatically updated based on skater evaluations. Coaches will also evaluate al skaters the first week of the next session and make any necessary level adjustments.