Figure skating is the name for a range of different ice skating sports (also known as disciplines).
You may have seen some of these disciplines broadcast from the Winter Olympic Games (Singles, Pairs and Ice Dance).
Figure skating also includes Synchronized Skating (Synchro), Theatre On Ice (TOI), Solo Dance and Adult Figure Skating.
In Australia, the foundation for all these disciplines is Aussie Skate TM, the learn to skate program endorsed by Ice Skating Australia (ISA). ISA is Australia's Member of the International Skating Union, the international governing body for figure skating. ISA enables Australian skaters to take part in the Aussie Skate to Winter Olympic pathway.
More about Synchro, TOI, Ice Dance, Solo Dance, Pairs, Adult Figure Skating and Aussie Skate on the attached sub-pages.
More about Singles Skating below.
The most popular form of figure skating is Singles Skating.
Male and female skaters perform and compete individually.
Men's Singles and Ladies' Singles are separate disiplines (sports) governed by the International Skating Union (ISU).
They are also Olympic disiplines along with Ice Dancing and Pair Skating.
Singles skaters perform jumps, spins, footwork and other skating moves to music.
In competitions, skaters perform the elements (e.g. jumps, spins etc) required for the level of their competition.
Once they reach the Advanced Novice level (Advanced Novice > Junior > Senior) they compete in both a Short Program (SP) and a Free Skating program or long program (FS). The SP is the technical program and skaters all need to perform the elements stipulated for their division in that season. In the FP the skaters must perform certain types of elements but have more freedom to select from a range of possibilities.
Photos: SA skaters