Party Line for University club Members

This page is for you, the club member, to share information with other club members. If there’s anything you’d like to share with other USC members, please free to e-mail the webmaster and submit anything you would like to see posted on this page.


Ice Etiquette
Taking a Skating Test
A Judge’s Viewpoint: What Evaluators Look For on Test Days
A Brief History of the Party Line
A Brief History of the USC

Ice Etiquette, by Vivian Chow

The following is a simple guideline to help prevent collisions on the ice.

Right of Way

The following is the order in which you should yield to other skaters:
1. The skater who is in a lesson and who’s music is playing gets ultimate right of way
2. Skaters in lessons (they are paying after all)
3. The skater who’s music is playing (especially solos; dances can start on any strong beat – be patient)
4. Everyone else.

Sharing the Ice

Please perform your jumps at the ends of the rink and your spins in the middle. Try to follow the flow of the ice dances which is counter-clockwise. For lutzes and reversos, just look out! More advanced skaters are faster and more mobile on the ice so please be courteous look out for more novice skaters. For the slower skaters: when a faster skater is trying to pass you, they will usually try to go around you to the outside, ie. closer to the boards. I realize this is your comfort zone and you will try to do the same, but please just follow your course! Let the faster skater by on the outside.

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Taking a Skating Test, by Heather Johnson

One of the best ways to improve at anything is to set goals and work towards them. Whether you’re learning a new dance, perfecting your double jumps, working on edges and turns, or experimenting with choreography and music, the Skate Canada testing program provides a series of tests at all levels that allow you to measure your progress. At the beginning of the season, talk to your coach about which tests you’d like to work on. Your coach will determine whether you’re ready to take a test when a test day is scheduled and, if you are ready, will submit a test envelope to the Test Chair.

Before You Take a Test

In order to take a test with us, the USC must be your home club for the season. To make the USC your home club, you must pay the annual Skate Canada fee to us and we have to register you with Skate Canada. Please contact any of the USC board members to determine whether the USC is your home club for this season. Every time you take a test with us, you will need to provide your Skate Canada number so that Skate Canada can give you credit for each test that you pass. Your Skate Canada number is assigned to you the first time you are registered with Skate Canada and you keep that number for the rest of your skating career, even if you register with a different club.

Costumes for test day don’t have to be fancy. For women, a simple skating dress or bodysuit and skirt with leotards is fine. For men, a close fitting top and pants are appropriate. A warm-up jacket and gloves are ok for warm-up but you should remove them for the test. Your skates should be cleaned and polished or covered with boot covers.

The Day of the Test

Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your warm-up is scheduled to begin to give yourself lots of time to prepare and be ready to step on the ice when your warm-up begins. If the tests before yours are running ahead of schedule, you may be asked to warm-up earlier than scheduled. A Skate Canada-certified evaluator will watch you perform the test and will determine if your performance meets the requirements for that test. If not, you will have to retry the test at another test day. You will receive a test sheet indicating how your performance was evaluated. If you have any questions about the evaluation, please ask your coach to request further explanation from the evaluator after the test day is completed.

Test Day Schedule

Low test days (Preliminary to Senior Bronze tests) are held during regular skating sessions at the Varsity Arena and generally require the cancellation of regular skating on that session. High test days (Junior Silver to Diamond tests, and Artistic tests) are held weekday evenings at the Toronto Cricket, Curling and Skating Club. Check the USC website or the USC Office at Varsity Arena for dates and times. A detailed schedule will be posted for each low test day 2 weeks before the test date.

If you have any questions about taking a test, please feel free to email the test chair at

Good Luck!

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A Judge’s Viewpoint: What Evaluators Look For on Test Days, by Loretta Morassutti

Evaluators observe tests keeping in mind that presentation is of great importance. The skater should always appear confident in demonstrating the aspect of presentation by keeping their heads up, not bending over and showing good free leg extension when doing a dance or on the landing of a jump. Timing, unison, steps and pattern placement are of great importance in dances. In free skating, ice coverage and unique step sequence movements help with the presentation of the program. Neat landings with good leg extension and good height on jumps, good rotation on spins and no traveling are also helpful with presentation. In skills it is important for the skater to demonstrate strong edges with good speed and good pattern placement.

If a skater tries a test achieving most of these qualities then they are sure to achieve good results and be more confident when they are moving up to the next level. Good Luck to all on test day!

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A Brief History of the Party Line

PLUM stands for “Party Line for University club Members”. No, we are not a dating service. A party line is a shared phone line. They were in common residential use up until the early 1970’s and even today still exist in some rural areas.

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A Brief History of the USC

The University Skating Club is a club with a proud past and a promising future. The club was founded in 1922 by 23 staff, graduates and undergraduates of the University of Toronto and their spouses. The members waltzed and figure skated Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings on the outdoor rink in Varsity Stadium. In 1924 membership was opened to the children of U of T affiliates. In 1932 Varsity Arena was built and sessions were moved indoors to our current location. Membership peaked in the 1950s at over 400. Since then, membership has been opened to everyone and we continue to welcome adults who enjoy ice dancing and freeskating.

Did you know that the Canasta Tango was created by a USC member and first skated at Varsity Arena? We celebrated the 50th anniversary of that achievement in 2001.


Great News!

 The USC 2018-19 Winter Figure Skating brochure is now available!

Please submit your registration forms to reserve your spot, or you can register in person on September 30, 2018. Hope to see you on the ice in September!