Prance, Pirouette Like an Old Pro

With winter approaching, the outdoor ice-skating season is coming -- and if you want some cool moves to strut on the ice, it's already time to start practicing.

Since learning fancy tricks on one's own can be a bit dangerous, it might be advisable to attend some lessons. Moscow offers an abundance of year-round choices for adults and children alike.

One of your options is to join Serebryanaya Mechta, or Silver Dream, a skating club that holds classes for beginners as well as experienced skaters at the Luzhniki and Krylatskoye sports complexes. With a maximum intake of 15 people per class, there are four evening groups for adults and seven afternoon groups for children -- and no fixed starting dates, so you can begin any time. The payment system is flexible: Pay 600 rubles per lesson, or buy a season ticket to bring the price down to 400 rubles a class. Each Wednesday, the club invites a renowned skating coach to hold a master class in Luzhniki's small arena. The fee is 600-1,000 rubles and advanced booking is required. Individual lessons are also offered, but can be problematic, since the coaches have little spare time and the ice can be busy.

Another skating school holding classes at Luzhniki is Ice-Group. There are separate groups of no more than 12 people for children and adults, beginners and advanced skaters. For two or three classes a week, the fee is 3,000 to 4,000 rubles a month. New admissions are accepted until December.

The figure skating club Slavyanochka has groups for adults only, also held at Luzhniki. The classes cost 500 rubles a lesson and newcomers are accepted at any time.

While Serebryanaya Mechta, Ice-Group and Slavyanochka mostly teach skating for recreation and pleasure, those who are serious about a sports career might find a professional skating school to be more suitable.

One such school can be found at CSKA, where the beginners' classes are open to children no older than 5 years of age. The courses start each September and the groups are initially quite large -- 30 to 35 people -- but gradually shrink to about half that size, as participants must pass skating exams in order to continue training. From age 6, the children start taking part in skating competitions. Classes are held three times a week and cost 1,600 rubles a month.

There is another similar school at Ledovy Dvorets Moskvich, in the outer suburbs near the Tekstilshchiki metro station. These groups are open to skaters from age 4, and although the lessons begin in September, it is possible to join later.

Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP
Classes at some ice-skating schools shrink because weaker students are ejected.
Both CSKA and Ledovy Dvorets Moskvich also cater for the less competitive, offering so-called weekend and health skating groups that are intended mostly for fun and health. CSKA's are open to skaters of any age, while Moskvich's are for ages 4-12. Another such group can be found at the Olimpiisky complex, for ages 4-15.

CSKA: 39 Leningradsky Prospekt, 613-6729, 613-6734, M. Dinamo/Aeroport,


Krylatskoye sports complex: 16 Krylatskaya Ul., 141-7265, M. Molodyozhnaya/Krylatskoye,

Ledovy Dvorets Moskvich: 46/15 Volgogradsky Prospekt, 179-3964 (until 15:00), M. Tekstilshchiki,

Luzhniki: Kristall and small arenas, 24 Luzhnetskaya Nab., 637-0210/0206, M. Sportivnaya,

Olimpiisky Complex: 16 Olimpiisky Prospekt, 786-3112, M. Prospekt Mira,

Serebryanaya Mechta: 8-926-117-9213, 8-916-591-2528,

Slavyanochka: 131-1647,