It is common for parents and skaters to have a lot of questions about the Chicago Jazz as an organization and as a synchronized skating team. The Parent Advisory Board has compiled this list of frequently asked questions and their answers from the parents who attend the Chicago Jazz Free Skating Clinics and Try-outs.
Skaters and parents are encouraged to contact the Chicago Jazz with any additional questions.
Q: When are the Chicago Jazz Try Outs?
A: The Chicago Jazz Try-outs are held in March or April after the Synchronized Skating National Championships. The exact times and dates will be posted to the website and FaceBook.
Q: Are your teams chaperoned?
A: We have both chaperoned and non-chaperoned teams. Junior, Novice, and Intermediate skaters are chaperoned. The rest of the skaters are non-chaperoned.
Q: How are auditions conducted?
A: General auditions are divided by age group. There will be a session for 11 and younger and a session for 12 and older. A skater may be directed to more than one level and may change levels during the audition process.
Q: How are audition results determined?
A: The coaches determine the level for which a skater qualifies; it is based on US Figure Skating rules, skater ability, and needs of a particular team.
Q: How are skaters notified of their team selection?
A: All skaters will be notified by mail of their team selection. Traditionally, letters are mailed after the Rolling Meadows Ice Show, in the beginning of May.
Q: Do you have alternates?
A: The Chicago Jazz prefer to have 20 members per team; however, depending on the team level, 16 can compete at one time. All skaters are rotated into the program during practice. Being on the roster does not guarantee a competition spot. The coaches decide which skaters will compete and may change skaters from competition to competition.
Q: Do you use cross skaters?
A: Cross skaters are used when needed. Like alternates, they are rotated into the program during practice so every skater knows the routine. Being a cross skater requires extra commitment to the team. The Chicago Jazz does not "expect" first year skaters to be cross skaters.
Q: Do I have to give up my private coach?
A: By no means should your skater give up private lessons. The Chicago Jazz encourages all types of skating. Many of our skaters compete in individual competitions.
Q: Can parents view practices and Try Outs?
A: All practices and try outs are closed to public viewing. Coaches will let you know when practices are open to viewing.
Q: How many competitions do you attend?
A: Each skate year, the Chicago Jazz schedule different competitions based on a variety of factors. During an average year, the team competes at 5 different competitions culminating at the Midwestern Sectional Synchronized Skating Championships. Depending on qualification additional competitions may be attended.
Q: Do you run fundraisers?
A: The club offers various opportunities to fundraise. Fundraising is optional.
Q: How do you travel?
A: Each skater is expected to travel with the team on the team bus to and from competitions. Parents and siblings can travel on a team bus for an additional fee.
Q: During competitions, where do you stay?
A: The team works with a travel agent to arrange the accommodations for the team. Hotel reservations are provided for the families of non-chaperoned teams.
Q: How long has the Chicago Jazz been a synchronized skating team?
A: The Chicago Jazz has over 25 years of experience with synchronized skating. The team first formed in 1987 as the Jazz Babies formation team and has been skating ever since.
Q: How much experience do the coaches have?
A: Many of our coaches have been with the Chicago Jazz from its inception and are former synchronized skaters themselves.
Q: Where are the coaches instructing the skaters?
A: Our coaches instruct from the ice not from the benches. They are active participants and instruct your skater in all phases of their program from ice level.
Q: Where do you practice?
A: The Chicago Jazz practice in several ice arenas in the Chicagoland area. The rinks are located in Rolling Meadows, Glenview, and Park Ridge.
Q: How often do you practice?
A: Depending on the skaters skill level, practice can range from 1 night a week to multiple nights which includes off-ice, practice, video review sessions, a personal trainer (for high level teams), and ballet (for high level teams)
Q: What club do the skaters belong?
A: All skaters must be a member of US Figure Skating. It is mandatory for Intermediate, Novice, and Junior teams to be Home Club members of the Chicago FSC.
Q: How do we join?
A: There will be a mandatory commitment meeting scheduled for each team in May or June. You will receive a commitment packet in the mail which will include a list of items to bring. At the meeting we will distribute practice schedules, costs, travel, competition information, apparel sales, etc.