Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Lucius Hallett

Second Advisor

Lisa DeChano-Cook

Third Advisor

Gregory Veeck


Figure skating, growth, sports geography, synchronized skating, US Figure Skating

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Synchronized skating, a sport in which eight to twenty skaters perform a program in unison as a team, is the fastest growing yet least known and recognized discipline of figure skating in the United States. Skaters do not have control over whether they are exposed to synchronized skating due to their location not having a team, or due to a coach who has tainted the perception of their students to believe that synchronized skating is not as “worthy” of a discipline, causing them to have little to no interest to take advantage of the exposure and opportunities they may have. The main purpose of this research is to understand how perceptions of synchronized skating are formed for skaters and how that effects the potential growth of the sport, specifically in the Midwest region as determined by the United States Figure Skating Association (henceforth referred to as “USFSA” or “US Figure Skating”). Awareness and perception data has been collected using three specially designed questionnaires (one for skaters involved in synchronized skating, one for skaters not involved in synchronized skating, one for coaches) and distributed via email to figure skating clubs and synchronized skating teams in the Midwest. Coaches, both synchronized and non-synchronized have been interviewed. Survey data have been analyzed using the appropriate statistical tests. This research found that oftentimes, most skaters and coaches (both in and out of synchro) have positive perceptions of synchro and most coaches agree that geographic location effects the opportunities available to both skaters and coaches alike.