Tie skates correctly: Too tight and your feet may go numb, too loose and you won’t get the proper support for your ankles.

Fall down on purpose: You’re going to fall, so it’s best to practice falling as soon as you get on the ice for the first time. Bend your knees and squat into dip position (see below). Fall to the side and lean a bit forward as you go down.

Get back up: Turn over onto your hands and knees. Take one foot and place it between your hands. Repeat with the other foot. Push yourself up, and you should be standing. If your blades slip and slide as you stand, use the toe picks of the blades to keep the skates in one place as you pull yourself up.

Look forward: Keep your head up, and look in front of you.

Weight forward: Leaning back will likely send you flying on your backside. Keep your knees bent and your weight forward. Hold your arms out in front of you; open them wide to help you stay balanced.

Now move forward: First, march in place. Next, march and move. Then, do short “scooter” steps with one foot at a time. Pretend you are riding a scooter on the street. Arms can be kept in front on “imaginary scooter bars” for balance.

Do alternating steps. Take a step onto the right foot, rest on two feet, and then step onto the left foot. Try pushing from one foot to the other, and skate around the rink.

Practice gliding on two feet: March or step across the ice and then “rest.” Glide forward for a short distance on two feet.

Learn to stop: To stop, bend your knees, turn the toes of each foot inward, point your heels out, and push out on your heels.

Do a dip: Squat down as far as possible. The arms and rear should be level. This is a great exercise to get the knees going before skating, too. First, practice doing a dip from a standstill.

Once you feel comfortable gliding forward on two feet on the ice, practice dips while moving.