Ice dance

Ice danceINTRODUCTIONCompetition elementsRules and regulationsIce dance (sometimes referred to as ice dancing) is a discipline of figure skating that historically draws from ballroom dancing. It joined the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952, and became a Winter Olympic Games medal sport in 1976. According to the International Skating Union (ISU), the governing body of figure skating, an ice dance team consists of one woman and one man.Ice dance, like pair skating, has its roots in the "combined skating" developed in the 19th century by skating clubs and organizations and in recreational social skating. Couples and friends would skate waltzes, marches, and other social dances. The first steps in ice dance were similar to those used in ballroom dancing. In the late 1800s, American Jackson Haines, known as "the Father of Figure Skating",brought his style of skating, which included waltz steps and social dances, to Europe. By the end of the 19th century, waltzing competitions became popular throughout the world. By the early 1900s, ice dance was popular around the world and was primarily a recreational sport, although during the 1920s, local clubs in Britain and the U.S. conducted informal dance contests. Recreational skating became more popular during the 1930s in England.The first national competitions occurred in England, Canada, the U.S., and Austria during the 1930s. The first international ice dance competition took place as a special event at the World Championships in 1950 in London. British ice dance teams dominated the sport throughout the 1950s and 1960s, then Soviet teams up until the 1990s. Ice dance was formally added to the 1952 World Figure Skating Championships; it became an Olympic sport in 1976. In the 1980s and 1990s, there was an attempt by ice dancers, their coaches, and choreographers to move ice dance away from its ballroom origins to more theatrical performances. The ISU pushed back by tightening rules and definitions of ice dance to emphasize its connection to ballroom dancing. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, ice dance lost much of its integrity as a sport after a series of judging scandals, which also affected the other figure skating disciplines. There were calls to suspend the sport for a year to deal with the dispute, which seemed to impact ice dance teams from North America the most. Teams from North America began to dominate the sport starting in the early 2000s.Before the 2010–11 figure skating season, there were three segments in ice dance competitions: the compulsory dance (CD), the original dance (OD), and the free dance (FD). In 2010, the ISU voted to change the competition format by eliminating the CD and the OD and adding the new short dance (SD) segment to the competition schedule. In 2018, the ISU voted to rename the short dance to the rhythm dance (RD). Ice dance has required elements that competitors must perform and that make up a well-balanced skating program. They include the dance lift, the dance spin, the step sequence, twizzles, and choreographic elements. These must be performed in specific ways, as described in published communications by the ISU, unless otherwise specified. Each year the ISU publishes a list specifying the points that can be deducted from performance scores for various reasons, including falls, interruptions, and violations of the rules concerning time, music, and clothing.Dance liftDance spinStep sequenceTwizzleChoreographic elements"a movement in which one of the partners is elevated with active and/or passive assistance of the other partner to any permitted height, sustained there and set down on the ice".The ISU permits any rotation, position, and changes of position during a dance lift.Dance lifts are delineated from pair lifts to ensure that ice dance and pair skating remain separate disciplines.[29] After the judging system changed from the 6.0 system to the ISU Judging System, dance lifts became more "athletic, dramatic and exciting"."a spin skated by the Couple together in any hold".There are two types of dance spins: the spin and the combination spin, which is multiple spins in succession."a series of prescribed or un-prescribed steps, turns and movements"."a traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations which is quickly rotated with a continuous (uninterrupted) action"."a listed or unlisted movement or series of movement(s) as specified".Falls and interruptionsTimeMusicClothingAccording to ice dancer and commentator Tanith White, unlike in other disciplines wherein skaters can make up for their falls in other elements, falls in ice dance usually mean that the team will not win. White argues that falls are rare in ice dance, and since falls constitute interruptions, they tend to have large deductions because the mood of their program's theme is broken.Judges penalize ice dancers one point up to every five seconds for ending their pattern dances too early or too late. Dancers can also be penalized one point for up to every five seconds "in excess of [the] permitted time after the last prescribed step" (their final movement and/or pose) in their pattern dances.The ISU defines interpretation of the music and timing in ice dance as "the personal, creative, and genuine translation of the rhythm, character and content of music to movement on ice".Judges take the following things into account when scoring ice dances: timing (steps and movement in time to the music); the expression of the character and/or feeling and rhythm of the music, when they can be identified clearly; the use of finesse;the relationship between the dancers' ability to reflect the rhythm and character of the music; if the dancers skate primarily to the rhythmic beat during their rhythm dance; and if they can keep a "good balance" between skating to the melody and beat during their free dance.As for the other disciplines of figure skating, the clothing worn by ice dancers at ISU Championships, the Olympics, and international competitions must be "modest, dignified and appropriate for athletic competition—not garish or theatrical in design".Rules about clothing tend to be more strict in ice dance; Juliet Newcomer from U.S. Figure Skating has speculated limits in the kind of costumes ice dancers chose were pushed farther during the 1990s and early 2000s than in the other disciplines, resulting in stricter rules.Clothing can, however, reflect the character of ice dancers' chosen music. Their costumes must not "give the effect of excessive nudity inappropriate for the discipline".The ISU defines a fall as the "loss of control by a Skater with the result that the majority of his/her own body weight is on the ice supported by any other part of the body other than the blades; e.g. hand(s), knee(s), back, buttock(s) or any part of the arm".The ISU defines an interruption as "the period of time starting immediately when the Competitor stops performing the program or is ordered to do so by the Referee, whichever is earlier, and ending when the Competitor resumes the performance".Injuries to the lower body (the knee, ankle, and back) are the most common for both ice dancers and single skaters. A study conducted during a U.S. national competition including 58 ice dancers recorded an average of 0.97 injuries per athlete.In ice dance, teams can lose one point for every fall by one partner, and two points if both partners fall. If there is an interruption while performing their program, ice dancers can lose one point if it lasts more than ten seconds but not over twenty seconds. They can lose two points if the interruption lasts twenty seconds but not over thirty seconds, and three points if it lasts thirty seconds but not more than forty seconds. They can lose five points if the interruption lasts three or more minutes.Teams can also lose points if a fall or interruption occurs during the beginning of an elevating moment in a dance lift, or as the man begins to lift the woman.If they start their programs between one and thirty seconds late, they can lose one point.Restrictions for finishing the rhythm and free dance are similar to the requirements of the other disciplines in figure skating. They can complete these programs within plus or minus ten seconds of the required times; if they cannot, judges can deduct points for finishing their program up to five seconds too early or too late. If they begin skating any element after their required time (plus the required ten seconds they have to begin), they earn no points for those elements. If the program's duration is "thirty (30) seconds or more under the required time range, no marks will be awarded".If a team performs a dance lift that exceeds the permitted duration, judges can deduct one point.White argues that deductions in ice dance, in the absence of a fall or interruption, are most often due to "extended lifts",or lifts that last too long.Violations against the music requirements have a two-point deduction, and violations against the dance tempo requirements have a one-point deduction.Judges can deduct one point per program if the ice dancers break choreography restrictions.The ISU has allowed vocals in the music used in ice dance since the 1997–1998 season,most likely because of the difficulty in finding suitable music without words for certain genres.All men must wear trousers. Female ice dancers must wear skirts. Accessories and props on the costumes of both dancers are not allowed. The decorations on costumes must be "non-detachable";judges can deduct one point per program if part of the competitors' costumes or decorations fall on the ice.If there is a costume or prop violation, the judges can deduct one point per program. If competitors do not adhere to these guidelines, the judges can deduct points from their total score, if most of the panel, including the referee, thinks a team's outfit is inappropriate or non-compliant.However, costume deductions are rare. According to Newcomer, by the time skaters get to a national or world championship, they have received enough feedback about their costumes and are no longer willing to risk losing points.
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