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Terms used:

Attitude

A position in which the free leg is bent, and brought up, out and behind at a ninety-degree angle to the leg of the skating foot.

Beat

A note defining the regular recurring divisions of a piece of music.

Challenge

A championship that qualifies athletes toward and including, but not limited to, the Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

Change of Edge

The visible tracing of a skate on one foot that changes from one curve and edge to another curve and edge.

Choctaw

A turn from one foot to the other in which the curve of the exit edge is in the opposite direction to that of the entry edge. The change of foot is from outside edge to inside edge or inside edge to outside edge. In ice dance, unless otherwise specified in the dance description, the free foot is placed on the ice close to the skating foot. The entry and exit edge are of equal depth.

Choctaws

A turn from one foot to the other in which the curve of the exit edge is in the opposite direction to that of the entry edge. The change of foot is from outside edge to inside edge or inside edge to outside edge. In ice dance, unless otherwise specified in the dance description, the free foot is placed on the ice close to the skating foot. The entry and exit edge are of equal depth.

Closed Choctaw

A choctaw in which the instep of the free foot is held at the heel of the skating foot until the free foot is placed on the ice behind the heel of the skating foot. Following the weight transfer the immediate position of the new free foot is in front of the new skating foot (e.g. steps 12 and 13 of the Blues).

Closed Hold

The partners are directly opposite each other. One partner faces forward while the other partner faces backward. The man's right hand is placed firmly on his partner's back at the shoulder blade with the elbow raised and the arm bent sufficiently to hold the lady close to him. The left hand of the lady is placed at/on the shoulder of the man so that her arm rests comfortably, elbow to elbow, on his upper arm. The left arm of the man and the right arm of the lady are extended comfortably at shoulder height. Their shoulders remain parallel.

Cross Roll

A roll started with the action of the free foot approaching the skating foot from the side so as to strike the ice almost at right-angles to the skating foot, started forward with the feet crossed in front or backward with the feet crossed behind. The impetus is gained from the outside edge of the skating foot as it becomes the new skating foot. In this case, the change of lean to the curve in the opposite direction creates a rolling movement.

Edge

May refer either to part of the skate blade, or the visible tracing of a skate blade on one foot that is on one curve. An edge may be either inside (towards the body) or outside (away from the body), and forward or backward, for a total for four different edges.

Edges

May refer either to part of the skate blade, or the visible tracing of a skate blade on one foot that is on one curve. An edge may be either inside (towards the body) or outside (away from the body), and forward or backward, for a total for four different edges.

Fall

Defined as a loss of control by a skater with the result that the majority of his/her own body weight is on the ice being 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.

Flat

The visible double tracing of a skate that is straight (imprinted by the skater skating on one foot on both edges of the blade).

Lobe

A curve that is representative of a part of a circle.  In ice dance, a lobe is any sequence of steps on one side of the continuous axis that is approximately semi-circular in shape.

Lobes

A curve that is representative of a part of a circle.  In ice dance, a lobe is any sequence of steps on one side of the continuous axis that is approximately semi-circular in shape.

Measures

A unit of music which is defined by the periodic recurrence of the accent. Such units are of equal number of beats.

Mohawk

A turn from one foot to the other in which the entry and exit curves are continuous and of equal depth. The change of foot is from an outside edge to an outside edge or from and inside edge to an inside edge.

Mohawks

A turn from one foot to the other in which the entry and exit curves are continuous and of equal depth. The change of foot is from an outside edge to an outside edge or from and inside edge to an inside edge.

Passe

A term in ice dance for a movement in which the free foot is held up to the side of the skating leg from a closed hip position so that the free foot is parallel to the leg of the skating foot.

Rhythm

The regularly repeated pattern of accented and unaccented beats which gives the music its character.

Roll

A short or long, forward or backward edge skated on a curve.

Section

As defined in Section 8.1 hereof [of the bylaws].

Sequence

The set order of the prescribed steps that compose one pattern of a Pattern Dance.

Sequences

The set order of the prescribed steps that compose one pattern of a Pattern Dance.

Spread Eagle

A curving, two-footed movement in which the skater skates with one foot on a forward edge and the other on a matching backward edge on the same curve (eg. outside and outside).

Step

The visible tracing on the ice that is executed on one foot. A step is counted each time there is a change of foot.

Style

Characteristics of levels of step sequences in ice dance.

Three-turn

A turn executed on one foot from an outside edge to an inside edge or an inside edge to an outside edge, with the exit curve continuing on the same lobe as the entry curve. The skater turns in the direction of the curve.

Tracking

The spatial relationship of two skaters moving together on a curve or a straight line.  The tracings left on the ice represent each skater’s tracking pattern.

Transition

A term used to describe sections of the program that occur within elements, during entrances and exits of elements and as connecting elements and executed in-between the required/optional elements.

Turn

A rotational movement in which the skater moves from forward to backward or backward to forward using one foot and on an edge and axis (e.g. Three-turn, Bracket). In a two-foot turn the rotational movement from forward to backward or backward to forward is from one foot to the other foot (e.g. Mohawk, Choctaw).

Turns

A rotational movement in which the skater moves from forward to backward or backward to forward using one foot and on an edge and axis (e.g. Three-turn, Bracket). In a two-foot turn the rotational movement from forward to backward or backward to forward is from one foot to the other foot (e.g. Mohawk, Choctaw).

Twizzle

A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations which is quickly rotated with a continuous, uninterrupted action. The weight remains on the skating foot with the free foot in any position during the turn then placed beside the skating foot to skate the next step.

Twizzles

A traveling turn on one foot with one or more rotations which is quickly rotated with a continuous, uninterrupted action. The weight remains on the skating foot with the free foot in any position during the turn then placed beside the skating foot to skate the next step.

Waltz Hold

The partners are directly opposite each other. One partner faces forward while the other partner faces backward. The man's right hand is placed firmly on his partner's back at the shoulder blade with the elbow raised and the arm bent sufficiently to hold the lady close to him. The left hand of the lady is placed at/on the shoulder of the man so that her arm rests comfortably, elbow to elbow, on his upper arm. The left arm of the man and the right arm of the lady are extended comfortably at shoulder height. Their shoulders remain parallel.

Standards for the Diamond Dance Test

In general, the standards of performance must be higher than those for a gold dance but not as high as the standards for a dance at the senior competitive level.

The choreography alone demands a fairly high level of competence, therefore taking the standards over and above the gold test level.

The steps and timing, of course, must be accurate as per Rule Book descriptions. Proficiency must be maintained for all sequences, with ease of movement throughout and convincing expression in order to be satisfactory. There must be consistency of movement and flow.

Rhumba

Special attention must be paid to the accuracy of steps and edges since the same hold is maintained throughout the dance.

Character – the dance must maintain a soft smooth and sensuous expression throughout.

Strong deep edges add feeling to the Rhumba.

The double choctaw is the feature of this dance and must be well done. Some variation in the execution of Choctaw is acceptable given the difficult open hip position required.

The repeat of the dance must ensure a proper RBI to LFO transition.

Dance Rhythm

Timing:

  • 1, 2 and 4 beat edges
  • Rhythmic and smooth
  • Timing on opening chasse, change of edge step: 4 beats
    chasse: 1, and
    change of edge: 2, and 3
    cross in front: 4
  • Timing of choctaw
    LFI: 3, 4, 1, 2
    RBO: 3, 4, 1, 2
    LFI: 3, 4, 1, 2
  • Timing of cross-behind: 2 and in front 2 into repeat

Expression:

  • Smooth and sensuous
  • Moving strongly across the ice

Unison:

  • Maintenance of correct Kilian position in close proximity
  • Good soft knee action, matching throughout
  • Matching free leg extension/position on double choctaw

Execution

Style:

  • Proper Kilian position and good carriage throughout
  • Subtle use of knee action to ensure power and flow
  • Strong posture, upper back and arm positions, open chest

Accuracy:

  • Opening chasse, change of edge, clean with correct edges
  • First wide step half the size of the second one
  • Choctaw on accurate edges of even depth
  • Three-turn lobe strong to ensure accurate pattern repetition

Pattern:

  • Set pattern
  • Step # 1 should be placed at the midline 

Suggested Comments for the Rhumba

Stengths Weaknesses
Smooth/soft/sophisticated rhumba feel Lacks subtle Latin /rhumba flavour
Accurate timing
Good use of syncopated steps
Timing slurred
Neat, accurate footwork Flat LFO on repeat LFO chasse
Well-executed double choctaw with equal edges and depth Choctaw on incorrect edges and partner separations in choctaws
Good depth of edge throughout Flat insignificant edges
Maintenance of flow Uneven flow
Soft matching knee action and leg extension, Lacks unison
Good Kilian position Slips in and out of a good hold position
Pattern well placed Pattern not repeated from centre line
Upright carriage with strong body line Awkward posture 

Tango Romantica

The choreography of this dance is complex and difficult with demanding holds and edges. There is a lot going on so remember to ‘look at the forest, not just the individual trees’! Special attention must be paid to the accuracy of steps and edges. This is a romantic and flirtatious tango but a tidiness and crispness must be maintained throughout the dance.

Dance Rhythm

Timing:

  • A variety of 1, 2 and 4 beats edges
  • Unique to this dance is that Step 1 starts on beat 4
  • Step #5 for lady: RBO on “and” between 1, 2 and 3, 4
  • Step #5 for man: twizzle turned after beat 3
  • Step #7 for lady: RFI very short mohawk on “and” between 1, 2 and 3, 4
  • Special attention must be paid to:
    step #10: LBI twizzle turned on “and” between 1, 2 and 3, 4
    step #46a: RBO double 3-turn - ½ beat RBO ½ beat RFI
  • Step #36 for lady: LFO 3-turn – ½ beat ½ beat
  • Step #42 for man and lady:
    LFO, RFI, chasse
    ½ beat ½ beat

Expression:

  • The romantic expression is enhanced by soft, flowing edges with excellent leg extension; erect posture and head held high. This expression is enhanced by the syncopated quick twizzles and half beat steps, very strong focus and head positions.

Unison:

  • Close proximity of the two bodies is necessary to accomplish the skating of this dance
  • Depth of knee and free leg extension must be synchronized
  • Positions and steps must be precise

Execution

Style:

  • Proper carriage and attention to the detail of holds
  • Subtle use of knees contrasted with syncopation of quick steps
  • An evenness of flow must exist throughout the dance
  • Unique/interesting head and arm movements can be incorporated
  • Speed may be a bit slow due to number of steps and complicated interaction between partners

Accuracy:

  • Crisp, neat footwork
  • Special attention must be paid to the correctness of the edge, crossed steps and quick threes and mohawks
  • Often referred to as the helicopter section, the leg sequence in the cross roll (step #1) is of particular interest, as it is the opening non-rotational turn

Pattern:

  • Pattern is optional but must be maintained for all patterns 

Suggested Comments for the Tango Romantica

Stengths Weaknesses
Precise timing with contrast between long flowing edges and syncopated steps Slurred timing
Lack of syncopation
Accurate steps
Tidy, neat footwork
Sloppy steps
Dynamic opening non-rotational turn Lack of unison on non-rotational turn
Fast BI twizzle for lady
Fast, sharp twizzles throughout
Poor twizzle/off balance
Close positions and accurate steps for man and lady #28 to #32 Too much distance between partners
Partner being pulled into step(s) or position(s)
Positions correct; executed with style and good carriage Positions not clear, poor posture
Maintains flow Uneven speed and flow
Pattern well-placed and repeated Pattern not maintained
Tango expression maintained throughout Lacks tango expression
Swing three and mohawk for lady and man’s twizzle is a highlight when done well  

Yankee Polka

The Polka is an energetic light-hearted and somewhat bouncy dance. Short precise steps with effortless flow and tight correct positions add to the character of the dance. The basic principles of stroking and effortless flow should be adhered to as much as possible. In terms of accuracy, one would not be able to skate this dance with a partner if it were not reasonably accurate.

Good knee action, balance and rhythm are essential to the success of this dance. Partners need to remain close together to minimize the whipping action, which can occur when stroking quickly around each other.

Dance Rhythm

Timing:

  • A variety of 1 and 2 beat steps
  • The timing is straight forward (each 2 beat edges) until after steps #22 and #23, a closed choctaw when the lady crosses LBI in front for 1 beat followed by a RBO chasse on “and” between beats 3 and 4 and then stepping on LBI for 1 beat
  • Pay special attention to the “and” steps throughout the dance which characterizes the polka rhythm
  • The timing must be precise, sharp and very clear throughout

Expression:

  • Energetic and light-hearted throughout
  • Tight accurate positions and wide steps accentuated by some dramatic changes of lean, high knee and free leg positions add to the character of the dance
  • A healthy constant knee rhythm plus crisp tidy steps help as well
  • There should be no appearance of pushing

Unison:

  • Tightness of positions and excellent timing will ensure good unison on this quick little dance
  • If the knees have a consistent up and down motion (the accent on the down) plus good carriage, then the free leg unison can easily be maintained
  • The man needs a strong frame to keep the dance together for two patterns 

Execution

Style:

  • Good carriage, precise footwork, knee rhythm and timing are necessary
  • The style can be enhanced with proper characterization of free leg and arm movements
  • Saucy head positions add to the style
  • Some interesting arms to highlight character
  • Crisp up and down knee action will keep the dance moving and the couple together
  • There should be no evidence of pushing/pulling

Accuracy:

  • Many tiny, neat little steps
  • All crossed steps and quick chasses must be distinct
  • Proper placement of toe to heel on choctaw is a must
  • Holds must be accurate

Pattern:

  • Optional pattern, but must be maintained for both patterns
  • With constant knee rhythm the pattern fits nicely in the rink
  • The opening and re-start must be the same shape

Suggested Comments for the Yankee Polka

Strengths Weaknesses
Happy, light, crisp expression Lacks correct character and expression
Some creativity in arm positions on steps #32, #33 and #34 No attempt at creative movements
Saucy head movements Partner positions unclear
Neat, precise footwork and correct edges Sloppy footwork and incorrect edges
Timing correct Poor timing
Good unison Uneven timing
Tight partner positions Partners separating or lunging
Even flow throughout Flow is not constant throughout
Good speed with steps intentional and committed Upper body is not held erect

Austrian Waltz

This dance is a not-so-typical Viennese waltz in ¾ time. It can be skated strongly on deep
curves with many changes of lobe. There are therefore steps and curves with more beats.

The man’s steps are considerably less difficult than the lady’s but must allow him to have a
strong lead, which is indeed necessary to aid the lady through her difficult twizzles.

Long, extended movements of arms and legs give this dance its character accentuated by fast
light twizzles.

Dance Rhythm

Timing:

  • The timing is typical, but with many long edges
  • The twizzles are accents which are only accents if done on the correct beat
  • The long, flowing edges in contrast to the quick twizzles give this dance a large open smooth feeling

Expression:

  • The timing given to each step as part of the choreography allows for a built-in, natural expression
  • Erect carriage, a beautiful waltz position and very good extensions give this dance its strength and elegance
  • A soft, constant knee action and beautifully accurate fast twizzles with tightly crossed feet contrast the long edges and help give this dance a light, flowing appeal

Unison:

  • Maintenance of a good, closed position and constant rise and fall of the knee encourage good unison
  • The long and evenly structured lobes allow for well-matched free legs
  • The man must have a strong lead and well-controlled edges to hold this dance together

Execution

Style:

  • This is not the type of waltz that is enhanced by a lot of additional arm movements – an excellent closed hold is best
  • Close proximity of the partners is a must
  • Good stretch, turn out and point are musts
  • Elegant carriage, even knee rhythm and edge control add to the style

Accuracy:

  • The placement of the steps on the lobe must be accurate, even though the pattern is optional – the timing could suffer as well
  • The crossed steps must be tight and neat
  • Special attention must be paid to the twizzles and their accuracy and speed
  • The man must hold this dance together with a dominant lead
  • Good control over strong edges keeps the lobes even
  • Some interesting arm holds, from steps #18 to #21, need special attention

Pattern:

  • The pattern is optional but must maintain even, well-controlled lobes
  • Correct timing and edges do not allow much variance in the shape of the pattern; it becomes bigger with more speed and flow of course
  • The repeat pattern must be identical to the first – good control and even flow facilitate this.

Suggested Comments for the Austrian Waltz

Strengths Weaknesses
Well-controlled deep edges Edges of poor depth and control, balance issues
Strong, closed position with an open style and good carriage Lacks connection in the holds; breaking at the waist; too much reaching for partner
A good lead by the man A weak hold and poor lead by the man
Close proximity of the partners with an inverted V appearance Separations between partners
Fast, accurate twizzles Twizzles of poor technique tending to lose timing
Very clear changes of hold especially throughout the twizzle sequences Poor changes of hold
Good style No clear style
Lovely flow, with good knee rhythm Poor or no knee rhythm causing lack of flow
A joy of movement to the waltz rhythm The dance is a struggle
Accurate timing Poor timing

Golden Waltz

This is a very difficult dance technically, with many highlights.

A strong, closed position with tight hips and lovely upright carriage is a must.

Attention to correct positions on steps and turns is necessary.

Timing must be clear.

When well done, this dance has a fresh, light and romantic feel. 

Dance Rhythm

Timing:

  • Viennese Waltz – 3/4 time
  • Accuracy of the timing through the opening walk-arounds and ladies twizzles is essential
  • The timing of the lady’s RFI three and twizzle (step #31) and into the drop position followed by RBO three and subsequent twizzle is difficult
  • To set the timing through the two-footed steps #48 a and b is essential for an accurate restart
  • Constant, pulsating 3/4 rhythm gives this dance its character

Expression:

  • Light, flowing, happy expression throughout
  • Accuracy in length of each step and edge enhances the timing
  • Constant, soft knee rhythm and erect carriage adds to the character

Unison:

  • A good waltz hold and proper understanding of tracking aid in unison
  • Same height of free leg positions throughout the dance when the steps are matching
  • A close proximity of partners encourages better unison
  • Good timing makes for good unison

Execution

Style:

  • Good posture and positions are needed
  • Stretched, well-turned-out legs and toes and easy movement from the hip
  • A beautiful, strong but open look to the waltz hold
  • Soft knees are a must
  • A constant even flow throughout

Accuracy:

  • Accurate steps and edges must be maintained
  • The opening walk-around, the fast matching LFO threes and all twizzles must be done with a high degree of accuracy for this dance to work
  • The holds are demanding and should be clear
  • A good lead on behalf of the man is a very positive asset
  • There are new positions in this dance such as coupe, passe and attitude that need special attention
  • There are several free arm positions for both partners adding to detail

Pattern:

  • The pattern is optional, however, first and second must be the same
  • The first side is fairly straightforward
  • The first end pattern must not come too high into centre while crossing the midline; this enables the couple to get out of the corner to set up the second side
  • The lobes on the second side may be shallower than those of the first side; this is due to the choreography as well as fewer beats of music
  • The second end pattern again must enable the couple to get out of the corner to set up the repeat

Suggested Comments for the Golden Waltz

Strengths Weaknesses
Tight, accurate position and good timing on opening walk-around – a lovely highlight Poor walk around, off time and awkward
Good timing and unison on double left outside 3-turns Poor unison and slow timing on double three sequence
Dance feels jerky/rushed
Clean, accurate hold changes Awkward changes of hold
Close proximity of partners Partners skating too far apart
Clear timing Uneven timing, grabbing
Highlights: walk-around, lady’s drop, attitude turns for both, man’s spread eagle section, lady’s three into twizzle and drop, all done with accuracy and style Highlights are not performed at a high skill level with ease and style
Great set up for repeat of dance Poor repeat set up.
Smooth, waltz like quality – ease of rise and fall knee action throughout
Lovely free leg extension
Light, free and precise
Jerky movements
Lack of soft knee rise and fall
Lack of extension, elegant waltz feeling
Laboured or has the appearance of a struggle

Ravensburger Waltz

This is a waltz in ¾ time and skated with the character of a Viennese Waltz. It is very fast with a
relatively simple pattern. All of the interest lies within the steps and speed rather than changes
of lobe. Feeling is one of whirling around the ballroom floor.

The man’s steps are indeed simple, but with the speed of the dance, he must maintain an
excellent lead.

The lady’s steps on the other hand are more difficult with two lovely twizzle highlights.

When this dance is done well, with great speed and close accurate positions, one is not aware
of the discrepancy in difficulty.

Dance Rhythm

Timing:

  • The timing is regular and very quick with a nice variety of three beat, six beat, and one, two, one; one, two, three measures
  • The lady’s FI twizzle is performed between beats two and three ideally
  • The actual timing of the rotating mohawks is not difficult, but the timing of the hold changes throughout this sequence is a challenge
  • The lady’s second twizzle should be turned after two beats on the RBO edge
  • The walk-around at the end of the sequence is delightful when done well and on time – one, two, one; one, two, three

Expression:

  • The expression is enhanced with very good closed and open positions; tight hips and as big and open upper body carriage as possible (an inverted V)
  • Soft knees and long leg lines add elegance. Quick light steps, with very pointed and turned out toes are necessary.
  • High and elegant head positions with good focus add style and of course beautifully controlled changes of lean add to the waltz appeal

Unison:

  • The longer edges are easy to match while the short quick steps are more demanding. Correct positions and good timing produce quality unison.

Execution

Style:

  • Long lines, beautiful stretch and pointed toes, a good turn-out, and soft knee rhythm are required to make this a dance and not a race to the finish
  • Stately, proud and exhilarating may be good adjectives to describe the style…look for shoulders down, chest open, good upright back carriage, chin up, open face

Accuracy:

  • Great care must be given to the timing and tracking of the opening threes
  • The lady must work to a high skill level on all twizzles and independently of her partner; twizzles then blend naturally into the dance without hesitation
  • For this level, the steps are not terribly difficult, but to do them with speed and with changes of hold is demanding and very difficult to keep under control
  • Control of the upper body and all positions is essential

Pattern:

  • The pattern is simple and in fact quite shallow and very straightforward
  • The pattern can get out of control if the flow is uneven and the couple does not skate closely together
  • The second side of the dance must be edgy, so as not to miss the repeat of the dance

Suggested Comments for the Ravensburger Waltz

Strengths Weaknesses
A close proximity of partners creating a
oneness
Separation between partners
Clear/Precise timing Scrambling to keep on time
Neat, accurate steps Sloppy steps
Fast and controlled twizzles Poor twizzles, slow or off balance
Superior waltz hold and positioning Awkward changes of hold and poor posture
An excellent lead by the man Poor lead and control by the man
Open, exciting, elegant feel to the dance No elegance or lightness to the dance
Even, fast, effortless speed Erratic flow
  Second pattern weaker than the first