Contents[Hide]

Terms used:

Axis

Refers to the imaginary line(s) which divide(s) the ice surface (e.g. long axis, short axis).  

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.

Crossed Open Choctaw

A choctaw in which the outside of the free foot is held in front of and at right angles to the skating foot. The hip is open after the turn. It may be wide-stepped (e.g. Steps 11-12 of the Rhumba).

Dance Pattern

The pattern of any dance is the design of the dance on the ice.  The diagram of a pattern dance includes all the information needed to execute one complete pattern (sequence) of the dance.

Dance Spin

A spin skated by the couple together in any hold. It should be performed on the spot around a common axis on one foot by each partner simultaneously.

Evaluator

An individual sixteen years of age or older who is responsible for assessing tests in the STARSkate program.  Evaluators are qualified to assess tests at or below a specified level in one or more of the STARSkate program disciplines.

Evaluators

An individual sixteen years of age or older who is responsible for assessing tests in the STARSkate program.  Evaluators are qualified to assess tests at or below a specified level in one or more of the STARSkate program disciplines.

International Skating Union

The International Skating Union (ISU) is the exclusive international sport federation recognized by the International Olympic Committee administering the sports of Figure Skating and Speed Skating throughout the world. The ISU is composed of a number of national associations called ISU Members that administer ISU sports at the national level and recognize that all international matters are under the sole jurisdiction and control of the ISU.

Introductory Steps

In Ice Dance, optional steps performed prior to the first step of a pattern dance. 

Loops

A one-foot movement where the skater skates an oval pattern using the same edge. The entry and exit of the loop must cross. The loop must be clean cut without scrapes or points.

Measure

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.

Open Choctaw

A choctaw in which the free foot is placed on the ice at the inner side of the skating foot. Following the weight transfer the immediate position of the new free foot is behind the heel of the new skating foot.

Rhythm

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

Rhythm Dance

A dance created by an ice dance couple to dance music with designated rhythm(s) and/or theme(s) selected annually by the ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee.

Rocker

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

Short Axis

A straight line that divides the ice surface into two halves crosswise (midline). On an ice surface that is 100’ x 85’, the short axis runs the width of the 85’ side through the middle of the ice.

Spin

An element where the skater rapidly revolves, centred on a single point on the ice, while holding one or more body positions.  In singles and pairs, a spin must have at least three revolutions to be considered a spin. The minimum number of revolutions in a position is two without interruption.

 

 

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.

Tempo

The speed of the music in beats or measures per minute.

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.

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.

Acknowledgements

Skate Canada would like to thank the following people for their contribution to the Creative Dance Manual:

Michelle Kho
Paul MacIntosh
Rod Mackie
Marijane Stong

Note: The Skate Canada Rule and Technical Handbook regulations referred to in this manual are correct at the time of printing. The current Skate Canada Rule Book and Technical Handbook overrides any rule or regulation references in this book.

Introduction

A number of revisions have been made to the STARSkate Dance test program. As of July 1, 2003 the Dance Variation, Bronze Rhythm Dance, Silver Interpretive Dance and Gold Interpretive Dance have been deleted. Four new dances have been introduced: Preliminary Creative Dance, Bronze Creative Dance, Silver Creative Dance and Gold Creative Dance. The following table is a summary of the dance tests in the STARSkate program:

Dance Test Dance Partner Solo Shadow Passing Requirements (Rule 4303
Preliminary


Dutch Waltz X    
3/4


Canasta X    
Baby Blues X    
Preliminary Creative Dance X X X

Junior Bronze
Swing X    

3/3


Fiesta Tango X    
Willow Waltz X    


Senior Bronze

Ten Fox X    
3/4


Fourteenstep X    
European Waltz X    
Bronze Creative Dance X X X
Junior Silver Keats Foxtrot X X  

4/4

Harris Tango X    
American Waltz X X  
Rocker Foxtrot X    
Senior Silver Paso Doble X    

4/6

Starlight Waltz X    
Blues X X  
Kilian X X  
Cha Cha Congelado X    
Silver Creative Dance X X X
Gold Viennese Waltz X     4/6
Westminster Waltz X    
Quickstep X X  
Argentine Tango X    
Silver Samba X X  
Gold Creative Dance X X X
Diamond Ravensburger Waltz X     4/6
Tango Romantica X    
Yankee Polka X    
Rhumba X    
Austrian Waltz X    
Golden Waltz X    

The Creative Dances are an option portion of completing a Compulsory Dance test. At the Preliminary and Senior Bronze level a skater must pass three of the four dances. At the Senior Silver and Gold level a skater must pass four of the six dances. For example, a skater on the Preliminary Dance test level has a number of options to obtain their Preliminary Dance test certificate (i.e. Dutch Waltz, Canasta, and Baby Blues; or Preliminary Creative Dance, Dutch Waltz, and Baby Blues).

Creative Dance

Creative Dancing gives coaches and skaters a chance to experiment with modern music (or to stay with the traditional if they prefer), and they have the opportunity to combine the skills they are learning in all disciplines including: the use of timing, rhythm and tempo from dancing, the turns and movements of both Skating Skills and Ice Dancing, and the freedom of composition and performance aspects of free skating. Since Creative Dances can be done solo, the partner limitations are not of the same concern that currently existed for skaters wishing to take the rhythm and interpretive dance tests.

This approach gives more exposure to dance in a fun, less restrictive atmosphere for skaters, and earlier introduction to the creative aspects of dancing for coaches in a safe and positive environment. All of this equals skill development while having fun.

A further benefit may be that skaters will stay in dancing longer and may choose dance as a competitive discipline earlier in their development. It also means that skaters will be ready to tackle an Original and/or Free Dance much quicker and easier with this early introduction to “free” dancing.

Shadow Dancing

Creative Dances may be performed solo, shadow or as a couple. If the dance is skated shadow or with a partner, the couple composition is unrestricted. If a Creative Dance is shadow danced, both skaters shall perform the same steps (men’s or women’s). They shall skate side by side with no more than arms distance between them. The couple should try to maintain the same distance between one another.

Tracking may be used in dance patterns where it is difficult for both skaters to maintain the same distance from one another when performing the same steps side by side. For example, in performing the crossed open choctaw in the Kilian the skaters may use tracking to complete the step.

Evaluation Criteria

Creative Dances are evaluated on the same two categories as Compulsory Dances: Dance Rhythm and Expression. These categories are further broken down into more specific requirements.

A skater is evaluated on:

  1. Dance Rhythm - Timing, Expression, and Unison (if skated shadow or as a couple)
  2. Execution – Accuracy/Flow, Style/Form, and Pattern/Placement

A skater who performs the dance solo is not required to receive a satisfactory evaluation on the unison requirement. For example, a skater performing the Gold Creative Dance (shadow or with a partner) must pass all 6 evaluation criteria. If a skater chooses to perform the Gold Creative Dance solo they must pass all criteria except the unison criteria.

For a detailed explanation of the criteria for evaluation, see regulation 4000 – D - 4.5 in the Skate Canada Rule Book. Please refer to Appendix A in this manual for the complete Creative Dance Standards. These standards should be adhered to as closely as possible.

Equivalency

There is no equivalency granted from the Dance Variation, Bronze Rhythm, Silver Interpretive and Gold Interpretive tests to the Creative Dance tests. The test prerequisite for each Creative Dance is the same as all Compulsory Dances. A skater must pass a minimum of the Junior Bronze Dance test to take the Bronze Creative Dance. A skater who has passed the Dance Variation, Bronze Rhythm Dance, Silver Interpretive Dance and/or Gold Interpretive Dance will maintain this test in their Skate Canada records. The Creative Dances are options for skaters to use in completing their Compulsory Dance tests. 

Evaluator Qualifications

Creative Dances may be evaluated by evaluators with the appropriate Compulsory Dance evaluator qualification. The table below indicates the minimum evaluator qualification that is required.

Dance Evaluator Qualification
Preliminary Creative Dance Preliminary Dance Evaluators
Bronze Creative Dance Senior Bronze Dance Evaluators
Silver Creative Dance Senior Silver Dance Evaluators
Gold Creative Dance Gold Dance Evaluators

General Guidelines for Composition

  • The dance may consist of an original series of steps and movements skated in time with the music.
  • The choice of steps, turns and rotations, and changes of position are optional except for the specific requirements for each level. The skater is expected to incorporate steps, turns and movements that are included in other dances at the same level. Definitions of dance elements can be found in the Figure Skating Terms Defined Section of the Technical Handbook.
  • Introductions and endings are expected. The number of introductory steps shall not exceed the introductory phrasing of the specific music used.
  • There are no restrictions on dance holds, arm movements or hand claps. Any new or known dance positions may be used and should reflect the character of the music. Hand-in-hand positions with outstretched arms are not permitted except in the introductory steps. The partners must not separate except to change dance hold, which must not exceed one measure of the music. Skaters are encouraged to use arm, postural and leg movements to interpret the music.
  • Clothing must be simple, modest and dignified. Costumes may reflect the character of the music, but show costumes are not permitted.

Composition of Creative Dances

Specific composition guidelines are outlined for each test level below.

Bronze Creative Dance

Test Prerequisites

  • The skater must have passed the Junior Bronze (STAR 5) Dance test.

Music

  • The dance can be skated to one selection of music from either the Senior Bronze Dance music (Skate Canada or ISU) or a free choice of music.
  • If a free choice of music is chosen, it must be of the same character and correct time signature as an existing piece of music from the Senior Bronze Compulsory Dance music. Free choice of music may include the following characters and time signatures for the Bronze Creative Dance:
Free Choice of Music
Character Time Signature
Foxtrot 4/4
March 6/8, 2/4, or 4/4
Waltz 3/4

Composition

  • Dance must move in a counter-clockwise direction.
  • Reverse direction, stops and loops are not permitted.
  • The pattern shall consist of a full circuit of the ice or a half pattern repeated.
  • The dance pattern must not cross the long axis except when crossing the end of the arena.

Required Steps/Elements

  • Any new or known dance steps may be used. The skater is expected to incorporate steps, turns and movements that are included in other dances in the Senior Bronze Dance test.
  • The dance must include forward and backward dance steps. The dance must include at least one three turn and one mohawk.

Passing Requirement

  • The candidate must obtain a “satisfactory” evaluation or better in timing and Accuracy/Flow plus satisfactory or better in at least two of: Style/Form, Expression, Unison* or Pattern/Placement in order to pass.

    *A satisfactory evaluation in the unison criteria is only a requirement for dances that are performed shadow or with a partner.

Silver Creative Dance

Test Prerequisites

  • The skater must have passed the Junior Silver Dance test.

Music

  • 2 minutes maximum.
  • The dance can be skated to one or two selections of music from the Senior Silver Dance music (Skate Canada or I.S.U.) or free choice of music.
  • If a free choice of music is chosen, it must be of the same character and correct time signature as an existing piece of music from the Senior Silver Compulsory Dance music. Free choice of music may include the following characters and time signatures for the Silver Creative Dance:
Free Choice of Music
Character Time Signature
Paso Doble 2/4
Waltz (with the character and rhythm of the Viennese Waltz) 3/4
Blues 4/4
March 2/4 and 4/4
Cha Cha 4/4

Composition

  • Dance must move in a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction.
  • Stops are not permitted.
  • It must cross the midline of the arena within 20 meters of the end of rink, except the diagonal line step sequence.
  • Loops may be included but must not cross the short axis of the arena.

Required Steps/Elements

  • Any new or known dance steps may be used. The skater is expected to incorporate steps, turns and movements that are included in other dances in the Senior Silver Dance test.
  • It must include:
    • one diagonal step sequence
    • one straight line sequence, travelling down the long axis of the arena
    • The straight line sequence must include a series of twizzles– A series of twizzles must include at least two twizzles for each partner with up to three small steps between. Each twizzle shall be at least one rotation on one foot performed simultaneously by both partners. For example: side by side in same direction (matching), side by side in opposite direction (mirror), or following one another (one skating forward and/or backward and the other skating backward and/or forward).
  • If it is skated as a couple, the skaters may (but are not required to) include one lift and one dance spin.

Passing Requirement

  • The candidate must obtain a “satisfactory” evaluation or better in all six criteria for dances performed shadow or with a partner, and all except unison for soloed dances.

Gold Creative Dance

Test Prerequisites

  • The Skater must have passed the Senior Silver Dance test

Music

  • 2 minutes 30 seconds maximum.
  • The dance can be skated to a minimum of 2 to a maximum of 3 selections of music from the Gold and Diamond Dance music (Skate Canada or I.S.U.) or free choice of music. If a free choice of music is chosen, it must be of the same character and correct time signature as an existing piece of music from the Gold Compulsory Dance music. Free choice of music may include the following characters and time signatures for the Gold Creative Dance: 
Free Choice of Music
Character Time Signature
Waltz / Viennese Waltz 3/4
Quickstep 2/4
Tango 4/4
Samba 2/4
Polka 2/4
Rhumba 4/4

Composition

  • Dance must move in a Free pattern.
  • Reverse direction, stops and loops are permitted.

Required Steps/Elements

  • Any new or known dance steps may be used. The skater is expected to incorporate steps, turns and movements that are included in other dances in the Gold Dance test.
  • It must include:
    • one diagonal step sequence
    • one circular sequence
    • The dance must include one series of twizzles – A series of twizzles must include at least two twizzles for each partner with up to three small steps between. Each twizzle shall be at least one rotation on one foot performed simultaneously by both partners. For example: side by side in same direction (matching), side by side in opposite direction (mirror), or following one another (one skating forward and/or backward and the other skating backward and/or forward).
  • If it is skated as a couple, the skaters may (but are not required to) include up to two lifts and one dance spin.

Passing Requirement

  • The candidate must obtain a “satisfactory” evaluation or better in all six criteria for dances performed shadow or with a partner, and all except unison for soloed dances.