What is ice dancing and is it different from figure skating? Here’s What You Need to Know – NBC Chicago

The next step in figure skating competition is ice dancing, but for those unfamiliar with the sport, there might be some confusion between ice dancing and pair skating.

On the surface, the two may seem similar. Two men and two women skate, often synchronized.

But there’s one thing you’ll see in pair figure skating that you won’t see in ice dancing.

Here’s a breakdown of the two.

What is ice dancing?

Ice dancers perform their routine in rhythm dance and free dance events. The rules prohibit them from doing throw jumps, twist lifts, aerial lifts and other moves that skaters like Nathan Chen would do. Think ballroom dancing, but on ice. The skating partners are also not expected to be apart for too long during their “non-contact step sequence”, as the rule states that they should not be more than two arms apart. ‘other.

What ice dance moves to watch out for?

Belbin White, who was part of the first-ever American ice dance team to win a silver medal at the 2006 Olympics, said TODAY that the greatest ice dance moves are the twizzle, a dance on pattern, lift, rotation, step sequence and choreography. .

“The ice dance event features two skaters working as a team to perform complex maneuvers, steps and acrobatics, while maintaining close contact throughout the program and emphasizing musicality and performance. ‘interpretation. Think ballroom dancing mixed with Cirque du Soleil, and you might have an idea of ​​what to expect! White said TODAY.

Twizzles are considered “one of the most easily identifiable moves in ice dancing,” according to NBC Olympics. It is a series of one-foot turns, in which the skaters perform rapid, side-to-side rotations, preferably close to each other on the ice, but not touching. The weight remains on the skating foot, the free foot in any position during the turn.

According to US Skating, for all singles and pairs events and the free dance, judges award two points: one for technical merit and one for program presentation.

“The technical merit score expresses a judge’s assessment of the quality of the required elements skated,” the group states. “The presentation score reflects a judge’s evaluation of the program as a whole – its composition, originality, use of the ice, skater’s style and expression of the music.”

In addition to the technical score, each “program” is judged on five components: skating skills, transitions, performance, composition and music interpretation.

The description of each component is as follows:

Skating Skills – Overall quality of skating, including edge control and fluidity on the ice surface (edges, steps, turns, speed, etc.), clarity of technique, and effortless use of power to accelerate and vary the speed.

Transitions – The varied and/or complex footwork, positions, movements and holds that connect all the elements.

Performance – The physical, emotional and intellectual involvement of the skater in the translation of music and choreography.

Membership – An intentional, developed and/or original arrangement of all types of movement according to the principles of proportion, unity, space, pattern, structure and phrasing.

Interpretation of music – The personal and creative translation of music into movement on the ice.

How is it different from pair skating?

Athletes in the pair discipline compete in the same two events as individual skaters: short and free programs. They perform the movements prohibited in ice dancing. Key elements include difficult moves like the twist lift, in which the male lifter lifts his partner above his head, throws her in the air as she spins, and he catches her.

Throw jumps are also extremely common. This is the maneuver in which the male skater throws his partner into the air, and she lands unassisted on a back outside edge.

Who are the ice dance duos to watch out for?

Ahead is the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance event, in which Team USA scored big in the team event earlier in the Games.

Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue placed first in the rhythm dance for Team USA in the tag team competition. The duo earned a score of 86.56 while skating to a medley of Janet Jackson songs.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates were also among the performance headlines for Team USA, skating in the ice free dance for a winning score of 129.07. The victory gave the United States an additional 10 points, securing their spot for a silver medal.

Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker will make their debuts in Beijing in the individual event. The duo earned the final ice dance spot for the United States by winning four rounds for third place at the 2022 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

What about pair skaters?

Team USA’s Brandon Frazier and Chicago-area native Alexa Knierim placed third in their team short program while scoring a personal best, but unfortunately came last in the free program. The 2022 Winter Olympics mark their first as a duo.

They will be looking to top their performance in the short program and redeem their free skate in the coming days.

When can you watch and where?

The figure skating started on February 3 and will continue until February 19.

The first week of programming consisted entirely of team events, while the second week included individual competitions. Next on the schedule is the Ice Dance Rhythm Dance, which will see notable American pairs return to the ice for what they hope will be another figure skating medal.

One of the final events of the Winter Olympics will be the Exhibition Gala, where fans can enjoy more personality-focused performances featuring some of the Games’ most popular skaters.

Below is the full event and streaming information for each day of figure skating competition.

NBC 2022 Winter Olympics Figure Skating Coverage Schedule*

Date/Time (ET)



game | February 3 | 8:55 p.m.

Team Event – SP Men and Pairs, Rhythm Dance

BNC | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 5 | 8:30 p.m.

🏅 Team Event – Women’s SP, FS Pairs

BNC | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sun | February 6 | 8:15 p.m.

🏅 Team Event – M/F FS, Free Dance

BNC | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Mon | February 7 | 8:15 p.m.

Men’s Singles Short Program

NBC, United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sea | February 9 | 8:30 p.m.

🏅 Men’s Singles Free Skating

NBC, United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 12 | 6:00 am

Ice Dance Rhythm Dance

United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sun | February 13 | 8:15 p.m.

🏅 Ice Dance Free Dance

United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Tue | February 15 | 5:00 a.m.

Ladies’ Singles Short Program

United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

game | February 17 | 5:00 a.m.

🏅 Women’s Singles Free Skating

United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Fri | February 18 | 5:30

Short program in pairs

United States | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 19 | 6:00 am

🏅 Couples Free Skating

BNC | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

Sat | February 19 | 11:00 p.m.

Exhibition gala

BNC | Peacock, NBCOlympics.com

* TV channels reflect live events, times may differ for reruns; see the full schedule for detailed information.

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