Determine skating might be finest recognized for its explosive jumps, which is why you may discover Olympic ice dancing — the one self-discipline where jumping isn’t required — to be a pleasant change of tempo. Ice-dance packages are composed solely of intricate footwork sequences and different dance-inspired elements like lifts, however the factor that in all probability most separates ice dance from the opposite determine skating disciplines is the rhythm dance. In contrast to different skating packages you will see on the 2022 Winter Olympics, the rhythm dance requires groups to comply with very particular pointers when plotting out their routines. Here is the whole lot you want to know concerning the occasion.
What Is the Rhythm Dance in Determine Skating?
As with all determine skating disciplines, the ice-dance competitors is damaged into two segments: a shorter program and an extended one. As a substitute of being referred to as the “quick program” and “free skate,” although, they’re the “rhythm dance” and “free dance,” respectively. The rhythm dance is designed as a method of straight evaluating all of the skaters.
In competitions previous to the 2010-2011 season, ice dance really had three segments: an “authentic dance” created to a set rhythm and elegance of music, a “obligatory dance” that required each workforce to finish the identical actual steps, and a free dance. The unique and obligatory dances had been ultimately discontinued and mixed into a brand new phase, now referred to as the rhythm dance. The phase requires skaters to all create packages inside a selected type and rhythm of music, and sooner or later in this system, all groups should skate the identical obligatory sample of steps.
The type and step sample for the rhythm dance change every season. For the 2021-2022 season, the Worldwide Skating Union selected “road dance” because the theme for the rhythm dance. The ISU’s rules require groups to skate a minimum of two totally different street-dance rhythms, with an inventory of examples together with hip-hop, disco, swing, krump, popping, funk, reggaeton, and blues. (The result has been a lot of pop, disco, rock, and hip-hop packages.) The obligatory sample for the season is “Midnight Blues.”
What Is the Midnight Blues Ice-Dance Sample?
In ice dance, skaters be taught quite a lot of sample dances, that are standardized, intricate units of steps which are designed to mimic types of dance. The sample dance modifications every season. For instance, on the final Winter Olympics, the required sample dance was the rhumba, and on the 2014 Olympics, it was the quickstep-inspired Finnstep. This 12 months, the sample is Midnight Blues.
In response to the ISU guidelines, all groups should embrace a particular part of the general Midnight Blues sample of their rhythm dance, designated as steps 5 by means of 14. They need to instantly comply with this phase of Midnight Blues with a “sample dance sort step sequence,” or a various step sequence that maintains the character and rhythm of the Midnight Blues sample. On this context, “steps” are particular bits of footwork — largely advanced turns and modifications of edge. In determine skating, “edges” check with the sharp elements of the blades. Ice dancers can skate on the within or exterior fringe of their skates.
The most important parts for judging the Midnight Blues sample dance are the important thing factors: 4 particular steps inside the sequence which are evaluated based mostly on whether or not or not the skaters use the right edges, change edge appropriately, and switch the right method. Skaters hope to attain a degree 4 — the very best degree and the very best quantity of factors — by hitting all 4 key factors appropriately, however even on the most elite degree, these patterns are troublesome sufficient that it is uncommon. Solely three groups on the 2022 Winter Olympics hit all 4 key factors and earned degree 4s on their Midnight Blues sequence; the other top teams earned degree 3s, which means they missed one key level.