This year's Vancouver winter Olympics got more viewers than the hit TV show American Idol. A growing popular Olympic event is ice dancing. It is one of my favorites to watch.
Some people might think that ice dancing is very similar to singles and pair figure skating but it is very different yet there are some similarities. Ice dancing is performed by couples. It is also made up of three parts, one compulsory dance, one original dance and one free style dance. Unlike pairs, ice dancing does not have any over head lifts. Ice dancing is similar to ballroom dancing. It is based on the couple’s interpretation of the music.
Some important terms in ice dancing are also used in some figure skating events like, an Axel Jump which is a jump that begins from a forward facing position. Another technique the couples perform is called shadow skating. Shadow Skating is similar movements preformed by pairs. A Single Jump is any jump of one or more revolutions. A Flip Jump is a toe picked assisted jump is launched from the back.
Like all Olympic sports, ice dancing requires a lot of training. Most figure and ice dancing skaters start skating when they are very young and practice all the time. That explains one of the reasons why the Olympics are every four years since the athletes have to train and prepare for the Olympics. Most of the training varies between each pair and event. It also depends on the choreographer. The pairs normally practice for 3 hours a day every day.
Ice dancing is a form of figure skating and comes from the world of ballroom dancing. In 1952 ice dancing first was included in the world figure skating competition. It became a winter Olympic sport in1976. In the 70's the United Kingdom's ice dancers dominated most of the competitions and then in the in the 80's Russian contestants began winning awards in the competitions. This year in Vancouver the countries Canada, the US and Russia did very well. The next winter Olympics are in Russia. Well see if Russia will capture the gold on their home ice or will US and Canada give them a run for their money!