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Compulsory Ice Dances


Young Ice Dancers Perform a Compulsory Ice Dance

Young Ice Dancers Perform a Compulsory Ice Dance

Copyright © Jo Ann Schneider Farris
Definition: Ice dancing is ballroom dancing on ice. In compulsory ice dances, skaters do set steps and patterns on the ice. They skate to a prescribed rhythm and tempo of music. Skaters do waltzes, tangos, foxtrots, and other dances on the ice.

Compulsory dances are part of the figure skating test structure and can be skated with or without a partner. Even though compulsory ice dances can be skated solo, compulsory ice dances are meant to be done with a partner, so there are a number of partner holds and positions.

Also Known As: Sometimes competitive ice dancers call compulsory ice dances "compulsories." In 2010, the ISU International Skating Union changed the term "compulsory dance" to "pattern dance."
Most compulsory ice dances include certain basic and standard ice dance steps which include strokes, progressives, chassés, slide chassés, swing rolls, cross steps, mohawks and three turns.

Compulsory ice dances can be done at a competitive, social, or recreational level. Some adult figure skaters especially enjoy doing compulsory ice dances since no jumping and spinning is involved. High level compulsory ice dances are very technical and difficult.

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