Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
Advice on Dance Blades?
Well i recently passed my Bronze dances and my dance coach said that if i wanted to continue my ice dancing i should get dance blades. My mom agreed but the question is what should i get. I probably will not be competitive, i just want to do all the tests. this pair of blades (and boots) will be just for dance...i will keep my old pair for my freestyle.
I am getting anotehr pair of SP teri's for my boots, but i need blade help. My friend has the pink parabolic blades and she does dance... but they are not special "dance blades" what would be a good choice for a dancer of my level?
If you're just going to do tests and are going to continue to do freestyle, in my opinion you don't need separate blades. I do both dance and FS, and I use a FS blade (MK Gold Star) because that is my primary discipline. I am working on pre-Golds.
[Comment here removed because wiser dance people have changed my mind.]
What does your coach suggest? If you want another opinion, ask any dance coach in your area too. Or any dancers in your area (not that we have all that many teams in So. Cal.) I am sure they would be glad to give you advice. Ask Darlene, or Lia, or Russ (if you ever get to El Segundo). If you are reluctant to ask a coach you are not taking lessons from send me a private message and I will ask for you and let you know their answer.
Last edited by gsrossano; 12-29-2007 at 02:00 PM.
Sitting Here on Blue Jay Way
Unless you're really serious about continuing in ice dance you don't really need to get special dance blades. I have a friend who hasn't freeskated for about 3-4 years and she refuses to get dance blades eventhough all she does is dance. Getting dance boots would probably be more benificial than the blades anyways as they allow for mor knee bend, they blades really just make it less likly to trip.
I agree - if you are planning on continuing your freeskating, and you have just passed your bronze dances - then there is no reason for you to invest in a separate pair of dance blades and dance boots. In the old days, we had separate figure blades and boots because the blade was really different -- no bottom pick to mess up tracings and centres, and a wider, shallow blade that allowed us to get deeper tracings ( but forget about actually skating in them!!).
Dance blades are shorter so you don't kick your partner ( - did that on the Yankee Polka and he was wearing shorts- but the shorter blade made less of an injury). The blades are thinner to allow deep hollows for sharper edges and the heels are usually higher, which tends to pitch you forward at first. The thinner blade and sharper edge allows for more flow and tighter turns. Synchro skaters use dance blades or a variation of such because of the shorter length.
Good dance blades are about $700 for MK Dance - the lower priced blades are not true dance blades as they are really modifications of a freeskate blade ie Coronation Dance....unless you can get your hands on a pair of John Wilson Dance 99's or even Silver Dance.
The lowest skater I ever put on dance blades - was a 9 year old working on her Senior Silver dances in order to give her more flow to make up for height - and she passed all her gold dances by age 10. But, when the skater did competitive dance, she used her Pattern 99's rather than invest in a new pair of boots - and she did quite well! Plus passed all the international dances on Gold Seal as well - so the choice of blade is not as important as the quality of the dance the skater achieves......
Here is the opinion of the mother of an accomplished dancer girl (passed her internationals) I e-mailed with your question.
"There is no reason to buy dance blades/boots unless you have a partner. The adjustment from the longer F/S blade to the shorter dance blade & boot will just keep the kid off balance. Plenty of girls have taken all of their tests in F/S blades/boots. If the kid has taken all of their F/S tests and is going to concentrate on dance tests through the internationals...then you might want to get dance blades/boots...but that would come around the pre-gold level.
The only adjustment that I recommend with F/S blades is to keep them sharpened for better edge control. Most F/S kids hate getting their blades sharpened and do it infrequently. Dancers keep them sharp all the time. It makes a difference.
ps: there is no point getting dance blades without the boots to go along with them."
And from an adult dancer friend who has medaled at Adult Nationals:
"The paramount dance or the MK dance. Either will work if she is not freestyling. If she is still jumping, stay with freestyle blades until the kilian."
So they both agree that FS blades are fine at least up to the pre-gold dances (the kilian is a pre-gold dance).
Last edited by gsrossano; 12-29-2007 at 02:01 PM.
Another view from my "panel of experts". (A former dancer now a dance judge who judges a lot of tests.)
"I have never recommended dance blades or increasing the height of the skating boot's heel for dancers.
The alteration of the blade affects the balance and radius. The claim that it prevents stepping on the heel of the blade is only true if the skater is being taught poor technique.
I would recommend that the skater learn to dance using her free style boots and blades and replace them as often as needed rather that have two separate pairs of skates. But then I am old school and believe that all forms of skating arise from figures and only after a skater has acquired good basic body positions will they be able to specialize in free skating, pairs, or dance."
personally, when I switched to dance blades I found that turns were much easier. I have Ultima Ascend dance blades. I got them when I was starting on my pre-golds.
I agree, that for lower levels it's not necessary to have separate boots/blades for dance. I do think that at the higher levels they can be helpful----though still not totally necessary.
I only do dance & moves, not really any freestyle, so for me it made sense.
I skate on dance blades and dance boots and am working on my Bronze dances (when I get in a lesson at all.) There was almost no adjustment period (about twenty minutes of adapting to the shorter blade, which suggests I had a bad habit of leaning backwards to begin with). I don't do any freestyle, so for me it doesn't matter and the boots are more comfortable (I have Jackson Elite Dance Plus boots with Wilson SuperDance 99s.) They also force me to be more precise with my Moves.
I didn't get dance blades until I was on my Gold dances and doing free dances - and my feet had quit growing, so the investment in a pair of dance boots and blades was worth it but carrying around three pairs of skates was not!
Now that I am coaching, I would never switch back to freeskate blades - the thought of it scares me .......as I have known at least three coaches who have either broken their wrist, knocked themselves out or done themselves in somehow ..after attempting to demonstrate a mohawk to a beginner!! All the coaches somehow stepped on their blade and went down hard. At least with dance blades, I can't do that!
BTW I knew a dance coach when I was growing up who could do all of the Gold dances ----in his hockey skates! So I think the choice of blade is not as important as the technique of the skater...
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
wow! thanks for all the feedback and help. I guess that sticking with my old skates will work just fine. I didn't even know that there were such things as dance boots (stupid) so thanks for enlightening me.
Even though the poster gets the point by now -- dance blades are not necessary at this point in her career -- I thought the following was interesting and I pass it along. It comes from a former dancer, national and international judge.
"The Juv girl doesn't need to change blades. I and others skated on Phantoms for much of our careers. Some skated on AB Specials (Mike & Judy). It will come down to toe pick and the length of the blade and how she deals with it as she progresses in dance. Pattern 99 toe picks are difficult to deal with in dance, IMO. As she continues skating and keeping one blade for both dance & FS, when she purchases blades, she should communicate with her coaches and the seller what she is doing in her skating (most of us do so to get the best boot and blade for what we are doing).
"Dance blades are good for getting your foot close to the back of the boot and the toe pick. All are shorter. The run of the blade is definitely different than a singles blades. I always found it a tad slower. Switching edges are easier."
If you start to find some of the dance turns awkward, then perhaps think about dance blades. When I moved to Wilson Superdance99, the restart inside 3 on the tango (solo) seemed to just turn itself after months of struggling with it. I find it is still possible to free skate in the dance blades, though I do only do single jumps and I was never much good at spinning anyway.