Ice Dance progress

iceskating21

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
I heard that it takes shorter time to go up levels in ice dance than in freestyle. Anyone don't mind sharing your experience or what you see or hear? Like how long from starting to Gold? I know it varies for everyone. What I am talking about is the ones working in freestyle and having ice dance on side. Just want a rough idea.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
I heard that it takes shorter time to go up levels in ice dance than in freestyle. Anyone don't mind sharing your experience or what you see or hear? Like how long from starting to Gold? I know it varies for everyone. What I am talking about is the ones working in freestyle and having ice dance on side. Just want a rough idea.

IDK who gave you that idea but it's a crazy idea.

I was an elite ice dancer and singles skater. It took about the same amount. Dance was actually harder to advance believe it or not and it was my specialty, dance is way more complicated than singles.

You need to be willing to dedicate the same amount of hard work and love towards the disciplines if one is going to do them both. Either both equally or just choose one. Dance isn't a "side piece" in case someone can't cut it as a singles skater.

Dedicate to both or choose one.

And I just want to point out here: I'm not being mean or rude at all here, I'm just keeping it real.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I heard that it takes shorter time to go up levels in ice dance than in freestyle. Anyone don't mind sharing your experience or what you see or hear?

<blink blink> Ahahahahahahahah.

Er, no. Ice Dance is every bit as hard as freestyle, albeit in a different way. It is most certainly not the "easy ride"!

Totally worth the effort, though.
 

iceskating21

Rinkside
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
I am sorry. I don't mean to offend you. Probably in the beginning stage, I feel that my skater progressed more faster than freestyle. Actually, I'm more interested in how to choose. Eventually, my skater has to choose one of them to focus on, either ice dance or freestyle. I wonder what we should consider when making the decision, and when is a good timing to decide. She has been in freestyle much longer time than ice dance, But like both of them. But she has no partner. So I wonder whether she can do solo dance. That's something we need to discuss with her dance coach soon. I would appreciate your opinion as you are professional.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
I am sorry. I don't mean to offend you. Probably in the beginning stage, I feel that my skater progressed more faster than freestyle. Actually, I'm more interested in how to choose. Eventually, my skater has to choose one of them to focus on, either ice dance or freestyle. I wonder what we should consider when making the decision, and when is a good timing to decide. She has been in freestyle much longer time than ice dance, But like both of them. But she has no partner. So I wonder whether she can do solo dance. That's something we need to discuss with her dance coach soon. I would appreciate your opinion as you are professional.

I presume you were referencing me.

Talk to her coach, if she has goals of going very far in the sport, solo dance isn't going to get her there. She'd have to find a partner that has the same goals and skills as herself and advance together.

If freestyle is more of her dream then she needs to choose that and stick with it.

I can't really give you more in depth advice until your skater decides what she wants to do and makes a solid discipline choice.

Good luck!
 

concorde

Medalist
Joined
Jul 29, 2013
I agree with iceskating21 about dance tests being faster than freestyle in the early stages.

My skater had passed Senior MIF and was ready to take her Junior Freestyle test when she started testing for ice dance. In her first test (Feb), she passed 7 tests (fyi. 9 is the max that one can test in one session). In April, she is to test another 3 possibly 4 tests. My guess is this paces is about slow down since once you hit Silver, there is both a partner and solo component.

My skater likes learning the ice dance patterns so she picks them up quickly. But she likes jumping more so I cannot see her switching from freestyle to ice dance.
 

theblade

Rinkside
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Finding a partner can be the hardest part of the search, and the most unpredictable. I am a parent to a skater, who was always intended for ice dancing, and has done freestyle in the past. You can continue to do both freestyle and ice dancing lessons in order to do tests.

If you have the ability to partner up, try it out. But have low expectations. Partnerships that last are rare. Solo dance is more recreational, and can be started at any time. Younger skaters are at a disadvantage, though, as there are no age limits to any of the categories in the solo dance track, currently.

Anything Ic3Rabbit ever posts (that I have read, anyway) has always appeared, to my eyes, to be solid advice. Delivered in a clear, no-nonsense manner.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Finding a partner can be the hardest part of the search, and the most unpredictable. I am a parent to a skater, who was always intended for ice dancing, and has done freestyle in the past. You can continue to do both freestyle and ice dancing lessons in order to do tests.

If you have the ability to partner up, try it out. But have low expectations. Partnerships that last are rare. Solo dance is more recreational, and can be started at any time. Younger skaters are at a disadvantage, though, as there are no age limits to any of the categories in the solo dance track, currently.

Anything Ic3Rabbit ever posts (that I have read, anyway) has always appeared, to my eyes, to be solid advice. Delivered in a clear, no-nonsense manner.

:thank:

ETA: I agree with you on the partnering. It's rare to find a long-term ice dance partner or even one from your own country and Fed. A few of my partners were from other countries.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
I agree with iceskating21 about dance tests being faster than freestyle in the early stages.

My skater had passed Senior MIF and was ready to take her Junior Freestyle test when she started testing for ice dance. In her first test (Feb), she passed 7 tests (fyi. 9 is the max that one can test in one session). In April, she is to test another 3 possibly 4 tests. My guess is this paces is about slow down since once you hit Silver, there is both a partner and solo component.

My skater likes learning the ice dance patterns so she picks them up quickly. But she likes jumping more so I cannot see her switching from freestyle to ice dance.

Disclaimer: I am in the UK and our test structure/content/standards are different. Also, no offence intended to anybody but I will say it as I see it. I have competed, tested and coached ice dance.


Ice Dance is not an easier option. Some of the lower level tests I've seen filmed on Instagram surprise me greatly; speaking as a coach, I wouldn't have put those skaters in for the tests and as a judge there's no way I'd have passed them! I do understand that they are "lower level" dances and nowadays they are not expected to be skated to a gold standard but I'm still unimpressed with a lot of things I see being passed. But back when I was testing (sometime before Noah even considered carpentry as a career choice) the pattern dances being taught and tested today either didn't exist or were considered "new-fangled, recreational dances". It's absolutely possible - and fairly common - to test lower levels in one go. Past those dances, however, things get very tough indeed. And neither original nor free dance should be considered "an easier version of free style because there are no jumps or overhead lifts - or lifts at all if you do solo dance - as they simply are not. It's completely different. Everything has to look effortless yet be totally precise and be "danced". Things that would pass unnoticed in free are pounced on and penalised in dance.

In order to get to the highest level in ice dance, you also need a partner. I'm pleased that solo dance is now a thing, but it won't get a skater to the highest levels. And if finding a dance partner is hard, actually going the course and staying together in a partnership that gels perfectly - or is worked at until it does - should never be underestimated. That stuff is seriously hard work. All manner of things can go wrong.

My advice to anyone who wants to pursue ice dance as a main discipline is to absolutely go for it provided you love it more than anything but be prepared for it to be very hard indeed, both the skating and the finding of a partner - not to mention the politics.

My advice to anyone who wants to pursue freestyle is to also take ice dance lessons and to take them seriously, because it will do so much to improve their basic technique and lines.

My advice to anyone who doesn't know what they want to specialise in is to do both. Ultimately you'll either realise which one really floats your boat or decide that skating is a more a hobby than an all-consuming passion to be pursued to its highest level. If it's freestyle, ice dance will have given you a head start on power, flow and artistry. If it's dance, at least you'll have good spins and be more fearless when it comes to leaving the ice in lifts! :laugh:
 

Vicki7

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 27, 2018
I do both free and dance. I am in the UK and primarily a free skater, however I'm lucky enough to get to do a little dance with another coach. I do compete both too - through the Inclusive Skating system. I am not very good, at all, particularly when it comes to pattern dances, but I enjoy them and see the benefit of learning them. I used to think dance was easy - the early dances have easy steps, I thought. Then I had to get them on the right edge, on the right beat, for the right length of time, and follow a pattern. Yeah, not so easy! Free dance is fun, and a nice break from jumping. I'll continue to do both for as long as I can access the coaching from my dance coach. I do think though, if you want to be a high level skater, you need to make that choice and specialize in one or the other.
 

gkelly

Record Breaker
Joined
Jul 26, 2003
When you're talking about fast progress, do you mean someone who is already a singles or synchro skater switching to/adding dance, or someone starting from scratch?

Progress in any discipline is going to take longer if you're starting as a beginner than if you're starting as a moderately accomplished skater.

A mid-level skater who already has skating skills would probably be able to test up to a comparable level in dance relatively quickly but progress would level out when she reached a level that expected more power, edge security, etc., than she had already developed in her initial discipline.

And the same would be true for someone who had started out testing only pattern dances since beginning as a figure skater and then switching over to Moves in the Field (US system) or comparable tests elsewhere.

Around Novice MIF and Silver dances, both the actual skills required and the expectations of quality and refinement increase significantly, so that's where progress would likely slow down both for skaters switching disciplines and those trying to advance in their original discipline.

Passing tests and being competitive at the associated competition level are completely different things, in both disciplines.

Whether that means mastering multirevolution jumps or partnered free dance moves (and finding a partner in the first place). The difficulty and quality needed to compete successfully is much higher in all disciplines than the minimum needed to pass tests.
 
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