Ice Dancing

Anna_CAPPELLINI_Luca_LANOTTE_2009WC_-_CDIce Dancing

Sherwood Ice Arena

Sunday Morning Dance Sessions Are back! Sunday Morning Ice Dance Sessions are back, beginning 3/19/17. They will run from  8:15-9:30 a.m. Please check out for more information and a special 2 for 1 coupon! 

Saturday Learn to Skate Dance Classes for the April/March times below:

11:05 – 11:35 & 11:40 – 12:10 

Ice Dance 1: Learn basic ice dancing movements and beginning compulsory dances.

Ice Dance 2:  Learn basic ice dancing movements and exercises to improve your edges.

*Open to skaters pre-freeskate levels and above.

Sign up at Guest Services at Sherwood Ice Arena: 503-625-5757

About Ice Dancing:  For those who don’t know much about this part of the art/sport of figure skating, here are the particulars for the first three Preliminary Dances that we will begin to explore at our  Ice Dancing Sessions. There are links to two examples of each dance so you can see a variety of individual dancers of all ages doing these beginning dances. If you want to see pictures of the patterns, they can be found in the USFS Rulebook located at the USFS website (pages 376-381).

*This information is graciously shared by Jerilyn Felton.



MUSIC: Waltz 3/4

TEMPO: 46 three-beat measures per minute; 138 beats per minute


TEST: Preliminary

The Dutch Waltz is skated in Kilian position, and both partners skate the same steps. The dance is skated to slow, deliberate waltz music and consists mostly of progressive sequences and long swing rolls. This is an easy dance for beginners consisting of forward edges only, and allows skaters to devote their attention to the dance steps in relation to the musical rhythm of the waltz.

Special attention should be given to the number of beats for each step in the progressive sequences in order to express the waltz rhythm of 2-1-3.

Erect, natural body position, good carriage and easy flow without too much effort are desired in the dance. The partners should strive for unison of free leg swings and for soft knee action in time with music.

INVENTOR: George Muller

FIRST PERFORMED: Broadmoor Ice Palace, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1948




MUSIC: Tango 4/4

TEMPO: 26 four-beat measures per minute; 104 beats per minute


TEST: Preliminary

The Canasta Tango is skated in Reversed Kilian position, and both partners skate the same steps. It is a dance consisting of forward edges only and introduces the tango rhythm to skaters at the preliminary test level.

Particular attention should be given to the skating of the chassé at Step 4, and the two slide chassés at Steps 7 and 10. The use of appropriate knee action on the slide chassés can help in expressing the tango rhythm.

Note that Step 14 may be started, optionally, with a cross stroke. A stroking action by the left foot should be evident and a toe push is to be avoided.

Neat footwork, good edges, tango expression, extension and good carriage should be maintained throughout the dance.

INVENTOR: James B. Francis

FIRST PERFORMED: The University Skating Club, Toronto, Canada, 1951




MUSIC: Blues 4/4

TEMPO: 22 four-beat measures per minute; 88 beats per minute


TEST: Preliminary

The Rhythm Blues is skated in Kilian position, and both partners skate the same steps. A slow tempo and forward skating make this dance appear deceptively simple. However, correct timing, pattern and proper expression are required to make the dance pleasing to watch. Attention to depth of edges and proper curvature of lobes is essential. Care must also be taken to fully complete lobes on the correct edge. Partners must utilize knee bends and free leg extensions for blues interpretation, as well as smooth, flowing movement.

Skated in Kilian position throughout, the dance begins with a progressive sequence and outside swing roll. Timing becomes more intricate with Steps 5 to 10. Step 5 must be held for two full beats as it begins a “promenade” sequence similar to that before the choctaw in the pre-gold Blues. Steps 6 and 7 are each one beat, Step 8 is two beats and Steps 9 and 10 are forward inside swing rolls each beginning on beat three of the bar. These swing rolls allow for blues expression and require well-timed free leg swings. Strong progressive strokes, Steps 11 to 13, are needed to maintain speed through the cross behinds, so there is no struggle to regain speed on the repeat. The XBs, which complete the dance, must be crisp and precise, accompanied by soft knee action and a rounded end pattern. Note that the XB-LFO on Step 15 is optional. Step 15 may be skated as an open stroke.

INVENTOR: Robert Craigin

HISTORY: Originally a roller skating dance, the Rhythm Blues was originally selected for the pre-bronze dance test in 1988 after being suggested by Bette Wilson of the Utah FSC.



Public Domain Ice Dancers Image Above:
By David W. Carmichael ( [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons