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Thread: Freestyle vs Ice dance

  1. #16
    Rinkside
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    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceskating21 View Post
    But I often see that "U.S. National Champion in Junior Dance" , etc. I never see Bronze or Silver. Why? Is it the (2) you mentioned?
    It does get complicated; I'll try to simplify. There is Pattern Dance (the test levels go Preliminary, Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Pre-Silver, Silver, Pre-Gold, Gold, International) and Free Dance (the standard levels go Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior, Senior). There is also partnered dance and solo dance. To compete at a particular level in partnered dance, you first need to pass the required pattern dances and then the appropriate free dance test. The competition will consist of pattern dances and a free dance, or at the junior and senior levels, a rhythm dance and a free dance.

    For solo dance, you can qualify to take a solo free dance test either by passing the required pattern dances, or the designated Moves test, or the previous free dance test. Partnered tests can count towards solo dance levels, but solo dance tests cannot count toward partnered dance levels. The standard levels go Juvenile-Senior, like in partnered dance.

    Adult dance is a little different. The solo free dance tests are named the same (Juvenile-Senior), but are judged on a different standard. The partnered dance levels and the solo competitive levels have the same Preliminary-Gold designations as the pattern dances. It would be worthwhile to look through the Rule Book if you want to understand all the ins and outs of this stuff.

  2. #17
    Rinkside
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    Oct 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceskating21 View Post
    But I often see that "U.S. National Champion in Junior Dance" , etc. I never see Bronze or Silver. Why? Is it the (2) you mentioned?
    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    It does get complicated; I'll try to simplify. There is Pattern Dance (the test levels go Preliminary, Pre-Bronze, Bronze, Pre-Silver, Silver, Pre-Gold, Gold, International) and Free Dance (the standard levels go Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior, Senior). There is also partnered dance and solo dance. To compete at a particular level in partnered dance, you first need to pass the required pattern dances and then the appropriate free dance test. The competition will consist of pattern dances and a free dance, or at the junior and senior levels, a rhythm dance and a free dance.

    For solo dance, you can qualify to take a solo free dance test either by passing the required pattern dances, or the designated Moves test, or the previous free dance test. Partnered tests can count towards solo dance levels, but solo dance tests cannot count toward partnered dance levels. The standard levels go Juvenile-Senior, like in partnered dance.

    Adult dance is a little different. The solo free dance tests are named the same (Juvenile-Senior), but are judged on a different standard. The partnered dance levels and the solo competitive levels have the same Preliminary-Gold designations as the pattern dances. It would be worthwhile to look through the Rule Book if you want to understand all the ins and outs of this stuff.
    Thanks for explaining. I understand what you’re saying, but I can see how it gets complicated.

    Under USFS, there are 8 groups of pattern dances with a total of 33 individual pattern dances:
    • Preliminary (3 pattern dances)
    • Pre-Bronze (3)
    • Bronze (3)
    • Pre-Silver (3)
    • Silver (3)
    • Pre-Gold (4)
    • Gold (4)
    • International (10)

    In all my posts, I was only talking about solo ice dance. It's difficult for some skaters to find appropriate partners to compete in partner ice dancing. Many ice dancers in the U.S., like my daughter, only compete in solo ice dancing. Unless you have a sibling or someone local at your rink that's a good match, this is where many ice dancers start competing or only compete in. The USFS solo dance series start in the spring each season, and wraps up with the national competition in September.

    In solo ice dance competition, the most popular competition type is the Solo Combined Events. There are several levels: Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice, Junior, and Senior.

    • Juvenile level consists of Bronze pattern dances (e.g., Hickory Hoedown, Willow Waltz) and a Free Dance (1-min-40-sec program includes short edge, spin, step sequence, twizzle, dance stop).

    • Intermediate level consists of Pre-Silver pattern dances (e.g., Foxtrot, European Waltz) and a Free Dance (1-min-50-sec program includes short edge, spin, step sequence, twizzle series, dance stop).

    • Novice level consists of Silver pattern dances (e.g., American Waltz, Tango) and a Free Dance (2-min program includes 2 short edges, spin, step sequence, twizzle series, dance stop).

    • Junior level consists of a 2-min Short Dance (include short edge, step sequence, twizzle series, a high-level pattern dance) and a 2-min-20-sec Free Dance (include long edge, short edge, spin, 2 step sequences, 2 twizzle series, dance stop).

    • Senior level consists of a 2-min Short Dance (include short edge, step sequence, twizzle series, a high-level pattern dance) and a 2-min-40-sec Free Dance (include long edge, 2 short edges, spin, 2 step sequences, 2 twizzle series, dance stop).

    In solo ice dance competition, there’s a competition type that’s only pattern dances. The levels are:
    • Preliminary
    • Pre-Bronze
    • Bronze
    • Pre-Silver
    • Silver
    • Pre-Gold
    • Gold
    • International

  3. #18
    Rinkside
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Thank you, Clarice and Chiyung! You provided very useful information! Now I have much better idea.

    My daughter will take Juvenile MIF this month. If she starts to take ice dance lessons now, in order to compete in Solo Ice Dance, the most likely path is to go through: Preliminary - Pre-Bronze - Bronze - Juvenile - ........Senior. Am I correct?

    For freestyle, she is fine and well rounded. She has no obviously strength or weakness, is fine with jumps, but not very advanced yet. She have been dancing for many years and competed in dance. Will it help ice dance? I heard ice dance and freestyle use different skates. If we do both at the same time, will it be confusing? Besides, most likely there will be a different coach for ice dance, and perhaps in a different ice rink. Then what's the relationship with freestyle coach? Is there a primary coach or they are nothing to do with each other?

  4. #19
    Rinkside
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    Oct 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceskating21 View Post
    Thank you, Clarice and Chiyung! You provided very useful information! Now I have much better idea.

    My daughter will take Juvenile MIF this month. If she starts to take ice dance lessons now, in order to compete in Solo Ice Dance, the most likely path is to go through: Preliminary - Pre-Bronze - Bronze - Juvenile - ........Senior. Am I correct?

    For freestyle, she is fine and well rounded. She has no obviously strength or weakness, is fine with jumps, but not very advanced yet. She have been dancing for many years and competed in dance. Will it help ice dance? I heard ice dance and freestyle use different skates. If we do both at the same time, will it be confusing? Besides, most likely there will be a different coach for ice dance, and perhaps in a different ice rink. Then what's the relationship with freestyle coach? Is there a primary coach or they are nothing to do with each other?
    When my daughter started pattern dance lessons, she was taking it on the side to help her free skate competition. It was with the approval of her head free skate coach. Years later, she stopped all free skate lessons, and her current head coach is her ice dance coach. We are still on very good terms with her former free skate coaches, whom we see often teaching others at the rink.

    Usually the ice dance coach is different from the free skate coach. We stayed at the same rink because there was an ice dance coach there and my daughter likes him as a coach. We subsequently got an additional dance coach (with head dance coach approval) at a further away rink that we occasionally go to.

    Yes, start with lessons on the pattern dances (Preliminary, then Pre-Bronze, and then Bronze). Your dance coach should provide guidance on whether Juvenile solo dance is the right level for your skater for the solo dance competitions that starts in spring of 2019. Maybe just compete in Preliminary pattern or pre-Bronze pattern in your first season if she is also competing in free skate competitions. It depends on how quickly she progresses after she starts pattern dance lessons.

    I think dancing helps with expressions and understanding dance movements with music. Placing well in solo dance depends a lot on skating skills.

    I don’t think it’s worth the money to buy dance skates for your daughter if she is still taking free skate lessons. When we started ice dancing lessons, my daughter’s coach said many ice dancers at her level use freestyle skates & boots. She still uses boots & blades made for freestyle although she competes in high-level solo ice dances now. We’ll eventually switch over, but it’s too soon for your child.

    Good luck on your daughter’s moves test!

  5. #20
    Rinkside
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    I agree with everything chiyung has said above, and would like to second that it is not necessary to get special boots/blades for ice dance at the beginning. I dance exclusively now, and switched over when I reached the pre-silver dances. My daughter, however, finished her gold solo dances and is working on her Senior solo free dance and is still in freestyle boots/blades. If she were trying to do high level partnering, it would have been more of an issue.

  6. #21
    Rinkside
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    Jan 2018
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    Thank everyone very much! Good luck with your/your kids' skating too!

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