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  1. #1
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    Compulsory Dance VS. Short Dance.

    Ok...I went Skating today,and while talking with a Sk8mother,this question came to me. I asked her what the difference between the Compulsory Dance VS. the Short Dance was. As well as what Compulsory ment. She believed that it means "Required Moves,etc," Now,if this is true. Then what is confusing to me is that, as we all know...the "Short Program" is all Requred elements" and all. While the Free Program "isn't". Can anyone please explain exactly what the difference is? Thanks.

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    I'll give it a shot.

    Compulsory Dance (now referred to as "Pattern Dance") - you skate only the exact pattern(s) of the compulsory dance, as laid out in the technical diagrams.

    Short Dance - a pre-determined Compulsory Dance is included in the choreography, along with required elements of lifts, twizzles, footwork sequence and transitions. Acceptable styles of music are determined by the ISU each year. For example, this year for Seniors, it's the Yankee Polka pattern dance, along with a march or waltz.

    Free Dance - can be skated to any style of music and it includes required elements including lifts, twizzles, spin, footwork sequence, as well as the transitional.

    Currently for the dance teams, the short dance is only skated at the junior and senior level.
    Last edited by Tammi; 06-11-2012 at 02:21 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tammi View Post
    I'll give it a shot.

    Compulsory Dance (now referred to as "Pattern Dance") - you skate only the exact pattern(s) of the compulsory dance, as laid out in the technical diagrams.

    Short Dance - a pre-determined Compulsory Dance is included in the choreography, along with required elements of lifts, twizzles, footwork sequence and transitions.

    Currently for the dance teams, the short dance is only skated at the junior and senior level.
    So,in Compulsory Dancers just follow whatever pateren is chosen for them? VS. a Short were Dancers just have to include the Required elements, Right? BTW. why is the Short Dance limited to only Juniors and Seniors? Also,do we have a History on WHY the extra Program for the Dances? Rather then just Short and Free like all the others?

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    Compulsory dances are also used for testing. They are the dancer's version of Moves in the Field. You have to pass the compulsory dance test for a level before you're allowed to take the free dance test. Dancers still compete the compulsory dances, though, while you seldom see competitions for Moves in the Field (although they do exist at some club competitions). So the compulsory dances are like Moves, the short dance is like the short program, and the free dance is like the free skate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    Compulsory dances are also used for testing. They are the dancer's version of Moves in the Field. You have to pass the compulsory dance test for a level before you're allowed to take the free dance test. Dancers still compete the compulsory dances, though, while you seldom see competitions for Moves in the Field (although they do exist at some club competitions). So the compulsory dances are like Moves, the short dance is like the short program, and the free dance is like the free skate.
    Ok. Because I've always wondered too,why they don't do-away with Compulsory,in the same way they did with School-Figures (they weren't really needed or exciting to watch).

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSWer View Post
    So,in Compulsory Dancers just follow whatever pateren is chosen for them? VS. a Short were Dancers just have to include the Required elements, Right?
    Yes. If you watch a competition with Pattern (Compulsory) Dances, you'll see the teams skating the exact same thing. Watching a Short Dance, each teams choreography will be very different. It looks more like a Free Dance, but there is a required compulsory dance pattern that each team has to do.

    BTW. why is the Short Dance limited to only Juniors and Seniors?
    There's been some discussion that it's better for development if the lower levels continue to compete Pattern (Compulsory) Dances. That way, they practice them daily and helps with edges and other skating skills needed in dance. One thing that has recently changed, is that the teams at Juvenile, Intermediate and Novice are being allowed to select the music that they skate their compulsory to. Sort of an early introduction to the short dance.

    Also,do we have a History on WHY the extra Program for the Dances? Rather then just Short and Free like all the others?
    Now Junior & Senior dance is more in line with the other disciplines, as they have only the short and free.

    I don't know the complete history of ice dancing, but during the early years of Nationals, the Compulsory Dance and the Free Dance were two completely separate events. Some years later, there was the introduction of the Original Set Pattern, which actually gave us some of the new compulsory dances. Then the Original Dance came into play. It's definitely a discipline that's evolved quite a bit over the years and it can be very confusing.

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    The compulsory dances are about demonstrating/learning skills. There's no possibility of fudging anything with choreography or expression. Every team follows the same steps and the same music. It's comparing apples to apples. The better dances have deeper and bigger patterns, deeper edges, precise movements, and a clear musical understanding of the dances. The higher the level, the harder the dances, the more complex the steps. Great compulsory dances are the foundation of great skills in dance.

    The issue with compulsory dances were three-fold: it's boring for an uneducated audience to watch. It needs a lot of commentary to help the audience. Every dance is the same, and the same music rotates as well. Watching 30 of them in a row can be quite mind-numbing for the casual fan. Some skaters at the Senior level felt the compulsory dance takes away training time from the (at that time) original dance and free dance, the main attractions. The compulsory dance also was most open to "political shenanigans". There was no technical calling, and only judges opinions. There were not enough standards from competition to competition. Is timing more important? Pattern placement? Precision? One never knew. Pretty frustrating for the athletes as well.

    The SD was an attempt to marry the compulsory dance with the original dance. There is still the compulsory dance portion where all skaters perform the same patterns and steps. The tech specialists help determine whether the predetermined criteria and steps have been properly met. There is a predetermined style (ie. in Senior this year, it's the Yankee Polka with a Waltz or March, and for Junior it's the Blues, with Hip Hop or Swing). But each team gets to choose their own music, and create an overall program to weave the compulsory dance into a broader whole with a step sequence, twizzles, and a lift. Some people miss the wholistic approach that the compulsory dance brought, feeling the technical approach in the SD is too much like looking at each tree individually, and missing the overall forest. There have also been some questionable music combinations, which have affectionately been called "frankendances" by some fans. But there have been some very good ones as well....Weaver/Poje put together masterpieces the last 2 seasons.

    In Canada, pre-juvenile only focuses on 2 compulsory dances. It's a good approach, since it forces brand new teams to learn how to stroke, skate on edges, partner skills, holds, skating close together, etc. It's about first learning the basics. At juvenile, teams learn a short FD, and 2 more difficult compulsories. Actually, I think they learn 4 compulsories, of which 2 are the focus. Again, the skaters should be focusing most of their time on basics. As teams move through pre-novice and novice, the compulsory dances become more difficult, and the skills required become more difficult, and the FD gets longer and more difficult. By junior, the dancers are expected to have the basic skills, and the compulsory dances are replaced with the SD.

    There really are no short cuts in ice dance. It takes time and skill to become a great team. The reason why Tessa and Scott are so amazing is because they had a tremendous foundation from the beginning...first with Carol Moir, and then with Paul MacIntosh. He's an amazing tech coach, and I think the reason why Tessa and Scott have an edge over the rest, why they get those level 4's on footwork, why they have such great posture and flow on the ice. A great foundation plus longevity (I believe they started skating together at 7yrs and 9yrs old) is the secret to success there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clarice View Post
    Compulsory dances are also used for testing. They are the dancer's version of Moves in the Field. You have to pass the compulsory dance test for a level before you're allowed to take the free dance test. Dancers still compete the compulsory dances, though, while you seldom see competitions for Moves in the Field (although they do exist at some club competitions). So the compulsory dances are like Moves, the short dance is like the short program, and the free dance is like the free skate.
    I thought Moves in Field were universal to both freestyle skaters and dancers, and that the set dances were the dancers equivalent of freeskaters elements tests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDancers View Post
    The SD was an attempt to marry the compulsory dance with the original dance. There is still the compulsory dance portion where all skaters perform the same patterns and steps. The tech specialists help determine whether the predetermined criteria and steps have been properly met.

    Some people miss the wholistic approach that the compulsory dance brought, feeling the technical approach in the SD is too much like looking at each tree individually, and missing the overall forest. There have also been some questionable music combinations, which have affectionately been called "frankendances" by some fans. But there have been some very good ones as well....Weaver/Poje put together masterpieces the last 2 seasons.
    I agree that W/P had fantastic SDs. But for the most part, I preferred the old system. I'm among the few who actually liked CDs, and I liked the OD even more - the folk theme was particularly enjoyable and memorable.

    In my view the marriage between the CD and OD is an acrimonious one. The problem is that skaters need to fit a set pattern to a certain type of dance into a larger concept that is supposedly much more free and flexible. But if you are doing a particular pattern to a particular dance, it goes with a certain type of music, polka or waltz or whatever. So, that limits the concept, choreography, and music choices for the SD as a whole. Skaters usually end up basing their programs on the dance used for the set pattern and as a result, very often the non-compulsory portions of the dance look like a hot mess.

    The CD doesn't easily adapt to creative expansion, and it's near impossible to impose a creative program vision on the CD. With the OD there were themes. But taking the folk dance theme as an example, it would be near impossible to do a flamenco SD or Russian folk dance and incorporate the Yankee Polka set pattern. Likewise, it is near impossible to choose a favourite music choice - be it Bach or Pink Floyd - and incorporate the fin step.

    For that reason I wish they would just get rid of the set pattern entirely and have a SD that is similar to the short programs in the other disciplines. It would have set technical requirements for twizzles, lifts, and footworks, but not a set pattern. This would give skaters the choice of incorporating set patterns into their program if they chose a tango or polka or waltz as their theme, but it wouldn't be required.

    However, once set patterns were no long required, they would go the way of compulsory figures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by antmanb View Post
    I thought Moves in Field were universal to both freestyle skaters and dancers, and that the set dances were the dancers equivalent of freeskaters elements tests.
    In the United States, you do not need to pass Moves in the Field to take the compulsory dances for that level. Most dancers will still DO the moves in the field tests though, as a separate track (especially because most get to mid-/high-level in freeskate before they switch full time to dance).

    ETA: Oh, I see MITF are required for dancers, but not to test. As an adult skater (though not a dancer) I didn't know this.
    41.01 Moves in the field tests are not required as a prerequisite for pattern dance
    tests; however, prior to entering dance competitions, competitors must have taken
    and passed at least the equivalent level moves in the field test. This rule does not
    apply to adult dance competitors.

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    I have ice danced most of my life and love watching compulsories. In my yers of skating the Short Dance evolved from the Original Set Pattern dance which we 2 patterns of your creation to your music. Many dances came that of this, Tango Romantica to name one. Then came the Original Dance which was to a set rhythm, your own music and own choreography, no required elements. Then came the Original Dance with set rhythm, your own music but with required elements and now the Short Dance which kind of combines both compulsory and original dance. Here in Canada before the OSP/OD we did a variation dance which was a prescribed dance where you had to pick music that was used for that dance and i am pretty sure at first did half that dance and half create steps, I think that evolved into all creator steps but to music that was set for that dance. My first variation was the Blues to the tune "At Last" I have always had a soft spot for that song. . I may be mistaken with some of this info but the general gist is there, it has been a long time since I skated these dances. I do miss seeig compulsories by the top teams. So spectacular when done well.

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