Welcome to this week’s Ask IDC Question & Answer (Q&A)! Thank you for submitting all of your great questions.  For this edition, we consulted our experts for several of the questions.
What is the difference between ice dance blades and regular figure skate blades?
Ice dance blades are about an inch shorter in the rear (tail) than those used by skaters in other disciplines, which enables the ability to do intricate footwork and closer partnering. The blades also have shortened toe picks and are more heavily rockered (curved), which helps create deeper edges and smoother turns.

In the 2019-2020 rhythm dance ladies will be allowed to wear trousers. Has this happened before?
Next season, both junior and senior ladies will be allowed to wear trousers. The music theme is from musicals and/or operettas and the  all selected music should be recognized from one of the following rhythms:
Quickstep, Blues, March, Polka, Foxtrot, Swing, Charleston, or Waltz.

The ISU has always required female ice dancers to wear a skirt and men to wear full-length trousers in both dances. The exception to the rule happened for ladies twice in the short dance, most recently for senior dancers in the 2016-2017 season. The required rhythm for that season was Blues, plus either Swing or Hip Hop. 

If a team is just starting out at the pre-juvenile level, how many competitions should they work towards attending?
Depending on your budget, two or three competitions in the pre-season is a good start.  Chesapeake Open, held every June in Laurel, Maryland, is a pre-season event that also includes a dance camp, which can be helpful for early season feedback.  The camp experience offers an opportunity to build camaraderie with other competitors.   One additional summer event, plus one event in September, offers additional feedback and critique.

Can a skater at a competition in the United States, be their own coach at that competition?
Yes, but he/she would need to meet the coach compliance criteria listed on the U.S. Figure Skating Coaches page, which includes:

  • U.S. Figure Skating Full Membership (either through a member club or as an individual)
  • Completion of SafeSport Training
  • Successfully pass the annual background screen
  • Verification of current coach liability insurance
  • Completion of CER Courses
  • Additional requirement – PSA Membership if coaching in qualifying competitions only
If compliant, he/she would be credentialed as an athlete at the competition. All of the compliance information is available on the U.S. Figure Skating Coaches page.

That’s a wrap for our second Q & A!  You can submit a question via our Ask IDC Q & A form.  The goal is to answer a few each week, so if your question is not covered in this edition, check back next week.  Some questions may require us to reach out to technical experts before we can respond, so please be patient.

Until next time,

Daphne & Team IDC