After a week filled with proposals, elections and more, the ISU Congress concluded on Friday, releasing a brief summary of the changes we can expect to be implemented next season.

 

Kibosh put on age change proposal for second time
Like in 2008, a proposal to change the ages for junior level skaters was rejected by ISU members. Phew!

Faiella & Scali in their final pose of the Golden Waltz from 2010 WorldsRest in peace CDs

After their impending demise being mentioned in whispers amongst the ice dance community for at least half of the last decade, the compulsory dance “stay or go” debate has come to a conclusion when earlier this week, the International Skating Union eliminated the compulsory dance for junior and senior ice dancers. The International Olympic Committee has been urging the ISU to reduce the number of ice dancing competitive phases from three to two for some time now. 

 

Many were ecstatic when the boom fell, feeling the CDs were an outdated requirement that should be cast aside much like compulsory figures. Those who liked that compulsories gave officials and fans the opportunity to directly compare competitors performing the same steps — and enjoyed the classic ballroom feel of those dances — are less than thrilled with their elimination and fear the “frankendance” that looms ahead.

In place of compulsories, the new “short dance” will meld together the current original dance with a few compulsory dance elements. Although the proposal was not approved until this week, coaches and athletes have had some access to information in order to create their programs for this season – an indication that the proposal was expected to pass.

 

Further short dance details will be available in a new ISU Communication and we’ll provide additional comments. At the right, Federica Faiella & Massimo Scali of Italy in their final pose of the Golden Waltz at the 2010 World Championships.  The Italians were the final team to perform a compulsory dance at an ISU championship.


Return to qualifying rounds… sort of
Also passed at the ISU Congress were new ISU Championships qualification guidelines. More information will be posted once it is available.


And in politics…
Earlier this month, Alexander Gorshkov, 1976 Olympic ice dance champion and chair of the ISU ice dance technical committee (IDTC), was unanimously elected the new President of the Russian Figure Skating Federation, replacing Valentin Piseyev who had held the post since 1989. Russia decided changes were in order after results at the 2010 Winter Olympics failed to meet the country’s expectations. Gorshkov’s new post required him to step down from his ISU position, leaving not only a post open, but also the chair position vacant. 

Immediately after Gorshkov’s RFSF election, speculation abounded that Alla Shekhovtseva, an ISU judge — and wife of Valentin Piseev — would run for the vacancy. This week she was elected.

Halina Gordon-Poltorak of Poland will serve as the new chair of the ice dance technical committee which includes Shekhovtseva, Robert Horen of the United States (who is in his second term on the committee), and Gilles Vandenbroeck of France, who was also elected at the Congress. The committee also has an athlete representative (Sylvia Nowak-Trebacka, Poland) and coach representative (Krisztina Regöczy, Hungary).