At the World Championships in Saitama, Japan, the ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee conducted a Coaches’ Meeting and discussed the 2019-2020 Senior and Junior Rhythm and Free Dances.   

Anne Calder of has compiled the following highlights of the Music Theme and Required Elements for the 2019-2020 Senior Rhythm Dance. More information is included in the ISU video.


1.  Music Theme is from Musicals and/or Operettas

  • All selected music should be recognized from one of the following Rhythms:
    Quickstep, Blues, March, Polka, Foxtrot, Swing, Charleston, Waltz
  • The number of rhythms is not restricted.
  • The selected music may be from the same or different Musicals and/or Operettas.
  • It must be a continuous arc of music and not just pieces of music stuck together.

2.  Allowed Musicals and/or Operettas

  • A play (on the stage) or a film in which the music, singing and/or dancing play an essential part “to tell the story. (Chicago, Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, The Mikado)
  • “Juke Box Musicals, which is a stage show/film/musical that includes many well-known songs from a particular singer, songwriter, or group (Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys)

3.  Not allowed – Doesn’t fit the theme of Musical and/or Operettas

  • Music from movie soundtracks, which are not movie musicals. (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, The Godfather, Star Wars, James Bond). These are “compilations of music/songs/tracks” and not Musicals or Juke Box Musicals.
  • Singing dialogue and/or singing lyrics that have no recognizable rhythm.

4.  Words do not have to be sung in English. Operettas have a variety of language.

5.  Musicals can be non-traditional and sung in a different language (Indian Polka)


1.  Pattern Dance Element: (PDE): FINNSTEP

  • One (1) Section of Finnstep / Section 1, Steps 1-33 / 104 beats per minute +/- 2 beats
  • It must be skated to one of the following rhythms: Quickstep, Charleston, Swing
  • Four Key Points
                       (1) Lady Steps 20-21 / (2) Man Steps 20-21
                       (3) Lady Steps 32-33 / (4) Man Steps 32-33

2.  Short Lift

3.  Set of Sequential Twizzles

4.  Pattern Dance Type (PDt) Step Sequence (Style B)

  • The rhythm is skated to the same rhythm as Finnstep (Quickstep, Charleston, Swing), but NOT necessarily from the same Musical and/or Operetta – but the same rhythm.
  • The PDt) is evaluated as one unit by adding the base value of the Lady’s PDt level and the Man PDt level and then applying the GOE.

5.  Step Sequence in Hold or Not Touching or a combination of both (Style B)

  • It must be skated in a different rhythm than the one chosen for the Pattern Dance Element (PDE) Pattern Dance Type (PDt)
  • It must be a Midline or Diagonal Step Sequence.


1.  Finnstep Stop: After Step 33 a 5 second stop is allowed, but not required. It isn’t counted as a permitted stop.

2.  Lady may wear trousers.