Music in Dance Tests

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Compulsory Ice Dance Music

   Ice skaters should practice skating to different selections of music in practice sessions to be come aquainted with finding the weak and strrong measure and the strong and weak beats of the measures.

  Check with Ron Hill of
Ice Dance Music Exchange to inquire about cutting a CD of the dance test level you are working on with as many different non-vocal selections of each dance on the test.

  Ron also supplies competition compulsory dance music which skaters can order with different vocal and non-vocal selections for the competition dances for specific dance events.


 TR 43.06 In all dances to be danced both with a partner and the required solo, the judge-in-charge may specify the side of the ice surface on which such dance shall be started, both with a partner and solo.

TR 43.07 Compulsory dance music for all tests may be either vocal or orchestral and shall conform with the type and tempo specified in the description of the dance.

For compulsory dance tests, the introductory period may be up to eight measures of music with an unlimited number of steps provided they do not exceed the length of the introduction specified for each dance.

DM 1.00 Fundamentals of Music to Be Considered for Ice Dancing

DM 1.01 Beat: The regular recurring and periodic pulse or throb that constitutes the unit of measure in all measured music.

DM 1.02 Accent: The stress of one tone over others.

DM 1.03 Measure: A group of beats, the first of which (usually) is accented or the major beat. All measures in a given type of music contain the same number of beats.

DM 1.04 Meter: The number of major (strong) and minor (weak) beats in a measure of music.

DM 1.05 Tempo: The speed of the music; specifically for ice dancing, measures per minute and the number of beats per measure; beats per minute.

DM 1.06 Rhythm: Regularly repeated and short as well as strong and off-beat notes (regardless of the melody) which give the music its character; e.g. March Rhythm, Tango Rhythm, Waltz Rhythm, etc. meter and tempo combine to make rhythm.

DM 1.07 Melody: A succession of simple sounds so arranged as to produce a pleasing effect on the ear; or, the leading part of a harmonized composition.

The melody line determines the phrasing of the musical composition and must be taken into consideration at all times.

DM 1.08 Phrase: Music used for ice dancing includes melodic phrases, according to the tempo, of 2, 4, 8, 12, or 16 measures. The first beat after the introduction usually begins the skating phrase.

Note that the melody sometimes begins slightly before or after the first strong beat; that is, the melody does not always start on count 1. The notes of a melody which actually start slightly before the beginning of the musical phrase are termed a “pick-up.”

DM 2.00 Dance Music Interpretation

DM 2.01 Music Interpretation: A combination of correct timing in all its aspects as it pertains to ice dancing and the individual conception of expression which brings to life the character of the music.

DM 2.02 Timing: The proper relationship of the stroke and glide of the skate on the ice and other body movements to the correct beat(s) of the music. For test requirements, see TR 43.00.

DM 2.03 Expression: The quality of dancing which interprets the character of the music that designates the type of dance — waltz, tango, march, foxtrot, etc. For test requirements, see TR 43.00.

DM 3.00 Relationship of Music to Dance Diagrams
DM 3.01 For the relationship of the music to the steps of the dances as shown on the diagrams, see DD 1.04

Ice Skating Information & Resources

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San Diego Figure Skating Communications

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Basic Skating Skills and USFS Figure Skating programs

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