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Pattern Dance Events -
set pattern dances
source USFS 2010-11 Rulebook

Rule Number

4204 Compulsory (pattern) dance events, the couples shall perform each dance one couple at a time and all couples shall complete one dance before the next dance is started.

A. Rotation of couples:

1. In the initial round and final round of all events with two or more compulsory (pattern)
    dances, couples shall be divided for the purpose of rotation into as many groups as there
    are compulsory (pattern) dances.

2. If the total number of couples is not evenly divisible by the number of dances, the last
    group or groups shall be the larger.

3. All couples shall dance the first compulsory (pattern) dance in their respective groups, in
    the order of their drawn starting order.

4. The second compulsory (pattern) dance shall be danced first by the couples in the second
    group, in the order of their drawn starting order, followed by the remaining groups in

   The group that began the first compulsory (pattern) dance shall be the last group to dance.

5. The group beginning each subsequent compulsory (pattern) dance shall be rotated in the
    same manner.

B. When four or fewer couples start, these provisions need not be applied but only with the consent
     of all couples. For warm-up groups, see rule 3520.

4210 Basic Dance Rules
4211 A dance couple shall be composed of a lady and a man. In the case of compulsory (pattern) dance tests, it is preferred that a couple be composed of a lady and a man. However a test may be taken with a same gender partner, provided that partner is the test skater’s same gender coach.

4212 Introductory steps:

A. For compulsory (pattern) dances, whether using ISU music or not, the introductory period may
     be up to eight measures with an unlimited number of steps.

B. All compulsory (pattern) dances may be started with optional introductory steps/movements
     which must not exceed the introductory phrasing (eight measures) of the particular tune (unless
     otherwise specified).

C. The judges must penalize couples exceeding an eight-measure introduction. The Finnstep is an
     exception to this rule due to the introductory phrasing of the ISU’s official Finnstep music which
     is less than eight measures. The deduction for the introductory steps exceeding the introductory
     phrasing does not apply to this dance.

4220 Music
4221 For tests and nonqualifying competitions, compulsory (pattern) dance music may be either vocal or orchestral, and shall conform to the type and tempo specified in the description of the dance. For qualifying competitions, standardized music from the International Skating Union must be used. For
free dance tests and competition and short dance competition see rule 4261,

4270 and TR 51.05.
4222 The referee may choose any number of musical selections for each compulsory (pattern) dance warm-up and event. At least two selections must be chosen when there are more than five couples.

A. When more than one musical selection is to be played for a compulsory (pattern) dance, all
      selections shall be played in numerical order, starting with selection No. 1.

B. For all compulsory (pattern) dance events, the warm-up shall be one minute without music
    followed by three minutes with music. The music selected for the warm-up may not be used for
    competition. However, the Finnstep warm-up is an exception to this rule and is to be conducted
    as follows: one minute without music followed by three minutes of all three tunes of the Finnstep
    (1 minute of each tune will be played.)

4223 Music registration for the short dance and free dance:

A. When registering their music for the short dance, couples are required to list the rhythms chosen
      and the order in which they will be skated. In addition, couples are required to submit the name
      of the selected music or title or theme of their free dance program.

B. This information will be given to the referee for distribution to the judges.

4230 Conduct of Compulsory(Pattern) Dance Events

4231 In the initial or final round of all dance competitions the number of sequences of the dance to be danced shall be as follows:

A. Two sequences: Swing Dance, European Waltz, American Waltz, Tango, Starlight Waltz,
     Westminster Waltz, Argentine Tango, Austrian Waltz, Cha Cha Congelado, Yankee Polka,
     Ravensburger Waltz, Tango Romantica, Silver Samba, Golden Waltz, Midnight Blues and

B. Three sequences: Dutch Waltz, Canasta Tango, Rhythm Blues, Cha Cha, Fiesta Tango, Hickory
     Hoedown, Willow Waltz, Ten-Fox, Blues, Paso Doble and Viennese Waltz.

C. Four sequences: Fourteenstep, Foxtrot, Rocker Foxtrot, Quickstep and Rhumba.

D. Six sequences: Kilian.

E. In the event that a couple does not execute the number of required patterns for the designated
     compulsory (pattern) dance:

• The compulsory (pattern) dance will be considered finished when the couple has completed
   its final pose; or the skaters leave the ice; or in the opinion of the referee the skaters have
   completed the skating of the dance and the music is stopped.

• The missing patterns/segments will not be entered in the data calculations.

• Since there will be no data entered for calculation purposes, it will not be necessary for the
   technical panel to "call" the missing segments.

• Printed protocol will acknowledge only the patterns/segments skated.

• The judges are to reflect the missing segments in the component marks.

• This does not preclude rules 2100-2103.

F. In a nonqualifying competition the referee may vary the number of sequences to meet current
    conditions, in which case the judges and all entrants shall be informed before the warm-up of the
    first dance.

G. When compulsory (pattern) dances are included in the final round, the referee shall determine
     whether the number of sequences is to be the same as those specified for the initial round or
     increased by one or two sequences taking into account the number of dances and couples and
     whether the couples are to dance one at a time or in flights of two to four.

H. The referee shall announce in advance the side of the ice surface on which each compulsory
     (pattern) dance shall start.

4232 Compulsory (pattern) dancing consists of skating dances with specified steps and holds that are either set pattern dances, which must be placed on the ice surface as diagrammed in the glossary, or optional pattern dances, which may be placed on the ice surface in any relation to the ice surface that the
couple desires, provided that the edges and their relationship to the continuous axis are maintained, the pattern is not distorted and is maintained for each repetition and does not place the partners in awkward positions.

4233 Ice surfaces measuring less than 100 feet wide, an allowance of one-half of the different in width (from 100 feet) shall be allotted to skaters with respect to midline crossings and the location of pattern re-starts, when the location of such a re-start is specified in the dance diagram (e.g. the Quickstep). The referee shall inform the judges of this allowance prior to the start of the compulsory (pattern) dance segment, and the judges shall not deduct for midline crossings and re-starts that fall within that allowance.
However, other types of pattern distortions (for set pattern dances) or pattern shifts are not acceptable and must be appropriately penalized by the judges.

4234 The following special rules shall apply:

A. When the Fourteenstep is competed (initial round or final round) using the IJS, the dance must
      be executed using one swing roll. Skaters taking dance tests must use one swing roll.

B. When two or more couples skate the Fourteenstep as a flight, the dance will be danced with two
     rolls along each side of the ice surface, i.e., 18 steps in all. Otherwise, only one roll along each
     side of the ice surface will be permitted, i.e., 14 steps.

C. The pattern of the American Waltz, European Waltz and Harris Tango have been standardized to
      the ISU pattern as shown in the diagrams within the glossary. All three are described as optional
      pattern dances. However, when any of these dances are selected (initial round or final round) to
      be competed at a competition where the IJS is being used, the starting point of the dance must
      be as shown in the glossary. In competitions where the IJS is not used, these dances may be
      skated with optional starting points. Skaters taking any of these tests can also use an optional
      starting point.

4235 In addition:

A. In initial or final rounds of competitions consisting of compulsory (pattern) dances where more
     than one couple is skating the dance on the same surface at the same time, couples shall be
     penalized for serious interference with other couples in crossing the midline of the ice surface
     or through other fault.

B. If two or more couples desire to start a given dance at substantially the same place on the ice
     surface, the couples shall start at least three measures of music apart in an order mutually agreed
     upon or, in the absence of mutual agreement, in an order designated by the referee.

4240 Selection and Posting of Compulsory (Pattern) Dances
4241 Announcement of compulsory (pattern) dances:

A. For novice, intermediate, juvenile, pre-juvenile and all adult dance events, the chair of the Dance
     Committee will draw and announce the compulsory (pattern) dances for the upcoming
      competitive season no later than the May Board of Directors meeting.

1. In the case of adult solo dance events at the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships, the
    chair of the Adult Skating Committee will draw and announce the compulsory (pattern)
    dances for the upcoming competitive season no later than the May Board of Directors

B. Unless previously stated in the announcement for a nonqualifying competition, the referee shall
     make the selection of compulsory (pattern) dances and the rhythm for the short dance utilizing a
     closed draw. This information shall be announced and posted at the first official practice session
     of the competition.

C. The order that the two compulsory (pattern) dances of a nonqualifying event will be skated shall
     be specified in the announcement.

4242 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships, the senior and junior compulsory (pattern) dances will be the same as those drawn under rule 4241.


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Ice Dancing General Rules and Regulations
         Dancing On Ice
         Dance Steps & Turns
         Ice Dance Patterns
Dance Curriculum
         Ice Dance Partnered Events
         Free Dancing
         Competitive Ice Dancing
PDF Strategies for Compulsory Dance Tests
         Free Dance Test Considerations
         Short Dance & Free Dance Events
         Pattern Dance Events   
         Solo Dancing
Solo Dance Events
         Solo Dance Competitions

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