Ice dance is full of that. Let's call it 'style points'.
First off, what's with all the ice dance hand holding? When I started, Dance Coach would extend his hand and I was supposed to take it and hold it while we skated around the rink. Where does this stuff come from? Is it part of the Ordo Sanctus Taberna? Yeah, I saw it in the Olympic warmups, but never really thought about it until Dance Coach took me by the hand. And, I've seen other male dance coaches do it. Once I saw a dance coach in his 30s skating around hand in hand with a woman a lot older than me. As near as I can figure it out, it's a way for the male coach to keep the lady in position while he gets ready to sweep her in position for the dance. Or maybe he wants to make sure she doesn't escape without paying the bill.
I didn't like it when I started dance, and I don't like it now. It looks silly on public, because the public doesn't know what's going on. I sort of compromise by resting my hand on Dance Coach's arm instead of taking his hand. However, sometimes it amuses me to imagine Dance Coach as a young skater getting an initiation into ice dance from an older male coach: "Take the lady's hand and skate around with her." the older coach says. Dance Coach asks, "Even if she's old and wrinkly?" Older Coach, "Especially if she's old and wrinkly. They're the ones with money,"
After I had been doing ice dance for a while and was getting ready for my first test, Dance Coach taught me my presentation glide. This is the little 'bit' at the end of a test where the gentlemen presents the lady to the judges. This is pure style, and I've seen two ways; The legs in the shape of a 4 (the free foot at the heel of the skating foot), and the one with the free foot extended ahead of the skating foot. Oh, the competitive skaters have little twirls and elaborate holds at the end, but I'm talking about recreational skaters.
I don't know if there's anything other than style points for this. Some coaches do it one way, other coaches do it another. I've asked other recreational ice dancers and there doesn't seem to be any rational reason for a preference. I'd like to know if one way is the Russian way and the other the American way, or if one way is for beginners and the other for silver and above. Just curious.
Now that I'm learning the Swing Dance I've learned the 'proper' entry into the hold. One day I was waiting for him to step up to me, and he just stood there silently, making significant eyebrow twitches. So, I can take a hint, I stepped into the hold and he smiled. Now see here, I know this from my dog training days. You just ignore the behavior you don't want and give a reward when the dog does the behavior you do want. Maybe I'd learn faster if Dance Coach kept a pocket full of kibble.
Anyway, the bit where I'm supposed to step into hold, must be a remnant of ballroom dancing. The lady is supposed to be the weaker of the pairs, and the gentleman is supposed to sweep her off her feet. I'll do the step into hold as long as I don't have to swoon.
What is a progressive? It's not a crossover. Unfortunately, the progressive (or run) is poorly defined by the ISU: "A step or sequence of steps in which the free foot passes the skating foot before it is placed on the ice, thereby bringing the new free foot off the ice trailing the new skating foot." Someone has to teach you how to do this. Unlike a crossover where you step over the foot, instead you slide the free foot directly ahead of the skating foot. Then in a mystical miracle of ice, the old skating foot does an underpush and the free foot becomes the new skating foot. The operative word here is "smooth". With my old knees, it's harder than it looks. There's some technique I don't have yet.
Then I was reading Mer's blog Ice Pact. Her coach Dmitri Ilin says "that forward progressives are really just crossovers. Apparently everyone calls them crossovers except dancers, so there's your figure skating semantics lesson for the day." Funnily enough, Dance Coach also says "progressives are crossovers but smoother." I don't think I'm going to take this as literal truth. I prefer to think it's something to tell beginners. Or maybe, here in the US, progressives just aren't that important.
Do you see many progressives in ice dance at the Olympics or the Grand Prix? I haven't. Maybe they're just reserved for test situations, and will become a style point that's only done by amateur skaters. Although I understand that the UK dance coaches are strict about maintaining the correct form, progressives may eventually become a relic as the pattern dances fade away into a memory along with the circle dances.
So that summarizes some bits and pieces of ice dance style points that I've observed. I'm hardly authoritative, and if you want to chime in, have at it.