Friday, December 2, 2011

The Du-uuu-uutch Waltz Countdown: 6 Days

So, you're thinking the Dutch Waltz is a dance of great antiquity, danced by dutch skaters down the canals of Holland. Sorry that's the Dutch Roll they did down the canals of Holland. The Dutch Waltz was invented in 1948 at the Broadmoor  Hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado by the eminent coach George Mueller (who also invented the Fiesta Tango).

George Mueller and wife Leah

As I've discussed before the DW has Stroking, Progressives, Swingrolls. It's all forward movement. Practically anyone past Basic 5 should be able to do a version of it. So why isn't it introduced as a skating exercise in LTS? I mean wouldn't it be great to have a class skating around the rink to music and having a good time?

Yeah, I know why. It's that god awful music.

I have to test to "My Bonnie Sails over the Ocean." The music is so bad it makes my teeth hurt. So I understand why ISU has standard music for testing, but couldn't someone make the preliminary dances fun?

Certainly, all that's needed is some music that appeals to people rather than music that is designed for testing. There's waltzes in zydeco, C&W, R&B, even Rock. Joe Cocker did a waltz time version of "With a Little Help From My Friends" that's almost the right speed. Here's what the Dutch Waltz looks like to a zydeco waltz;

Dance, mon cajun dance!

So, why doesn't LTS introduce ice dance even in this minimal form? Even this simple dance teaches footwork, edges, timing, any rhythm. Oh, I forgot, LTS is all about building your skills to jump, silly me.

But still I think it would be a good idea for people to get exposed to this very simple dance in LTS. With the right music, it could be fun. I'm sorry the USFSA is all about jumps. Dance is where you learn to skate.


  1. Best of luck on your test! I'm just hoping to be able to do the Dutch Waltz sometime without my coach calling out the steps.

  2. At my rinks, there are a lot of dancers (usually young adults) who skate to non-traditional music. One coach keeps a constantly updated list of songs. If a song isn't quite right, she speeds it up or slows it down a few bpm until it is. Almost all of her dancers test to the fun music. I have seen them skating to "Sexy Back" and "Breakaway" and "Billionaire" and "It's Getting Hot in Here".

    Our local judges really didn't like it at first, but now so many people are doing it that they are used to it. In competition one doesn't get to pick the dance music, but as long as it fits the required bpm and is relatively clean there is no reason why it can't be used for testing.

  3. @Nancy . It will come. It took me months.

    @ Emily. Can I come to your rink and skate?

  4. I started doing basic dance midway through skate uk, and regularly do dance now, even though I'm a free skater (although my jumps have gone away lately...)

    We do the Hickory Hoedown to "Let your Love Flow" which is the only dance music i like lol!

  5. @ Anonymous. The Hickory Hoedown (sometimes called the Hick Ho) has a lot to answer for. Most of the US music is wince inducing. Someone told me they skated to Kermit the Frog singing Movin' Right Along.