Dance Skating – The Iceland Tango

I figured it was about time I got around to posting more skating topics.  Last time we discussed the first WC solo compulsory for 2011 – the Italian Foxtrot.  Today we will cover the second WC Solo Compulsory for this year, the Iceland Tango (hmmmm…. They had something for the “I” dances this year…).

Like the Italian Foxtrot, the ladies steps will be used for the Iceland Tango.  Also like the Italian, the Iceland is a roller dance and is not, to the best of my knowledge skated as an ice dance.  Unlike the Italian, which only has one style (International), the Iceland comes in two versions: American and International.  The international version is a set pattern, which means you should do the same step at the same spot on the floor each time you repeat the pattern (it takes one circuit of the floor to do the entire dance one time through).  In the American version, the dance is performed as a boarder pattern dance, which means that you will restart the dance at different spots on the floor.  Also, for the International style, all of the steps are skated on edges, or curves.  In American, the dance is skated with flats – where the skate should not curve and go straight down the floor.  This was done to mimic the way tango is danced in ballroom, where couples will dance straight down the floor.  The use of flats is limited to very few American style dances – the Harris Tango, the Iceland Tango, the Westminster Waltz, and the Carroll Tango (flat front to back to front turns – hard!!!) – and is not used in International style dances.  The American style is much less flamboyant with a much more straight up and down body posture and no crossing on the running steps (here they are the flats), whereas the International style has much more body tilt, extreme knee bends, and emulates the style of ice dance.  This dance is deceptively simple looking, but is actually quite difficult.  It is even more difficult when skated without a partner because there are not many places to push or get power.

Here is an excellent video of a team skating the international version of the Iceland Tango:

(EDIT: Ok, so this is the BEST video of the Iceland Tango, but sadly embedding this video is not allowed.  Just click on the play button as normal then click again where it says Watch on YouTube.)

And here is a solo skater doing the ladies steps (this is how it will be skated this year in the solo event):

And, finally, a video of the American Style.  You can see how the patterns change each time the dance is restarted, and all of the flat steps:

The Iceland was last skated as an international team dance in 2006.  It is included in the #11 (gold) RSA Team and Solo International Dance tests.  It is no longer skated in American style competition, but it is still included in the RSA American Solo and Team Dance tests (14th test, gold level).  This is the first year it is being used in competition as a solo dance.

That’s all for now – next time we will start looking at some of the team dances for this season, and then move on to the dances for the Junior World Class events!

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