Dance Skating – The Paso Doble

I will warn you now – this post will be video intense!  I love the Paso, and apparently so does everyone else!  This dance seems to pop up in the World Class event every few years for roller, and fairly often for the ice dance events.  Like the Iceland Tango, there are American AND International versions of this dance.  Both are set patters, but a few of the steps are different, as is the tempo.  For the International and Ice versions, the dance is skated at 112 beats per minute, but for American it is “only” skated to a 100 peats per minute tempo (if you have ever done this dance for a full record you will understand the quotations).  At either tempo, I really like the music for the Paso – fast and energetic, it always makes me want to skate.  Aside from the music, there are a few steps that are different between International and American.  You will notice the different leg movements on the slides, and that the International version has a swing before the lady does a mohawk turn at the end of the dance, where the American version has a change of edge (no swing) and the lady does a mohawk turn.  And, of course, the difference between the International and American style running steps (in International the second running step crosses behind the employed skate in a pushing actions, in American this is improper technique) and two foot turns (International has the “in-step” mohawk turn where American has the heel-to-heel mohawk).

This dance is one of compulsories for the World Class team dance event this year.  It is skated in the international style:

As you can see, this is the same as the ice version of the dance (which was most recently used as a compulsory at the 2009 World Championships):

This dance was also used for the WC solo dance event for the first time last year.  For the WC competitions, the ladies steps were used (for both the men’s event and the woman’s event):

This dance used to be skated in the American style for team dance as well (in the Junior event):

Sadly, this dance is no longer used in any American team dance event for competition.  It is, however still used in the Junior Solo dance event.  Unlike International solo, in American Junior solo dance, the men’s steps are used.

The dance is still used in the RSA test program; the American version is in the #14 gold level American team and solo dance tests, and the International version is in the #12 gold medal test for International solo and team dance.

Back in the olden times (before the short dance, before the original dance), both ice dance and roller world class dance had the OSP (original set pattern) component.  In the OSP, each year a tempo or set of tempos were chosen, and the dance teams had to create an original dance the behaved like a compulsory (with a pattern) but with unique and interesting moves.  The Paso was used in both sports at various points:

So, yay!  The Paso Doble, always a classic, always a favorite.  Up next: the Westminster Waltz!  Then we will move on to the Junior dances.

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