Dance Skating – The Fourteen Step

Next up: the Fourteen Step!  This is the most basic of the dances that is being skated at the world level this year.  As the name implies, this dance has only fourteen steps.  This is one of the earliest skate dances ever performed – coming into existence in 1889!  Despite its simplicity, this dance has many variations and parts of this dance can be found in many other dances (like the Ten Fox and the Ten Step).  This dance is skated in the International and American styles for team dance events, as well as on ice (although it is not skated in the higher levels).  Recently (in 2009) a new dance called the “Fourteen Step Plus” was created for and the roller Jr World Class solo division.

The main differences between the International and American dances occur as the woman turns forward at the start of the corner.  In the International and ice versions, the woman crosses her right foot behind the left foot and then does three running strokes.  In American, the woman does five running strokes without a cross behind.  In addition, this dance is skates to several variations of a March tempo.  For American dance, it is skated to 100 beats per minute (bpm).  For the ice and roller International test program, it is skated to 104 bpm.  At the Jr World Class level, it is skated to 108 bpm.  To further complicate matters, the American Junior Team division skates this dance to 104 beats per minute, has the cross behind on the corner, but does NOT use international style for the progressive running steps.

Here is an example of the International roller Jr World Class style (108 bpm).  This is how the dance will be skated at the JrWC level this year:
As a comparison, here is the ice version, skated at 104 pbm:
And here is the American Junior team version, skates 104 bpm, with a cross behind, but skated American style (apologies that the team looks off time – I think the video lags behind the sound due to poor quality):
Here is the American version.  It is still used in competition today:
Unlike the Fourteen Step, the Fourteen Step Plus actually has 28 steps.  It is a much more difficult and complicated dance than the original Fourteen Step.  This is one of very few, and perhaps the only International dance, that has been written specifically for solo dance.  As it is new, it has only been used once, in the 2009 competitive season, for the Junior World Class Solo Dance event.  It should re-appear in next year’s rotation, however.  Like the JrWC Fourteen Step, it is also skated to 108 bpm March.
If you can’t get enough, here is a really great instructional video:
The Fourteen Step is skated in the #7 (first silver level) International Dance Test for team and solo to 104 bpm.  For the American dance tests, it is skated in the #12 silver level test.  For the solo tests, the man skates the man’s steps, and the woman skates the woman’s steps.  The Fourteen Step Plus is not yet included in any test program.
So yay, the Fourteen Step!  What with all the step and tempo variations, who knew such a simple dance could get so complicated?  So far we have covered all of the dances for the senior world class and the junior world class team events.  Two dances to go!  Up next: the Rocker Foxtrot!
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