Dance Skating – The Dench Blues

The Dench Blues (in ice simply know as the Blues) is another skating dance hailing back to the 1930s.  As with most of the dances dating back to that time period, there are multiple variations: ice, international dance, and American dance.  The Ice and International versions are both skated on a set pattern, though the patterns themselves are different.  The American version is skated as a boarder dance, with the patterns changing where the steps are skated on the surface.  All versions are skated to 88bpm, making the blues one of the slowest skating dances.

Here are some examples of the International version being skated as a team (as it will be performed this year in competition):

Here is a look at an older variation of the dance.  Here, the pattern that is used is like the pattern skated in ice dance:

And here are some versions of the dance being skated solo in the international style (the ladies steps are used for solo dance):

Here are (a lot) of examples of the American style skated as a team using the boarder pattern:

And here is an example of the American style being skated solo:

Today the true American version with boarder patterns isn’t skated in any of the domestic team events, but the Junior Team dance division uses a hybrid of the original International Dench Blues pattern, with American technique on the turns and running steps:

Finally, here is a look at the ice version of the Blues:

Wheew, that is a lot of skating!  In roller this is actually one of the most used dances, with the International version being skated in the Junior World Class Team and Solo divisions, the hybrid variation being skated in the Junior Team Dance division, and the American style being skated in the Junior Solo dance division.  For testing purposes, the International Dench Blues is skated in the RSA #9 Silver Team and Solo Dance tests, and the American Dench Blues is skated in the #14 Gold Team and Solo Dance tests.

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