|Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani at the 2011 World Figure Skating Championships - Photo: Wikimedia|
For those who love to dance but would like to try something a little more challenging, there is always ice dance. This is a form of figure skating that also incorporates some of the rules and moves of ballroom dancing into the mix for a little bit of an added challenge and a few more restrictions when it comes to moves and creative license than traditional figure skating allows.
Ice dance also requires music that has a definitive beat or style of rhythm, which offers a few more restrictions than traditional figure skating. Ice dance can be done for fun and enjoyment or as part of a competition. The competition in this fierce though somewhat new (to American audiences at any rate) is quite fierce among dominating skaters and world leaders in the field much like traditional figure skating.
Ice dance is a beautiful and fluid form of dance that many consider being even more graceful than either traditional ballroom dancing or traditional figure skating. The technical skills, as well as the strength of each partner in this form of dance, are extremely demanding and in order to become or remain competitive in this style of dance one must constantly work to home and improve one's skills.
If you have never had the opportunity to watch ice dance whether on television or live, I suggest you take the next available opportunity to do so. Ice dance is a great way to spend the evening. It's a big hit with the girls if you happen to be a guy. If you happen to be a dad of daughters it will make you a hero in their eyes as well as give them other dedicated and hard-working men and women to look to as heroes as well.
Whether you are all that thrilled by the dips, twirls, lifts, and flips you cannot deny the dedication to craft and sport that these skaters must endure in order to remain on top of their games. I can think of few better heroes I would rather have for my children than athletes who dedicate so much time, energy, and effort to their sports.
Watching ice dance is a fun way for many to spend an evening at home. However, watching ice dance live is that much more intriguing to many fans and spectators. There are an energy and oneness with the crowd that simply cannot be relayed through the television screen. Being one of the spectators at a live ice dancing competition is almost as exciting for me as being at a live sporting event such as a football game or race.
There is an electric energy that goes along with being a part of the crowd of spectators that is impossible to match on screen or through any other medium. There is a huge difference in hearing the roar of a crowd or thunderous applause through your television set and hearing it all around you as you sit in the middle. It's a truly amazing and humbling experience.
Ice dance is a highly competitive sport. If you have a child that is interested or you have interested yourself be prepared to invest a great deal of time and money into any serious competitive efforts that you may have in your future. As you have probably gathered this is a partnered competition. You must have a partner in order to truly compete. This, for many, is an added source of time and effort. Not all partners are immediate hits with one another and the chemistry is not always there. Plan to invest a good deal of time and effort into finding a good partner for your ice dance efforts if this is a sport you seriously wish to pursue. If you just want to participate as a spectator, however, there is no partner required and a great deal of entertainment to be had.