Hello I thought I'd take a moment to suggest a possible topic for DanceScape.
For many years Ice Dancing has enjoyed international media attention. Dancesport on the other hand has not. Especially here in the United States.
What is the problem?
I was recently contracted to work with several ice dance couples including the United States and Russian champions, creating programs for this upcoming years compulsory routines. They pointed out that they derive much of there inspiration and innovative ideas from DanceSport television programming that is available in Europe. Their sport is the same as ours, they have the same problems, but it is very evident that they have overcome the self made political beaurocracy, allowing them to enjoy a corporate sponsorship and media rich environment.
It seems that the United States Figure Skating Association along with other world Amateur and Professional organizations work together successfully! It is high time that our industry starts to work together as a team to solidify a common goal.
We must all give a little so that we can all reap the benefits of what the future has to offer for our industry.
Hi, I'm a former ice dancer who does dancesport now. The same question came up for me a couple of times. I really don't know the reason, except that I suspect it has something to do with 1) figure skating being an olympic sport and 2) our figure skaters doing well on the international scene. Peggy Flemming I believe really made a difference. Kristi Yamaguchi also really made a difference by winning the Olypmics. Nancy Kerrigan got 2nd the next time. And then Tara Lipinski won (Michelle Kwan got 2nd). Now we're looking at Michelle getting the championship in Salt Lake City. Our men have done pretty well too. Todd Eldidge just missed placing in Nagano and got 4th. Wiley placed 2nd at the previous games. If you look at how popular skating is in this country you will see that it is the single skating (in which the USA has done well), especially for ladies (which the USA's best) that gets all the attention and tv commercials and stuff. In ice dance, we have not done so well. Yes, part of it is the block judging, but we are definitely nowhere near Russia's (the reigning champions of ice dance and pairs) level of ice dancing. So you don't hear much about ice dancing, and our ice dancers don't really get famous or get tv commercials or whatever. I get the feeling that ice dancing is the event that people don't realy watch on tv. Many believe it to be boring because of it's lack of jumps and spins, but what it does have is DANCE. And they need to actually watch it to see that. Anyway, maybe this answers your question?
Ice dancing is the second most popular ticket at national and international competitions in Canada, although I'm not up on the TV ratings for broadcasts of various disciplines in figure skating. Canada has produced wonderful ice dancers over the last twenty years--Rob McCall and Tracy Wilson (World and Olympic bronze medallists); Isabel and Paul Duchesnay, Canadians who were denied top spot in Canada, so changed their allegiance, skated for France and subsequently won Worlds; and currently, Shae Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz, former world bronze medallists--and Canada has more figure skaters per capita than any other country in the world, so ice dance has many fans.
The US has produced some fantastic top ten world ice dancers over the years, but unfortunately, they never receive the ranking their skills merit. It must be so frustrating!
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