When I was growing up, we watched every single figure skating competition that was on television. My mom had been a competitive skater in her youth and so knew a lot about the sport, so we never missed a show.
I kept up the tradition when I moved out on my own, but it’s been at least 10 years now since I watched any skating on TV. Sir Monkeypants considers it the most boring thing EVER. He’d rather watch Cake Boss, for heaven’s sake. So, yeah, not a lot of figure skating in our house.
So last night I watched the Canadians going for gold in the ice dance competition at the Olympics, and I was so surprised to see that ice dancing is so very different now.
(Totally cried when the Canadians won, by the way — it immediately became the 100m dash equivalent for the Winter Games for me.)
When I was young, ice dance was about actual dancing. Even the free dance was expected to have some sort of tie to a waltz or tango or cha cha. The couple were never supposed to be more than six feet away from each other. The man was not allowed to lift the lady above his waist. I don’t remember there being any pairs-style spins and there definitely weren’t any “twizzles” (apparently a critical component of ice dancing now). There weren’t any big tricks and fancy moves.
But rather than being boring, it was always fascinating and incredibly entertaining — my personal favourite of the figure skating events. It was always so original, finding new ways to move, inventive formations and steps, and pushing edge skating to the very, well, edge.
I don’t get this new and “improved” version. I guess it makes it more exciting to have lifts and spins, and there’s more potential for mistakes and falls and DRAMA. But…isn’t it just a little bit too much like pairs skating now? Isn’t it just pairs skating now, without the jumps?
So…I am confused.
But still happy about the medal.