Fast Reactions – You need fast reactions when performing certain elements such as spins and lifts with partners, you need to be able to react fast enough to execute the element in set fazes in a very short space of time, if the timing is too slow this is when accidents happen. When skating with a partner you need to be fast at reacting also because when training and performing together sometimes things go differently than expected like extension patterns change due to weaker edges from a poor set up, and this affects the whole element so you need to be able to react quickly to correct this and or prevent an accident.
You also need fast reactions just for training, when your on the ice everyone is doing their own thing going in different directions, you have to watch out for legs, arms and blades flying about all the time, because its easy for accidents and bumps to happen. Good Timing – In ice dance everything is based on timing, when you compete you are given two marks from each judge one of which is for timing. You can compare compulsory dances to ballroom dancing as there are set steps and set timings and you split them up in to waltzes, foxtrots, tangos etc.
Then you have different ones in each type, i. e. the Viennese waltz, Ravensburg waltz, Austrian waltz, European waltz, etc. In compulsory dances the steps are already set and the timing of each step is set as so it is vital to have good timing. Then you have original dances which can be compared to Latin American dancing, you are given a set type of music with a set speed and rhythm, and then you pick the melody of your preference and interpret it with your own steps that you make up but you need to show that the timing is set and that you are dancing it in time.
Speed – the ability to put body parts in to motion quickly, or the maximum rate that a person can move over a specific distance. You need speed to be able to execute elements the faster you are able move across the ice shows how much talent you have, speed helps to show someone’s standard as the faster you move the harder it is to perform elements, so it makes the standard very clear. And normally a fast programme picks up a lot more marks than a slower one providing the quality is there also.
The main test used to test for speed is the sprint test. Power – is the amount of work done per unit of time. It’s a combination of strength and speed. Power is important in ice dance to make the dances full of intricate, quick and complex movements and elements. There are two main tests for power, these are the vertical jump test and the standing long jump test (otherwise known as the standing broad jump test). Body Composition – is a concept describing the relative percentage of muscle, bone and fat. Body composition is important for ice dancers.
Excessive body fat leads to obesity, but an ice dancer with high body fat can result in reduction of muscle efficiency and contributes to greater energy expenditure, since more weight requires more energy to move around. Ice dancers require a balance between a mesomorph and ectomorph. There are a variety of tests used to measure body composition, such as skinfold measurement, Body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio, Hydrostatic weighing, Bioelectric Impedance and the Dual energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA).