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Sunday, July 14, 2013

Finnstep love

The short dance pattern for the coming season is the Finnstep, which was the last compulsory dance added to the rotation prior to the ISU's switch to the SD/FD format in 2010-11. The Finnstep is based on one of my favorite original dances of all time, Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko's Quickstep to the Borsalino score in the 1994-95 season.

If watching this doesn't make you happier, something must be wrong with you.

Kokko (who went on to work for Google) has described the Finnstep as a dance that should bring to mind "sparkling champagne and crystal clarity", noting that while the steps aren't particularly difficult to perform, their timing is crucial to the success of the dance. While there may indeed be trickier compulsory patterns to skate, the Finnstep certainly doesn't look easy on paper!

Several current ice dancers have trained and performed the Finnstep in one of the two competitions in which it was the CD back in the 2009 season - Europeans and Four Continents. But a short dance does require a different approach in order to hit the required key points, and of course, dancers will have more leeway in terms of music used: the ISU requires that the pattern part of the dance use a Quickstep rhythm, while the rest can also include a Charleston, Foxtrot, or Swing music.

Cappellini and Lanotte's Finnstep, 2009 Euros

Some of the music choices announced (or implied) so far have included 42nd Street (Weaver/Poje), Bob Fosse tribute including Sing Sing Sing (Péchalat/Bourzat), a Michael Bublé medley (the Shibutanis) and The Cotton Club (O'Brien/Merriman). Weaver and Poje's announcement was especially cute - great picture!

I loved the program on which the Finnstep is based, really liked it in its one season as a CD, and am hoping that at least some of the ice dance teams will be able to live up to its sparkling, joyful spirit and provide us with some memorable SDs in the coming season.

And the Finnstep at the Olympics = excellent!

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