American Dance is performed only at the United States National level and below, and emphasizes keeping the upper body upright and free from movement. Some examples of American dances are the Fascination Foxtrot, Progressive Tango, and theCalifornia Swing.
Original Dance consists of a dance constructed of two rhythms chosen from a set of rhythms that FIRS changes every year . In 2008 the set rhythms were “Spanish Melody” ( Paso Doble, Flamenco, Tango, and Spanish Waltz ).
Free Dance is similar to the ice free dance, although with some rules changes. Skaters do not need to follow a pattern around the floor, but rather must be creative in their interpretation of the music. Dancers cannot do any jumps or spins that are recognizable in freestyle skating.
Solo Dance incorporates all three sub-disciplines. Compulsory dances generally utilise the female steps as these are usually more difficult then the male steps. Original dance is referred to as Creative Solo Dance or CSD, and free dance incorporates up to two spins with no more than 3 revolutions and up to two jumps of no more than 1 revolution.
Executing a jump, video, 12 seconds
Artistic freestyle skating incorporates figure skating jumps, spins, and footwork into a program set to music. Most of the jumps done by freestyle roller skaters are similar to those performed in ice skating, with some nomenclature changed. A “toe loop” on ice is often referred to as a Mapes in roller skating, taking its name from the inventor of the jump. Though both ice and roller skaters perform the Euler jump (called a “half-loop” by ice skaters and some roller skaters), it is more common in roller skating programs, as lengthy multi-jump combinations are emphasized in roller skating judging. The Euler is a useful connecting jump in such sequences; for example, a five-jump combination might be Axel, loop, double Mapes, Euler, double flip. The hardest part of a five jump combination is usually keeping up enough speed to complete the fifth jump, which can sometimes be the most technically difficult. the “loop” jump is also performed in roller skating, though ice skaters tend to “take off” with two feet, roller skaters do a one-foot take off.
Roller skating also traditionally emphasizes spins that are uncommon on ice, especially the inverted camel in which the skater is on an outside edge standing on the right foot with their body and left leg extended outward parallel to the floor, the skater then rotates their hips 180 degrees while continuing to spin so that they are spinning upside down  (of course this could also be performed on the left.) The inverted camel is generally performed by women – few men learn to do it and even fewer perform it in competition. Other spins popular in roller skating that would be impossible to do with the blades of an ice skate include the broken ankle, which begins as an inside-edge camel and the skater then pushes the skate over so that the spin is rotating on the edge of the two inner wheels, and the heel camel spin, which is only rotated on the back two wheels, or heel.
Precision Roller Skating is a large and fast-growing, yet little recognized discipline, consisting of 12-24 athletes skating on the floor at one time moving as one flowing unit at high speeds. This discipline of Precision Skating is named because of the emphasis on maintaining precise formations and timing of the group.
For a precision team to flow in unison, individual skaters must be competent at a variety of skating skills, including speed, footwork and presentation. The team performs a program set to music, with required formations including circles, lines, blocks, wheels, and intersections. The teams are required to perform difficult step sequences involving a number of complicated turns.
There are international synchronized skating competitions at the Senior level, and the Federation Internationale de Roller Sports (FIRS) held the first World Championship in Precision Roller Skating in 2000. Teams may consist of men and women with Senior Teams having 12-24 team members and Junior Teams having 8-16 team members. Two scores are given, one for technical and one for artistic impression.
Precision Roller Skating owes its origin to Synchronized skating on ice. The first synchronized figure skating team was formed by Dr. Richard Porter, who became known as the ‘father of synchronized skating’. The ‘Hockettes’ skated out of Ann Arbor, Michigan and entertained spectators during the intermissions of the University ofMichigan Wolverines men’s ice hockey team. In the early days, precision skating resembled a drill team routine, or a precision dance company such as The Rockettes.
During the 1970s, the interest for this new sport spawned tremendous growth and development. In each season, teams developed more creative and innovative routines incorporating stronger basic skating skills, new maneuvers and more sophisticated transitions with greater speed, style and agility. Due to the interest in the sport in North America, other countries took notice, leading to the World Championships. With the internationalization of the sport, it has evolved rapidly, with increasing emphasis on speed and skating skills.
Although not currently an Olympic sport, fans and participants of this fast-growing discipline have begun to strive for recognition by the rest of the athletic world. Precision Roller Skating has been covered by Roller Skating and the USARS magazine since the sport’s inception. It is a varsity sport at a few colleges, and both Precision Roller Skating and its ice counterpart are being reviewed for Olympic eligibility.
Artistic roller skaters most commonly skate on traditional quad skates. Skates designed for artistic skating typically have leather boots, a strong sole plate, and a jump bar for reinforcement. The plate has to be made from a strong material as it has to be able to withstand the shock of jumping and landing. Artistic roller skates usually have stainless steel or aluminum plates for that reason, even though these are heavier than ones made from other materials such as plastic. Free skaters usually use a toe stop, which can be used in the take-off in certain jumps such as the Mapes or the flip. Dance skaters substitute toe plugs, as the large toe stops are cumbersome when performing dance footwork. Figure skaters generally have specially made plates for figure skating which have no receptacle for the toe stop.
Some artistic skaters use inline skates. Skates designed for inline artistic skating have leather boots (as ice and quad figure skates do), and usually have rockered wheels and a toe stop or toe “pic”. Rockered wheels (wheels which are arranged at different heights so that the baseline of the wheels forms a curve instead of a flat line) are more suitable to skate the curved “edges” which are typical of artistic skating than un-rockered inline wheels are.
Roller skate wheels and bearings
Roller skate wheels come in many different sizes and hardnesses. Typically a 62mm wheel is used for dance, 60mm to 63mm used for figures, and a smaller 57mm wheel used for freestyle. The hardness of the wheel determines the grip or slip of the wheel. Normally a harder wheel having more slip is used for turn figures. A softer wheel with more grip is used for dance. Freestyle skaters tend to use both on the skates, using a harder wheel on the edge they need to spin and a softer wheel on the other edges. Typically 7mm bearings are used because competitive artistic skates have a smaller axle. Most inline skates use a 8mm bearing. The abec rating determines the tolerances in the bearing and most people can use an Abec3; however, most people believe the extra cost of Abec 7 or 9 bearings is worth paying for a better bearing. There are also other kinds of bearings such as Swiss Bones, which are also a very high quality.
- Jump up^2002 results