American Dance Skater, Nicole Leonard (from Lincoln Journal Star)[1]

American Dance is a discipline of roller figure skating which involves one person or two people skating together doing prescribed steps. The two types of American Dance, as recognized by USA Roller Sports (USARS), are American Team Dance and American Solo Dance.[2]


The following is the basic judging criteria for American Dance (listed in order of importance): 1) timing, 2) execution of basic fundamentals and technical requirements, 3) pattern of the dance, 4) correct body position (including team unison), and 5) artistic impression of the dance.

Other judging points include planing (system of body inclination employing horizontal and parallel alignment of the head, shoulders, and hips), posture baseline, body position, take-offs, "parallel and" position, "angular and" position, steps, crossed steps, progressive step, progressive running step, progressive stroke versus place stroke, chasse', stroke, rockover, swing, timing, pattern, slide, curtsy, two-foot turns, rotation, three-turns, and starting and restarting.[2]


American Team Dance can be skated in one of these eight dance positions: 1) closed or waltz A position, 2) killian or side B position, 3) tandem C position, 4) foxtrot or open D position, 5) trailing foxtrot or trailing open E position, 6) side closed or tango F position, 7) hand-in-hand G position, or 8) crossed arms H position.[2]

Team Dance Positions (from USARS Figure Technical Manual)[3]


Dance diagrams show sequences of steps, axes, edges, pattern layouts and the directions in which the steps should be aimed. The relationship of the dance diagram to the actual skating of the dance should be maintained as closely as possible for correct dance execution and musical expression.

Pattern refers to the constant curvature for each individual lobe along a reference baseline, moving around the skating surface in a counterclockwise direction. Each step is drawn so that its length represents a constant proportion to the total length of the pattern.

The steps are numbered on the diagrams of easy reference, with most dances beginning at step number one. The type of steps used throughout the dance is indicated alongside the diagram by means of abbreviations, which appear in the dictionary section.

The music is set at a style and tempo appropriate for the dance. The relationship of the music to the steps of the dance is shown on the diagrams by the numbers placed alongside of the tracing of each step.[2]

  1. American Dance Skater
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 USARS Figure Technical Manual
  3. Diagram from Manual