Is That Or Is That Not Ice Dancing?

I don't know. Whatever it is, it's good.

These two have been the center of more controversy in the ice dancing world than I can think of. It's just nonstop.

"But it's so good!"

"But it's not ice dancing!"

Often from the same people.

I have sat and watched the best watch their edges. Not a classical step in them. But ya gotta love it. If you're not in a mood to defend classical edges. Otherwise you'll be ranting and raving from here to the Coke stand.

What do you do with them?

I have proposed for years that we set up a fifth category (okay, sixth if you count precision team). Call it "experimental training" or whatever. Where the ones who "don't want to do traditional ice dancing" can go.

You can't call it ice dancing. Ice dancing for too many years has been about a certain style of edgework, a certain closeness, a certain effect.

But you can't throw them off the rink, either.

What the hell do you do?

I believe with all my heart that classical edgework is the way to go. Always has been. Always will be. But that doesn't mean you have to look like every other "boppy '40s couple" on the ice, as it was once put so nicely.

Some of the finest, wildest performances I have ever seen were 100% classical, or so close as makes no never mind.

And these babes have, as far as I can find out, had classical edgework training. There is not even the excuse of "they never learned to do it right." They did.

Which is why the fact that they have chosen to throw out so much of such a fruitful background such a puzzle to me. I saw the Kittycats and every other member of the Wildcat team tear up the turf without stepping one inch out of classical boundaries.

But apparently the water in Finland is just a bit different. Demands different edging. Something.

I have tried to do Rahkamo and Kokko's footwork. I cannot do it. I simply cannot. It demands a different relationship of the foot to the ground. Of the hip to the foot, feels like to me. What on earth do y'all do with y'all's legs? Put'em in cold storage until you get through with the routine? It violates every rule of body mechanics I know. Oh well. They can do it. We can't. At least those of us I've seen attempt it.

But it's so much fun to long as you don't call it classical ice dance in any way, shape, or form....

It's like Picasso. Remember he did all those boring realistic paintings before he took off on his own doing all that wild stuff? He needed something more.

Or, one of my total and complete favorites on this earth, Kandinsky. Same thing. I like him even more than I do Picasso. Boring as hell until he started tossing around the lines and color and leaving everybody else behind.

Classics of twentieth-century artwork.

So are Rahkomo and Kokko. I guess. I don't know what else to do with it.

Just don't bring up the subject around classical experts...until they've watched a few routines.

Let them scratch their heads. Try to figure it out. Go out there and knock themselves silly trying to duplicate the edgework.

And love it. Just sit there and love it.

Problem is....what happens when you try to institute a new discipline? It ain't pairs. It ain't dance.

Who does the rules? The first ones out there? Do you let them determine the rules? And who's "they?"

Don't even suggest that to the Kittycats. They'd cuss you out in Russian and head back to their tango practice.

Torvill and Dean? Eventually wound up playing by the rules, no matter how much Chris likes to pretend. (Aw, come on. Get a rule book. Get some edge descriptions. Go to work on "Bolero." Hah. Hah. Hah.)

The Duchesnays? Even more of a puzzle in some ways. Not as entertaining or as technically magical, but can you ever, ever forget some of those performances?

Guys, what do you do?

Please. Somebody. Come up with a solution.

This really does need to be solved. It really does.