“For next year what we’ve crafted is music of the 1980s” Mr. Shawn Rettstatt – Chair of ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee about the Rhythm dance for the next season.

Posted on 2023-02-07 • No comments yet


Mr. Shawn Rettstatt – Chair of ISU Ice Dance Technical Committee about the Rhythm dance for the next season.

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source: sports.ru by Maya Bagriantseva

Could you tell us when and how do you usually make a decision on the theme for the next season Rhythm dance?

Shawn Rettstatt: So for this year – being now the the committee chair – we started much earlier in terms of even the conversations with the coaching and the athlete community. So throughout the whole fall season, even beginning of September through Junior Grand Prix, senior Grand Prix, final and the European’s – we’ve been doing coaches and skater meetings. And of course we start hearing from them what themes for the Rhythm dance they would like to do, what they liked in the past, what they haven’t liked in the past. So it’s really been a nice collaborative work in progress – so that we’re already starting to tell them what the overall theme of next year’s Rhythm dance is going to be, so that we can continue to get more and more feedback and to see what are gonna be the questions now – so we can already get some of that answered.

Because what happens at World’s – is we do an official announcement with the communications following shortly, and we’re trying to get all the communications finalized by that time so that the materials are out much earlier in the season for the athletes. So they’re already in the mix of knowing what the idea is for next year and thinking about it. Everything seems to be super exciting in terms of their response and we’re progressing from that point. So that’s what the committee has been doing here – working on those Communications and we’ll continue to do that until we announce officially at World’s. But that they’ve already been the coaches and athletes have been a huge involvement already.

There is a feeling that the choice of rhythm dance theme is getting more and more – let’s say – audience oriented. Street dance or musicals must be more popular with the fans that waltz or paso doble. Is that true?

Shawn Rettstatt: Yes, totally. The thing is that we have to keep the two programs distinctively different. So that one is a technical based program that is specific in design in terms of the theme. So this year being the Latin rhythms, last year being Street. And the free dance being free so couples can really do everything – from Lady Gaga to classical music.

And for next year what we’ve crafted is music of the 1980s. So the decade of the 80s – to really make it fun and dancy, and also keeping with the fans and the public.

So the audience could sing along, right?

Shawn Rettstatt: Totally :) So we’re definitely trying to incorporate that into making sure that it also stays very much its own separate and very distinct event – keeping the fans engaged. 

Do you like any particular song of that time?

Shawn Rettstatt: Everything! I grew up in that period, I was competing nationally and internationally in that time. It’s a great era and there’s so much music to choose from. 

And even culturally within different parts of the world. We haven’t said that it has to be just pop  – Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper or Wham. Certain parts of the world had very distinctive music – and that’s completely fine as well. In the end it’s all about creating a dance program. And if they pick music that the officials can’t understand as dance music, the audience can’t understand as dance music – then they probably haven’t picked the right piece of music. 

So even if we’ve never heard the piece of music before if it’s from the 1980s and it’s dance music (since it is the Rhythm Dance program) – it’ll be translatable to any country. You’ve got a lot of stuff to choose from which I think think would be quite fun. That’s what we’re hopeful for.


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