The rhythm dance (RD) is the first segment of an ice dance competition. The International Skating Union (ISU) renamed the short dance to the "rhythm dance" in June 2018, prior to the 2018–2019 season. It became part of international competitions in July 2018. Canadian ice dancers Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje hold the highest recorded RD score, at 85.19 points.
In March 2018, the ISU published the rules for the 2018–2019 season.:p. 1 Senior ice dancers had to skate two sections of the Tango Romantica for their pattern dance, one after the other. The first section had to begin on the judges' left side. Their tempo had to be constant, and remain with the range of 20 measures of four beats per minute (112 beats per minute), plus or minus 2 beats per minute. Junior ice dancers had to skate two sections of the Argentine Tango for their pattern dance, also one after the other. If they chose to skate section one first, they had to start on the judges' left side; if they skated section 2 first, they had to begin on the judges' right side. Their tempo had to be between 24 measures of four beats per minute (96 beats per minute), plus or minus two beats per minute. Both levels could chose the tango or the tango with one other rhythm.:pp. 2–3
The ice dancers' pattern had to "proceed in a generally constant direction".:p. 5 They had to cross the rink's long axis once at its end within 30 meters of the its short axis. They could also cross the rink's long axis once as they entered into the pattern dance element and/or once at the entry and/or exit to the not touching step sequence, as well as while skating their required step sequence. The dancers also had to perform a maximum of one short lift, lasting up to 7 seconds, one step sequence, and one combination set of sequential twizzles. The step sequence either had to be in hold, not touching, or a combination of both. They could use a midline, diagonal, or circular pattern to their step sequence as well. Each partner had to perform at least two twizzles, and they could only make one step between twizzles.:pp. 4–5
- "ISU passes series of technical reforms for figure skating". Associated Press. Yahoo News. 8 June 2018.
- "Communication No. 2148: Ice Dance". Lausanne, Switzerland: International Skating Union. 22 March 2018. Archived from the original on 22 July 2018. Retrieved 27 July 2018.