Ski ballet involved a choreographed routine of flips, rolls, leg crossings, jumps, and spins performed on a smooth slope. After the mid-1970s the routine was performed to music for 90 seconds. For a short period of time (in the 1980s) there were also pair ballet competitions, a variation of ballet, where two people performed tricks that not only included spins, jumps and leg crossing but also lifts and synchronic movements. A panel of judges scored the performance similarly to figure skating.
Following her ski-racing career, Suzy Chaffee modelled in New York with Ford Models and then became the pre-eminent freestyle ballet skier of the early 1970s. She is perhaps best known by the nickname, Suzy Chapstick, from the 1970s, when she was a spokesperson for ChapStick lip balm.
Rune Kristiansen won a gold medal in ballet at the FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships 1995, and had a total of 38 World Cup victories throughout his career. He competed at the 1992 Winter Olympics in ski ballet, which was a demonstration event. He was Norwegian champion in ballet in 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993.
George Fuehrmeier competed in ski ballet during 1985. He gained popularity after a video of his routine was circulated on the internet during the 2018 Winter Olympics.
Olympic demonstration sport
Ski Ballet was a demonstration sport in the 1988 and 1992 Winter Olympics. The sport has significantly declined in popularity in recent years due to the fact that it did not become an Olympic sport. The International Ski Federation ceased all formal competition of ski ballet after 2000.
- FIS Freestyle World Ski Championships
- FIS Freestyle Skiing World Cup
- Freestyle skiing
- Aerial skiing
- Mogul skiing
- Ski cross
- Schanke, Tom A. (2007). Norsk idrettsleksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Aller Forlag. pp. 135–136. ISBN 978-82-8156-044-4.
- Peters, Justin (2014-02-11). "In Praise of Ski Ballet, the Sport That Combined Snow and Puffy Sleeves". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
- "Freestyle Skiing History". The National Post. Canadian Broadcasting Company. 2009-12-04. Archived from the original on 2010-04-01. Retrieved 2010-03-16.