A step sequence is an element in figure skating. It is a sequence of steps or moves in the field in a prescribed pattern across the ice. The pattern of the step sequences may be a straight line, circular, or serpentine. In ice dancing, step sequences may be skated either in hold or not touching, with the terms referring to the sequence being performed while in a dance hold or with the dancers not touching each other, respectively.
Step sequences are required elements in competitive programs in single skating, pair skating, and ice dancing. They vary in difficulty from level one (least difficult) to level four (most difficult). Step sequences should make full use of the ice and should be skated in the character of the music.
Elements in step sequences
Step sequences may feature many different steps and turns, rotations in either direction, use of the upper body, and changes of rotational direction through the use of turns like rocker turns, counter turns, bracket turns, and twizzles. The steps may include mohawk turns and choctaw turns. There must be variety and complexity in the sequence to achieve a high level of difficulty.
Step sequences may include short jump-like movements, so long as the jump is not more than half a revolution.
Step sequence patterns
- A straight line step sequence travels from one end of the rink to the far end. It begins at any spot along the short barrier and ends at the barrier across the rink. The skater travels the approximate shape of a straight line.
- The patterns of ice dancing step sequences separate straight line into midline and diagonal:
- A circular step sequence uses the full width of the rink. The skater travels the approximate shape of a circle or oval.
- A serpentine step sequence travels from end of the rink to the opposite end. The skater travels in at least two curves. The approximate shape should be serpentine (shaped like an S).
- "INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION Communication No. 1445 Single and Pair Skating" (PDF). Archived July 7, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "INTERNATIONAL SKATING UNION SPECIAL REGULATIONS & TECHNICAL RULES SINGLE & PAIR SKATING and ICE DANCE 2008" (PDF). Archived July 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.