As the Finnstep is the pattern dance of the Olympic season for the short dance, I thought it was my duty to study it. From what we saw from these past seasons, the level dancers receive for their pattern sequence is what defines the ranking of the short dances. And with the introduction of the key points, steps and turns that needs to be executed in perfect timing, even a flat edge can bring you down.
The Finnstep is a quickstep dance invented by Finnish dancers Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko. They performed it for the first time during 1995 European Championships as a part of their Original Dance.
Later, it turned into a Compulsory dance, but was used only twice: during 2009 European Championships (they were held in Finland, indeed) and 2009 Four Continents Championships.
Here is a list of youtube video links of those Compulsory dances performed by skaters actually competing (and scores they had received):
For all other team this dance will need to be learnt for the first time (except for fews, like Evan Bates or Paul Poirier who performed it with other partners).
For better understanding the structure of the pattern and where key points (that will determine the level of the sequence) I have made the video that appears below (check out my youtube channel!) that shows the sequences performed by Meryl Davis and Charlie White from 2009 Four Continents.
The pattern is split into two sections that need to be performed one right after the other. The first sequence is a promenade and covers the hole lenght of the rink. The second section is more complex with few Chocktaws and twizzles and a lot of edge changes.
SEQUENCE 1, KEY POINT 1 (XB-RF, XB-LF, LFO Tw1 1/2)
The first key point of the first sequence consist in a right foot cross behind and a left foot cross behind (steps 1 and 4*) and one and a half twizzle by the lady only (step 12*). The cross behind steps are not consequential but divided by a couple of hops that set the character of the dance. The twizzle must be a left forward outside edge.
SEQUENCE 1, KEY POINT 2 LADY (XB-LBO, XF-RBI, Tw1 1/2-RFO)
The second key point is composed by a left backward outside Cross behind and a right backward Cross forward (step 20*). Then, there is one and a half twizzle (step 21*) that must conclude with a right forward outside edge. This key point is performed by the lady only.
SEQUENCE 1, KEY POINT 3 MAN (XB-LFI, RFO/Sw3 RBI, Tw1 RBI)
The last key point of the first sequence refers to the man. He must do a left forward inside cross behind, then starting from a right forward outside edge do a swing three turn finishing on the right backward inside edge (step 20*). He then does a twizzle that ends with a right backward inside edge (step 21*).
SEQUENCE 2, KEY POINT 1 LADY (LFO Sw-ClCho, RBI/RBO, Tw1 1/2, RFI slide)
This key point is performed by the lady. She has a left forward outside close chocktaw into a right backward inside to outside edge (step 32*). She the goes into a twizzle (step 33*) that must finish with a right forward inside edge in order to stop for the stationary steps.
SEQUENCE 2, KEY POINT 2 MAN (LFO Sw-ClCho, RBI OpMo, LFI,RFI, Tw1, RFI slide)
This key point is performed by the man. He does the same swing Chocktaw (step 32*) as the lady, but then does a right backward inside into a left forward inside open Mohawk, a twizzle (step 33c*) and the right forward inside edge slide as the lady.
SEQUENCE 2, KEY POINT 3 (LFI XB-ClCho, RBO3-RFI Tw1 1/2)
The last key point is a sequence performed simultanously by the skaters. It starts with a left forward inside cross behind close Chocktaw (step 65*), continues with a three turn from a right backward outside to a right forward inside edge, and finishes with a twizzle (step 66*).