|ESPN.com: Winter 2002||[Print without images]|
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|ESPN.com's animated fan guide feature takes you through the ins and outs of each sport. Check out each sport's fan guide for more.
• Figure Skating
The singles event consists of two sections: the short program and the free skate. The short program combines eight prescribed elements such as jump combinations and spins. In the free skating program, skaters, perform an original arrangement of techniques to music of their choice. Judges deduct points for a program that consists of too many or too few jumps, making a balanced program important.
The pairs event also consists of a short program and free skate. The couple works as one unit, demonstrating overhead lifts, throw-jumps with the man launching the woman and other maneuvers. The performance requires harmony, strength and grace.
Ice dancing is similar to ballroom dancing. The focus is on the complex steps in time with the music. The skaters maintain contact with each other, limiting lifts and jumps.
The ice dancing event consists of three sections: compulsory, original and free dances. In compulsory dancing, the couple performs two pre-determined dances. Original dances must follow selected rhythms, though the skaters can choose their own music and interpretive steps. In free dancing the skaters freely express their interpretation of the music they have chosen.