[EDITOR'S NOTE: I asked my friend Hanah to write this piece about lindy hopping ice dancers because she couldn't stop gushing about it. I'm not an ice dancing or Olympics nerd.]
Check out this awesome swing-inspired ice dancing routine by French Olympic ice dancers Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron! This was performed at the 2017 World Figure Skating Championships. Starting off with a slow jazzy piece, it speeds up around the 2:30 mark into a more energetic swing song. They complete Charleston inspired moves, a windmill, and most impressively, a Lindy flip!
Ice dancing is an Olympic sport that focuses on the more ‘ballroom’ aspect of ice skating - ice dancers are awarded points based on their artistry. Pair ice skating on the other hand, is based more on the risky moves skaters attempt.
Papadakis is a skater I have been following for some time leading up to the 2018 Olympics, as she and her partner are geared for gold. About six months ago, I came across this photo of her at Montreal Swing Riot the previous year and was excited to discover that she is a swing dancer.
Here's Gabriella performing at Montreal Swing Riot in the 60-second showcase with Stefano Caruso. (Thanks @duckingziton on Twitter for the link!)
Apparently Gabriella and Guillaume have been training with French vernacular jazz / hip-hop dancer Joyss, as well! (Thanks, Alxhns via Reddit for the intel!)
Now I’m even more stoked that she and her partner incorporated Lindy Hop into this routine. It’s always a wonderful treat when Lindy Hop is represented in other dance disciplines.
You can catch the pair competing this upcoming Sunday February 18 and Monday February 19 at the Olympic Ice Dance Short Skate and Free Skate at 8pm ET both days. Check your local listings for exact airing times.