Home Archive Photos Slideshows Database


2022 World Championships: Rhythm Dance

by Klaus-Reinhold Kany




(26 March 2022)  The Rhythm Dance of the 31 ice dance couples at Worlds 2022 had a very good level in spite of the absence of the Russians. Many teams had a season’s best and there were few real mistakes and only one fall. No less than 13 couples came from the Ice Dance Academy of Montreal.

Olympic Gold medalists Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron from France confirmed their superiority with another outstanding performance and won the Rhythm Dance with 92.73 points. They interpreted two characteristic street dances, called Waacking Dances to “Made to Love“ and to “U Move, I Move“ by John Legend with many quick arm movements. Waacking was created in the early 1980ies among the Gay and Latin youth of Los Angeles, but disappeared when the AIDS disease spread and many dancers died. All five elements of Papadakis & Cizeron were outstanding, The outstanding twizzle sequence (level 4) had six GOEs of +5, the Midlight Blues part had level 4 and three GOEs of +5. The partial step sequence was awarded with four +5, the midline step sequence had seven +5 and the stationary lift four +5. The components had an average of 9.9 with 24 out of 45 possible 10.0.

Cizeron explained,  “I think in this program we’ve worked on many details since the very beginning. We have learned Waacking from A to Z and we wanted to incorporate it as much as possible. It came as a surprise that Waacking and skating go very well together. We were hoping for the kind of performance we did today. We couldn’t wait to come here and to skate for our audience. It was a beautiful moment, it carried us through until the end.“

Olympic bronze medalists Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue from the USA, who train in the Montreal ice dance school like the U.S. teams number 2 and 3, are second with 89.72 points. Dancing to the Hip Hop “Nasty“, the Blues “Rope Burn“ and the Hip Hop “Rhythm Nation“, all by Janet Jackson, they started with their midline step sequence which got only level 2, but four GOEs of +5. The other elements had mainly GOEs of +4 and some +5. The components were around 9.7 with eight perfect 10.0.

Hubbell said, “Zach and I were very pleased - it’s an arena with a lot of energy and it was really fun to perform. We had the goal of staying focused but really letting the moment sink in a little bit more than at the Olympics… really living the joy of it and especially for myself at the very end.“ Donohue added, “I think knowing that this free dance tomorrow will be our last competitive performance we’re just staying in the moment because we want to take everything in. We’re going to enjoy every second and make the most of it.”

The second U.S. team of Madison Chock & Evan Bates, fourth at the Olympic Games, rank third with 87.51 points. Their music choice were three pieces by Billie Eilish, the Blues “MyBoi“, the second Blues “Therefore I Am“ and the Hip Hop “Bad Guy“. Their levels were a bit lower, but they also had many GOEs of +5 for their elements and their components were around 9.5 with three 10.0.

Chock explained, “We had a ton of fun out there performing. We really performed every second of this program and the crowd was so enthusiastic, so it made it even more fun and easier to let loose and just the program shine. It feels great to have sent this program off with a wonderful performance,” Bates added, “We want to be on the podium at Worlds, and it's definitely a big goal of ours and we want to close this season with a really strong performance.“ 

Charlène Guignard & Marco Fabbri from Italy, fifth at the Olympic Games, sit fourth with 84.22 points. Skating to a medley of Michael Jackson songs, they also had five excellent elements and components of around 9.2. But they did not understand why their midline step sequence only got a level 1. They plan to continue at least for one more season, but perhaps until the next Olympic Games in 2026 in their hometown of Milan.

Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier from Canada placed fifth with 80.79 points. Skating to the Blues “I Guess That’s Why They Call it the Blues“ and to “Still Standing“, both by Elton John, their five elements were very good, but only two had a level 4. Their components were around 9.0. They were a bit disappointed about their scores. Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz from Spain are in sixth position with 79.40 points after a very good performance with lower levels but very good presentation to two songs by Tina Turner.

Lila Fear & Lewis Gibson from Britain are seventh with 78.89 points to three music pieces of the rock group “Kiss“. The second Canadian couple of Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen, who had skated for Denmark until 2018, are eighth with 78.29 points, competing mainly to music by George Michael. The third U.S. team of Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker sits ninth with 76.56 points. The Lithuanians Allison Reed & Saulius Ambrulevicius, who were not allowed to compete at the Olympic Games because Reed did not get Lithuanian citizenship, are tenth with 74.06 points.

All these ten couples gave excellent performances, and nobody missed the three Russian teams who had been banned by the ISU because of Russia’s war against the Ukraine. The Ukrainian team of Oleksandra Nazarova & Maksym Nikitin had fled to Poland with their skates. They had even made a new rhythm dance to Ukrainian national music there. They skated with yellow and blue Ukrainian T-shirts, finished on 16th place with 67.70 points and got long standing ovations. Evan Bates, the new ISU athlete representative for ice dance commented, “We were fortunate enough to be in the building when Oleksandra & Maksym skated, watched them live and we’ve never been so moved by a performance. I think the world has seen the bravery of the Ukrainian people, and we also have the bravery of Sasha and Max today, they are being here, taking the ice wearing their Ukrainian shirts to escape the way that they did.“   

The ISU announced that next season’s Rhythm Dance will be two pieces of Latin music, whatever the teams like.