Ice dancing is a discipline of figure skating that draws from ballroom dancing. It joined the World Figure Skating Championships in 1952, and became a Winter Olympic Games medal sport in 1976. As in pair skating, dancers compete as a couple consisting of a man and a woman. Ice dance differs from pair skating by having different requirements for lifts. Couples must perform spins as a team in a dance hold, and throws and jumps are disallowed. Typically, partners are not supposed to separate by more than two arm lengths. Originally, partners were supposed to be in a dance hold the entire program, though modern ice dancing has lifted this restriction somewhat. Another distinction between ice dance and other skating disciplines is the use of music in the performances. In ice dancing, dancers must always skate to music with a definite beat or rhythm. Singles and pair skaters more often skate to the melody and phrasing of their music, rather than its beat.
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