What is the difference between Dance and Free Skate?

When your daughter first starts skating, she'll just be learning basic skating skills. After she has a collection of skills under control, her coach will give her a program or routine to skate to music. This program is her free skate program.

In the early days your daughter may or may not decide to dance. When we're talking dance, it generally implies a partner but unless she's heading in the direction of doing competitive dance, she probably won't have a partner for a lot of the time that she's practicing. That's ok because she's too darn young to be spending time with boys! Am I right, or am I right?

Sorry, back on track. There are dance test that go along with each level of testing and these tests are set pieces. From what I understand, the music hasn't been changed in years. Some of the first dances she'll learn include waltz, foxtrot, canasta tango, baby blues, etc. It may be an over-simplification, but free skating has a lot of focus on jumps and spins where as dance has more focus on foot work.

Dance is distinctive from free skating at this level in that there is no jumping or spinning and is characterized by focus on learning specific steps. At the competitive level, like you see on TV, I believe there are specific rules about how high the woman can be lifted and how much time/distance the skaters can be separated on the ice.