U.S. Ice Dance Champions Campaign for Hip-Hop Music in Competition

Hip-Hop

may be one of the hottest genres in music, but it has received a chilly reception

in the world of ice dancing. However,

that may change if four-time U.S. ice dance champions Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto

have a say. Belbin

and Agosto are recognized world-wide as one of the top American couples in ice

dancing. The

2006 Olympic silver medalists recently captured a bronze medal at the 2006 world

championships. The

pair incorporated music from Justin Timberlake during their routine Friday night

(April 6) at the Marshalls Showcase, the final event of the figure skating season.

The positive

crowd reaction reinforced Belbin and Agosto’s belief that ice-skating audiences

are ready to hear new music from skaters. ”We’re

trying to push Hip-Hop and it’s never been accepted in the current international

community,” Belbin told the San Diego Union Tribune. ”Hopefully someday

we’ll be able to spice up the competitions. ‘We

meet after the world championships every year and talk about the regulations for

next season. We need more North American teams trying it before we can get it

accepted,” she added.Although

changes in ice dance have been slow, there has been progress over the last decade.

”It’s

difficult, because we’re young and a new generation and this is what we listen

to and dance to,” said Belbin, who remains positive in spite of the uphill battle

to have Hip-Hop accepted. ”It’s tough to be deprived of it.”While

the International Skating Union has encouraged skaters to try something from their

culture, the governing body has provided no guidelines, as evidenced by news that

the original dance for next season will be folk music. There

are few parameters offered on what defines folk. ”We’re

trying to expand the audience of our sport and Hip-Hop is a huge part of our culture,”

said Agosto. “We’d love to tap into it.”Belbin

and Agosto are currently on tour with Champions on Ice. After the tour, the duo

will take a break and work on new routines that could include more Hip-Hop.

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