The Development of Ski Dancing

April 16, 2007 by  
Filed under features

As with the development of any new sport, it takes time for the idea to catch on but once it does, it can becomes very popular. Such is the case with the relatively new sport of Ski Dancing.

Ski Dancing was created by Cheryl and Charles Malfetti and, with the help and skill of inventor Richard Gauer, it has slowly developed into an entirely new sport. In a nutshell, Ski Dancing is the art of dancing with a partner while snow skiing down a slope. The skis are shorter for increased maneuverability and the partner acts as support for the other skier thereby eliminating the need for ski poles and increasing the skier’s ability to perform ingenious dance-like movements on the snow.

It all started in 1985 when Cheryl Malfetti hurt her knee on the first day of a Colorado ski vacation. Cheryl eventually became despondent because she was unable to ski but managed to coax her husband into helping Cheryl ski down the beginner slope at the Colorado ski lodge. Together, skiing hip to hip, Cheryl and her husband soon realized that the idea of skiing together brought about a sense of togetherness and sharing that they wanted to maintain while skiing even after Cheryl’s knee was healed.

Cheryl had a passion for ballroom dancing which lent itself to their new sport of Ski dancing. Soon Cheryl met with inventor Richard Gauer who had been testing a new snow skiing product. His new, shorter skis were designed to be easy to use and featured excellent rotational mobility and stability at high speeds. Rickard Gauer encouraged Cheryl and her husband to try the newly designed snow ski. Within a few sessions, the Malfettis realized that these Richard Gauer designed skis would be the equipment of choice for their new sport. The Malfettis and Gauer worked together in the development of these new skis. Before long regular skiers were looking for Gauer’s skis in the shops – recognizing the superior performance they provided for notice and advanced skiers alike.

Today, these Gauer skis form the core of Ski Dancing because they provide the skier with the ability to progress quickly. One of the most notable features of the skis is they do not require some special athletic ability or an expert degree of skill to use.

Ski Dancing has become an acceptable and enjoyable sport in America. In 1992 Cheryl and Charles Malfetti established and registered the United States Ski Dancing Association which has since become the International Ski Dancing Association (“ISDA”). This non-profit group is dedicated to the expansion of this creative art form and the change of name is representative of the success.

The ISDA now represents skiers who have taken up the sport of Ski Dancing. The ISDA has more than 200 members in the United States with even more members in Canada, Japan and Great Britain. Next time you are on the slopes or at your favorite ski resort consider giving this new and alluring sport a try – you might just discover a new type of snow skiing.