Rockettes’ Pick for Dancer of the Week: The Shib Sibs Ice Dance Their Way to Winter Olympics
Who: Alex and Maia Shibutani
Why we chose them: The Shib Sibs. That’s the cutesy moniker given to brother-and-sister ice-dancing duo Alex and Maia Shibutani—and you’re about to hear that nickname a lot more.
Last week, the pair won the short dance competition at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, getting them one step closer to their second Olympic appearance at the upcoming 2018 Winter Games. And even though other contenders came close, it’s easy to see why they took the lead in this category.
Set to mambo, cha cha and samba tunes, what stood out the most about their routine was their sharp precision and synchronization (and we have an eye for that sort of thing!). The choreography was all at once feisty, playful, graceful and energetic. And their arsenal of moves included dips and twirls that any ballroom dancer would envy. The two also went above and beyond, including eight twizzles (a fun ice-dancing term for those single-foot turns) to match the lyrics that counted from uno to ocho, even though only four were required for the routine.
Maia, now 23, started figure skating at the age of four, and persuaded her older brother, now 26, to join in on the fun. After being inspired by the ice dancers they saw perform at the World Championships in 2003, the pair decided to throw their hats in the ring—and we’re glad they did!
With an ice rink as their stage, these two accomplish a goal with this routine that every dancer strives for: to be a physical manifestation of the music. We can’t wait to cheer them—and the rest of Team USA—on in Pyeongchang County, South Korea next month!
Fun fact: You can follow the sibs’ journey to the Olympics through their vlogs on their YouTube channel!
Rockette kicks (on a scale of 10 to 10!):