The Inventory Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in the Netherlands contains ICH of which the communities, groups or individuals involved have written a safeguarding plan. Those plans are reviewed by an independent review committee. Every three years an evaluation of the safeguarding takes place.

Description

Slow-swing-skating on natural ice evokes a feeling of nostalgia, people elegantly swaying across the ice. It looks easy, but appearances can be deceiving. This traditionally Dutch way of skating requires a difficult technique and special skates are needed. A slow-swing-skater skates straight on, in a kind of S-curves. The leg that the skater uses to take off, must be kept parallel to, but a little in front of the other leg, in a smooth and elegant movement, until the skate touches the ice. When the skate stands on the ice, the skater makes a forward-outward arch, on the outside of the blade. Halfway the stroke the skater turns to the other side of the skate and makes a forward-outward arch in the opposite way. This is called kantwisseling (side change). Many slow-swing-skaters skate for pleasure, preferably on natural ice but also on artificial ice-rinks. There are competitions too. It may be done individually, or in couples or so-called ‘blocks’. Often people slow-swing-skate in traditional costumes.

 

Community

Slow-swing-skating is done in clubs by some 200 skaters, in seven departments of the Landelijke Vereniging van Schoonrijders (National Association of Sway Skaters), the LVS. The LVS takes care of the interests of sway skating. It issues the magazine De Schoonrijder. The KNSB, the Royal Dutch Skaters Union, is closely involved, as representative of the interests of the skating sport in the Netherlands in the widest sense. The board of the section slow-swing-skating of the KNSB also serves as the board of the LVS.

 

History

Traditional Dutch slow-swing-skating is the oldest recognisable skating discipline. Many seventh-century paintings show slow-swing-skaters. It was not until the course of the nineteenth century that speed skating emerged. As of 1875 slow-swing-skating has been practised in competition as well. In 1891 the Royal Dutch Skaters Union introduced national regulations for slow-swing-skating. In the period 1900-1940 the popularity of slow-swing-skating rose. If there was ice, local, regional and national championships were held. Around 1940 there was a Committee for Figure Skating within the KNSB, and also a separate Propaganda Commission. A number of slow-swing-skaters founded the National Association of Slow-Swing-Skaters in 1946. After 1960 the popularity of slow-swing-skating dropped drastically, in favour of long-track speed skating and figure skating. Around 1970 the absolute depth was reached with only seventy members of the LVS. Afterwards slow-swing-skating revived again and the number of members increased.

 

Contact

Landelijke Vereniging van Schoonrijders
Doetinchemseweg 62
7021BT
Zelhem
Gelderland
Website