Beyoncé, Billie Eilish, and "Hallelujah": 13 Pop-Song Ice Skating Routines We Absolutely Love
Have you ever watched a figure skating program that truly took your breath away? The best routines are a stunning combination of dizzying spins, graceful choreography, and impossible-looking jumps landed on the thinnest of blades. Set it all to music, and you get, well, pure art.
Now, about that music. Today, figure skaters can get pretty creative with their accompaniment, choosing from a variety of genres and styles, but until just a few years ago, it was a different story. Not until the 2014 Olympics did the International Skating Union (ISU) start allowing figure skaters to use music with vocals and lyrics in their performances. (Ice dancing has allowed music with lyrics since the 1997-1998 season.)
Let's just say it was the right choice. Now, skaters get to pair soaring elegance and strength with some of their favorite pop songs, and it's as perfect a combination as you'd expect. Ahead, check out some of our favorite pop-song figure skating routines, paired with music that's probably already on your playlist.
Maé-Bérénice Méité's Beyoncé Medley
French figure skater Maé-Bérénice Méité caught everyone's attention with her stunning Beyoncé medley, performed here at the 2018 Olympics. Featuring "Run the World (Girls)" and a cover of "Halo," this routine is everything we love about figure skating: a combination of elegance and electrifying jumps, music that gets us excited, and even a shimmering gold and black costume that evoked Queen Bey herself (2016 Super Bowl halftime show, anyone?).
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue's "A Star Is Born" Medley
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue have never lacked for chemistry on the ice, and their free dance to "Alibi" and "Shallow" left us breathless. The inclusion of dialogue from the movie takes it to the next level.
Mariah Bell's "Hallelujah" by k.d. Lang
Mariah Bell was transcendent in her 2020 national championship free skate. The elegance, flawless jumps, and sheer emotions of the performance catapulted her into second place in the competition, a career high.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue's "Hallelujah"
Yes, it's our second "Hallelujah" routine here, but can you blame us? Hubbell and Donohue stole our hearts with this enchanting free dance, which earned them a silver medal at the 2021 world championships.
Maia and Alex Shibutani's "Paradise" by Coldplay
The Shibutani siblings' trademark charisma and sharp, clean execution sparkles in this Olympic free dance set to Coldplay.
Starr Andrews's "Black Like Me" by Mickey Guyton
One thing we love about the new music rules: figure skaters can select music that speaks to them, and their on-ice interpretation can amplify an important message. Starr Andrews stole our hearts when she did just that with Micke Guyton's "Black Like Me," a song that inspired 19-year-old so much, "I just had to skate to it."
Gazizà Rakhimullina's "How You Like That" by Blackpink
K-pop and figure skating are the perfect combination, and if you don't believe us, just watch Russian skater Gazizà Rakhimullina's performance of Blackpink's "How You Like That," which takes the group's iconic choreography to a whole new level on the ice.
Michelle Kwan's "Rise Up" by Andra Day
Figure skating legend Michelle Kwan is still at it! Check out this gorgeous Christmas Day performance she put on for one lucky crowd, set to Andra Day's "Rise Up."
Eva Pate and Logan Bye's "Say Something" by Great Big World Feat. Christina Aguilera
As if "Say Something" wasn't heartbreaking enough! Pate and Bye's interpretation does justice to the song's raw emotions of pain, sorrow, and desire; even in practice footage, the sincerity shines through.
Cordero Zuckerman's "Señorita" (M+ike Remix) by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
We love "Señorita" and we love Cordero Zuckerman. (I'm still having nightmares about his "Bury a Friend" routine, but in a good way.) You think this is just another lovely, Latin dance-inspired routine, then the beat drops and Zuckerman does a back flip and the mood gets intense.
Jason Brown's "The Room Where It Happens" From Hamilton
Jason Brown is known for putting on show-stopping performances (my personal favorite will always be his 2013-2014 Riverdance free skate), so of course we had high hopes when we heard he was going with Hamilton in 2017-2018. This snippet of his performance is worthy of Broadway.
Adam Rippon's "Otherside" by Beyoncé
Adam Rippon always meets the high expectations we set for him, and this breathtaking Beyoncé routine is no exception. The Olympic medalist had us captivated from the first note. (PS: Rippon is now a figure skating choreographer who's worked with Mariah Bell, among others — you can see him celebrating after her "Hallelujah" program above!)
Culver Ice Productions' "Bad Guy" by Billie Eilish
If you've never heard of ice theater before, sit back and enjoy this delightfully creepy "Bad Guy" routine from Culver Ice Productions. The spins, the transitions, the camera staredowns: Billie Eilish would be proud.