Other skaters do moves: Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean move. And as the music begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Capital Centre, they move toward each other in a hypnotic, erotic rush of steel and ice and choreographed passion.
They wear black. They are blond. Their sleeves billow and their bodies flow against the sheer whiteness of the ice. Only they move -- everything else stops, the Capital Centre is hushed.
They find each other. They cleave together. The arena steams. It is so unexpected to feel that kind of heat emanating from the ice.
"Oh God, nobody moves like that, they give me the chills," says Linda Fratianne, America's 1980 Olympic silver medalist, gasping at the sensual style that earned them their gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. "I've never seen them in the flesh before."
"They make me weak with desire," says Dick Button, the skating impresario and gold medalist who has brought them to America to appear in the World Professional Figure Skating Championship on Friday night.
And this is only rehearsal. When it is over, the computer scoreboard high above the ice flashes an immediate review: "Awesome." The other skaters stand and applaud.
Earlier, they had tried to explain what they would do. "I'm trying to entice him," she said softly. "In the end, he succumbs."
"It's a coming over from regalness to lust," he said sweetly.
But explanations do not suffice.
They are unlikely revolutionaries, these mild, working-class children of Nottingham. In conversation, they are governed by British propriety. But they have broken all the rules of their craft, which can no longer be ridiculed as two-steps on a frozen ballroom. Ice dancing is defined by its limitations, but when they skate they create the illusion that there are none. Deprived of the distractions that consume other skaters -- the axels, the salchows, the triples, the spins -- they have made the most of what they have: themselves. Their repertoire is limited only to their imagination.
Last winter at the Olympics in Sarajevo, they won the gold medal with a performance of "Bolero" that earned them 12 perfect 6.0 scores and even higher praise. People who care about skating talk about that night the way they once talked about Oleg and Ludmilla Protopopov, who did for pairs skating what Torvill and Dean have done for ice dancing: bring content to acrobatics.
"They do on ice what we began to do 30 years ago," Oleg Protopopov says, standing at rinkside, watching them skate this morning practice. "The idea is the same: the dialogue between a man and a woman. They do it very well. They fit to each other very good. There are no jumps, no spins, no lifts. Nothing. They get 6, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6. For what? For artistry.
"I told him, 'Hello, Chris. How are you? I was waiting for this moment to say hello 30 years.' He didn't understand me."
Or maybe he simply chose not to hear. They stammer when told of the comparison as if it is simply too much to bear. The telegram they received from the queen congratulating them on their victory -- signed Elizabeth R -- is in a bag with the rest waiting for Torvill to place in a scrapbook that's four years behind. The medals are in the bank.
They were honored with the M.B.E. -- Members of the British Empire. They have the Freedom of the City of Nottingham, which allows them to drive their sheep across the city square without penalty. But Their Greatness, as one British reporter calls them, get a 6.0 for modesty. "It's very English," Torvill says in that understated British way.
The tumult is embarrassing, but worse it is distracting. As American gold medalist Scott Hamilton says, the difference between them and everyone else is that "they're obsessed."
After the Olympics, for instance, they went back to Oberstdorf, West Germany, on the German Olympic team train. They have trained there for years. They did not go home until April, after they had won their fourth world championship, their last amateur competition.
"We didn't want to get carried away," Torvill says, over boiled eggs without egg cups at breakfast.
Still, there were lots of people at the airport and a parade through the streets of Nottingham in an open-air car. "Like the pope," she says.
And, then, of course, there was lunch with the queen at Buckingham Palace, a fact that emerges after an hour of prompting.
"The feeling was relaxed," Dean says. "The queen was relaxed. She was very casual, very informal. It wasn't overpowering. The food was average but, I mean, it was a great place to eat. I recommend it. There waa a fishy thing to start with and then . . ."
"Veal," Torvill says.
"The queen likes plain meats," he says.
They do not get excited very often. Once, last month, Torvill got excited when Howard Keel, Miss Ellie's new husband on "Dallas," gave her a rose and sang the song that helped them win their first world title.
"I was asking about 'Dallas,' " she says. "He was going to tell me what happens next. Then I said, 'No, don't.' "
"I feel so sorry for those 'Dallas' and 'Dynasty' people," Dean says. "Everybody wants to know about them."
They complete each other's gestures and sentences. They have been partners since 1976. He says he can feel if not just her head but her eyelid is not in the right place. The closeness is palpable.
The night they won the gold medal, a reporter asked if they were planning to be married.
"Not this week," Dean said, while admitting he had bought her an orchid for Valentine's Day. Three days later, the British National Skating Association felt compelled to issue a statement in London denying the speculation that ensued.
When they went to Barbados this spring for their first vacation in four years, reporters trailed them. More denials followed. "You see, you can get married in Barbados if you're there a week," she says.
"They were checking the bedroom," he says, "asking the maids whose clothes were in the room, where the shoes were by the bed."
Their relationship, he says emphatically, is platonic. "Best friends," he says. "Can't get rid of her at all. Like a bad penny."
"Usually, we end up following each other around," she says.
Still, they seem genuinely surprised that they should engender such speculation. Perhaps, it is suggested midway through the eggs, that is the result of the illusions they create and the public need to believe them.
"Maybe that's it," he says. "We go into a fantasy world when we step onto the ice and we want people to believe it as well. We don't want people to think, 'Oh, he's just come from the shops, he's just gotten the groceries in and he's had his shower.' No, we don't want that. If we're doing something exotic, we want people to believe that we've stepped away from this fantasy land to show them this performance."
They have the ability to transform themselves and project it on the ice.
"We have to," he says. "We're this little meek and mild pair off the ice. I think we do change. I think we don't have any inhibitions when it comes to the ice. Off it, we're a bit more reserved."
She is a 27-year old ex-insurance clerk. He is a 26-year-old ex-cop. He is the choreographer. He thinks of the ideas. She remembers them. She says it is so instinctive to him that he forgets them.
He can't explain where they come from. "It's just something that happens," he says.
So much has. "It seems like only yesterday when we won our first title," he says. That was the British Ice Dancing Championships in 1980. They haven't lost anywhere since the beginning of 1981. He says the last four years are "like sponge cake with everything you want in it and you look at it and it's so rich."
But they don't look back much.
"If we thought about it and said, 'On that day in February this was the ultimate of all your dreams, this was the highlight,' I suppose it would have been like the astronaut who, when he comes back, has done everything and goes into a decline. If you do that, you lose your star," he says.
They don't look at tapes of the Olympics because, he says, "It can shatter the illusion." They don't perform "Bolero" because it might stymie the imagination. Probably, he says, they wouldn't remember the steps. They have spent much of their time since the Olympics in Australia, performing and working with a choreographer named Graeme Murphy who helped develop their two new routines, "Song of India" and "Almost," so titled because, Dean says, "it's almost a romance, almost a brief encounter, almost a kiss."
Don't expect to see them doing the cha-cha with Yogi Bear on skates. They have made it clear that they are not interested in the established ice shows, though one professional skating source says they could command $30,000- $50,000 a week. Their aim is to produce their own show and begin touring with it next summer in London.
In the meantime, they carry on, seducing and refusing to be seduced.