Davis and White take commanding lead after short dance

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Olympics: Figure Skating-Ice Dance Short Dance
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Feb 16, 2014; Sochi, RUSSIA; Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the USA perform in the ice dance short dance program during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games at Iceberg Skating Palace. (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Meryl Davis and Charlie White got one step closer to winning the United States' first gold medal in ice dancing after a commanding short dance.

Performing to selections from "My Fair Lady," Davis floated on the ice in a cotton candy pink costume, while White was in his customary black attire. Their score of 78.89 was a new world record.

[Watch: Raising an Olympian: Meryl Davis and Charlie White]

Their rivals Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada hit the twizzles that eluded them in the team event. They scored 76.33. "We just settled into the program much better," Virtue said afterwards. "It just feels like us," Moir added.

The battle for the bronze is shaping up between two Russian teams – Elena Ilinykh and Nikita Katsalapov and Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev, who sit in 3rd and 5th, respectively. Sandwiched in between them are veterans Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat of France.

The other U.S. couples had strong showings.

Madison Chock and Evan Bates had a very theatrical routine and placed ninth with a score of 65.46. They're just under a point ahead of their teammates, siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani. Having three teams in the top 10 is impressive for a discipline that has been historically weaker for the United States.

[Photos: Olympic crush Madison Chock]

See the full standings after the short dance here.

The ice dancing medals will be decided Monday with the free dance.

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