Originally Posted by millie
Yes...If a skater is focused and determined she tends to have that "serious" look. Have you seen the skaters waiting in the wings, ready to take the ice? How many of them do you see smiling? They all look like serial killers back there, lol.
Take someone who is known for emotional appeal. Kwan is an easy example. Yet, you see her "business" face when she is in "deep concentration". She only lightens up once she enters "the zone". The "zone" is the name I give to the time when you are performing and you no longer have to "think through" the process- it just happens naturally, you enjoy the moment, and usually you make no mistakes during this time. And usually you become very calm and relaxed as well, which allows you to smile and be happy. This is what I think happens to Kwan when she breaks out with these "emotional moments" of hers.
It happened to Irina during worlds 05, Arakawa during worlds 04, Hughes during olys 02. But other than this, you usually get the "business face". And (primarily) for this reason, I believe this is why Cohen comes across as flat. When she smiles, you don't feel it, typically because she just made a mistake. It's like you know she can't be happy right now. She just messed it up! I know I wouldn't be happy, no matter what my face looked like.
That said, I do think that she has been fighting an uphill battle and is slowly winning it and is content (if not pleased) with her progress so far. As for the "smile" during her FS, I do think it was "choreographed". You can always put on a smile for the camera.
But she wants to win- and if she wants that performance of a lifetime she'll have to find, and get into, "the zone". Only then will we see a real genuine smile from her.
I also would argue this point. Kwan got (and still gets) a lot of flack for stagnating (which would make sense, since she did not used to do this). Cohen, I would say, really hasn't done much more in this regard. I would say with her it's more about self-improvement than improvement in general. I forgot how she skated four years ago but I bet she is totally different now. But it's more of a style thing. She hasn't really been pushing forward in the technical or artistic sense, although her setbacks have arguably prevented or discouraged her from doing so. Instead, she works on trying to make it so that she can complete a routine mistake-free. She has stagnated over the past couple of years, but if the off-season "reports" hold some water, we could see some noticeable improvement this year and (if she stays) next year.In my opionion, she did not develop technically or artistically last year. Some of this I believe stems from her injury, and some of it from having programs which were not as well choreographed (even Wagner's stripped down version of "Swan Lake" had more choreography than that "Nutcracker" LP last year). Technically and artistically she has dwindled since leaving Tarasova.