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Thread: Mao and her ballet training

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    Mao and her ballet training

    Based on Mao' performance at Skate America, do you see years of ballet training showing up in her skating? If so, what specifically?

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    Desperate Mouse Killer kandidy's Avatar
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    Her posture and back are nice. always straight in the air.

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    I'm not an expert in ballet or figure skating...and i'm not saying that Mao's got great artistry, but she does have nice soft arms.

    Kimmie could do with taking a leaf out of Mao's book imo, not even with ballet but just any dance. I get that some people are just natural with it, like Sasha. But for those who need a little help, dance seems to be the way to go. Every little thing helps.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    I can only see years of ballet training in the world's top ballet companies.

    I do see a wonderful figure skater in Mao and much skating training but not that much ballet training However there is some ballet-like arms.

    Joe

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I can only see years of ballet training in the world's top ballet companies.

    I do see a wonderful figure skater in Mao and much skating training but not that much ballet training However there is some ballet-like arms.

    Joe
    all the soviet pair teams had extensive balet training. I could see it in Gordeeva/Grinkov. Her positions are very classical.. you coudl see it especilly when she skates alone.

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    Great Teacher Oscilla
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    Based on Mao' performance at Skate America, do you see years of ballet training showing up in her skating? If so, what specifically?
    I certainly cannot see YEARS of ballet training, because there was no such thing.

    Mao did some ballet training as a very young child - there was a video somwhere of her dancing the solo from Coppelia - but she gave up ballet when she switched to figure skating. I think she was about 5-6 years old back then.

    She strated to practice modern ballet in July this year (in Obersdorf, Germany) and classical ballet in August (in Russia, when she trained with Tarasova there). Tarasova picked an elite ballet instructor for Mao and she also took her once a week to watch ballet performances together.

    I think we need to wait a little while to see the result of the training - you don't become a ballerina in a month. Right now Mao is at the stage of learning basics and trying to learn the techniques quickly. As her ballet instructor said: "First you need to master the technique. Then the freedom of expression comes naturally". (More or less. My Russian is bad. )

    But certainly I could see a lot of improvement since last season. Better posture, great arms, effortless yet elegant flexibility, a lot of balletic positions through her footwork and transitions, better leg turnout, much more dynamic skating, much better expression. Right now it is especially visible in practices and shows, because at Skate Canada she seemed too nervous to skate at her full potential (the exhibition was great, though).

    There are some fluffs on YT showing Mao during her ballet training - they show how she really started from the basics. There was a rather cute moment where her instructor pulled on her ponytail to guide her heat into a proper position.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscilla View Post
    I certainly cannot see YEARS of ballet training, because there was no such thing.

    Mao did some ballet training as a very young child - there was a video somwhere of her dancing the solo from Coppelia - but she gave up ballet when she switched to figure skating. I think she was about 5-6 years old back then.

    She strated to practice modern ballet in July this year (in Obersdorf, Germany) and classical ballet in August (in Russia, when she trained with Tarasova there). Tarasova picked an elite ballet instructor for Mao and she also took her once a week to watch ballet performances together.

    I think we need to wait a little while to see the result of the training - you don't become a ballerina in a month. Right now Mao is at the stage of learning basics and trying to learn the techniques quickly. As her ballet instructor said: "First you need to master the technique. Then the freedom of expression comes naturally". (More or less. My Russian is bad. )

    But certainly I could see a lot of improvement since last season. Better posture, great arms, effortless yet elegant flexibility, a lot of balletic positions through her footwork and transitions, better leg turnout, much more dynamic skating, much better expression. Right now it is especially visible in practices and shows, because at Skate Canada she seemed too nervous to skate at her full potential (the exhibition was great, though).

    There are some fluffs on YT showing Mao during her ballet training - they show how she really started from the basics. There was a rather cute moment where her instructor pulled on her ponytail to guide her heat into a proper position.

    That doesn't make sense. She quit ballet at 5 or 6 and then was taking it for about a month or so? Then how come that fluff video on youtube showed her doing piroettes on point? That is definitely not beginner stuff!

    BTW, does Yu Na do ballet, too? Do you think it shows?

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    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by passion View Post
    That doesn't make sense. She quit ballet at 5 or 6 and then was taking it for about a month or so? Then how come that fluff video on youtube showed her doing piroettes on point? That is definitely not beginner stuff!

    BTW, does Yu Na do ballet, too? Do you think it shows?
    I read the same thing. Wasn t Mao doing on pointe when she was 6 in a youtube video?

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    Mao

    here she says she did ballet until she was 9
    http://www.skatetoday.com/articles0405/031205-1.htm

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    I can't judge if it's ballet training or innate genius, but I've rarely seen anyone move with this grace. She does remind me of Suzanne Farrell with her ability to turn off-balance at top speed and to do unusual things that are so beautifully musical that you're just awestruck. At least I am. (No WOW smilie?)

    (Skate Canada exhibition)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPaND5Rto0U

    (And with that I'm sliding back into retirement.)

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    Dreaming and dancing Bennett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    I can only see years of ballet training in the world's top ballet companies.

    I do see a wonderful figure skater in Mao and much skating training but not that much ballet training However there is some ballet-like arms.

    Joe
    I can see years of ballet training in my peer students in my ballet classes that I have been attending for years. When I skated before, I also saw years of ballet training in my peer figure skaters who practiced ballet. People don't have to be appointed with the World's top ballet companites to be noticed what they are decently trained for years. I certainly won't downplay the hard dance training that the top skaters do off ice.

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bennett View Post
    I can see years of ballet training in my peer students in my ballet classes that I have been attending for years. When I skated before, I also saw years of ballet training in my peer figure skaters who practiced ballet. People don't have to be appointed with the World's top ballet companites to be noticed what they are decently trained for years. I certainly won't downplay the hard dance training that the top skaters do off ice.
    Now tell me,since we both took ballet classes and figure skating lessons. I can't believe you don't see the difference. Most of the post that I read, I would say they have only seen photographs of ballerinas and not the real thing on stage.

    At least go to a ballet class and see the work that is put into the ballet art form.

    One big big big difference is the ballet slipper v. the skating blade. One can not manipulate the foot on skates as one can in slippers.

    I have yet to see a Russian lady look like a ballerina on skates. I have seen some Russian ladies give the impression of ballet in Pairs. Bereshnaya for example. Now tell me that the one Russian skater Irina skated like a ballerina and that ALL Russian ladies skated like ballerinas?

    Two Questions to all:

    1. Why is it so important that all ladies MUST skate as you perceive like Ballerinas?

    2. Is it not possible to skate like a champion without being ballet-like?

    3. Just thought of it. Has ballet ever taken from figure skating?

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post

    1. Why is it so important that all ladies MUST skate as you perceive like Ballerinas?

    2. Is it not possible to skate like a champion without being ballet-like?

    3. Just thought of it. Has ballet ever taken from figure skating?

    Joe
    I guess it's a general belief that any form of beauty created by bodily movements be associated with ballet, not to mention many ballet-inspired elements prevalent in figure skating.
    It is ABSOLUTELY "possible to skate like a champion without being ballet-like". Weren't Michelle, Irina, and Shizuka all champions? Are they less desirable to watch just because they weren't as balletic as those mediocre skaters who were actually doing ballet on ice? My advice is, if you want to watch a ballerina, go to a ballet theatre, which I do time to time. But I would rather watch champions doing triples and nice footwork on the ice.

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    IMO, a skater could be a champion without being a ballerina. Ballet and FS are two different things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joesitz View Post
    Now tell me,since we both took ballet classes and figure skating lessons. I can't believe you don't see the difference. Most of the post that I read, I would say they have only seen photographs of ballerinas and not the real thing on stage.

    At least go to a ballet class and see the work that is put into the ballet art form.

    One big big big difference is the ballet slipper v. the skating blade. One can not manipulate the foot on skates as one can in slippers.

    I have yet to see a Russian lady look like a ballerina on skates. I have seen some Russian ladies give the impression of ballet in Pairs. Bereshnaya for example. Now tell me that the one Russian skater Irina skated like a ballerina and that ALL Russian ladies skated like ballerinas?

    Two Questions to all:

    1. Why is it so important that all ladies MUST skate as you perceive like Ballerinas?

    2. Is it not possible to skate like a champion without being ballet-like?

    3. Just thought of it. Has ballet ever taken from figure skating?

    Joe
    My personal opinion is that ballet and ice skating are two completey different art forms. One does not have to look like a ballerina on ice, but the average ice skater without dance training completely lacks musical awareness and how to relate movement to music unless they are innately gifted which is quite rare. It is blatantly obvious when you see the average ice skater at your local rink. The average skater without dance training lacks the details that can make them look polished such as line, extensions, focus of the head and eyes, and the concept of energy among many other things. With these basic concepts one can depart from ballerina style of skating and do other styles, but they have the understanding of movement and music.

    You can skate like a champion without doing ballet like movements. A champion ice skater does champion skating which includes edges, jumps, and spins on ICE, non of which ballerinas do. Something I've noticed in all champion ice skater, though, is that they all have a superior ability to relate to the music with their skating whether it's innate or trained.

    I can't think of an example where ballet takes from skating, but I can see the opposite being true. Perhaps that is because ballet is the foundation of all dance including skating even if you choose not to do ballerina type of skating.

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