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Thread: Tarasova and control

  1. #1
    TriGirl Rinkside
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    Tarasova and control

    So, when it comes to the student/coach relationship, is Tarasova 100% in control? Sasha mentions that Tarasova chose Swan Lake even though Sasha wasn't into it at first. On the Campbell's review thread, Tonichelle indicated that Tarasova's team takes care of costumes. It's apparent that Tarasova wears the pants in the Sasha/Tatiana relationship (or in this case the fur). I assume that she has had control of her other pupils as well. Interesting in the case of both Sasha and Yags as they seem like independent thinkers. I'm surprised that they have been accepting of her style. Or, maybe that is just what they needed. Anyone know anything about Tarasova?

  2. #2
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    Seems to me I read last year that Sasha had designed some of her costumes, notably the purple one with the plunging neckline front and back. She also changed costumes so often that you rarely saw her in the same dress from one competition to the next.

    Has TT put a stop to that?

  3. #3
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    Last year someone posted translations of segments of Tarasova's book as well as interviews with her. I did not get the impression that Tarasova was a "control coach" but rather a firm coach and a coach who most wanted her students to express themselves from the heart on the ice. In order to do the latter, you need to give the student some room to make their own choices and mistakes. I watched TT a little bit wihile Sasha was skating at Campbell's and right when she had finished. Tarasova is nothing if not passionate about her skaters. The woman next to me was moved to tears by Tarasova's reactions to Sasha's skating, as if TT was spiritually out there with her. Not that other coaches don't feel tha t way too; they just aren't as expressive.

    When Sasha was with Nicks, a lot of people said Sasha was running the show and not listening to Nicks and that what she needed was someobyd to take charge. It seems that Tarasova did take charge in a way Sasha needed, not by negative control, from my impression, but rather by trying instill in Sasha, "This is your life's work. This is a priveege that few in the world can do. Get serious and respect both the sport and your athletic gifts. I will work with you every stip of the way."

    I think the difference is a coach that works WITH a skater vs. a coach that just tells the skater what to do. True, Sasha did not want to do "Swan Lake" but it was because she felt it was overused and didn't think she could get into the music. Tarasova told her she had chosen unusual cuts of the music, which she did, and Sasha said that once she heard the music and Tarasova's vision for the LP, she fell in love with it. IMO, part of a coach's job is to take their years of experience and wisdom and use it to bring the best out of a skater.

    Sasha, Yags, and Kulik are all strong-willed people. I can't see any of them staying with a controlling coach. I think it's probably semantics. That is, the difference between strong supportive guidenace and control. IMO, Tarasova seems like the former. For example, after Sasha's problems last season, Sasha wanted to go back to doing more off-ice training as she had done with Nicks. Tarasova got her a great off-ice trainer. Apparently Sasha felt she would benefit from doing more full runthroughs. Tarasova altered the training so that Sasha now does at least four full runghroughs a week. As for costumes, this is only the first competition of the year and who's to know if Sasha didn't have input into the design? Other dresses may show up later in the season. Sasha is also taking a nutrition course via correspondence through Kent State, so she is keeping up her own interests.

    Finally, although there's no telling what the future holds, whatever Tarasova is doing with Sasha certainly showed positive results at Campbells. One "professional" reviewer focused only on a couple of insecure landings and a one hand Beillmann spiral done on, HORRORS!--the flat, while ignoring the beautiful edges on the sequence of arabesque spiral, fan spiral, and the catch-foot turning slide spiral, as well as throughout the program, not to mention the program as a whole. Of course that's that's this reviewer's preogative. This same "professional" reviewer also completely dissed every ladies program at Campbells except one where only two jumps were completed and which had a numer of other problems as well. This reviewer said that program showed "a lot of promise." If Michelle, Sasha, Jenny, or any of the other top ladies had done such a program, this reviewer would have ripped them apart. But I guess for certain reviewers, depending on who you are, it matters more what the reviewer thinks you can do than what you actually do on the ice.

    But I digress, the point is Sasha has chipped away at her problem areas and improved. Whether she can hang on to these improvements as the season progresses through Nats and Worlds is something we'll just have to wait and see about. But from what I've seen and read, I don't see Tarasova as controlling. Firm, opinionated, demanding discipline, yes; but also dedicated to her skaters, genuinely fond of them, and someone who seems to be interested more in what's best for the skater than her own ego. Egos in top FS coaches tend to be big--just as they are in top skaters--but I don't see ego as a necessarily negative thing. Ego, drive, and ambition can make for great ahievements in any area, if it doesn't get out of control and spill into megalomania. With Tarasova and all the top skaters, male or female, I think ego is a positive thing. And I think Tarasova is a very positive coach for the right skaters.
    Rgirl

  4. #4
    Skating Soprano
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    I agree rgirl...

    Also, Sasha has done excelet when you consider where she is coming from.

    2000 Season:
    Great Debut

    2001 Season:
    Injury, Pain.
    Kept on Working

    2002:
    First time on the world scene....4th place, not bad at all...

    2003:
    New Coach.
    GP wins.
    4th again.
    Best season to date.

  5. #5
    Go NJ Devils
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    Tarasova is a master at recognizing, encouraging, stretching, and packaging skaters' artistry. It seems to me that Cohen and Yagudin found a teacher whose expertise and taste they respect enough to put themselves in her hands, because she can help them develop most in the area in which they are most interested. It is quite a tribute to Tarasova that such great talents have such trust in her, Kulik included.

  6. #6
    and... World Peace! Tonichelle's Avatar
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    Like I said, I read articles that Tarasova's team designed... personally some of the stuff that Sasha wore last year were so totally opposite of what she had the previous season I was worried she would get a totally new look and I didn't like most of them (all of the illusion fabric... ick!) I really liked her costumes under Nicks... I haven't really liked anything from last season...

  7. #7
    Moving Forward
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    Originally posted by Rgirl
    But from what I've seen and read, I don't see Tarasova as controlling. Firm, opinionated, demanding discipline, yes; but also dedicated to her skaters, genuinely fond of them, and someone who seems to be interested more in what's best for the skater than her own ego. ............I think Tarasova is a very positive coach for the right skaters.
    Rgirl
    I think you have it right here. I think that while Tatiana has the final word, she will listen to what the skater has to say. I'm sorry I don't have a source, but I remember in one of Alexei's interviews he mentioned that was one of the reasons he was so much happier with Tatiana as a coach, she listened to him.

    Nan

  8. #8
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    Skatepixie,
    Sasha could have gone to Worlds '00, but she bombed at Jr. Worlds.

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    Last year I said that TT did nothing for Sasha that Nick's wouldn't have done. But I agree with most of the posters that TT did indeed get what she wanted this year and it is more than Swan Lake Act III (pieces of which were used by Oksana Baiul). She gave Sasha a chance to catch her breath and not rush, rush, rush. Salsa's speed was slower this year but right with the music. She didn't have to rush to each element. TT taught her how to pace herself - something she didn't seem to know how before.

    As for the costume, for me it was bad. It appeared to me like black and white handkerchiefs sewn together. With due respect to Hockeyfan's noting that historically the Black Swan was dressed in Red, it has been my knowledge it has been Black in recent times. The perfect costume for Sasha, imo, would be black with rhinestones befitting the daughter of a cruel baron.

    Joe

  10. #10
    Go NJ Devils
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    Originally posted by Joesitz
    The perfect costume for Sasha, imo, would be black with rhinestones befitting the daughter of a cruel baron.Joe
    Which music from Act III did Cohen skate to?

  11. #11
    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    She used most of it. Not so much with pas de deux but definitely, the scene where she's duped the Prince and all hell breaks lose on the stage.

    Joe

  12. #12
    What would Brian Boitano do?
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    ixnay on the onytailpay

    Originally posted by Tonichelle
    I was worried she would get a totally new look
    I have mostly loved Sasha's looks, but I do have a complaint that I was hoping Tarasova would take care of! I'm tired of her hair! Ponytails are for little girls and for practice! It's frustrating to me to see her wearing a gorgeous dress that costs thousands of dollars, and then just put her hair in a scrunchie! Or a rubber band! (Help! I can't stop using exclamation points!)

    Okay, I have to mention, my 'husband' just said "Not to mention that there are hundreds of us hairdressers there who would love to do her hair for free!"

    I still remember MK when she became an adult skater (at 15, natch). She came out in a beautiful adult dress and she had put her hair up, AND had a woman's makeup. Before that she had always worn a pony tail. It was impressive. We knew she meant business right then, because she was so polished. Sarah Hughes did the same thing- she definitely learned from MK.

    Sasha seems to have completely given up on her hair- it's always the severe ponytail now. I really expected Tarasova to hack it off or put it up.

    sk8fanconvert

  13. #13
    Custom Woman
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    Sk8fanconvert,
    ITA with you about the ponytail. Sasha is so small and doll-like as it is that the ponytail only makes her look younger. Though it just occurred to me that maybe that's what she wants since the media seems to consider a skater over-the-hill at 20, lol. Seriously, I simple bun would be fine, thank you. I agree that it makes the skater look serious. Sasha's make-up is fine for me and I'm fine with the costumes both pre and post Tarasova, even if I didn't like some of them. But the hair should be a no-brainer.

    We need a sign for our posts, Convert, one that says in giant letters:
    SASHA READ THESE POSTS!!!
    Rgirl (Help! I'm catching your exclamation point disease!)

  14. #14
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    I think that Sasha could use different hair styles. I though have nothing against pony tails; have liked to see as Katia and Kristi have them. I see Kristi even using her ponytail as a part of her performances.

    Marjaana

  15. #15
    Forum translator Ptichka's Avatar
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    From EVERYTHING I have read about TT, I understand she has a very mothering style. She really cares about her students; it's not surprising that many of her Russian students live with her (I remember a very cute interview with her about Andrei Griazev; she was asked why he lives with her, and she answered: well, he doesn't have the money, and besides, he is just way too young to live on his own ). I think she is the same way in her coaching style. She wants to do costumes, music, AND choreography because she sees a complete picture. There are skaters for whom she only does choreography, but they are not her skaters.

    A propos Sasha's hair -- ITA. It's also a little odd since TT usually likes her ladies' hair to be very expressive (Bestemianova's great mane; Klimova let her hair down once she and Ponomarenko switched from Dubova to TT, etc.).

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