~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Which US Dance Pair ....
I prefer Davis/White to Belbin/Agusto. I never really "got" Belbin/Agusto. I don't find there is much chemistry between them. They just seem to skate through there programs without much connection and she is kind of "stiff." He is a better dancer, I think. I do like Davis/White though. There is more scope to their skating.
I prefer Gregory & Petukhov to all of them.
Bona Fide Member
^ Wait till the Hubble and Hubble fans, the Chock and Zuerlein fans, and the Shibutani and Shibutani fans find this thread!
Tripping on the Podium
I don't follow US dance very often. but my two cents
1. D/W: more agile than BA, kick-*** twizzles, boy, can they dance. light on their blades.
2. BA: Their TOSCA FD completely lost me. A lot of dramatic expressions (facial) on Tanith, but not much happening on blades, it seems. The mounts/dismounts of lifts are very simple. Not being a dance expert, I can't really see what linichuk has done for them.
3. Samuelson/Bates: I think they are extremely talented. Having said that their FD of this season is one-dimensional and very limiting. I hope they get a new choreographer, who wants to push their envelops.
My favourite US dancer is Kim Navarro(sp? This reveals my ignorance in US skating) girl . She is playful on the ice and willing to experiment. All is good.
Best of luck for all the teams.
Right on! Kim is a performer, through and through. I think she and her partner love to entertain, and they are always very appreciative of their fans--which is why I'm a fan! US ice dancing is so deep right now, which is great; but I hope there's still a place for Kim and Brent somewhere in the mix next year. . . .
Originally Posted by fumie_fumie
Rooting for the divas with Kwanford
Watching the FD on TV last night, I was baffled by the whole thing. I didn't like either of the teams fighting for gold and thought both of the teams fighting for bronze deserved the top two spots. And I liked a lot of the lower-placing teams better too, esp. Peichalat/Bourzat, Samuelson/Bates, Capellini/Lanotte and the Kerrs. I can see why C/L might not be quite ready for the podium at Worlds. But P/B, S/B and the Kerrs - I'd take them over Domnina/Shabalin and Belbin/Agosto any day.
To answer your q more directly, I adore S/B but also admire D/W vastly. I really don't understand why B/A are so highly rated.
Ice Dance Obsessee
Well I suppose my preference is clear by this point lol! I'll try to be as objective as possible though.
I don't know that we can say that there is a clear #1 in US ice dance right now. B/A and D/W were judged sooo close last night (I'll try to leave my personal opinion out of it). Neither team are perfect; they've both got areas to improve upon. B/A are nearly done though-they've stated that they intend to retire after Vancouver, and due to that I think judges will view them as #1. So here are my thoughts.
-B/A went to Linichuk to improve their skating. They were stagnating under Sphilband and IMO, were coasting after their great 04/05 season. Since the move their edging, control and speed have improved (Tanith more so, because she was the one who needed to improve more). Tanith's extension improved as well. However, the reason I was not more enthusiastic about the "new" B/A this season was their dances. Their OD was described as being a tap dance but there was nothing even remotely resembling tap in that dance. Their FD, I think, was designed to bring down the house in LA if they skated it well (with Tosca as the music it was a good design). I thought they skated decently last night but were completely lackluster, and the short applause reflected that I think.
What they need to do is continue to keep improving their skating and to develop dances for next season that stay true to their personalities because it just didn't seem like them this season. Her expression can improve, I just found it so overdone this past week, almost to the point of ridiculous at times (CD).
-D/W are not perfect by any means. Her posture needs to improve, and their overall extension and toe point, while improved this season IMO, can get even stronger. But I'm excited by how much they really have improved over this past season, visibly better from one competition to the next. They were remarkably better at relating to each other and using the music in a way they had not done in seasons before.
I think overall they have a strong technical foundation, they just need to continue developing. So two things I'm looking for with them is to improve on the CDs (and in doing so that should help them improve their technique overall, carrying into the other segments), and to branch out choreographically. I'd like to see them try less classical themes in the future and perhaps go outside for choreography. I loved their dances this season (IMO they had the second best set of the whole field) but when compared to Virtue/Moir, they didn't appear as complex in choreography).
-S/B, I don't think will be in contention for the top US stop until after the Olympics. They are extremely talented, but not without their weaknesses. They did very well this season, but they've had a few issues here and there with their spins (lack of centering and control). Their speed and overall power can improve as well as their expression.
I think overall their main concern is choreography. I don't know that I've truly liked a single one of FDs; there is a collection of them on youtube and I watched them recently. Many of their lifts have been recycled year after year (part of why they are so well executed?) and some of the transitions are repeated again and again as well. Their music doesn't always help either; Amazonic didn't really allow them to go anywhere emotionally, it kept them at a single level. Perhaps a more mature team would have been able to do more with it but regardless, S/B deserve better music and choreography (though I'd say that for a lot of teams).
If G/P truly are coming back to try and qualify for the Olympics, next season will be very interesting. I'm curious to see how they'd fit in.
And NavBoms! I'll admit, I wanted them 2nd at Nationals, but what do they need to do to stay in the mix? Are their dances too simple?
And there are other teams (such as Summersett/Gilles and the Hubbells, both teams that are improving very quickly). I'm just too lazy to write about them now. Sorry for the long post lol.
Last edited by lmarie086; 03-28-2009 at 10:24 PM.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Never apologize for long posts to me! I love long posts!
I prefer D&W at this point in time to B&A and the other US teams, although I have a very soft spot in my heart for the Shibutanis. What the heck, I like them all.
lmarie has concentrated on what each team needs to do better. I'd like to concentrate on what each team does well.
D&W's FD this year had 3 of the most outstanding elements in dance of the year in the FD, and routinely got one or more GOE's of 3 for them.
Their spin: Not only did they enter it on a gorgeously deep back edge (a much harder entry than many other teams used), the rotations were fast, centered, and synched with the music. Furthermore, they were using their arms and the rest of their bodies to express the music while they were doing this gorgeous spin. Finally Meryl pulls her skirt upward to change the shape they are showing in the latter part of the spin. Just gorgeous.
Their swooping lift-again, not only is it just pretty and difficult, Charlie is swinging Meryl around in time to the music, and the difficulty of swinging her at an angle like that is amazing.
Their twizzles, which have been more hit or miss this year, because they have been reworking them, which as always leads to some chaotic happenings, but they have garnered several 3's for them.
D&W are currently the most technically skilled team (in terms of the elements) in the US. In fact, they are so technical, that they are able to spend effort on making the elements pretty and making them fit the music.
They can do silly and comedic routines (like their Charleston and their Yankee Polka) without getting self conscious about it, not just these powerful classical routines they have used for free dances.
They are in superb athletic condition. They use less standing around, catching their breath posing segments than many other teams.
They seem to perform best when they have a story to concentrate on, as in the FD's. They should try that (as do the DelSchoes) in the OD & CDs.
Belbin and Agosto have the best CD's of the US teams right now, especially after working with Linichuk. They were the team that put the US on ice dance podium after years of the US program having trouble even getting a team in the top ten. Ben skates really big, and really powerful. I see a lot of improvement in Tanith.
B&A seem best & happiest in the OD. They spend a great deal of time and trouble getting the OD to truly express the character of the dance.
Well, duh! You guys know who I'm going to pick! And I'm going to be blunt...
I love D/W. I just do.
Thanks, doris, for a great post on their strengths. I agree with your assessment of D/W, their technical prowess is simply awesome. From Skate Canada on, their FD just got better and better and at Worlds they skated it like they owned it and were able to express so wonderfully. I agree that their spin was the best of all the dancers and they usually were perfect with it. That swoop lift was sublime from the beginning as well. When their twizzles are on, they are simply the best in the world. I will forever regard this FD as my favorite ever. But I also adored their OD this season and even though they had some problems here and there, it was extraordinarily difficult and the choreography was amazing. So ambitious and no other team came close in my opinion as far as overall difficulty. I agree with lmarie that improving their CDs and just working on the little things overall will certainly make them even more of contenders than they already are. They are my favorite team and I find them to be far and above the other US teams. But that's mostly due to my personal taste.
B/A...it's interesting to me that when B/A came on the US dance scene, I completely lost interest. I was enamored of Silverstein/Pekerak and I even liked Joseph/Butler a lot back in the late 90s. The only two teams prior to them I loved was Blumberg/Seibert (still consider them simply wonderful and one of our all-time best teams), and Wynne/Druar to a lesser extent. But anyway, B/A rose to the top in the US and I was...less than thrilled. In fact, after the 2002 Olympics, I seldom watched skating and only half kept up with the standings. I didn't get back into watching B/A until 2007 as a matter of fact. So I can't really talk about their progress with any authority. I did enjoy their "Amelie" and "Chopin" but that's about it. Their Tosca is horrible to me...well, maybe horrible is a strong word, but I simply don't like it. Put bluntly, I'm ready for them to retire. Like now. The other US teams are more talented, more exciting, and B/A are just clogging up the works, imo. I know I sound harsh, but I'm just tired of them.
Samuelson/Bates...loads of potential yet. They seem like very nice young people and I loved their enthusiasm at Worlds. Emily's "no matter what happens, we did great" statement in the KnC after the FD was precious. They have the talent, too, they just don't have the charisma and chemistry of D/W and that will keep them behind them. I can't wait to see them next season, though.
Nav/Bombs...I love them. They are such incredible performers and have oodles of charisma. Too bad their teknik just isn't up there with the top teams and they will not be able to rise any higher. I would love to see them continue to skate together, though. Too bad there isn't a lot of pro stuff out there anymore, these two were made for performing.
G/P...never liked them, at all. Don't want to see them come back. That's all I can say.
As far as the junior teams coming up...I love C/Z, they have that "it" factor I like, and their talent is obvious, too. Hubbells, not so much, talented but a little dull to me. The Shubatanis are amazing when they are on...loads of potential there, too.
It's quite incredible to me that we have so much depth in ice dance. Honestly, we've simply never had that. One team usually in contention, our silver medalists were occasionally mentioned and I can't remember ever hearing about our bronze. We just didn't have the depth and except for Blumberg/Seibert we weren't in the hunt for the podium, usually. It's so exciting to have so much talent now.
I’m really dismayed to hear so many putdowns of B/A. If it weren’t for the major successes of this team on the world stage, the US wouldn’t have the current surge of outstanding young teams. It was B/A’s accomplishments that inspired talented young skaters to train as ice dancers rather than singles or pairs.
B/A have been competing internationally since 1999.
As Juniors, they competed in four JGP events, taking home 3 gold and one silver medal. They made it to two JGPFs, and won the 2001 JGPF Championship. In three appearances at Junior Worlds, they won bronze in 2000, silver in 2001 and gold in 2002.
At the Senior level, they won Nebelhorn gold in 2005. They participated in 16 GP events, winning 2 bronze, 4 silver and 7 gold medals. They made it to the GPF three times, bringing home a bronze and two silver medals. Their six 4CC appearances brought home 3 gold and 3 silver medals. They have been to Worlds 9 times beginning in 2001, and have won two bronze and two silver medals. They won silver at the 2006 Olympics.
Give credit where credit is due.
Thank you so much for this post, I couldn't have said it better!
Originally Posted by chuckm
Wow. I knew their medal record was impressive but I wasn't aware it was that impressive! I completely agree with you on the first part. They were the inspiration for so many young teams, even those who're competing against them now. They deserve credit for that.
Originally Posted by chuckm
B/A are certainly a great team. I love the young teams too, D/W are great. S/B have all the good to become great as well. N/B are so entertaining as well as many lower ranked US teams, I love S/G's FD. And look how many promising junior teams are out there, beginning with C/Z, the Shibutanis.
And you know I love them all for their own sake because they are here and they make this sport interesting.
You probably think my opinion is boring or that it's impossible to like so many teams at the same time but they all have something unique that makes them them special and therefore I wouldn't want to miss any of them, regardless if they're #1, #2 or #10 in the US.
Actually of the three teams there in LA Tanith and Ben were my favorites, I'm completely biased when it comes to G/P and I'll unashamedly admit to it! LOL But there's something about Tanith and Ben that keep me watching. I saw that spark in D/W for the first time while watching their FD and I hope that continues.
I will really miss seeing B/A once they retire, some comments they've made suggest they won't be looking to skate together at all after this (unless Ben is also moving out to LA lol) so it'll be a dark day for me...
What they've given this sport - especially in the US - is amazing. I fully expect them to take their national title back next season and once again be on that Olympic Podium.
Ice Dance Obsessee
I don't mean to take anything away from them; their record is very impressive. And they've done so much for US ice dance- you are right that the field would not be as deep as it is now if not for them probably. They've been very inspiring.
Originally Posted by chuckm
They just aren't my favorites. I root for them, no problem, but I'll root for other teams first. All a matter of personal preference I guess.
Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program
I love both american teams, but I feel that Davis and White do everything so much faster, so much easier and so much better that I am stunned they are beaten by the more mature teams. I am not a dancer myself, so cannot understand why the judges consistently place teams who skate slower and do easier lifts because they have better "edge quality" and "extension." I cannot make this distinctions from TV...maybe from rinkside it is obvious, but i doubt it. Meryl and Charlie's OD this season was insanly difficult, so fast, always doing something, and totally in character. Tanith and Ben had good character, but not the speed. I would have put the later in first after the OD here, because the former made several mistakes.
I didn't really see much improvement in Tanith and Ben either this season. I am confident that had they been at nationals, they would have lost to Davis/White. At worlds I saw tanith and ben come alive more, their OD was excellent, and I would have had them in 1st after the OD. But I feel like they have gotten worse, not better since 2006. They are just so slow now and don't have the confidence and power they used to have.