Different teams, with different looks have dealt with it in different ways. For instance, the Kerrs, Denkova/Stavitski, have adjusted the way they skate(d) (due to their similar height).
In terms of teams being punished for their height difference being too much?
(These are two teams, off the top of my head that have/have had large height differences as well) haha They achieved a certain level of success, don't you think!?
Besides...I don't even think Maia has finished growing yet! She's still young.
Especially with the direction ice dance seems to be taking--getting more athletic (look at the complexity of the lifts that teams are performing these days!) I would think that a height difference could only help them!
As for the rest of their appearance, I don't seem to think they're as "cute" anymore. When I watch their FD from last year, and their programs this year, I don't see, "CUTE." I see maturity. Maia is turning into quite the beauty and Alex is definitely no slouch.
Last edited by icedancexpert; 11-17-2009 at 04:20 PM.
[QUOTE=Joesitz;430431]CUTE is the operative word for the Shibbutani's, but can they give a mature performance?
Excellent point and a key issue when precocious performers make the potentially tricky transition into "adulthood". It is evident to me though that the Shibutanis understand this well. They did an interview at the very end of the Junior Grand Prix Lake Placid free dance where they talk about how important it is for them to show progress every year with every part of their skating, including with their maturity.
For such "cuties" they could win hearts by just bouncing around to fun music, but they seem to know they have much more to offer. When they skate I find I actually stop thinking about how old they are and just enjoy how well they skate to their music. Junior Worlds last year when they were only 14 and 17 IMO showed evidence of maturity by any measure.
2009 Junior Worlds Maia and Alex Free Dance
Tripping on the Podium
I think they've broken through that mold with last year's FD but have completely shattered it with this year's. Sure, it's easy for a tango done by younger skaters to slip into the "cute" category (such as their 2005 program...complete with arm maraca-rolls~), but this year there is so much passion and refined elegance in their programs.
Originally Posted by Joesitz
As Binthere mentioned, they did an interview at the end of LPJGP where Alex said, that tangos don't always have to be romantically involved--but there is a lot of passion there.
With the OD this year, they showed they can still be energetic and upbeat and fun without being labeled as immature.
A biased fan of Kiri!
I think Kiri Baga has a strong future. Remember, 8 months ago she was the cute 13-year-old Novice at nationals. It's a huge step to even be on the radar for a JGP this year, and she made the final!
She's working the lutz and just going for the experience of Tokyo- no expectations at coming in the top for sure unless the others make a window for her or she blows herself away (again?)
Keep in mind, too, that she's the youngest there and the only one who is still competing Junior back at home. Her presentation has already done most of them in. I love the unique take that Kelly Benzinger-Grelle and Kiri developed out of Carmen. Definitely not the everyday performance which, in my opinion, is looking boring on the seniors who are doing less with it!
Actually Anna Ovcharova is the youngest (b. March 16 1996)
Oh, yes, forgot about her... And Anna was good too last week at the local competition
Originally Posted by Narumi1997
It might be Kiri's first year on the JGP - but she's not the youngest and it isn't her 1st year of ISU eligibility. Shelepen and Ovcharova are both younger. Murakami is some months older, but she's technically the same age for ISU purposes.
I like Kiri a lot and think she (along with Ovcharova) have the best choreographed SPs in the field, but it will be hard for her to compete technically with Shelepen and Murakami in the LP, because the harder jumps aren't very consistent for her. I think Shelepen has scored around 15 pts higher than Kiri in the LP alone this year.
For the record, the JGPF ladies participants in order of age, oldest to youngest:
Angela Maxwell 28.07.1992
Ksenia Makarova 20.12.1992
Ellie Kawamura 27.11.1993
Christina Gao 07.03.1994
Kanako Murakami 07.11.1994
Kiri Baga 15.04.1995
Polina Shelepen 28.07.1995
Anna Ovcharova 16.04.1996
On a final note, Anna Ovcharova has been doing really well since her JGP success - she won the senior ladies competition at the first Cup of Russia event with 153.21 and won the juniors ladies event at the third Russia Cup with 144.60. She's qualified for both junior and senior nationals (though she already had by making the JGPF)
Polina Agafonova and Anna Ovcharova are very unpredictable. Polina can perform one good sp and then blow it in LP and vice-versa. even in Kazan where she landed 3Lz+3T in Lp , she had very bad SP.
Originally Posted by Lucky Star
Polina Agafonova Lp
As for Ovcharova, her landing can be very shaky, though she rotates her jumps.
But the sheer number of highly talented Russian junior and novice skaters is puzzling, every 2 or 3 month a new face steps up their performances and joins the ones to watch out for 2014. I think Belarus and Ukrainian skating federation must be very happy to see so many gifted Russian skaters .
Wicked Yankee Girl