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The Short Dance: Year 1
I had originally wanted to necropost Doris' thread on the Short Dance, but was unable to. If you want to view it for reference, here it is:
Since we are only one month away from the World Championships, I wanted to see what people's thoughts were on the newest "big change" in skating--the short dance. What worked/did not work? What was an improvement upon the original format (CD/OD)?
What worked: the golden waltz as a method of differentiating the good skaters from the great skaters.
What didn't work: everything else
What bugs me: I don't know the point of the CD other than to have a short and long dance separation
What was an improvement over the original format: Nothing.
Wicked Yankee Girl
Blue dog, if you like, I can copy the whole old thread into this thread. However, that will put all the old posts on top and the new on the bottom, including your header, so I'm leaving it as is.
I hate the SD with a deadly hate, guaranteed to kill cobras with just a flick of my eyes. I loved the old OD and the old OSP. I liked the CD's too. The SD no!!!!!!
The first thing that didn't work was allowing the waltz to be combined with a tango. Well, it doesn't work. It doesn't work when V&M do a perky unangsty tango with a waltz. It doesn't work when I&K do an angsty, angsty waltz with a tango. It doesn't work when P&I do the GW to a tango. It just doesn't work. Let's keep it single rhythm next time, if no one can persuade the ISU to just do away with the CD part altogether and go back to the OD's with no CD's. (I didn't mind the quickstep/waltz combos very much though).
Just skating 2 circuits of the GW would separate the good from bad skaters (CD hint hint). One thing that could be learned from the SD experience is that no one will die if the skaters are allowed to pick their own waltz music, provided the waltz has the right tempo, and the CD would have been lots more interesting in the past if we hadn't had to hear the ISU's dreadful 4 selections cycled over and over.
Another thing that didn't work very well was lasering in on 4 choctaw heel positions, a spread eagle/pivot, a shoot the duck, a back dip and walk around 3's. There are other steps in that dance. quite a few of them The level calls were not very uniform between committees at all. training issues, I guess?
Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-24-2011 at 02:52 PM.
What worked: the idea that skaters will be judged in a uniform fashion, using technical callers. What didn't work about the CD is that it was always difficult to know exactly what the judges would be looking for from competition to competition, or even within the same competition sometimes. There was too much room for reputation and politics judging. With the SD, now we all know, sort of.
What didn't work: it was all very rigid and contrived. I would like it much better if there was a narrow theme with some specific standard requirements, but not necessarily the set patterns of the CD. The callers would still have specific elements (ie. lift, twizzle, step, some kind of pattern), and the judges could judge according to how well the team captured the style of the set theme, etc. I don't like the mash-up of 2 styles in the same dance. Just pick one and explore it. I find the requirement to do a straight-line non-touching step sequence just silly. Any high quality step sequence that fit the theme of the dance should do.
I was hoping someone would bring this up now that the season is almost over, so thanks!!
I really dislike the SD and prefer the OD. With all the required elements and patterns there is very little time or energy left for creativity and originality. And I agree that mixing tango and waltz just didn't cut it. Some of the music choices really fit the GW (D/W, C/Z) and some music choices (C/P) left me confused as to what they were thinking. I already shudder at what next year will bring.
But I think we are going to be stuck with this concept because the federations and skaters seem to like only having 2 events in the competitions.
Wicked Yankee Girl
NorthernDancers, I like the option for the skaters to pick any style step sequence that you suggested. A not touching midline seems very inappropriate for a waltz in general to me. A few of the teams still managed to get a waltz feel into it, but most failed. D&W's step that weaves back and forth with a lilting movement at the corners works quite well. So does the Shibs, and AFAIR, R&T's . (This is for the teams that did an all waltz program).
I, too, am not a fan of the SD and would prefer going back to the OD. The GW took up too much time for any real original choreo to be used although I admire the attempt that was made by the dancers and their choreographers. The IDTC is now looking at the easier rhumba (for seniors) and only 2 sequences (which will last only 30 seconds), allows for greater original choreo, but then my question is why keep any of the CD's for seniors at all?
I don't mind the short dance actually. It is good for the competitors because they only have to learn two dances each season instead of four. Last season senior teams were required to know the Golden Waltz and the Tango Romantica because either could be selected for any given event. Also it makes dance more like the other disciplines with stringent required elements in the short program. People criticize the short dance for not allowing enough time for original choreography, but then again how much time is allowed for original choreography in a singles or pairs short program?
Wicked Yankee Girl
Yes, why have the seniors do a dance they can all do in their sleep, so that the technical grades will be whimsical and arbitrary?.
Originally Posted by KKonas
Are a huge number of points going to hang on the crossrolls?
The amount of points in the present SD structure that hang on the pattern dance segments are way too high and way too arbitrarily graded (at least this year) to put on the rumba. Pick a Latin theme if desired. The current crop of ice dancers haven't had to do Latin since the 2006 Olympics.
So it's time for something from the Latin group. Why not the Silver Samba for the Pattern dance?
And it wouldn't hurt me a bit to see the Finnstep again, if they go for non-Latin.
Agree with lots of what's been said above--I'm not a fan of this SD "frankendance" concept. A 2:30 program is especially tough to cobble together two different assigned music styles--let's hope that at least that particular ISU idea dies off. I loved CD's to really compare techniques, although I could have done with letting the skaters pick their own regulation-adhering music so I could avoid "tired ears" from the same 3 pieces of music played ad nauseum. However, I'm resigned that the CD's aren't coming back. Sigh. Failing that, I actually liked OSP format better than the OD format, especially when coupled with an FD. The OSP's were real DANCES whereas I can think of too many OD's that were just mad dramatic fling-abouts same as the FD but shorter. I guess I just prefer to see skaters' abilities tested in two contrasting events: one in which the skaters have to get creative (pattern, elements) while operating under restrictions (theme, rhythm assignment) and then the other that is free-form and completely the skaters' own. I don't need a short and long version of the same thing.
But the OD does have a theme or rhythm assignment - just not all prescribed specific steps like the CD's or Pattern Dances as they are now called. The OD had Levels in the required spins, step sequences, lifts, etc. for the judges/callers to be able to assess skill level. The FD only needs to have a discernable beat, but not a specific theme or rhythm, and although it also has required moves and skill levels to assess, I think the OD and FD are or can be different enough to make it interesting for the audience to watch.
Originally Posted by bigsisjiejie
Wicked Yankee Girl
I certainly found the OD and FD different enough to actually prefer the ODs, in general!
Fantastic thread! Here are my thoughts:
Bring back the CD! I find that the CDs are so important to mastering partnering skills and different steps and rhythyms. To place well in in the CD means you must be technically strong with superb edge quality, but the FD allows for more athleticism and expression. Both are incredibly important to ice dance, but can be difficult to both judge and focus on as a skater simulataneously. For this reason, we are going to see more athletic teams succeeding in both portions. For this reason, I fear that over time, the technical skill and edge quality of ice dancers is going to decrease as CDs become less and less important. Young dancers won't focus on the CDs as much because after novice, you've just got the SD! And ok, maybe you've got to do a single pattern of the GW one day, but it's one pattern, and you've still got lifts, connecting steps, and step sequences to save you. I hope this doesn't happen, but I am still fearful!
I want to see the CD, OD, and FD again. Even if it did take more time, I appreciated the different styles and aspects of cie dance that each event forced ice dancers to bring to the table. Having all 3 makes for a more well-rounded competition.
If you're required to do a waltz, I want to see a waltz!
My favorite SD of the season, Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje. They shine in this program and still get the waltz feel.
Wicked Yankee Girl
I really like W&P's SD!
One issue that needs resolution about the SD is how to handle timing problems during the pattern dance segment. This is on my mind because it caused some real inconsistencies in judging during the SD at Jr. Worlds today. The couple leading, Monko and Khaliavin, got some very mixed grades in their Viennese Waltz segment, with GOE ranging from +2 to -1. This was reflected on the corresponding judge's interpretation/timing column in PCS. The judges who gave M&K -1 in the VW segments gave them 3 to 4 in Interpretation/Timing, so I'm guessing that that was what the problem was. Other PCS grades for M&K were in the 7 to 8 region. There needs to be better guidance for judges on what to do with timing errors, and perhaps a restructuring of PCS for the SD.
Or perhaps that a key point cannot count for the level of a pattern dance segment if the key point is not executed on the correct beat. In any case, this needs to be fixed. This would also fix some of the problems with inappropriate music being chosen, as people would not risk trying to skate a waltz to tango music again if there were an associated penalty.
I remembered this morning what else, really important, I don't like about the SD. Under the old CD/OD/FD model, it was possible for a skater who was still Junior age eligible to compete at home as a Senior, but internationally as a Junior. This allowed skaters to transition more smoothly between Junior and Senior. In Canada, if you win Junior, you must move up to Senior. In the past, that's meant that you continue to develop your Senior skills at home, and get the experience of a higher level of skill and competition, which makes you a better competitor at Junior internationally. While Paul/Islam have been Seniors in Canada this year, they would have been able to compete on the JGP and Junior Worlds, while Canada's top 3 Senior teams compete at the Senior level. It's more development opportunity for the up and coming skaters. With the SD different for Junior and Senior, this option is now gone for dance. It's the only figure skating discipline for which this is now the case. If the ISU changed the scope of the SD so that both chose the same narrow rhythm (ie. argentine tango, viennese waltz, etc.), and maybe distinguished between Senior and Junior on an element, or level of expectation, Seniors at home who are still Junior age eligible would be able to still compete internationally as Juniors.