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Thread: Will The Shibutani's Get A Top 6 Finish in World Debut?

  1. #16
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    I think Top 6 for the Shibs is a real possibility, depending on how they skate and how others do. Where do they go from here is tough to say. I'll be very frank, there are things that will count against them and I am not going to be PC about it:

    1) They will never be seen as a couple because they are brother and sister team and look way too alike, even more so than the Kerrs who can still pass for strangers, but not the Shibs

    2) They still look like kids

    3) They are not good looking enough in the world of Ice Dance

    On Point 3, maybe they will once they mature and become adults but at this point, the lack of a handsome man + attractive woman pairing can hurt your chance in the long run - yes, looks count for a great deal in Ice Dance no matter how wrong this may sound
    Your answer has very little to do with sport and it sounds like you are describing a pageant.

    Am I missing something or is that really how you feel about Ice Dancing in 2011?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post
    Your answer has very little to do with sport and it sounds like you are describing a pageant.

    Am I missing something or is that really how you feel about Ice Dancing in 2011?
    Do you want a PC / Canned answer or do you want to know the truth?

  3. #18
    Banned janetfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    Do you want a PC / Canned answer or do you want to know the truth?
    The truth is best.
    I did not mean to challenge your post and found it interesting coming from someone with your background.

    There are some GS members who will swear on the CoP bible that skating is sport and the things you mentioned were eliminated by the IJS.

    I believe they are wrong and you are right.
    I think some of your points are true for other skating disciplines as well, particularly #3.

    ETA: I really like the Shibs and another brother/sister team, the Duchesnays were my favorite Dance team back in their day.
    Last edited by janetfan; 04-05-2011 at 07:11 PM.

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    Sibling dance teams always have a major disadvantage compared to others. Duchesnays' rivals used to snort at them for not being able to portray the passion between a man and a woman.

    As far as looks are concerned, they are quite subjective and there are those who find the Shibs very good looking. Maybe they look more alike to non-Asians who already tend to find most Asians look alike. I've always found one of the Kerrs very good looking while the other not at all. While they look quite alike, I suppose some features suit one gender better than the other. There is a Canadian former world champion ice-dancer with what I considered a major flaw in looks that distracted from her otherwise classic good looks but I found out many people considered her one of the most beautiful skaters in the world. As the old saying goes, it's all in the eyes of the beholder. So one of Wally's strikes against the Shibs may not be an issue at all even if looks matter particularly in Ice Dance. I find the holistic beauty of an ice dancer - expressions, body build, lines and especially movements - has more of an impact than just a still face may convey.

  5. #20
    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    3) They are not good looking enough in the world of Ice Dance
    Eye of the beholder.

    http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/sports/...r-cp100222.jpg
    http://makeupfits.files.wordpress.co...28-1-32-41.jpg

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    I think Top 6 for the Shibs is a real possibility, depending on how they skate and how others do. Where do they go from here is tough to say. I'll be very frank, there are things that will count against them and I am not going to be PC about it:

    1) They will never be seen as a couple because they are brother and sister team and look way too alike, even more so than the Kerrs who can still pass for strangers, but not the Shibs

    2) They still look like kids

    3) They are not good looking enough in the world of Ice Dance

    On Point 3, maybe they will once they mature and become adults but at this point, the lack of a handsome man + attractive woman pairing can hurt your chance in the long run - yes, looks count for a great deal in Ice Dance no matter how wrong this may sound
    Your opinions are certainly interesting, and I have no problem in you not being PC. I just have slightly different opinions.

    1) It's true that they are very alike and would not be considered non-relations. It means they have to be mindful about kind of pieces they dance. This could be a limitation.

    On the other hand, they have several things going for them: they have excellent timing (per Doris), good work ethics, partnering skills and togetherness (per Colleen), and a top-notch coaching team who could tailor programs to get around sibling issues .

    Those assets should be able to propel the Shibs to be one of the top teams in the world.

    2) Let's face it - they are only 16 & 19. And Asians in general look younger than Caucasians. Remedy - give them time to mature!

    My wish lists: For Maia to drink gallons and gallons of milk this Summer so she grows taller again the next season ; for Alex to grow and mature enough that I can see his "five o'clock shadow'' at least once!

    3) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - I personally think they are plenty attractive. Beyond physical attributes though, they have very appealing qualities - be it the sheer joy in their dancing expression, precise and quiet skating contributing to their trademark old-fashioned elegance, and beautifully matching leg lines and serene unison, which are, perhaps, only siblings can achieve.

    One interesting aspect of the Shibs having Japanese heritage - I'm not surprised that some judges (out of being "PC") may root for them, thereby ensuring at least one "non-Caucasian team" among top ten. I personally think that kind of motive is an insult to this very hard working and talented team, and they certainly is the first-tier team solely on their own merit, but their is no accounting for some judges motives.
    Last edited by CARA; 04-05-2011 at 08:31 PM.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post
    Sibling dance teams always have a major disadvantage compared to others. Duchesnays' rivals used to snort at them for not being able to portray the passion between a man and a woman.

    .
    I usualy had the opposite reaction and used to laugh at how corny and old fashined the other Dance teams looked after watching the Duchesnays.

    The crowds seemed to feel the same way as no Dance team back then got the thunderous and prolonged ovations the Duchesnays did.

    The judges may not have always liked them but the fans who came out to the events knew they were seeing some thing new and special.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnUMc0VnB-c

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    The Duchesneys pioneered drama and theme based dancing. Fans loved their story telling and innovative moves but their style was not well received by the judges, not initially anyways.

    The pendulum swung hard and the OTT dramatic ice dances became all the vogue until the traditional pure dancing was missed, and decreed back into the discipline. Plus ca change........

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    They might or might not make the top six. And that could be solely due to their skating (which lacks power compared to the top teams, though not sophistication). However, wally, you've now given Hernando some ammunition to automatically cry "politics-and-pangeantry" should this come true.

    And I REALLY must take umbrage at your "not good looking enough" comment. You've made odd comments on physical appearance before (I remember a particularly odd discussion on Oda vs Chan), so I've assumed you've got a different perspective. I think Maia is actually quite a striking young woman. No, she's not Cappellini/Davis/Domnina, but frankly, those three are so stunning as to defy belief.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    And I REALLY must take umbrage at your "not good looking enough" comment. You've made odd comments on physical appearance before (I remember a particularly odd discussion on Oda vs Chan), so I've assumed you've got a different perspective. I think Maia is actually quite a striking young woman. No, she's not Cappellini/Davis/Domnina, but frankly, those three are so stunning as to defy belief.
    We'll just have to agree to disagree on the subjective question of beauty. To me, Maia is just a little teenage girl and she looks like one. Some girls can be 16 but look like they are 19-20, Maia isn't one of them. It's hard to find a 16 year old attractive, cute maybe. Attractive? No Mature? No either Elegant? Hard to do when the said person looks like a little girl still. My opinion may change on her however, she may be stunning when she hits 19-20 but not now.

    Also, you recalled incorrectly. My comment re: Oda was not his look but his height, as a statement of the fact that he was the shortest of all male competitors at the Vancouver Olympics. I did not comment on Chan's look. Though, after I stated the fact re: Oda's height, some posters went completely wild and started to spin it into something else entirely and turned the conversation into I don't know what.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by CARA View Post

    On the other hand, they have several things going for them: they have excellent timing (per Doris), good work ethics, partnering skills and togetherness (per Colleen), and a top-notch coaching team who could tailor programs to get around sibling issues .
    Timing between a brother & sister team tends to be an advantage because they know each other forever, especially when they are paired young. As for work ethics, that's a requirement of all top teams, so not an edge per say. Whether they are a well matched team, visually, I don't think so - for instance, their heights. Alex also looks younger than 19. Paul Poirier is of same age, but if you put the two guys side by side, Paul looks at least 3-4 years older than Alex. The maturity of the male partner in an Ice Dance couple is very important because the man has to be able to lead and accentuate the beauty of the woman in many of the more traditional dances, e.g. tango and paso doble. Someone hinted at Victor Kraatz being a mismatch to Shae-Lynn Bourne, without naming Victor in this thread - that has always been his nemesis and one of the reason why they were thought to be unable to do dramatic type of dances because he is not seen as "aggressive" enough. For a better part of their career, it was an important limitation for them and a label they worked very hard to get rid of. In my opinion, Alex Shibutani and to a lesser extent, Charlie White, have similar issues as well. But I think for Alex, this problem will be more pronounced, especially if he is unable to step up in next few years.

    2) Let's face it - they are only 16 & 19. And Asians in general look younger than Caucasians. Remedy - give them time to mature!

    My wish lists: For Maia to drink gallons and gallons of milk this Summer so she grows taller again the next season ; for Alex to grow and mature enough that I can see his "five o'clock shadow'' at least once!
    This is an area that time should help them. They both need more maturity. But more than just age, it's also the chemistry that they create. I think the challenge will be greater for Alex than it is for Maia.

    3) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - I personally think they are plenty attractive. Beyond physical attributes though, they have very appealing qualities - be it the sheer joy in their dancing expression, precise and quiet skating contributing to their trademark old-fashioned elegance, and beautifully matching leg lines and serene unison, which are, perhaps, only siblings can achieve.
    I think you misunderstood me. When I said they are not good looking enough for Ice Dance, I wasn't expressing an opinion based solely on my personal preference. That kind of personal preference is not very relevant. Conversely, I could find an X Ice Dance team who is not my type but yet recognize that they are well matched for each other and objectively, handsome team based on their symmetry and physical attributes that complement each other. The qualities you describe are valid, however, you will also notice they are fairly narrow in style. How do you think they will do in a Paso Doble for example or Argentine Tango? Many of the qualities you mentioned above would encounter severe limitations and their weaknesses in style will be very evident in these types of dance. By not good looking enough, part of it is my opinion that they are not yet mature enough compared to some of the other top teams, mostly based on how they project to the audience but part of it is the lack of versatility and of course, part of it has to be my own subjective perception as well even though I try to minimize that and be as objective as possible.

    The good news is Point #3 could change. Some people are really not attractive when they were young, but as they mature, they become very different, this is not uncommon.

    One interesting aspect of the Shibs having Japanese heritage - I'm not surprised that some judges (out of being "PC") may root for them, thereby ensuring at least one "non-Caucasian team" among top ten. I personally think that kind of motive is an insult to this very hard working and talented team, and they certainly is the first-tier team solely on their own merit, but their is no accounting for some judges motives.
    Well, I can assure you this is not a real consideration in Ice Dance. If being PC has been a consideration, we would have seen teams from China and/or Japan in Top 10 already by now. After all, if the Chinese can win Olympic Gold and several World Championships in Pairs, there is no reason they can't be in the Top 10 in Ice Dance but they haven't. Having Japanese heritage will not make some judges rooting for them or against them, I don't understand where you get that idea - not even if there is a Korean judge on the panel. See, politics in Ice Dance happen at a high level, usually beyond such details as the race of the skaters. In other words, heritage is not a consideration but the country you represent is. So can the Shibs expect more favorable treatment from even the Japanese judge? Hard to say, maybe yes, maybe not, only because Japan is traditionally a fairly neutral country when it comes to Ice Dance - it's not something they lose any sleep over. If it's hard to even predict how the Japanese judge will react, it's even harder to predict what others might think, so it's pointless to speculate in that front.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkateFiguring View Post

    As far as looks are concerned, they are quite subjective and there are those who find the Shibs very good looking.
    If you are coming from the perspective of personal preference, then you are correct. Otherwise, you should know there are certain unwritten rules, mostly used by Soviet/Russians to discern and determine who should pair with who in Ice Dance. Given the Russians' influence and dominance on the sport of Ice Dance, many of these criteria such as height difference between partners and proportions, have been commonly used to assess the fit between partners. Also, you will note that in many of the criteria issued by ISU for Ice Dance, it contained a lot of references to the couple being well matched.

    You can choose to look at this in very subjective and personal way, in which case, that's pageantry. Or, you can choose to learn about what are considered valued physical attributes in the sport of Ice Dance, similar to the fashion trend/industry in Paris. I believe you understand French, so I am going to use fashion industry in Paris as an example. Fashion, in its core, is as subjective as what one considers beautiful. Yet, in Paris, people don't just put on whatever they feel like when going out - because some establishments like bars, clubs or even certain restaurants, would deny you entry. What do people do? They follow the seasonal trends and most Parisiens have developed a keen sense of how to follow the fashion trend and they also read about them piously, to keep themselves up to date. The end result is fashion industry in Paris has some pretty clearly defined trends on a seasonal basis and this is widely accepted by most people. This is not to say the shirt or the jacket you wear is not good looking but it may not fit the fashion. Conversely, for an Ice Dance team, let's just say the Shibs are somewhat unconventional as they seem to violate many of the said unwritten rules when it comes to being well matched. It remains to be seen how much this will affect them.

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hernando View Post

    There are some GS members who will swear on the CoP bible that skating is sport and the things you mentioned were eliminated by the IJS.

    I believe they are wrong and you are right.
    I think some of your points are true for other skating disciplines as well, particularly #3.
    I hate to break you but but this has nothing to do with IJS. A judged sport has conventions and they can't possibly be eliminated so long as human inputs are required in order to get to the results. Ice Dance is quite different from the other 3 disciplines in that being well matched is particularly critical since Singles has no matching issue and Pairs focus mostly on unison first and foremost. You don't need to be handsome couple in order to win Pairs events - but you need a really big man and a small woman. Pairs and Ice Dance have very different expectations of what each partner should do and need. But by & large, Ice Dance couples are far more physically attractive than Pairs teams for obvious reasons, even though I am sure some obstinate posters will try to argue otherwise and claim it's still all subjective. :sheesh:

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    I have to agree with wallylutz, ice dance is a subjective discipline, no difficult jumps and dangerous elements like in singles and pairs, more about PCS. Good programs and good looking and well matched partners mean much more than in any other discipline. And teams like I/K have an advantage in PCS (remember, when I/K competed with the Shibutanis at JW or NHK trophy they got higher PCS), obviously not only because they are beautiful, they have great skating skills, lines and everything else as well as the Shibs, but when skills are comparable, good looking and more matured couple have an advantage. I don't say that the Shibs aren't pretty or something, no, they are cute and nice kids, but kids. Look at Elena Ilinykh, she is the same age as Maia, but she already looks like a queen. And I have no idea why most posters are so sure that the Shibs will beat I/K. I expect a tough competition between these two teams

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    Quote Originally Posted by wallylutz View Post
    Also, you recalled incorrectly. My comment re: Oda was not his look but his height, as a statement of the fact that he was the shortest of all male competitors at the Vancouver Olympics. I did not comment on Chan's look. Though, after I stated the fact re: Oda's height, some posters went completely wild and started to spin it into something else entirely and turned the conversation into I don't know what.
    Height counts as someone's "look." And I'll have to look, because I distinctly remember you saying that the judges might find Patrick Chan cute. I might be collapsing two different discussions into one.

    As for Elena Ilinykh, she looks like a teenager trying to be a diva, Lucky Star. I'd also argue that the Shibs are definitely more matched than I/K. But I agree with your general point - I don't think the Shibs are a shoo-in for the top six or anything. If everyone skates their best, I think top ten is definitely realistic and top six a challenge but not out of the question.

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