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Thread: Free Dance

  1. #76
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    I read about the tech controller on another forum and how close she is to Davis........I figured there would be some responses to that one . I sure do hope this kind of crap doesn't happen, but not so niaive to think it never could......

  2. #77
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It's always wise to take what people write on the internet with a grain of salt.

  3. #78
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    Frankly, I do not see the constant comparison to an older sister other than in KnC and trying to loosen up his nerves while on ice waiting for their names to be called. They had quite a few programs, particluary exhibitions that were quite touching and definitely gave you goose bumps, that definitley did not make you think brother and sister. They did not have the romantic connection ala V/M, but I would put them as a similar connection to P/B, D/S, B/S to mention a few, a connection that is of mutual respect, friendship and liking. These latter are not romantic connections, and why should that be the standard that everyone has to meet.
    Big Vanessa fan here. I agree with your whole post but just put a bit of it here.

    At this stage of the game I don't understand the "chemistry" claims for G/P in the way most people mean chemistry. The programs are OTT and gimmicky and so is Paul's sd costume. That soul patch on his chest is a gimmick all by itself. A lot of his skating, while it's powerful and skilled is sort of "see my ***" choreography in the sd the way he's got it jutting out behind him exaggerated. The impression left by both programs is as if Carrie from Sex & The City played by Piper was partying for a goof with one of Stanford's younger boyfriends.
    Last edited by nevergonnadance; 01-22-2012 at 11:23 PM.

  4. #79
    "Hold an edge and look sexy!" museksk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevergonnadance View Post
    That soul patch on his chest is a gimmick all by itself. A lot of his skating, while it's powerful and skilled is sort of "see my ***" choreography in the sd the way he's got it jutting out behind him exaggerated.
    Paul skates very deep in his knees and happens to be blessed with great genes - his big, beautiful butt is an added bonus for the fans. "If you got it, flaunt it!", I like to say. His training mate Asher Hill proudly flaunts his too. This fan is very grateful for it!

  5. #80
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    I found it interesting how the audience reacted to each performance. Let me say that I did enjoy the freedance event tremendously and thought that each team did a wonderful job.
    Harvey/Gagnon - great strong skate, the crowd went nuts when she picked him up- a shame they weren't shown later in the event
    Orford/Williams - great energy, almost frantic at times, but I agree with earlier comment that they should have been shown with the later group. Very close in points to the top.
    Paul/Islam - lovely lines, although I am disappointed they keep reusing the same lifts each year, would like to see them branch out to something new in that department
    Ralph/Hill - their program drew me in, very difficult at times, and they did a great job, I actually thought they would be scored a bit higher then they were
    Gilles/Poirier - the crowd loved them, very different routine, full of great features and lifts
    Weaver/Poje - they skated this program beautifully, lovely edges and lines, unfortunately seemed a bit boring skating after the dynamics of G/P
    Virtue/Moir - gorgeous, seamless and beautiful

    Can every ice dance event be like this one where everyone skates their best? I don't care about the scoring, just give me great skating and athletes happy with their performance.

  6. #81
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    musesk8r, I take it it's a case of "You Like Big Butts and You Cannot Lie" ?

  7. #82
    "Hold an edge and look sexy!" museksk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by from the sidelines View Post
    I found it interesting how the audience reacted to each performance. Let me say that I did enjoy the freedance event tremendously and thought that each team did a wonderful job.
    Harvey/Gagnon - great strong skate, the crowd went nuts when she picked him up- a shame they weren't shown later in the event
    Orford/Williams - great energy, almost frantic at times, but I agree with earlier comment that they should have been shown with the later group. Very close in points to the top.
    Paul/Islam - lovely lines, although I am disappointed they keep reusing the same lifts each year, would like to see them branch out to something new in that department
    Ralph/Hill - their program drew me in, very difficult at times, and they did a great job, I actually thought they would be scored a bit higher then they were
    Gilles/Poirier - the crowd loved them, very different routine, full of great features and lifts
    Weaver/Poje - they skated this program beautifully, lovely edges and lines, unfortunately seemed a bit boring skating after the dynamics of G/P
    Virtue/Moir - gorgeous, seamless and beautiful

    Can every ice dance event be like this one where everyone skates their best? I don't care about the scoring, just give me great skating and athletes happy with their performance.
    Agreed! The ice dance event was the best event of the week! What a joy to see such amazing talent!!

    And doris, no, I certainly cannot lie about that; it's VERY true!

  8. #83
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    Nothing wrong with big butts but as a feature of your line, a choreographic add on might be OTT, especially if yours can speak for itself.

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by nevergonnadance View Post
    Big Vanessa fan here.
    I'm a huge fan of Vanessa Crone but I have to admit that I loved, loved, loved Gilles & Poirier's programs and there is definitely more chemistry between these two than we saw between Paul & Vanessa. I'm really looking forward to watching them progress.

    I'm also happy that Ralph & Hill are going to Worlds. I admit to not being a fan of Paul & Islam but thank heavens they've stopped packaging Islam to look like Scott Moir. I hope they do well at 4CC.

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    Phew! What a weekend! Really enjoyed all the events this weekend, and SO happy to see Chan skate live again. There are no words to describe just how good his skating skills really are. When you add the quads and all the great tricks, just wow... But I digress.

    I actually watched ALL the Junior and Senior dancers.

    The Junior event didn't end quite the way I expected based on Challenge, but was so happy to see Poulin/Servant come home with the title. They put in 2 fantastic programs, and completely deserved it. I'm also very happy that the little teams from BC have some more time at Junior to grow and develop before having to move up to Senior. Let's let them grow physically, technically, artistically and emotionally before sending them up to the pressure cooker of Senior. There was quite a group of great skaters in the top at Junior. Some are unfortunately going to outgrow each other, and some are going to shine.

    For Senior, I really, really, really despised the new trial format. Having experienced it, it sucks for the skaters and the fans. I have not found a single person who actually liked it. Having seen the full men's event, we were really robbed of the excitment of watching the growth through the 3 flights. That's right folks. Only 3 flights per event. Was Saturday night exciting? Sure. But we didn't get to really enjoy each of the events, even on Saturday night. They were over so quickly, and then we had to change gears right away for the next event. The men's event on the other hand, was amazing. And that doesn't begin to touch the other issues with creating 2 different competitions out of 1 event, and how this is not in the best interest of the integrity of the sport. While Skate Canada and CTV/TSN may treat them like second class citizens in the sport, the fans were so nice to all the ice dancers. It made me smile to see the surprise and pleasure on the faces of the lower ranked teams when they were asked for autographs by fans of all ages, even the next day.

    Here are my impressions of the Senior dance event:

    Smyl-Joly/Jesionek: They are a brand new team who have not had a full season to train, and appeared to have some injuries. Under those circumstances, I take my hat off to them for just showing up. They obviously will do much better next year.

    Letourneau/Boczar: Huge amount of respect for anyone who figures out how to balance med school and skating. Granted, they have not improved over the season quite the same way as the other teams, but to have such dedication to the sport while pursuing challenging studies outside of skating at the same time, well, I'm a fan. Not sure how much longer we will see them. I have to think internships are going to get in the way eventually.

    Lioudvinevitch/Mulder: Gorgeous lines and edges and flow. Just gorgeous skating skills. Very elegant. And beautiful packaging and costumes! They are very young, and with a ton of potential. I had to scratch my head about a time violation. Don't think they've had that deduction this season before for the same program. That point would have put them up into the next flight for the FD, and higher finish. I do think they were better than a few teams that finished ahead of them. There certainly should have been more difference in the PCS scores just on the skating skills, more complex and well executed choreography, interpretation, and so on. They are a little slower than some of the others, and it seems that judges in this competition like to put speed above all the other things that make this ice dance. They were a little too careful in the SD. Looking forward to seeing them develop. I would have had these 2 in 9th position.

    Ritchie-Hervieux/Masse: They have come a long way this season. I remember them from last year, and there has been significant improvement in all areas of their skating. They put in solid performances, and hopefully they will continue to develop. They need to work on more complicated programs, and better skating skills and more range of expression/emotion throughout their bodies. I wouldn't put them in the same league as the previous team.

    Rene de Cotret Laporte/Laliberte: The longest name in the competition, and the youngest young man in the competition. I think these 2 were the example of taking a team with some speed and mistaking that for good skating. While they may have been able to put some levels together, I don't think the quality of the skating was as good as those teams that finished between 11 and 13. They are a developing team, and need time to learn some basic skating skills - lines, edges, extensions, flow. In my mind, it was a good entertaining show, but not really ice dance. They really struggled with execution, and were over marked. That being said he is very young, and I have to think with age and physical development and maybe some dance lessons, they could definitely come along. In my scorecard, they should have finished 12th.

    Dumas/Mackay Perry: This is one of the most improved teams over the season. They are a brand new team, and really had a rough start. They looked much more smooth this weekend, and their programs have really developed. They look like a really good match physically - height and body lines and body type. Loved her FD dress. I think they have some good potential. I would have put them in 10th.

    Van As/Shindle: Such an unfortunate fall in the SD, but it really turned out ok in the end. They definitely deserved their 8th place finish. They are looking stonger than last year, had some good speed AND some nice choreography and skating skill. I have to admit I am SO tired of Beattles programs and generally show-type programs. I'd like to see them sink their teeth into something a little more classical, or at least with more emotion and depth. I think they can do it.

    Harvey/Gagnon: What can I say? They were top 5 last year, and now in 7th. They had some errors for sure. But there is a difference in the speed and quality of what they do. I'm a little sad for them because they are such great kids, and have been such a good team for so long. I do think they are not the right size for each other, as can happen when teams start young, and then grow up and mature into beautiful adults. What worked as kids doesn't always work as adults. She is gorgeous. He is an incredible showman. They have a great connection with each other and the audience. I also think they are victims a bit of the ridiculous over-scoring domestically early in the season. When they went to international events, including Skate Canada, they couldn't live up to the hype. And because they didn't achieve internationally, they were dumped at this nationals in favour of Orford/Williams. Lessons to be learned here, perhaps?

    Orford/Williams: It's quite a debut for them. I don't believe they will see the same score internationally this year. I also don't think they will finish top 5 at junior worlds with these programs. They have speed for sure. They have made some improvements on their lines. They have slowed down a little. They have some great elements, particularly like their really fast rotational lift. The tricks are good. The programs still seem frantic and a little wild. They need more skating skills, unison, finishing their lines, extensions, etc. And PLEASE find another highlight besides the ridiculous number of twizzling she does. The reality? She's really very good. Their programs are designed to disguise the fact that he isn't. Eventually, they will have to slow down enough to put some emotion and connection into their skating, and add some more mature choreography, especially if they want to crack a top 5 eventually. Time will tell whether or not they can make that transition. I'm not optimistic based on what I've seen so far.

    Islam/Paul: SO happy that they looked so much stronger and more confident than I've seen them all season. Their programs, both of them, were very much improved. Very happy they will go to 4CC. They have beautiful, flow, edges, and quality skating. Give them a few years, and I think they will grow into champions domestically and internationally if they work really hard, and continue to grow and improve and can stay healthy. They have chemistry, connection, line, unison, quiet skating, and beautiful, real ice dance qualities. I also felt less like they were trying to be Virtue/Moir clones this year. They are working on their own identity. It's a tough year for them, but they will have an international assignment yet, and they are perhaps in good position for growth into next season.

    Ralph/Hill: I am not a fan of the SD, but I did like their FD. It was well packaged, interesting, some novel choreography, and some good skating skills. Maybe not as complex as the top teams, but I feel they and Islam/Paul were robbed of 3rd and 4th place finishes. Not sure which order to put these 2 teams in. I think Ralph/Hill have had he stronger season, and have improved a lot. They still need to fix the posture issues, and maybe work more on some complexity instead of just being clever. I hope both these teams will not be too disheartened by the drama with 3rd place.

    Gilles/Poirier: They are a fun team who put together 2 fun programs. It was a great, entertaining show. It was fast. It was clever. But it was NOT ice dance, and frankly very insulting for all the rest of the competitors. The judges and tech specialists should be called to task on that. There is no way that this comes anywhere close to Weaver/Poje or Virtue/Moir, and not better than Crone/Poirier or Islam/Paul, or even Ralph/Hill. I'd have put them 5th. I can't imagine what they all must be feeling when they see this blatent, over the top nonsense. Insulting is the best word to describe it, really. And there is no benefit to Gilles/Poirier. They have a lot of promise. They clearly are enjoying skating together. They have a ton of energy together (I wouldn't call that chemistry or connection, just great energy). But they have a LOT of work to do: unison, she needs to catch up to him, lines, deeper edges, transitions, range of emotions and expression, musicality. He really does shine, but that is not the right thing in an ice dance TEAM. You need balance. Internationally, I don't believe they would finish in the top 10 at this point. Therefore, 100 points at this time is simply ridiculous, and those involved in the politicking for this team should be ashamed of themselves. The skaters themselves know better, or at least should. No one is fooled. And if they show up and "disappoint", what is actually accomplished? Look what happened to Harvey/Gagnon as a lesson. Let's give this team the time to grow and improve and gel together, and I really hope their coaches work on all of this instead of putting together more programs that are only there to disguise and short-cut to the top. And Paul please change that SD shirt. That was just silly and tacky.

    Weaver/Poje: SO love this team. They have improved so much this year, and they have 2 great vehicles. They really had the SD of the competition, and were scored accordingly. After being "robbed" so many years in a row, they just have continued to work and improve and grow, and it is all finally coming together for them. They have confidence now, and that has allowed them to perform much better. Their FD is a masterpiece. I wish them all the best at 4CC and Worlds. I'd love to see them as world bronze medalists this year. They have a little more work to do on line and finishing their lines (especially her). But they have the whole package: edges, quality skating, chemistry, real dancing. The difference between these 2 and Gilles/Poirier was really evident in the gala. G/P performed their SD. W/P performed their SD from last year (I thought Etta James was very appropo - RIP, Etta). The quality, lightness and just real dancing from W/P was in a different league.

    Virtue/Moir: Anytime one gets to see these 2 live, it's a treat. The SD was not the best for them, but their FD was sublime. The musicality, edges, beautiful lines, unison, chemistry, connection, balance between the teams, and overall brilliance puts them in a league of their own. I agree with Tracy Wilson that they are not being recognized appropriately for the brilliance of their FD this year. It's really and truly a masterpiece. There are new details to catch and enjoy each time I see it. Live, it's s'wonderful. Their gala program was so beautiful. Makes you smile and cry with the beauty of it. Simply divine.

  11. #86
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    NorthernDancers, Thanks so much for the report!

    I really liked R&H's tango this year. Yes, there are some gimmicks in it, but I thought they got a great tango feel going. I suspect they need to leave Scarboro to advance much more. And I wish they would not give Asher those high waisted looking outfits. They do not flatter him.

  12. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    NorthernDancers, Thanks so much for the report!

    I really liked R&H's tango this year. Yes, there are some gimmicks in it, but I thought they got a great tango feel going. I suspect they need to leave Scarboro to advance much more. And I wish they would not give Asher those high waisted looking outfits. They do not flatter him.
    Great summary of the dance event - ND! Doris - unfortunately, I don't think that R/H are going to change coaches. They would benefit from a change in choreographers next year and not Chris Dean (which I am sure will choreograph for Gilles/Poirier again next year)....will try to think this through...LOL...

  13. #88
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear that. When R&H have stepped up their game so much this year, they deserved better than an SD to Harlem Nocturne in a rumba competition. And their coach should have restrained them from skating in the Ontario sectional against Gilles & Poirier, whether R&H wanted to do so or not. They had nothing whatever to gain from skating that competition.

    And now, having beaten P&I pretty soundly at their one GP event, Skate America (just barely missing a medal, due a freak problem with a lift that caused a severe downgrade on its level), and beaten them again here at Canadians, I think they got the shaft not getting the 4CC's assignment. R&H had only one GP assignment (compared to P&I's two), and they need more international exposure before worlds. Their coaches have not politicked effectively for them, so it seems, in Canada. They could use coaches who would be more effective for them politically.

    And ones that would work on polishing their posture and unison more effectively. They already have speed, interaction, and some connection with the audience.

    Frankly, P&I's SD misses the mark rather spectacularly, and their rhumba is rather weak. Their FD drones on and on, being almost the only boring Elton John song I have ever noticed; almost all tinkly piano. There is supposed to be a change of level/tempo in the FD, and this program doesn't have it. They have nice extensions, but not at the V&M level. And Alexandra has a perennial Bambi on Ice in the headlights look during the programs. At the end of the FD, she looks like the dying Juliet at the end of what is supposed to be a love song where the guy "wants to see a smile" in the lyrics. I think they would be better served by getting new choreographers & adding some speed and difficulty, get next fall's FD under way at once, and enter some Senior B's over the summer rather than having what is likely to be another disappointing international competition in 2 weeks with these programs.

    Here's their NHK SD, their best of 2 performances on the GP (they had to resign from the FD because of Paul's serious injury).
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VIZ15XRGJBw

    They had no obvious tripups, but still only scored 49.36.

    In contrast, R&H's SD (which is far from a choreographic masterpiece) had one outing at Skate America:

    Again this is British Eurosport coverage. In contrast to their rather tough critique of P&I's NHK SD, they liked Kharis & Asher, who earned 52.68, in fourth in a competition where P&I finished eighth (last):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AsHqtM3W50

    If it were my choice, I'd send Kharis & Asher to 4CC's.

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    Seems to be a lot of Gillis & Poirier bashing on this thread. I like G&P a lot, and I agree they were somewhat overmarked in terms of overall points, but I don't think there was anything wrong with them finishing 3rd. Except for a couple of minor errors, they skated 2 very good programs and Tracy Wilson, an Olympic medalist in dance, seemed to think their position was justified.

    Paul in particular has amazing edges and extension. There's no reason for him to go into singles, so I don't know why anyone here would suggest that. He is a born ice dancer. He doesn't have the triple axels and quads to win in men's anyway. He is a dancer. He is probably the most artistic male ice dancer in the event, certainly more so than Andrew Poje.

    Hopefully he and Piper will now work on their weaker areas so that they can be even more competitive next season.
    Last edited by Ryan O; 01-29-2012 at 08:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan O View Post
    Seems to be a lot of Gillis & Poirier bashing on this thread. I like G&P a lot, and I agree they were somewhat overmarked in terms of overall points, but I don't think there was anything wrong with them finishing 3rd. Except for a couple of minor errors, they skated 2 very good programs and Tracy Wilson, an Olympic medalist in dance, seemed to think their position was justified.

    Paul in particular has amazing edges and extension. There's no reason for him to go into singles, so I don't know why anyone here would suggest that. He is a born ice dancer. He doesn't have the triple axels and quads to win in men's anyway. He is a dancer. He is probably the most artistic male ice dancer in the event, certainly more so than Andrew Poje.

    Hopefully he and Piper will now work on their weaker areas so that they can be even more competitive next season.
    I don't think people are saying that Paul isn't a talented dancer. Yes, there are some posture issues, but he has good dance skills. The issue is that the team of Gilles/Poirier were outrageously over-marked. As a team, they are missing unison, line, synchronized edges, and so on. They put on an entertaining show. But it wasn't ice dance. And yet, they were gifted huge marks - over 100 points for the FD - while teams with all of those missing things were not done any similar favours. Do you really think that they deserved to break 100 points the same weekend that Weaver/Poje broke 100 points? These 2 teams are not in the same ballpark right now. The gala clearly demonstrated this. Vanessa and Paul skated more than 10 years together and were national champions last year, and still did not break 100 points. But Gilles/Poirier deserved this? It's an insult to the other teams for the judges to hand out those ridiculous marks. I don't agree they deserved to be 3rd. I'd have put them 5th, after R/H and P/I. I'm sure when they take the time to work on all of those missing elements that make ice dance, they will deserve higher marks, and maybe even 3rd place or higher. But right now, it was completely undeserved, and now there is very little incentive for them to change anything. Why bother working on the basics and gelling as a team if the judges are just going to hand you ridiculous marks anyway? The problem is that when they go international next year, if they don't work on these things, they will find they will likely not be gifted in quite the same way. And this would be a horrible situation for them. A notable example: BC Summerskate gave Harvey/Gagnon huge marks at that competition. When they skated internationally, they did not score nearly as well. By Canadians, they were unceremoniously dumped behind the other BC team. This outrageous over-marking doesn't do a team any favours. It sets unrealistic expectations for performance, instead of allowing them the time to grow and develop for long-term and international success. Over-scoring also makes a joke of the system. No one is fooled.

    It should be clear that this is not about the kids themselves. This is about the judges, Skate Canada, and whoever else may be involved in politicking....

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