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Thread: Free Dance

  1. #106
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    Dont know. C-P were higher then W-P all season, but lose them at WCh - want this surprise? Thats why i think this was becasue SC new they want to split up.

  2. #107
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    You're probably right about that, but if so, I find it worrisome. Do you suppose the C/P coaches told Skate Canada C&P were breaking up? If so, they did not act in the kids' best interests.

  3. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    You're probably right about that, but if so, I find it worrisome. Do you suppose the C/P coaches told Skate Canada C&P were breaking up? If so, they did not act in the kids' best interests.
    An alternate scenario..... Maybe Skate Canada politicked the entire season, dismissing the great improvements that W/P made. There were many people at Nationals last year who did not agree with the result. At World's, Skate Canada's chosen team didn't shine as bright as W/P, and not by just a little, and so domestic results didn't match international results. It's not the first time this has happened. Skate Canada seems to like to pick the winners based on their favourites and goals, rather than relying on what is actually on the ice, trajectory of improvement, etc. Despite what the crazy schedule at Nationals this year with the 2 separate events for dance, pairs and ladies might suggest, we have moved on from the "wait your turn" politics in skating. It is possible for rankings to change from competition to competition.

    This is why it upsets so much that G/P were so overscored this year. It does them no favours. What if the international judges do reward line, edges, posture, unison, smoothness, etc more than entertainment and speed? I certainly hope they will. To me, those are important elements to dance (as opposed to pair skating). G/P will be in for a huge let down because they will not see the same results. Again, this year's poster child is H/G. I also don't expect O/W to post the scores they did at Nationals at Junior Worlds. They will be VERY lucky to crack the top 5 at Junior Worlds. If Poulin/Servant have really good skates, it is not beyond possible that they could beat O/W, just based on the more evenly matched skating skills, smoothness, etc.

  4. #109
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    What if the international judges do reward line, edges, posture, unison, smoothness, etc more than entertainment and speed?
    International judges show this at every competition this season - speed is the most part of the points and music.

  5. #110
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    I really don't think so, npa... (about the split , not the speed )

    Firstly , I don't think Skate Canada has that much influence with every judging panel. And secondly , they'd been praising C/P all season , and loudly predicting a bright future for them right up until world's , while not saying much for W/P.

    I think W/P really earned their placement ..in spite of their federation. Sure, SC is supporting them now.. but show signs of getting behind Paul and his new partner early...

    It makes me very uncomfortable to see possible personal favouritism coming into play.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 02-01-2012 at 01:55 PM.

  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    I really don't think so, npa... (about the split , not the speed )

    Firstly , I don't think Skate Canada has that much influence with every judging panel. And secondly , they'd been praising C/P all season , and loudly predicting a bright future for them right up until world's , while not saying much for W/P.

    I think W/P really earned their placement ..in spite of their federation. Sure, SC is supporting them now.. but show signs of getting behind Paul and his new partner early...

    It makes me very uncomfortable to see possible personal favouritism coming into play.
    Perhaps there is some bias in favour of Paul Poirier. I wouldn't be surprised. He is probably the most well-rounded and versatile of Canada's ice dancers. He is talented, smart and nice-looking. He is musical and creative and is a great ice dancer. On top of that he is totally fluent in English & French, the only top ice dancer who is, and he also speaks Spanish. His linguistic abilities are impressive. He is doing a degree in linguistics at the University of Toronto. And on top of his athletic and academic abilities, it's hard not to notice his good-looking face. He is attractive and charismatic.

  7. #112
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    My problem with this in general...

    a) I hate Nationals overscoring. It sets up a false expectation from the audience. It's ridiculous. No, Patrick Chan, you're NOT in the 300 club. And if you skate like you did at Nationals at an international event, a really high score will result, but I doubt it'd smash through that barrier. He can skate better and still not do it, leading the general interest public wondering why (and given figure skating’s history, blame cheating foreigners as opposed to generous hometown judges)

    b) In this case (G/P, Patrick Chan) there seems to be a more specific intent in the scoring, moreso than Nationals inflation. Plain-jane Nationals inflation - we saw that with Duhamel/Radford's skates. They'll be above 120 w/ a clean skate, but not that close to 130. You can even make the argument that Chan will break his own record with those skates (I'm not convinced), but there seemed to be a goal - get G/P on the podium, get Chan 300.

    c) I recognize this is speculation based solely on my perception of trends. But let’s say it was honest/fair judging with no intent other than general promotion of Canadian skaters (so plain-jane national inflation, no more). To me, that would mean that the progress COP has made in dance – the promotion of equal partnerhood on the ice in all aspects – is fading. Remember the time when teams like Lobacheva/Averbukh or Fusar-poli/Margaglio reined? One amazing partner, one much worse. So they hid it with flashy music choices, overly emotive facial expressions, and general speed and flash. Actual dance was largely absent. Now, you can argue all you want, but Gilles is not as good as Poirier. Not even close. You can make the argument that Paul is a top five/ten male dancer. Gilles ... isn’t. So, if this judging is fair, that means that we should be seeing a trend towards empty flash, unequal pairings and cool tricks in the place of real dance. Now, this isn’t to say that G/P won’t improve and become better. But you don’t become better by having everything delivered to you before you’ve earned it.

    d) And that’s if it’s fair. If it isn’t fair judging and the behind-the-scenes politicking helped get them that bronze, that does a disservice to so many teams. It makes it virtually impossible for Ralph/Hill and Paul/Islam (who I would’ve had in bronze, fwiw) to get a fair shake until V/M or W/P retire. It means that W/P, who should be worried about closing the gap with V/M and putting themselves ahead of Bobrova/Soloviev and Pechalat/Bourzat. And If V/M have a hope of winning a second Olympic gold, they can’t have the feeling that their federation is favouring another. Not to mention that G/P won’t grow like they should.

  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan O View Post
    Perhaps there is some bias in favour of Paul Poirier. I wouldn't be surprised. He is probably the most well-rounded and versatile of Canada's ice dancers. He is talented, smart and nice-looking. He is musical and creative and is a great ice dancer. On top of that he is totally fluent in English & French, the only top ice dancer who is, and he also speaks Spanish. His linguistic abilities are impressive. He is doing a degree in linguistics at the University of Toronto. And on top of his athletic and academic abilities, it's hard not to notice his good-looking face. He is attractive and charismatic.
    I appreciate you are a huge Paul fan. That's great. No one is saying you shouldn't be. But seriously? We judge a sport based on personality now, and how many languages the skater speaks? Or if they have a nice face? I'm sure Paul is a great guy. A great dancer? I'd put him in the very good category. He's not even close to Scott Moir, who I would call great. In fact, many of the skaters are swell people. Since we are looking at the guys.... Scott is one of the nicest people you will meet. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and is always there to help others. He's been athlete rep for a number of years, and is always generous with his time with the little and developing ones. Scott and Tessa define musical and artistic. I'm sure that Scott will be one of Canada's top coaches at one point. Poje is more the strong, silent type. But he's no academic slouch. He's also in University, and I believe is a bit of a science/math nerd. He's certainly not hard to look at. In fact there are many skaters at Canadians who are academically minded....Asher is in school, some are still so young they are still finishing high school (Alexandre Laliberte, Ben Mulder), and on the other extreme we have Kevin Boczar who is in his second year of med school. Does med school trump linguistics school? Keith Gagnon has a degree in dance from UBC. Just watch his off-ice warmups and how well he extends and stretches on ice. I think even more of the girls are in university. If the measuring stick is who is a nice person, I would say more than a few skaters fit that category. Pretty much all of them are first class people. Troy Shindle is awfully nice. Most gentlemanly award? Probably Ben Mulder who I've noticed always steps on the ice first, and then helps his partner on, and can never seem to get a full warm up because he's always moving out the way of people. Most charasmatic? I think that award would go to Scott Moir or Keith Gagnon. They are 2 of the funniest guys in ice dance in Canada. Real characters. More dancers than you think are fluently bilingual. They may not advertise it, but its there. And some even speak 3rd languages. There are a lot of cultures represented in the senior dance ranks.

    Bottom line, the sport of skating teaches all sorts of "soft skills" like discipline, manners, graciousness, and so on. Most skaters I know are very nice people, with very little arragonce. Most are academically gifted, and many pursue degrees at the same time as they pursue skating. Paul Poirier is only one of many in the senior Canadian ranks. Kudos to all of them. Skating is a sport, and the only thing that should count in the scores is what is actually put down on the ice on any given day. And for that, I 100% agree with Pogue comments.

  9. #114
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    Great post ND. You seem to be very knowlegdable about all the ice-dancers, and I love to hear things like that. Are you in the "business"?

  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDancers View Post
    Skating is a sport, and the only thing that should count in the scores is what is actually put down on the ice on any given day. And for that, I 100% agree with Pogue comments.
    Thank you for all this post! I think its pure pleaser to read thsi for canadian ice dancers

  11. #116
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    'Pogue.. you're as succinct as ever , and I couldn't agree more. .. I even agree with your placement for third place . I know , surprise , surprise

    ...However , before the competition, I was perfectly prepared for the possibility of R/H winning 3rd place, since they were sharper earlier on ,had improved , had a strong FD .. and in spite of my aversion to their SD, it was entirely possible that they could skate it well enough to be ahead . But when it actually came to the competition , I felt P/I ,overall , outskated them , and may have deserved both international spots , or ( given that the difference between them was going to be small whichever way it cut ) may have deserved a switch as to who got sent where .

    I suppose it was the shock of G/P's finish, and realizing , had G/P been eligible for World's , how much worse it could have been for both teams ( and others ), that kept me from being completely up in arms over it...But that's a very poor reason for complacency.

    So much about this competition was just so wrong . ..I won't go 'round the block again ; I'll bump up the Canadian ice dance thread for that, because this fiasco has opened a very big can of worms , for me.

    I must say section c) of your post brings on a cold sweat. I hope that's a trend we won't see again in a hurry...and section d ) - Though even the possibility of unfairness makes one feel positively queasy , it deserves to be considered . Maybe it's just that our judges need someone to write them a letter ..whatever was at work , here..nothing cleanses like sunlight.

    'Dancers
    ... Thanks for that fabulous post. I heartily agree.

  12. #117
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    Pogue's c) is exactly what troubles me. With so many teams able to get comparable levels (given the scoring structure) and high GOE's being given out for elements that have the "wow factor", that just leaves PCS to distinguish between the teams, and there, speed seems to be valued over unison and finesse. We've seen newly-partnered teams do well right out of the gate (not just G/P), which wouldn't happen if unison, line and the ability to work smoothly in close holds were highly valued - these things take years to master as a team. The fact that Fedor Andreev was even considered as a partner for Jana Khokhlova says something, I think.

    I don't think this is a Canadian issue at all - it is an overall ISU issue, but G/P's scores illustrate it well. I suspect that G/P will do very well internationally. We will see soon enough. And Tessa and Scott may be left wondering why they are still competing. (I think that's what was bothering Tracy Wilson on the CTV broadcast when she said V/M's skills were underappreciated - she said that the effort and control required to put that level of detail into their free dance, while still making it look so easy, was enormous. And that it's not being rewarded as she feels it should be.) The skill gap between them and a new team like G/P (or the skill gap that still remains between them and W/P, for that matter) didn't come across in the scores.
    Last edited by callalily; 02-02-2012 at 11:59 PM.

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by callalily View Post
    Pogue's c) is exactly what troubles me. With so many teams able to get comparable levels (given the scoring structure) and high GOE's being given out for elements that have the "wow factor", that just leaves PCS to distinguish between the teams, and there, speed seems to be valued over unison and finesse. We've seen newly-partnered teams do well right out of the gate (not just G/P), which wouldn't happen if unison, line and the ability to work smoothly in close holds were highly valued - these things take years to master as a team. The fact that Fedor Andreev was even considered as a partner for Jana Khokhlova says something, I think.

    I don't think this is a Canadian issue at all - it is an overall ISU issue, but G/P's scores illustrate it well. I suspect that G/P will do very well internationally. We will see soon enough. And Tessa and Scott may be left wondering why they are still competing. (I think that's what was bothering Tracy Wilson on the CTV broadcast when she said V/M's skills were underappreciated - she said that the effort and control required to put that level of detail into their free dance, while still making it look so easy, was enormous. And that it's not being rewarded as she feels it should be.) The skill gap between them and a new team like G/P (or the skill gap that still remains between them and W/P, for that matter) didn't come across in the scores.
    All excellent posts - and I would also add that with the removal of the CD portion of the competition - it seems that it gives the ISU judges justification to devalue the unison, lines, deep edges, finesse aspects of the scoring. And these qualities is what makes dance great for me because it really forces the skaters to be "complete" skaters without the jumps. And when great ice dance teams can have both power and finesse (meaning control) - that's when you really see versatility of programs over the years. My two cents...

  14. #119
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernDancers View Post
    I appreciate you are a huge Paul fan. That's great. No one is saying you shouldn't be. But seriously? We judge a sport based on personality now, and how many languages the skater speaks? Or if they have a nice face?
    I wasn't saying that. I was not saying a sport should be judged based on what goes on off ice, but that people are human and are influenced by what they know about a person. I was actually agreeing with what someone had said above - that Paul may be getting extra marks because of off-ice reasons. I was pointing out some of the reasons why people like Paul.

  15. #120
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    Interesting discussion. I don't think we'll ever come to an agreement on the G/P situation. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how the international judges react. On a side note, I just want to mention how amazing I think it is that these skaters are capable of pursuing university degrees while training. Skating and university are hard enough on their own. I can't even imagine having to do both at once. From what I remember from various interviews and articles over the past couple of years, Tessa Virtue, Kaityn Weaver, Andrew Poje, Paul Poirier, Asher Hill, Kharis Ralph, Mitchell Islam and Alexandra Paul are all currently in university in and around central and southern Ontario (living in the area myself, I can tell you that most of the universities here are well respected and extremely academically challenging). Kudos to them for being able to handle such a challenging schedule!

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