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Thread: Free Dance

  1. #91
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Oh , Here,here ! ( and/or Hear, hear!)

    Here we go again.

    Ryan O
    , for most of the people here, it's really not mindless bashing. Most people are agreed that G/P have considerable potential. As NorthernDancers points out, this big inflation does the team no good, internationally. I'd even say it could be worse than that , it might even set up some resistance among foreign judges and audiences...a kind of resentment , as if we're trying to put one over on them. Needless to mention, it's grossly unfair to the teams who should have been marked above them.

    Paul unquestionably has very good edges and extension, but he's far from faultless.. stiff upper back , over arched lower back and sticks his seat out, not much real relating to his partner (the ability to make a face when directed doesn't count as relating to your partner ..nor , on it's own , does it count as artistry). He is capable of improving in these areas , but if we all just pretend he doesn't need to , that improvement will never happen..which would be a shame.

    I'd be interested in knowing what your criteria are for what makes an artistic skater. I certainly don't know what causes you to compare Paul to Andrew Poje in that respect. ( That seems to come out of nowhere ) I don't think we've been making a point of comparing them one to one, have we ? Well, if we did.. Paul would fall far short in the artistic department..

    Andrew is no slouch as far as edges and extension are concerned, and has strengths in the very areas where Paul is weak. His body is more fluid , his posture is good ,he relates well to his partner , both in his body line and eye contact ...as well as in his more natural expression of emotion.

    But there's no need to go there..the true comparison should be as couple to couple in regard to their overall abilities ... and G/P are not (yet) at the level of at least the four other couples in the top five.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 01-30-2012 at 07:04 PM. Reason: grammar , clarity

  2. #92
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    Call me confused today. I've been reading the posts about G&P's placing and their marks and the 100 point barrier really does stand out. With Vanessa, they couldn't get above mid 90s which I think was in their Skate Canada event last year which was outstanding (I was there). So those of you who know these things - what's going on? Are the Canadian judges that easily wooed by a team's supporters? If that's the case, were people working to oust Crone from the partnership? I'm just really trying to understand what's going on - particularly in light of the seeming de-valuing of Virtue & Moir's skills. Maybe my questions are unanswerable.

  3. #93
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    The first thing is, the judges at Canadian Nationals did not devalue V&M's skills, seemingly or not.

    The FD was the last event scored.
    The maximum score each judge can give for PCS is 10. The next lowest score is 9.75. Obviously no devaluing here:

    Interpretation 9.96/10.00
    Choreography/Composition 9.88/10.00
    Performance/Execution 9.88/10.00
    Transitions/Linking Footwork 9.71/10.00
    Skating Skills 9.79/10.00

    The maximum Grade of Execution (GOE) is 3. The next lowest value a judge can give is 2. Here's how the judges graded all of V&M's elements in the Free Dance at Canadian Nationals:

    Diagonal step - All 3's that counted
    Curved lift mix of 2's and 3's
    Twizzles all 3's
    Spin All 2's, one 3 counted
    Circular step one 2, the rest 3's counted
    Rotational Lift All 3's
    Combination Lift All 3's

    The only skill that the majority of judges thought was less than perfect was their spin. And they thought the spin was near perfect.

    The reason that V&M did not score significantly higher in the FD than they did at the GPF was that they had 3 level 3's at Canadian Nationals, and all level 4's at the GPF.

    Two of the Level 3's were for the step sequences. It takes only one imperfect edge by just one of the 2 skaters to drop the level of a step sequence to a 3 instead of a 4.

    The other Level 3 was for a rotational lift.

    Now here's the rules that affect whether or not you get level 4 for a lift:

    LEVEL 4, option 1

    OPTION 1.a)
    Requirements for Level 3 Option 1
    AND
    Creative/Difficult Entry
    OPTION 1.b)
    Lifted partner sustains a Difficult Pose
    through at least 5 rotations or moves
    through a Change of Pose
    AND
    Lifting partner moves through at least 6
    rotations

    Adjustments to Levels:
    1. In a Rotational Lift or Reverse Rotational Lift, if the lifting partner rotates for a while, stops rotation, and then continues to rotate some more, if
    the lifted partner is in a Difficult Pose when the rotation stops, the Level shall be reduced by one Level.
    2. If a loss of control with additional support (touch down by free leg/foot and/or hand(s)) occurs after a Dance Lift has commenced and the Dance
    Lift continues after touchdown (without interruption), its Level shall be reduced by 1 Level per touchdown (in a Combination Lift only the
    Level of the Short Lift where the touchdown occurred shall be reduced by 1 Level)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW6Mo_YC_tw#t=3m45s

    Since the total number of rotations by Tessa and Scott meets requirements, and since the entry to the lift is certainly difficult, my guess is that the tech panel counted that little hesitation by Scott after about his first rotation as a stop and restart of reotation, requiring a drop of one Level.




    They also got a -1 for a lift that went too long.

    Certainly the tech panel was a tough one, but none of that is evidence that Tessa & Scott's skills were undervalued at Canadian Nationals in the FD.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 01-30-2012 at 09:19 PM.

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    Did I say that V&M were undervalued in the FD? I meant generally - all year.

  5. #95
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I'm sorry, I thought you meant at Canadian Nationals, since this is the Canadian Nationals thread, and the rest of your post was about Gilles and Poirier, who only skated at Canadian Nationals, and at the qualifying competitions for Canadian Nationals.

    A case can certainly be made that G&P were significantly overscored with respect to W&P, R&H and P&I, and yes, vs. Crone & Poirier last year. However vs. V&M the judges scored V&M pretty much as high as they could possibly be scored. They just ran up against the top of the scoring system.

    At Skate Canada, Tessa & Scott won by 22 points over Kaithlyn and Andrew, who have a wonderful FD and a very good SD>

    At Trophee Bompard, Tessa & Scot won by 12.50 points over Pechalat & Bourzat, this year's and last year's European Champions.

    At the GPF, they lost to Davis & White, but they lost due to having the worst SD performance I have ever seen them give, including Scott falling disruptively, and the both of them being affected negatively through the rest of the performance. And at that, they were still second in the SD.

    At Canadian Nationals, Tessa put her hand down during the twizzles, causing them to get level 2 in the twizzles. Again the whole program suffered, and they got level 3 on the lift, the circular step,and one of the rhumba sequences. And they still beat Weaver and Poje, if only by a very little.

    They had significantly rechoreographed their SD, and this was their first performance of the new version.

    So despite Tracey Wilson going on about it, I see no sign that V&M are not being valued.

    What I see is that they are not getting top tech levels in the first part of the season, something that I have seen from them before. That is why they have never won a GPF-they simply peak later, for 4CC's and Worlds (and Olympics of course).

    You can argue about G&P's overscoring, or about whether someone ought to expand the PCS up to 12 or something, though.

  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    Oh , Here,here ! ( and/or Hear, hear!)

    Here we go again.

    Ryan O
    , for most of the people here, it's really not mindless bashing. Most people are agreed that G/P have considerable potential. As NorthernDancers points out, this big inflation does the team no good, internationally. I'd even say it could be worse than that , it might even set up some resistance among foreign judges and audiences...a kind of resentment , as if we're trying to put one over on them. Needless to mention, it's grossly unfair to the teams who should have been marked above them.

    Paul unquestionably has very good edges and extension, but he's far from faultless.. stiff upper back , over arched lower back and sticks his seat out, not much real relating to his partner (the ability to make a face when directed doesn't count as relating to your partner ..nor , on it's own , does it count as artistry). He is capable of improving in these areas , but if we all just pretend he doesn't need to , that improvement will never happen..which would be a shame.

    I'd be interested in knowing what your criteria are for what makes an artistic skater. I certainly don't know what causes you to compare Paul to Andrew Poje in that respect. ( That seems to come out of nowhere ) I don't think we've been making a point of comparing them one to one, have we ? Well, if we did.. Paul would fall far short in the artistic department..

    Andrew is no slouch as far as edges and extension are concerned, and has strengths in the very areas where Paul is weak. His body is more fluid , his posture is good ,he relates well to his partner , both in his body line and eye contact ...as well as in his more natural expression of emotion.

    But there's no need to go there..the true comparison should be as couple to couple in regard to their overall abilities ... and G/P are not (yet) at the level of at least the four other couples in the top five.
    1. I agree G&P shouldn't be overscored and that it could hurt them down the road if they get unrealistic marks domestically that can't be duplicated overseas. However, I don't think there was any outrageous overscoring, and G&P were qualified to be on the podium according to Tracy Wilson, an expert in Ice Dance. She did mention that they have some areas where they need to work such as in the footwork sequence, and with Piper's extension.

    There actually was some bashing above of Paul - most of it was constructive criticism yes, but some of it even included comments that he was deliberately sticking his *** out to get high marks from the judges just for having a nice posterior, which is ridiculous.

    2. Paul is much shorter than Andrew so I agree that in terms of stature and presence, Andrew has an advantage in that area, but I don't think Andrew is more artistic. I think Paul is more artistic and creative. There were some comparisons between them earlier so I thought I would add my own. Paul is a very talented guy and can do a lot of zany things that I can't picture Andrew doing (you can see Paul's 'Debi Thomas tribute' video on YouTube. Incidentally, I suppose one of the reasons I have some residual criticism towards Andrew is because I disliked his "I'm heterosexual and masculine" appearance in the "Get Tough" Skate Canada campaign a few years ago.

    3. At this event, G&P appeared to make the most impact with the audience. They really came alive with a connection and a joy that created a lot of enthusiasm, and I think a lot of people are trying to give them a good encouragement as they start off together. They don't have any more competitions now until next season though, so they will be starting early on their programs and choreography for next season after they take a rest for a few weeks. Hopefully in the many months left before next season they will work on their weaker areas as you suggested so that they can be ready to get an objective evaluation before the judges on the GP next season.

  7. #97
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Ryan O... You know , there's simply no use using Tracy's opinion as gospel , or to bolster your position , since her on-air job is not really to give her unvarnished opinion. And if she did ever say something like ... I thought this one should have won ,or that one should have been much lower than this other one ... especially Nationally, she would probably lose her job ( witness Toller Cranston ).Usually , she identifies a skater's strengths and effuses over them for a bit ,might comment on any real mistakes, like a mis-step or botched twizzle, and makes very gentle suggestions about where they need to improve. She almost never says anything that might seem judgmental against the skater or coaches , or reflect poorly on the judges , ( since the advent of CoP, which she sees as a great improvement ) .. and I repeat , she certainly wouldn't do it Nationally. A huge brou-ha-ha would ensue. So unless you know her personally, you're never going to hear her full honest opinion.

    OK , there are exceptions, and I'm getting to that.

    With G/P she warned the audience to expect big marks when they came out in the SD because they skated early. But even she seemed surprised at the numbers. When it came to the FD, she set the scene for a potential drop by implying their SD marks might have been a bit high, because they were so much better than the other couples in the first group.She didn't say the judges were mistaken , but that G/P took them by surprise. We have to put it together for ourselves. If she thought the marks had truly been given without reference to the other couples ( which should be the case ) and were not at all out of line, she would never have mentioned it. Once G/P had placed third, would she say they didn't deserve it, even if she thought it ? NO.That could be seen as casting doubt on our whole system. So she went about as far as I've ever seen her go , by pointing out what G/P need to work on, after the marks had been given and in spite of their finish.

    I suggest that this whole fiasco might have even played into her V/M remarks...I think it's very possible that Tracy might not have felt the "Undervaluing" so strongly, if the "Overvaluing" of G/P was not sitting there on the scoreboard, inviting comparison, which can only be to the detriment of V/M ( and W/P and R/H and P/I ).To the casual observer , her remarks might only serve to reassure them that no, V/M are really much better than some of these other teams. To the rest of us, they seemed a bit odd,at best ..whiny at worst. ...I'd further suggest that the third place on this podium could be more damaging to V/M's reputation than Scott's fall at GPF , or Tessa's uncharacteristic mistake here, in the twizzles.

    I adore V/M but they didn't have much time to become comfortable with the changes to their programs before Canadians, and they really have normally peaked later in the season , as doris points out. There are other commentators who also feel V/M's attention to detail , subtlety, ability to weave elements together seamlessly , etc. are currently matchless ( listen to British Eurosport sometime )..but the system only allows so many points for perfection , and those aren't the only elements of perfection..and they weren't perfect . Close , but no cigar.

    I'd really like to address Ryan's other points but I'm too tired , tonight. I'll have to do it tomorrow.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 01-31-2012 at 04:40 AM.

  8. #98
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I think the point should also be made that V&M have to schedule their training very carefully to avoid recurrence of Tessa's shin problems. They can't be like the Shibs and pull the skating version of all-nighters running for a month to be totally prepared with changes in both programs between GPF and Nationals. They have to be methodical, careful, and not overdo. Consequently, they weren't 100% ready to skate that revised SD, just 90% ready.

    I firmly expect them to be 100% ready by Worlds.

    One thing does need to be mentioned: Tessa & Scott may have unique strengths, but so do other teams have unique strengths. Any objective scoring system has to be set up to take into account every team's strengths and value them appropriately. Charlie and Meryl, for example, have their own unique strengths.

    When the tech group meets each year and considers changes to dance COP, they try to adjust the system to properly value everything. Right now Tessa & Scott's and Meryl & Charlies unique strengths are seen to offset each other, leaving them both valued at very nearly perfect. If Skate Canada wants the strengths of Tessa & Scott more highly valued than Meryl & Charlies's strengths, rules changes will be needed, and will be voted on. Of course, USFS may want Meryl & Charlie's strengths more highly valued-Russia will want changes that benefit their teams' unique strengths, and so on.

    Each year, it's a new set of rules, and the changes run to 20 to 40 pages every year.

  9. #99
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Yes ...and lest it be thought that I was trying to turn this into yet another V/M vs. D/W discussion , I did say that V/M's strengths weren't the only elements of perfection.

    We had a very interesting thread here a while ago , regarding PCS, and how the score is awarded and whether it could be quantified more perfectly.. I don't know what the answer / solution / improvement would be ,or to what degree there will always be something unquantifiable / subjective about it.. but I think those questions can come into play for many couples , and for me , not in a satisfactory way. ( I'm thinking of European's , e.g.. )

    doris mentioned elsewhere ( I think ) the fact that for some reason, variety of holds and how much time is spent in holds ( and the consequent difficulty ) is not being particularly highly rewarded right now , though it has been in other years ... I'll be interested to see if this changes a bit , since quite a number of very fine skaters ( not just in Canada) perhaps could have expected more recognition if this were not so.

    Ryan O.. Yes , you will find the odd unseemly comment here , but as far as I can see, the overall tone of the discussion hasn't amounted to bashing . I generally pay little attention to most comments on Paul's posterior, wherever I find them...the ones that rave about it as well as those intended as a personal insult ... Both Paul and Asher, at the same school for many years, have over developed gluteus maximus muscles , as compared to other male skaters ... I'm speaking as a former ( floor ) dance teacher ... Both also have too much arch in the lower back , which makes sticking out the seat inevitable ( Again , as compared to other skaters ). I see it as a fault, and for me , it spoils their line in many positions. If their posture was corrected , maybe it would mean a temporary loss of speed, but that could be quite quickly rebuilt, and the end result ( no pun intended ), including a bit more balance in their musculature , would be worth it, IMO.

    Now , I have to say, as to your point #2.. To me, nothing you mention has anything to do with an objective assessment of artistry . I haven't followed any skater's YouTube goofing around ( not Patrick, not Todd Gilles ), but I went to look at Paul's , so I would know what you were talking about. Look , there's nothing wrong with you thinking it's fun and enjoying it , but it doesn't reccommend Paul's creativity to other people , since Debi Thomas created the routine on ice. It is mimicry , which Paul may have a talent for, but it's not creativity. And what does it have to do with Paul's competitive skating ?

    Likewise for Andrew..What does a promotional campaign for sport have to do with anything ? I only vaguely remember the campaign.. I actually didn't pay much attention to it. Was the point not to get more people involved in sport and to stress Figure Skating was a difficult , tough sport, like others ?.. Should he have said no , and maybe chalked up a negative point with the Sports federation ? .. Should he have turned down what I assume was a payday for him , when he's involved in such an expensive sport?.. What ? .. Is his sin in appearing to be heterosexual ? ( Because, to at least half the population , that's not a drawback .) ... I frankly couldn't care less what a skater's sexual orientation is , or appears to be ..or a hockey player's ,or a swimmer's, or a skier's, or whatever...( though I admit a hetero appearance is a boon in a romantic program in pairs and dance ). I've always watched for the sport , not to speculate on their personal orientation. .. We're all entitled to our likes and dislikes , but this has nothing to do with whether, or to what degree, Andrew can be called an artistic skater.

    I'm not saying you shouldn't prefer whomever you you prefer ( more power to you ) , just that you won't make many converts with that line of reasoning and those examples.

    Point 3 doesn't mean a lot to me either , since G/P's school is reputed to have some very ardent followers who try to make as much noise for their skaters as is humanly possible ... I don't know how many of those would have made it to Moncton... But I'm sure the audience appreciated them. It's widely agreed G/P were very entertaining to watch . But you also have to remember that many in the audience at these events, don't have a very good idea of what deserves a greater or lesser score.
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 02-01-2012 at 04:10 AM.

  10. #100
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    Both Paul and Asher, at the same school for many years, have over developed gluteus maximus muscles , as compared to other male skaters ... I'm speaking as a former ( floor ) dance teacher ... Both also have too much arch in the lower back , which makes sticking out the seat inevitable ( Again , as compared to other skaters ). I see it as a fault, and for me , it spoils their line in many positions.

    I totally agree with this. I've just been too chicken to mention it, but have found it distracting and not in a good way.

  11. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by colleen o'neill View Post
    But you also have to remember that many in the audience at these events, don't have a very good idea of what deserves a greater or lesser score.
    I'm sure the same can be said about many of the "arm chair experts" who pass judgement from in front of their computer screens.

  12. #102
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    Very true!

  13. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    I think the point should also be made that V&M have to schedule their training very carefully to avoid recurrence of Tessa's shin problems. They can't be like the Shibs and pull the skating version of all-nighters running for a month to be totally prepared with changes in both programs between GPF and Nationals. They have to be methodical, careful, and not overdo. Consequently, they weren't 100% ready to skate that revised SD, just 90% ready.

    I firmly expect them to be 100% ready by Worlds.

    One thing does need to be mentioned: Tessa & Scott may have unique strengths, but so do other teams have unique strengths. Any objective scoring system has to be set up to take into account every team's strengths and value them appropriately. Charlie and Meryl, for example, have their own unique strengths.

    When the tech group meets each year and considers changes to dance COP, they try to adjust the system to properly value everything. Right now Tessa & Scott's and Meryl & Charlies unique strengths are seen to offset each other, leaving them both valued at very nearly perfect. If Skate Canada wants the strengths of Tessa & Scott more highly valued than Meryl & Charlies's strengths, rules changes will be needed, and will be voted on. Of course, USFS may want Meryl & Charlie's strengths more highly valued-Russia will want changes that benefit their teams' unique strengths, and so on.

    Each year, it's a new set of rules, and the changes run to 20 to 40 pages every year.
    So D-W even were at Canadan Natioanls? : Biggrin: When you will stop talikng about them in every topic?
    Its understanding, SC wish W-P be close to V-M ever re-place V-M, if they need to do this. Like this was with C-P and W-P last season at WCh - we didnt know that time, why C-P had so low marks at WCh and then we found C-P split up.

  14. #104
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Yes, npa, I'm sure you're right that SC want to make sure that W&P appear to be in line for the 2nd or 3rd spot at Worlds. Hence narrowing the distance at Canadian Nationals. Every federation with 2 teams in the top 6 or 7 is likely doing some score inflation to make it look close at the top.

  15. #105
    Constable , Costume Police colleen o'neill's Avatar
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    npa..I'm sure you're right , too. Every federation wants to move a possible replacement up the ranks.

    But I think you have the C/P situation reversed. I don't think C/P were dropped because they were about to split ..I think they split because they were dropped , and couldn't agree on what to do about it.( The split certainly seemed to take Crone by surprise. )
    Last edited by colleen o'neill; 02-01-2012 at 01:12 PM.

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