04-20-2012, 12:39 PM
Thanks NorthernDancers, I don't like to see these 'new' coaches dismissed out of hand. Both D&L and W&L studied for years with well-known international coaches, surely they may have been taking notes.
Originally Posted by NorthernDancers
I, for one, never thought R/H should move to either of them, because I don't think they have the political power (in Canada) to be of help.
Last edited by slipslidin; 04-20-2012 at 01:42 PM.
04-20-2012, 01:35 PM
I'm not dismissing D&L or W&L out of hand. But I don't see the point in gambling with an expensive move to a new city with additional expenses to train with coaches with no proven record. Neither of these kids' families is awash in money that they could afford to make such a change just for the sake of making a change.
04-20-2012, 08:37 PM
Moving to another city and a new coach should only be undertaken after serious consideration of the costs, the possible benefits, and an honest assessment of one's ability to work hard and improve. If I was deciding, the coaches without proven ability would be crossed off my list at the outset.
Last edited by slipslidin; 04-20-2012 at 11:49 PM.
04-20-2012, 11:41 PM
Well, what about Paul and Islam? They are a beautiful looking young couple, with ready-made matching lines, just for a start. They appear to have all the basics, and no obvious flaws. I was not the only person to be excited about their prospects, but they have had a rocky couple of years. Somehow I can't help questioning the decisions made on their behalf, competing injured, unflattering costumes, the choice of a free dance about spousal abuse. It seems to me they could benefit by moving to a larger pond. Perhaps they have been too much the centre of attention, and are being smothered by advice.
04-21-2012, 12:17 AM
~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~
Speaking of Canadian Ice Dance...
I tried to read the All Things Canadian Ice Dance topic but got lost in the rhetoric. Anyway, here is one of Canada's past (maybe best looking couple!) ice dance teams that contributed to Canada's success in ice dance. This explains why Canada has such a strong tradition in ice dance champions:
Barbara Berezowski and David Porter - 1975 Skate Canada FD
The footage is old, but fun to watch.
04-21-2012, 06:13 AM
Constable , Costume Police
Ladskater.. There's no escape....resistance is futile..you will be assimilated..
Canada is at a very interesting juncture in regard to our ice dance coaching prospects . Can we , will we develop a first rate school ( or more than one ) of the calibre of say , Z/S or K/C ? We have a number of possibilities in L/R , W/L, D/L... and Islam ... ( that I can identify so far ) ... I'm in a wait-and-see mode with all four of these coaching schools. I have ties to none of them and have never been active in the skating world, so all I have to judge by is whatever I've been able to glean by observation, reading articles about the coaches , and by what their students show on the ice.
With both W/L and D/L, I have the added benefit of having followed their competitive careers throughout the years, which gives me a bit of insight I don't have with the L/R , or Islam schools. With all four, the proof of whether or not they're developing into top-notch senior coaches will still reside in what their skaters show . And as always, there's going to be a certain amount of luck that can contribute to their success, or hamper it ... e.g. David Islam , however good he is as a coach, and much as he may have hoped for it , could never have forseen that he'd be able to pair a couple that are so physically compatible and posess such classic proportions that they already look just beautiful together before they even make a move... OTOH, at the moment , W/L have some very promising couples that are at the nail-biting stage , waiting to see if the girl will outgrow the boy..and so on.
L/R : I'm certainly not writing off L/R , because for the first time since they became prominent nationally, in this past year they've shown some willingness to address the flaws their past course of training has produced . This is evident in the improvement in R/H. We have to wait and see how far reaching that change will be, in attitude and training ...( I want to stress that this is an entirely separate question from whether ,or to what degree Skate Canada shows them , or anyone else , special favour. ) ... They do seem to have a well developed PR machine , but that can be a detriment as much as an asset,( as others have noted ) if their teams don't deliver to the max... And again , I stress that I think their strengths lie in power, speed, edges, and occasionally some nice choreographic originality. ( lately branching out to Prs. choreo )
In my mind , they're still in contention, but can no longer be considered front runners , by any means.
At Canadians,they had 2 teams in the top 8 at Sr . , one team in the top 8 at Jr .
W/L : ... Formed the goal of developing a good school on the west coast early in their careers. And seem to have been quietly working toward that goal for years , even while still competing. Having trained with Z/S , they were in a position to observe, first hand, all that goes into creating a school of that calibre. Northern Dancers points out the supporting education they've acquired, and I heard recently that Megan , in particular , was working on further developing her expertise in choreography ( already very adequate , at least up to Jr. level, and they've done some choreo in other disciplines)...Now, I don't know if that report is true , or not ... but it would seem to be consistent with the way she's approached her coaching career to date... ( I've also read rumours that Keith Gagnon will be joining their coaching staff. With his skill as an ice dancer and university degree in dance , I can only think he'd be an asset to their team. ) In 5 yrs, they've built a very successful school up to the Junior level , producing many promising couples.
With Orford / Williams and Van as / Shindle set to enter their first full year at the senior level , this will be our chance to get some kind of an idea of how equipped W/L are to handle the transition. O/W form part of the closely marked trio at 4th, 5th, and 6th place at Canadians , and though they were 6th overall, there was less than a point between 4th and 6th, and O/W actually placed 5th in that portion.... And if H/G have in fact retired ( I think ?) VA/S have to be considered our 7th team.
For O/W ,I think Thomas has shown a lot of general improvement in the last year , and I hope they'll be working him seriously over the summer, to more closely equal Nicole in line and finish...we'll see. I haven't seen as much of VA/S, and think they also show a lot of promise , but maybe are not quite so close to the time for critical decisions as O/W. If O/W stay with W/L for the next year , it might not be a bad idea to engage an already established international choreographer for at least one of their programs. Just as a precaution.
I don't think this coaching team needs to take a back seat to any of the others in Canada, right now.
W/L had 3 teams in the top 8 at Sr's and 3 teams in the top 8 at Jr's ( 2 in the medals )
D/L : ..have been set up for full time coaching for a little less time ; their team includes Pascal Denis. (I wish a bit more information about their school made it's way out of Quebec... So if anyone knows anything more, please share.) They're already making some strides as choreographers, outside of the work they do for their students.. which is no surprise , since I believe they've contributed a good deal to their own choreography over the years. I don't think they had a senior team in contention for top 8 at Canadians ( please correct me if I'm wrong.) But that's easily balanced out by the fact that they're working with a Danish team and with Hurtado and Diaz, to name just those I know of. Being former world champions will help them to attract talent , which is a plus.
I was favourably impressed with the work they did with the Hasegawas , and P/O.. and those teams make up D/L's 2 teams in the top 8 at Jr's.
David Islam , Kelly Johnson , Tyler Myles... I almost left them out of my figuring...Though I've heard the Islam name for years ...oddly, I seem to know least about this team. I think I must include them because they coach one of the most talented couples in Canada right now.. Paul and Islam. Of course this couple had the year from hell, and I hope to see them pull out of it. It all makes me a bit nervous, because there are not a lot of other Team Mariposa students visible right now to help inform my opinion..They had the Novice champions this year, and I think, a few other promising couples at that level... I was very attracted to the work Pavol Porac did for P/I in their Jr. year and their first Sr. year ( one of the very best Wangos IMO) He had a nice sort of sensitivity , I thought ... but he seems to work elsewhere, now ( same rink as Bryce Davison ?)..I don't know that story.
I liked that Islam was sending P/I for outside choreography.. Haguenauer, D/L..all good..but David Wilson's program for them this year , while it had some lovely actual "dancing" , was such a weird choice of music and concept , I can't believe anyone would saddle them with it. It was going to be a hard sell even if they had been in top form ( at least until they dropped that "abusive" label )... It was bound to be compared, not to V/M this time , but to W/P.. Then they had the added burden of yes, well-made , but too , too sombre costumes right up until Canadians..( the first FD dress was absolutely wrong for her )
I know the bind the team was in with her injury , and sympathise.. Which is worse, have them sit out and fade off the radar completely , or send her out when she's not 100 % recovered, and have them appear at a disadvantage ? Choosing how to make the best of a bad bargain is always a tough call. In the end, they only had to lose one spot at Canadians.. ( on paper ) and the one international event they had after she was a bit more recovered was 4CC where everyone struggled due to illness, altitude ,or a combination thereof ( including Mitch ) and only V/M and W/P got through with anything like a normal performance level... P/Iwere probably only expecting 5th or 6th anyway, and if they can come out strong and well prepared for their first GP, they'll be able to erase bad memories. ( Look what C/L did this year.)
The worrisome thing is , I don't know what tack the team will take, now ( and I don't know what the team wants for the school ,aside from P/I)... If there's going to be too much running here and there, to pull all the components together, that seems counter productive, and there is the fact that they have no real peers at their club to train with. They're at a place, even in their young career together, where they don't have time to waste in experimentation. R/H and O/W will not be standing still,( neither will G/P ).. On the bright side , if they want to move them on , I think any top level coach would be only too happy to take on all that talent.
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 04-21-2012 at 01:13 PM.
04-21-2012, 06:29 AM
1. D/L never won worlds - two time silver medalists. I always thought the judges were gonna give them the title in 2007, but they had two iffy elements (twizzles in both the OD and FD) and DenStav skated lights out in each of those programs.
2. My big worry about Islam and P/I is that they've had not one but two seasons marred by injuries. Islam's (dancer) prior partner (Lenko) retired due to injury - remember, Lenko/Islam were competing against Crone/Poirier at the junior level. Are they doing something wrong (in both cases, it was the female that was hurt). I like that Islam isn't totalitarian w/r/t choreography.
04-21-2012, 09:13 AM
Wicked Yankee Girl
It always worries me when the students in a school seem injury prone, especially at an early stage in their career.
04-21-2012, 12:42 PM
Constable , Costume Police
I stand corrected about D/L 'Pogue , thanks. What was I thinking..? I knew that..A bit of wee hours wish fulfillment on their behalf ?..Anyway, I guess the point really is, their names alone should help them to attract students.. being world medalists ( I'm awake now. ) , and having had a much more prominent post-competitive career than , say W/L , should help them off to a good start.
So I'll be really interested to see where they are in a 2 -3 more years with their students.
With Team Mariposa .., if they've been primarily developmental coaches until now , are they planning to pass P/I along, or make them the couple that takes the school to a new level , as L/R arguably did ( or tried to do ) with C/P ?
The injury question is a big one in my mind.. but I don't know enough about their former record to know if that's a broad concern , or if they just hit a run of bad luck...
Last edited by colleen o'neill; 04-21-2012 at 01:17 PM.
04-21-2012, 12:44 PM
My plan was to come back and mention Orford/Williams, and just for the record, they were fifth not sixth in the free dance at this year's Nationals, .36 ahead of Ralph/Hill, and .23 behind Paul/Islam. In case you all think I'm nit-picking, there was 1.98 points between fourth and sixth places. Unfortunately, the world team (with funding) is composed of the top five. Some might think Orford/Williams were predestined for sixth place because they were skating in the early session, and not shown on TV.
I feel that Colleen has been far too generous in her assessment of the Canadian ice dance schools. We shouldn't flatter ourselves that any of our schools can, presently, bask in the glory of international success. Oddly we do have such a school in pairs, attracting pairs from all over the world. Just count the number of times you have seen Bruno Marcotte and Richard Gauthier in the K&C.
This may happen, someday, in ice dance but, of course, it won't be because of the success of Virtue and Moir, or Weaver and Poje, because they left Canada to find success. Given the questionable judging at Nationals this year, (questioned by many,including myself), any of the the couples in fourth to sixth positions would be well justified in following the same path.
04-21-2012, 05:50 PM
Originally Posted by colleen o'neill
An Indisputable Account of How Ralph/Hill Have Overused the African/Black Card –A Brief History of their Programs
“Pie in the Face Polka”: villain from that movie (“The Great Race”) always wore BLACK…AFRICAN!
“The Nutcracker”: Tchaikovsky was Russian…this obviously conjures up thoughts of Russian gulags/concentration camps. Concentration camps: Hitler. Hitler didn’t like BLACKS and put them in his concentration camps. AFRICAN!
“Carmen”: they skated to a techno version of Bizet’s classic opera. Wait, techno? You mean like with beats and drums? AFRICAN! (Plus, their costume was BLACK and red)
“Rainforest”: hmmm…well, there are tribes that live in the rainforest. Natives? AFRICANS? Same difference.
“Umoja”: how AFRICAN can you get? I mean really. Especially when the theme for that year’s ODs was folk dance. They should have done something Chinese.
“St. James Infirmary Blues”: come on! A funeral dirge? Like the ones they have in New Orleans, BLACK/AFRICAN-American central in the States? Tsk. Tsk.
“They Can’t Take that Away from Me”: originally sung by Fred Astaire, they HAD to skate to a version sung by Etta James and Louis Armstrong. AFRICAN!
“Miss Marigold’s Dancing Academy”: as Colleen pointed out, they skated to Ragtime (AFRICAN!). Forget the fact that the music came from a British TV show. Wait a sec…British? You mean like the imperialist British Empire that established colonies in AFRICA? Yup. That music was totally AFRICAN.
“Somlandela”: again with the AFRICAN themed OD for the folk dance…
“Summertime”: not only was the music from “Porgy and Bess”, but the singer was AFRICAN!
“Cinderella”: the music they used was from the Disney version of Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” starring Brandy, Whitney Huston, and Whoopi Goldberg…hmmm
“Latin SD”: interestingly enough, “Harlem Nocturne” was composed by a white guy (Earle Hagen). What should have triggered the BLACK blip in the radar was that the first piece of music they used was Michael Jackson’s “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”…no one picked up on that since Michael Jackson was white by the time he sang that.
“Waking Life Tango”:…the composer is a bit tan…like, tan veering to dark. AFRICAN!
(ALL WHITE PEOPLE SHOULD STOP SKATING TO WHITE MUSIC!!!!)
04-21-2012, 05:55 PM
Constable , Costume Police
04-21-2012, 05:57 PM
OK. I have to ask. Is your nickname a reference to black and white?
04-21-2012, 06:03 PM
Absolutely the best post ever And now we can all move on.
04-21-2012, 06:09 PM
OreoCookie, I'm not going to bite. R/H are one of several nice teams that we have in Canada, and I don't see why they should rate quite so much attention. I know they've been together for a longish time, but with the possible exception of their mothers, nobody should be expected to know everything they have skated to.