10-01-2012, 10:13 PM
Haha! We have such horrible problems in Canada in ice dance..... How does one choose.... I'm not counting anyone out at Senior or Junior. Let's be honest....most or all of these teams do or would perform very respectibly on the international circuit. It makes for very exciting times, great competition, and ultimately even better skating in Canada...
Originally Posted by heyhey
I do think #1 and #2 in Canada are set at Senior. But where do we go from there?
- G/P have a lot of Skate Canada push behind them, he's former Canadian champion, and he is very talented. As a team, they still are very much in the "trying to gel" stage. Great personality, great energy, different programs, but missing the details together as a team. There is a real difference between these 2 yet technically. Let's also keep in mind that, in ice dance terms, this team is also very young. There's tons of time to develop. It will be interesting to watch for changes over the course of the season.
- P/I seem to have their MoJo back from a couple of years ago. In my mind, they are the opposite of G/P....incredible matching talent - edges, lines, smoothness, just gorgeous ice dance. They are often missing speed and power, and don't have the "in your face" energy of G/P. What they do is understated elegance. And they have struggled with consistency. We'll see how they develop over the season. Not sure if they are in Barrie, but that would take care of October. There's sectionals in November, and Challenge in December. We will have a chance to see how this team grows over the season.
- R/H made huge strides forward last year. They had a great start internationally. They broke out of their stereotypes, and did something interesting and different, and did it well. For me, they can be fantastic, and they can be not very good at all. They did finish behind P/I in Nebelhorn, but the season is still young. There is lots of time to move around positions.
- O/W are interesting in the mix. I haven't seen their FD yet. I like their SD, and I think it is about a perfect a match to their personalities and skating styles as any can find. The issue I've always had with this team is that there is such a difference between her skills and his skills. He just does not move like a dancer. He doesn't finish his lines, he isn't musical, and it's like the the frantic choreography manages to hide all this because they can skate fast. I don't generally find their choreo particularly complex or interesting. I'm looking for more from them, to see some real development, more skating maturity before I can think of them worthy of top 5. I expect their results will be more or less like H/G last year on the GP circuit. There are a lot of great teams internationally out there.
- P/O should also be mentioned here. Here are 2 people who really can skate, and are both great dancers. They are entertaining, and can show many different styles and genres. I wouldn't count them out by Nationals to have some surprises. Are they going to finish top 5? Highly doubtful. But they have shown at Junior that they are very capable competitors. I haven't seen them yet this year, but I really liked them the last couple of seasons.
- P/S....what do we do with them? They have shown real improvement over the last season. Their skating is looking much more mature this year. But what do they do for a polka? It's not the easiest dance to learn, and it means they have to have 2 SD this season, due to the challenge of trying to skate Junior internationally and Senior domestically. I don't envy them this situation. They won't have the same miles on their polka as their blues, and they will have to add time to the FD. Last year the 2 SD rhythms were closer in genres. This year they are apples and oranges.
The Junior ranks are also very deep. In my opinion, likely Bent/McKeen will win, but there are any number of others that can factor into the top 5 based on mature skating, quality technical marks, great lines, international experience, etc. And it will really depend on who delivers on the day (at least I hope it depends on who actually delivers on the day). Thinking West to East:
10-01-2012, 11:00 PM
Great analysis NorthernDancers! Oh I agree that each team mentioned above has a weakness or two and that's why it is difficult to predict how they will develop over the year(s). Then you also have to think there may be strong possibilities of partner swapping post-Sochi...but let's not go there quite yet, LOL! It also makes you appreciate what the top senior teams do bring to the table and the versatility that they display. In terms of the seniors, it is very difficult to predict 3rd to 5th place at Nationals and I am hoping that all teams at Nationals will be able to compete at the same time rather than have a split competition which happened at last year's Nationals...
10-02-2012, 12:37 AM
Yes, heyhey, Orford and Williams ought to be considered, and not just as a 'sleeper team'. They actually earned their two GPs this year, the only one of our second tier of senior dancers that did. In all fairness, I don't believe the difference in skill level between these partners is nearly as glaring as that between Gilles and Poirier. Thomas has made big improvements in presentation. He is 6'2" and young. I believe that in a reasonable universe, they would be considered ' in the mix' with G/P, P/I and certainly R/H. It looks to me like they have been hung out to dry by Skate Canada. Is there such a thing as an 'anti-push'? If there is, they got it.
On the Junior level, Bent and McKeen certainly got a plum assignment, seemingly not based on their early outing at Lake Placid. They are a pleasant looking young couple. I have no inside information that makes me think they are a lock for Junior champion, at this point.
10-02-2012, 12:52 AM
Great analysis, NorthernDancers, as always. I must say I agree with most of your assessments.
Just a quick question. Do P/I have to go through the sectionals/challenge route to qualify for naionals? I know that all of the teams comepting on the senior grand prix circuit are given a bye (R/H an G/P will be included in this) but I had been under the assumption that P/I would be exempt from the process as well by virtue of the fact that they are on the national team. If that's not the case, I actually think that going through the process would beneft them. I'm sure they would have no trouble qualifying that way, and it would give them some much needed competiton time in the middle of their season. Furthermore, I believe that R/H have attended these qualifyers before (even though they were not required to), and it is possible that O/W and/or G/P could choose to do the same, which would make challenge a great mini-nationals for all teams involved, at a time when V/M and W/P will more than likely be occuped with the GP final. It would make for some great viewing for us fans. A girl can dream.
EDIT: I've just answered my own question. Byes are granted to the top three finishers only, so P/I will have to qualify throug sectionals and challenge. On an exciting side note, the entry list for central ontario sectionals (held the first couple of days in November) indicates that P/I, R/H and G/P are all registered! Now that's going to be one heck of a competition. I'm hoping to get out to Barrie and see it.
Last edited by skatingfan04; 10-02-2012 at 01:05 AM.
10-02-2012, 04:18 AM
Wicked Yankee Girl
Ralph & Hill's SD from Nebelhorn has surfaced!
10-02-2012, 05:01 AM
Constable , Costume Police
heyhey..I'm getting out my whetstone...
"Dancers..unfortunately,O/W's FD from BC/YT was not archived, but I was very pleased with the progress I saw in Thomas. Much better line and extension just since January, better use of his torso, not seeming to have to rush to keep up..Is there room to do more ? of course..but there was a really noticeable improvement and you can tell their team knows exactly what to work on. Their choreography (music from "High Society" ) may not be everybody's cup of tea, but it's in no way a cover up, so I feel sure we'll see more steady progress from them. Both their GPs have pretty tough fields ( maybe esp. CoR ). I'll be watching for signs of further improvement, since they will have had a further 3 months of polishing since BC/YT. I don't think it's safe to leave them out of the great Canadian log jam.
10-02-2012, 09:53 AM
(The Junior ranks are also very deep. In my opinion, likely Bent/McKeen will win, but there are any number of others that can factor into the top 5 based on mature skating, quality technical marks, great lines, international experience, etc. And it will really depend on who delivers on the day (at least I hope it depends on who actually delivers on the day). Thinking West to East:
I also would count in
who have all had decent scores throughout the summer season (just fractions of points behind the medallists in various competitions) And I agree, let's hope it comes down to who skates the best on the day.
10-02-2012, 10:45 AM
I'm glad you mentioned Kuzmich/ Hockley. Despite her truly appalling costume, they looked promising to me.
10-02-2012, 12:36 PM
In defence of Orford/Williams (or don't drink the kool-ade). This couple teamed up in May of 2010. He is 6'2", she is 5'3", it seems very likely that they would be working on matching leg lines from the get go. They did have some success, apparently, winning Canadian Juniors and placing 8th at Worlds that season. Some people say this has been their problem 'forever', but I think forever ought to be more than 2 years. And I would hesitate to condesend by saying they have 'shown some improvement'. I would say that matching lines is no longer a problem for them, and I consider them one of our better teams.
10-03-2012, 02:15 PM
Constable , Costume Police
R/H's FD from Nebelhorn, courtesy of Canada Ice...
Both their programs need a lot of work, I think.
10-03-2012, 05:35 PM
Awww..I'm disappointed for them, I was hoping they'd come out swinging , this year.
10-03-2012, 05:49 PM
Ooo..... That's really a bit of a hot mess.... I was thinking there was going to be some classic Queen. That was not it. It's hard on the ears, and it's still very much a series of steps as opposed to a program. It's disjointed musically and conceptionally and choreographically. I'm not sure where this one develops over the season.
I know some may not like this, but I really think it is long past time for this team to find new coaches if they want a shot at growing and finding the podium at Senior. I really think they can do it. They need to go where they are going to be the lead team, where they will get lots of attention, and where they will have different ideas in music, more complex and interesting choreography instead of a series of tricks, and their posture issues fixed. This is kind of sad for me.
10-03-2012, 06:05 PM
Trixie Schuba's biggest fan!
Was this one, like "Wild Spirits," choreographed by Carol Lane and Yury Razgulajev?
Originally Posted by NorthernDancers
10-03-2012, 06:51 PM
Originally Posted by blue dog
I believe so.
Man, that was hard to watch. I have never actually disliked one of R/H's programs. At least with the SD, while it might not be the most choreographically excellet prgram it has a good entertainment value. This FD just drags them down, which is super hard to do. R/H are like the most exhuberant, joyful skaters out there. I realize it's really early in the season, and that refinment will happen, bit I didn't like the choreo or music at all. It just does nothing for them, and is so, so disjointed. Dissapointing after their lovely tango last season.
10-03-2012, 09:25 PM
Virtue/Moir are Canadian Sport Awards finalists for "Partners of the Year."
The other finalists in their category are the Men's Eight rowing team and Women's Eight rowing team (?? although a separate Team of the Year category exists ...).
Winners will be announced on October 17, 2012, during the President’s Reception at Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame in Calgary.