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Thread: All Things Ice Dance: Canadian

  1. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by romanoff81 View Post
    Politics is part of figure skating unfortunately, i am pretty sure there was strong behind the scenes work for Sale and Pelletier in 2002 once the judging panel became known, they clearly had inferior skating skills compared to the russian pair they needed the extra help to overcome that.
    I have always heard comments like this, but I could never figure out just what the Canadian Federation could do to influence the international judges to vote for Sale and Pelletier instead of Berezhnaya and Sikharudlize.

    According to the New York Times account, the French judge, Mme La Gougne, accused the Canadian officials of inviting her to a birthday party. This was quite suspicious because they had never invited her to a birthday party before.

    As for the judging panel as a whole, it looked more like the cold war than intrigue in the back corridors of the ISU. It was Russia, China, Ukraine and Poland against USA, Canada, Germany and Japan.

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    I feel for Ralph & Hill since I am not sure how they can come anywhere near making the Sochi team. Virtue & Moir and Weaver & Poje are both mortal locks. Piper & Poirier already leapfrogged them by a huge margin in their first season together and are the #1 team under their mutual coaching staff. Paul Poirier has always been a pet of the CSA and frankly overscored at Nationals under any of his partnerships. Even changing coahces I couldnt see how they would have any chance barring a major injury or breakup of a team ahead of them. The same goes for Paul & Islam.

  3. #108
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  4. #109
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    Someone upthread mentioned speculating on what will happen internationally next season. Well I think what will happen is Virtue & Moir will start pulling away from the pack again, and both Pechalat & Bourzat and Weaver & Poje will start closing the gap on Davis & White, with Weaver & Poje ultimately passing P&B and challenging D&W by Worlds next year. 1 or 2 Russian teams will also itch more into contention, and by Sochi it will be quite a battle for the silver and bronze medals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by isabella duncan View Post
    NorthernDancers, how much do you actually know of the training that R/H undertake on and off ice? I am curious as I am an outsider looking in and have only discovered them. In terms of new material, have R/H been redundant in their programs? Do they look same 'ole, same 'ole to you? (I may have to spend more time "youtubing" their past programs to judge for myself). But your point is well taken about the improvements they need to make as you seem to be an authority on ice dance. Thanks!
    Perhaps not an expert, but for sure an uber fan of the sport for some time. Ralph/Hill were fast risers in the system. They were pre-novice Canadian champions, then novice the following year, and then junior Canadian champs the next year. They debuted at Senior in 5th place, and have been 4th ever since. I really felt they "wuz robbed" this year at Nationals. I don't know how they were not 3rd. This year, they were the better team. Since being Seniors, they have been a little stuck. They had almost the same African program from Junior to Senior, and then had 2 more years of African music (or maybe it was even 3). It was ridiculous. And unacceptable from their coaches. Finally this year they had a tango, and their packaging was very good. At least for the FD. I felt they made great progress this year, and they had a very solid debut at Worlds. I'm hoping the priority focus is not just on Gilles/Poirier and that Ralph/Hill are just as important to their coaches and get the same quality training. If not, I think they should move to a different club.

    They train in a good club. They have both off-ice and on-ice training, and also take dance classes. All of the top clubs in Canada do this. A lot of skaters in Scarborough spend more years at singles as well. I think both Paul and Vanessa were Junior singles skaters. I think it helps with the athletic/technical sides.

    Each rink in Canada seems to have their strengths and weaknesses. In Scarborough, the challenges are posture issues and packaging. Too often it's just off. Poor Kharis looked more like Vaudeville than rhumba this year, and last year there were endless comments about Vanessa's packaging. I've seen poor color choices, unflattering cuts, and just odd stuff. The rags costume Kharis wore one year was a pretty dreadful example. There are many other examples with other teams.

  6. #111
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    Being that Vanessa Crone has not found a partner yet, I was wondering if she would revert back to singles. Can anyone remember what jumps she could do. She certainly has the skating skills otherwise, and is very quick and light on her feet. Think?

  7. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryPogue View Post
    And for an interview yesterday with both Virtue and Moir, check out the Apr 10 podcast here: http://www.cjbk.com/Episodes.aspx?PID=2321

  8. #113
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    Being #1 at your club has no impact whatsoever on where you will be placed, but rather the time and attention of your coaches and choreographers. Remember Orser being upset with Yu-Na who wouldn't tell him her plans because she was Brian's first priority and the rest of his schedule revolved around her. When multiple skaters/teams travel, the head coach goes with #1, and other skaters/teams work with assistants until they return. The further you are down the pecking order, the less time and attention you get from the coach.

    I was sitting in front of a group of skaters who had the same coach at Canadians one year. This was the "B" group: skaters who were competing in Juniors or Senior B events and they were not a happy group. One skater who had pulled from their international assignments because of injury but was now healthy was getting 15 minutes every other day with their coach who was now focussed the upper tier skaters going to the ISU Championships. Being #1 at your rink means always getting the time and attention YOU need.

  9. #114
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    It seems possible, to me, that being #1 at your club could have an impact on where you will be placed.

    Let me digress a moment to define what I mean by politics; Social relations involving authority or power. This does not (necessarily) include cases of caviar or champagne or money. I mean attempts to influence by lobbying, or PR, creating buzz.

    Now I must enter the realm of imagination. I am an outsider, but my nose has been pressed to the glass for many years. Suppose the governing body has people searching this realm for talented skaters to be annointed. Perhaps they are seeking another Bourne and Kraatz, another Virtue and Moir, (OR the apparent Holy Grail, another Torvil and Dean. If you were a coach whose livelyhood depended, in part on the competitive success of your students, wouldn't you try to promote your best team? Might you not be careful not to seem too greedy by promoting your #2 team as well?

    Everyone in Canada knows who the annointed are, they get a great deal of media attention, and because the realm of imagination is a small world, no dissenting opinions are heard.

  10. #115
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    ^ I have to applaud that post for being so well-written. The only thing I disagree with is that coaches might be afraid of appearing greedy by beating the drum for two teams at once. I don't think Shpilband and Zouevea are shy in this regard.

  11. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipslidin View Post
    It seems possible, to me, that being #1 at your club could have an impact on where you will be placed.
    I disagree. Joanne McLeod is a case in point. She's been promoting Kevin Reynolds for years. Every interview she gives, she's promoting Reynolds. Yet in 2009, Jeremy Ten, who is also her student, won the bronze medal at Canadians and trips to both 4CC and Worlds over Reynolds. It made us laugh because McLeod has never given an interview talking about how great Jeremy is and yet Skate Canada seems to think the World of him. We suggested that McLeod be given a "Mom always liked you best award" for fawning all over Jeremy in the KnC at 4CC that year when she'd never publically acknowledged Jeremy's existence in the past.

    Jeremy has been dealing with injuries since 2009 and is finally healthy, again winning the bronze medal at Canadians even with a very late start to his season. I'm hoping he is injury-free next season and can claim one of the three spots for Men at Worlds next year because he's a much better skater than Reynolds.

  12. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    ^ I have to applaud that post for being so well-written. The only thing I disagree with is that coaches might be afraid of appearing greedy by beating the drum for two teams at once. I don't think Shpilband and Zouevea are shy in this regard.
    I don't think Carol Land is shy about promoting both teams either. But just look at the scores R&H have been getting internationally. I always think they're undermarked but again, these are skaters I've known since they were in CanSkate so it's really hard for me to be fully objective here. I try and sometimes I can see it stuff, but not always. That's why I always try to state my biases.

    I remember saying to my daughter that if she had skated the back half of her program as strongly as the first half, I think she would have had the silver medal, instead of the bronze and she relied "Are you saying that for real, or because you're my Mom?". My response was that "I think it's for real, but since there is no way I can stop being your Mom, I can't be sure".

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by slipslidin View Post
    Might you not be careful not to seem too greedy by promoting your #2 team as well?
    Shpilband/Zoueva have 2 #1 teams. V/M may have won, but D/W are also World Champions, and they are the #1 US team. In the world of politics, it's now a game amongst Federations. Which Fed has the greater power in the ISU? Which Fed is going to give advantages to Z/S? Right now, Z/S will politick for both, but see which team is really worth their time and money.

    There are lots of people in the skating world who believe that V/M are the greatest team, that they have talents that few other teams can reach. People of other Feds don't want a team like that; a team that is so dominant that their skaters don't have a chance, especially if their strongest medal winning chances are in ice dance. So they will want to politick against V/M, keep scores of competitors close, prop up competitors who eventually have a better chance of being beaten themselves. If the tide turns strong enough, it will be in Z/S's interest to "not politick strong enough" for V/M. Z/S want gold.
    Last edited by all that; 04-11-2012 at 01:42 PM.

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    But in my theory Z/S and for that matter K/C, exist in the realm of posibility, not the realm of imagination. Their top teams don't belong to the same federations.

    There is a well-worn path to success, for both the annointed and unannointed, that leads out of Canada to a foriegn coach. For the unannointed, I believe it is a practical necessity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slipslidin View Post
    There is a well-worn path to success, for both the annointed and unannointed, that leads out of Canada to a foriegn coach. For the unannointed, I believe it is a practical necessity.
    Again, that's not necessarily true. There really haven't been ANY Canadian dance coaches who have enjoyed international success with their skaters in the past 15 years, except the Lanes. And the Lanes have only had success with Crone & Poirier so that's very recent.

    And if Ralph & Hill were to leave Canada, what top school could they go to where they would be that school's #2 team? If they went to Carmelengo/Krylova, who had 5 teams at Worlds this year, they would be team #6, at best. I can't begin to guess where they'd fit in be with Igor & Marina.

    Added to which, in order to leave Canada to train, they would have to have additional funding to live and train elsewhere. Tessa's Dad told McLean's magazine that the total costs including housing in the run-up to Vancouver, ran to 6-figures. I don't think that either of Ralph or Hill's families can afford those kinds of expenses. In Scarborough, they can live at home AND have world class coaches.
    Last edited by Dragonlady; 04-11-2012 at 02:08 PM.

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