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Thread: All Things Ice Dance: American

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    All Things Ice Dance: American

    I've loved the discussion/chatter over on the Canadian thread, so I thought I start one for U.S. Ice Dance!

    To start out the discussion, let's layout some storylines

    Davis/White fight for No. 1 (in the world) — It is unlikely that any of their competitors will unseat this team before Sochi. This pair's biggest competition will likely come from outside the U.S. But this is a team that will not give anything up easily and you can bet they are hungry to get another world championship under their belts. That said, how will D/W develop this season? In 2010-2011, we saw them do an extremely challenging program to respond to its more challenging areas and in 2011-2012 we saw that work all come together in Die Fledermaus. Where do they go from here? How do they get their world title back?

    Shibutanis tries to rebound from a sophomore slump — After surprising everyone in 2010-2011 with a bronze at the World Championships, this team was clearly hungry to prove they could compete with the best in the world. In some ways they succeeded with their first GP gold medal (NHK) and a berth at the Grand Prix Final. But the pair faced some key challenges in 4CC and Worlds that led to a meltdown in their FD during Worlds that dropped them to 8th place, getting beat by several teams they beat just a year ago — C/L, W/P, B/S, I/K, P/B. Their performance has some people wondering if Hubbell and Donahue could pass these two in 2012-2013. But one can't underestimate that they have the basics down -- great speed, edging, posture etc. Many noted that the Yankee Polka will give them some relief after their struggles with the Latin SD all season long. But it's clear the judges are expecting more mature programs -- how will they respond to the call? What will they need to do to maintain their U.S. No. 2 berth and a final group standing at worlds next year?

    Fighting for No. 3 — Hubbell and Donahue were victorious in 2012, but there are several teams hungry for that spot including Chock/Bates, Gilles/ Samuelson and the veterans Kriengkrairut/Giulietti-Schmitt. Given Hubbell and Donahue's impressive top 10 finish, the other pairs will likely have to work harder to take that No. 3 spot away.

    New seniors — Aldridge and Eaton are coming off a great season that included the 2012 U.S. Junior title and bronze at junior worlds. They are part of what is becoming a powerhouse Ice Dance school at DSC. How will they rank against the seniors?

    The musical chairs continue — In just a few weeks we've already heard about the end of several couples including Lichtman/Copley; Bonacorsi/Mager; Cannuscio /Lorello; Cowan/Olson. Olson has teamed up with Keiffer Hubbell. Where will the chips fall for the other skaters? Will one of the guys end up with Vanessa Crone?

  2. #2
    Custom Title Mattieu's Avatar
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    I thought that Aldridge and Eaton had chosen to remain juniors this season?
    They are both age eligible.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It's a hard choice. It's not clear that juniors is going to be an easy road internationally, either. I'm assuming Sinitsina & Zhiganshin are going to seniors, but Stepanova & Bukin may stay junior. As the Shibutanis found when they finished 4th at Jr Worlds, the year before they went senior, there's no guarantee you will get a better placement at Jr. Worlds by staying junior.

    One thing they would do is rack up some more international JGP points to improve their world standings.

    Does anyone here know for sure what their plans are?

    Speaking of the Shibs, I think that the respiratory infection that so affected Alex at 4CC's didn't help their training on the run up to Worlds this year. It likely affected not only 4CC's, but probably 2 weeks of training thereafter...and then, of course, worlds was upon them. I thought they took a really good step up at Nationals, especially in the SD, but then of course everything went to heck.

    I'm expecting the Shibs to continue working with Corky Ballas?

    As to H&D finishing 10th, the previous year Chock & Zuerlein finished 9th. That appears to be about where the 3rd place US team lands these days. It's hard to realize when only a few years ago, in the 1990's, it was hard for the 1st US team to make it into the top 10.

    I'm hoping to see C&B close the gap to H&D.

    Lake Placid IDC will be really interesting this summer, as I expect that all theseteams vying for that 3rd slot will be there, but I do wonder whether H&D will risk it?

    Those that have a GP slot will really be trying to make a splash there and will be super prepared at the start of the season.

    I am wondering how coach Gorshkov & R&T will do at Canton this summer

    I also am wondering, given the success of Weaver & Poje's Je Suis Malade FD, following their taking acting lessons, whether all the US kids will be taking acting.

    For the UMich students (Shibs, Meryl & Charlie), UMich, of course, has a Music, Theatre, and Communications department, and they might be able to use it as a course distribution requirement
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-01-2012 at 01:57 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post

    -As to H&D finishing 10th, the previous year Chock & Zuerlein finished 9th.

    -Lake Placid IDC will be really interesting this summer, as I expect that all theseteams vying for that 3rd slot will be there, but I do wonder whether H&D will risk it?

    -I also am wondering, given the success of Weaver & Poje's Je Suis Malade FD, following their taking acting lessons, whether all the US kids will be taking acting.
    Chock and Zuerlein skated together several years going into Worlds for that placing. H/D placed top 10 with one year of experience together. That's the difference, and it makes them one of my favorite teams to follow. They haven't shown the full range of what they can do together yet, but they're already hitting a pretty high level.

    Not sure if they'll compete at Lake Placid, but apparently they'll be there as special guests for the Young Artists Showcase finale: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kMVnbkMUHlA

    And while Je Suis Malade really worked for W/P, I hope we don't get a whole bunch of copy cats this season. There is a fine line between intensity and histrionics that not everyone can achieve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Lake Placid IDC will be really interesting this summer, as I expect that all theseteams vying for that 3rd slot will be there, but I do wonder whether H&D will risk it?

    Those that have a GP slot will really be trying to make a splash there and will be super prepared at the start of the season.
    If you are referring to GP teams going to Lake Placid, many of them don't attend this event. I believe Lichtman/Copely were the only team in Lake Placid last summer, who had already earned a GP. It's not a required event, so most would already be cycle training for their assigned GP dates and will attend Champs Camp instead. The teams who need to be very prepared at the start of the season, are the ones who don't have assignments yet and are either in the ISP or trying to get on the list for monitoring. Those names should include Kriengkrairut/Giulietti-Schmitt (Senior 4); Cannuscio/McManus (Senior 6); Samuelson/Gilles (Senior 8); Olson/Hubbell and any other new pairings with previous international experience. They'll be the ones trying for a Skate America or a Senior B nod following their monitoring sessions.

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    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattieu View Post
    I thought that Aldridge and Eaton had chosen to remain juniors this season?
    They are both age eligible.
    Do we know that for sure? All I've seen is some speculation about the possibility online. I can see the case for staying junior since they are a relatively new couple internationally and could rack up ISU ranking points by doing a solid job on the JGP circuit.

    Also if they're looking long term, i.e. 2018 Olympics, they don't have much to gain by rushing into seniors. They're better off to perhaps go senior at the National level in 2013 then senior the following fall (2013-2014) -that way they have more than a full cycle to impress. Of course if 2014 is their goal, that's a whole different story, though I think the competition will be much stiffer.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Another consideration: how they feel about the Yankee Polka.

    A&E had a great Riverdance style FD. They have fast feet and good edges. Perhaps the Yankee is their cup of tea. OTOH, the juniors get a chance to do rap and The Blues. They may hate polka music, and as a result choose to skip it by staying juniors.. Either way, the possibility of them making it to the Olympics in 2014 is fairly small. Juniors may be their better choice.

    We'll just have to wait to hear...

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    I may end up in trouble for saying this, but I would prefer to see Emily Samuelson with any of these gents than her current partner.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Me too. He's too old, and just not as talented...and she's fabulousness itself.

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    Missing Tdizzle and SDiggity golden411's Avatar
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    D/W are on the cover of the May issue of Skating magazine. https://twitter.com/#!/USFigureSkati...89571500691456

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    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Me too. He's too old, and just not as talented...and she's fabulousness itself.
    These guys are all Emily's age. I'd prefer her with Travis Mager, but Emily knows what is best for her career.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Meryl Davis was a panellist at an event held by a group of lawyers at UMich that specialize in Sports Law.

    This interview has the lawyers all asking questions about how programs are developed, mental preparation, how the Olympics affect how the skaters perceive themselves, and many other things that journalists have never thought to ask.

    If you're interested in US ice dance, this is a great video:

    http://web.law.umich.edu/flashmedia/...x?mediaid=2079

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    That was an amazing interview. What a poised and articulate person Meryl is!

    Interesting discussion of the difference between the student-coach relation in America in contrast to Russia and about the skaters' perspective of increased transparency of judging.

    Ot was an eye-opener to learn how much involvement the USFSA actually has in the top teams. "If they pay for the costumes, they want to make sure that the costumes are working!"

  14. #14
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    She is scheduled to graduate in 2014, I hear...graduate schools should be lining up to get her

  15. #15
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    She is scheduled to graduate in 2014, I hear...graduate schools should be lining up to get her
    Awesome. How long has Meryl been in college anyway? I think it's smart that both she and Charlie stretch it out; surely they were able to pay for their education with their skating money and not have to pay back student loans.

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