Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
Here is Mao Asada, Grand Prix Final short program just skated. Staring at about 2:12 she does ??? then a short bacjward spiral (?) then a couple of ???, then a triple loop.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZnHBWYwSfg#t=2m12s
Starting at about 2:12 she does a brief Ina Bauer on inside edges, then I wouldn't even call it a spiral because of the upper body position -- I'd just say a backward free leg extension -- and then three choctaws and a mohawk, change feet, into the triple loop.

Gkelly beat me up about saying that skaters twitch back and forth. The last moves just before the jump are what I was referring to. The average viewer who is not watching her feet just sees a saucy swish of the backside.
The reversing choctaws are not especially deep here, the way ice dancers do them in the rhumba, but nice and light and fairly quick. This move, reversing back and forth between forward and backward, is on the junior Moves in the Field test in the US test system -- compare to the "choctaw" link I gave in post #54. So it's a fairly advanced sequence of steps to do on clearly recognizable edges, but since that's the only really difficult step in this series leading into the loop, and it's not particularly closely connected to other steps or turns or to the jump itself, I wouldn't say the preceding steps part of this element is especially impressive by world-class senior standards. It is certainly much more nicely performed than would be typical on the junior moves test, or by mid-level skaters who frequently stick one set of small, usually shallow or flat, reversing choctaws before their double lutzes as nominal transitions.

Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
How about this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hXcbgqsq8Q#t=2m0s

To me this looks like a series of one-foot turns into the jump. Mao's transitions are more varied, but are they harder than Ashley's?
This is a series of traveling three turns. Essentially two double threes -- which is an intermediate-level move. I would say that that particular variety (back outside and forward inside in the skater's preferred direction) is the easiest -- i.e., I can do them, with much weaker quality, in my direction into a single loop. What's difficult is getting enough power for a triple without an extra push from the other foot onto the takeoff edge as is typical of most loop entrances.

Does Ashley get any credit for the stag jump right after the triple loop?
Sure, for the transitions component. Nice seamless connection between the solo triple jump and the step sequence. Not really close enough to the jump to count as part of that element.

I wouldn't say that either skater's steps-before-solo jump is especially impressive for difficulty at world-class level. The quality is appropriate for that level.