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Thread: The tale of the step sequence

  1. #1
    skating philosopher Mrs. P's Avatar
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    The tale of the step sequence

    I guess it's two separate stories:

    Prior to the last two seasons it used to be VERY difficult for single skaters to get a level 4 on a step sequence. If you got a level 4, it was note worthy. Now it seems that more skaters are able to hit level 4. I'm curious what has enabled this. Is it that the current rules make it easier or are the skaters themselves catching on what is necessary for that level 4?

    Meanwhile in ice dance, it's the exact opposite, it seems VERY difficult to get a level 4 step sequence. I haven't look through all the protocol sheets, but I don't doubt that only a handful (including C/L) of couples have made this achievement and in fact some teams (including the top teams) have struggled to get a level 3.

    I wouldn't mind one of Doris' classic "How levels are reached" posts for step sequences because I really want to know why it has become so much more easier for single skaters to get level 4 but that ice dancers, on the whole, have rarely done so this season.

  2. #2
    Adiós Melon's Avatar
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    I agree!!! This season I'm seeing several ladies receiving level 4 on their step sequence, heck even Kim received level 4 for the first time in NRW.
    I read the technical panel on ISU website, and this is what it said

    1) Simple variety (Level 2), variety (Level 3), complexity (Level 4) of turns and steps throughout
    (compulsory)
    2) Rotations (turns, steps) in either direction (left and right) with full body rotation covering at least 1/3 of the
    pattern in total for each rotational direction
    3) Use of upper body movements for at least 1/3 of the pattern
    4) Two different combinations of 3 difficult turns (rockers, counters, brackets, twizzles, loops) quickly
    executed within the sequence
    I'm actually surprised speed isn't the factor in this element. Mao Asada's step sequence consists of many arm gestures, but it was soooo slow! I think ISU should look at the rules again and change some things around.

  3. #3
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    Speed would be taken into account in the GOE.

    Levels are about WHAT the skater does. Grades of execution are about HOW WELL s/he does it.

    Levels are yes-or-no questions -- did the skater execute the specified skills according to the requirements.

    GOEs are qualitative questions, subjective according to each judge's perceptions.

    It's possible to do something difficult just well enough to get credit for all the features, but with at least one major mistake or with multiple quality problems -- that could result in level 4 but -3 GOE.

    Or the skater can do something very simple and end up with level 1 (or even Basic level with this year's rules) but with good energy and speed and flow and edge quality and precision and creativity and timing to the music -- that could deserve +3 for a sequence that's easier and/or not designed to match the current rules.

  4. #4
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    I think the things for single skaters changed when the ISU put into the level features the "half of the sequence on one foot" option, which is something A LOT of the high-level single skaters are able to achieve easily: so, the ones who used to receive level 3, adding this option, were able to receive level 4 and, let me say this, when a lot of the skaters started to receive level 4s, the technical panels suddenly became a lot more generous than in the past, and (now that they've cut out the one foot option) they are still that generous. I think it's the same thing that happened with the 10s: after S/S receiving one in 2009, all the judges started to give them like candies, it's like a taboo: when someone breaks it, everyone follows... And, I think that a lot of skaters have actually improved a lot their ability, since they and their coaches realized how big the advantages of a level 4 StSq are in terms of points, they have probably dedicated more training to them (I remember reading a interview to Leonova last year, where she said that she spent whole training sessions just practicing her steps...)
    I don't know about Ice Dancing (its Step Sequences are really something I never understood well under this IJS), I remember that it has always been so difficult for Ice Dancing pairs to receive a level 4 Step Sequence, hasn't it?

  5. #5
    Custom Title plushyfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melon View Post
    I agree!!! This season I'm seeing several ladies receiving level 4 on their step sequence, heck even Kim received level 4 for the first time in NRW.
    I read the technical panel on ISU website, and this is what it said



    I'm actually surprised speed isn't the factor in this element. Mao Asada's step sequence consists of many arm gestures, but it was soooo slow! I think ISU should look at the rules again and change some things around.
    Mao's step sequence is beautiful, enjoyable to watch!!! And like a ballerina, she used some ballet dancer's movements.

  6. #6
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    I don't know about Ice Dancing (its Step Sequences are really something I never understood well under this IJS), I remember that it has always been so difficult for Ice Dancing pairs to receive a level 4 Step Sequence, hasn't it?
    I heard something not that long ago that as the dancers are becoming better technical skaters, the judging is just getting that much pickier - what may have been judged at a level 4 a season or two ago is now struggling to reach a level 3. Part of that is due to D&W and V&M skating so well for so many seasons and setting the standard SO high that the judges just keep expecting more from them (and the rest of the field).

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