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Thread: Here's the Finnstep

  1. #16
    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    When I saw Emily and Evan do the Finnstep, I thought, "Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers". I like it....it certainly is difficult but will give the judges an easier time, and the fans too, in some esoteric way.....heck, anybody can go out there and do a pattern waltz...how can you grade D and W against the other top six teams if everyone is perfect (if you are a know nothing fan like me) ? Another plus is that us old farts will love it....forget the blues and hip hop, bring on Fred and Ginger! Hummmm... a Disson show where six couples are skating around the arena at once doing the finnstep to a big band. Forget Riverdance...this will be really big!

  2. #17
    Outdated Old Dinosaur
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    I think what TontoK meant was that the Finnish Federation did not have any particular political clout in ISU circles, back in the day when such things were paramount in ice dance.
    Yes, thank you, that's what I intended to say. I recall a circumstance in a major competition in the early 90's (I think) where something like the top 15 ice dance teams earned the exact same placements through three CDs, the OD, and the FD. Not one iota of movement. For example, not once during the five dances was the 13 ranked couple allowed to move to a 12th placement.

    Now, I suppose that they could have all skated the five dances in the exact same order of proficiency, but that seems statistically improbable. The more likely explanation from the viewpoint of a casual fan was that the fix was in, and the dancers and judges were simply going through the motions. The marks could have been mailed in. Ice dance judging was notorious in those days. That a pairing from Finland, of all places, managed to earn a European title and make it to the podium twice at the WC was remarkable.

    I tried to find documention to support this statement, but couldn't... and frankly it's been many years since that competition, so I may have a few details wrong... but I distinctly recall the furor on the old AOL message boards.

  3. #18
    ISU, stop promoting 2-foot skating!
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    Oh yeah before the advent of IJS, there was usually no movement whatsoever during Ice Dance events.

  4. #19
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    In the same way that Tracy Wilson correctly predicted how Bourne & Kraatz would be marked out of a bronze medal at the Olympics by bloc scoring during the CDs. Whatever else you may say about the COP and IJS, it has been manna from heaven for ice dancing.

    The Finnstep should be a wonderful short dance. Very late 20s/early 30s. I'm greatly looking forward to it.

  5. #20
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    In the same way that Tracy Wilson correctly predicted how Bourne & Kraatz would be marked out of a bronze medal at the Olympics by bloc scoring during the CDs. Whatever else you may say about the COP and IJS, it has been manna from heaven for ice dancing.

    The Finnstep should be a wonderful short dance. Very late 20s/early 30s. I'm greatly looking forward to it.
    Some people thought that Bourne and Kraatz were just not that great at compulsories (or in general). I won't deny that there was a lot of political maneuvering in ice dance judging (there still is) but sometimes NA skaters didn't win/medal because others were better. Shocking, I know.

    I also disagree that the IJS has been all that great for ice dance. The movement in the standings is good, as is the ability of younger teams to contend, and to some extent, the attempt to make the scoring more objective. OTOH, getting rid of the CDs and some of the elements now required have turned ice dance into pairs skating with dance elements. And a lot of the lifts the ice dancers now do to get good levels and GOEs have little to do with the program (what did the Goose have to do with the Mahler FD, exactly?) and/or are ugly (P/B's SD lift last year, and I happen to like P/B). Wait your turn was problematic, but it also allowed younger teams time to develop and gel without the pressure of competing at the very top and trying to move up quickly up the ranks - a pressure that has done some teams very little good.

    We are in agreement about the Finnstep, however; it really is fabulous.

  6. #21
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    OTOH, I think what COP has done is bring the sport back into ice dance. I remember watching ice dancing the year before T/D's Bolero, and my sister saying it was so boring because it was like "Lawrence Welk on ice." Then after Bolero, it turned into so much traumadrama, what I used to call "Ingmar Bergman On Blades!" I mean, it got to the point where it seemed like every single program ended with a dramatic flop to the ice--so much so that they had to institute a rule to stop it. And of all of the four disciplines, ice dance was the MOST notorious for 'fixed scoring.' And not without reason.

    I think there is some validity to what you do say about the problems with COP. I think the biggest problem is there is no place for what I think of as elegant simplicity, a move that in itself is not technically difficult but packs an emotional wallop. And yes, some of the lifts are obviously there for point-gathering rather than choreographic integrity. But to say that ice dance has turned into "pairs skating with dance elements" is something I simply cannot agree with at all. Apples and oranges. They may both be fruits but still...apples and oranges.

  7. #22
    Custom Title FSGMT's Avatar
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    What do you think the key points will be?

  8. #23
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    [url]http://www.ice-dance.com/main/images/stories/pdf/compulsory/Finnstep.pdf[/url]
    Theses are just guesses, but as good as anyone else's (no good )

    There's 3 key points per sequence, unless the change the rules. However, a key point may be several steps, or just the man's step or the lady's step, from one single step.

    In the first sequence:


    The dance has 70 steps, so perhaps it breaks at step 35 into two halves?

    I think the first sequence might have 2 key points in this area (steps 32 & 33)


    During the leg swing, in preparation for the swing closed choctaw (step 32), the lady moves ahead under the man’s left arm to hand in hand, with arms bent. On step 33a the man skates an open RBI mohawk, while the lady starts her step 33 on an RBI followed by her change of edge in preparation for their second set of simultaneous twizzles (his step 33c while she continues her step 33). The couple passes through waltz hold, then the lady’s left arm briefly touches the man’s back. The man’s left hand holds the lady’s right during the twizzle. After turning their twizzles (1 rotation for the man; 1! for the lady), the couple slides into a stop in Kilian with both of their arms extended to the side and their hands clasped in a “butterfly” hold, and with their free legs extended to the side.
    And perhaps a keypoint to emphasize timing, perhaps from the beginning promenade section:

    The lady’s twizzle of 1 ! rotations (her step 12) needs to be very fast. At the conclusion of her twizzle, the couple skates steps 13-18 in partial outside hold (like the Viennese opening steps), before moving to outside hold on step 19.
    In the second sequence, I wouldn't be surprised if the key points came from these areas, and step 64:

    The cross behind closed Choctaw (step 64) must be skated with clean and deep edges to enable tight, simultaneous Twizzles just before the re-start. A poor execution of the Choctaw and Twizzle will lead to difficulties for the re-start and poor character of the 1st part of the
    dance.
    Perhaps something with the Hopped Open Mohawk in step 59, since that is unique to the Finnstep, AFAIR.

    And this is an interesting item. Teams that aren't good at looking like they're having a ball on the ice will be at a disadvantage:

    Summary
    Dance is a means of expression. If the execution of this dance does not evoke feelings in the audience, even if it were technically correct and clean, it would not be a successful performance. The dance must be as much fun to watch as it is to dance. Otherwise the performers should not be rewarded with good marks.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-06-2013 at 08:37 AM.

  9. #24
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    I think Finnstep would give some dancers trouble-especially if they have few problems with their knees.

    It would be interesting to see how top dancers like V/M, D/W, W/P, P/B +B/S, I/K would be doing especially since it's an Olympic season.

  10. #25
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I think the Finnstep will disadvantage I&K, of that group, D&W, V&M, P&B, and C&L, all competed the Finnstep at either 4CC's or Europeans during the 2008/2009 season. I&K were not yet seniors and so have to learn it from scratch; much more difficult.

    B&S were seniors, but did not do Europeans because they were 4th at Russian Nationals. They probably learned the dance, but I don't know whether they ever competed it; I don't know what the CD was at Russian Nationals that year.

    This article suggests that the Finnstep was used for Russian Nationals. If so, B&S were beaten by Rubleva & Shefer for the spot at Europeans, mostly because of a relatively poor 4th place showing in the CD
    [url]http://www.iceskatingintnl.com/archive/features/Finnstep.htm[/url]

    V&M and P&B have already been posted.
    Here's C/L & D/W

    C/L
    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIISlu62Mw4[/url]

    D/W
    [url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypFuIG1Bb48[/url]
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-06-2013 at 09:02 AM.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by vera01 View Post
    I think Finnstep would give some dancers trouble-especially if they have few problems with their knees.

    It would be interesting to see how top dancers like V/M, D/W, W/P, P/B +B/S, I/K would be doing especially since it's an Olympic season.
    That combination of technically demanding (thank you Doris for explaining just how technically demanding this dance is) and a bubbly, effervescent performance makes it a really good choice for an Olympic year, doncha think? It will also complement what will no doubt be a SLEW of heavy, dramatic free dances (it will be an Olympic year after all, and that always seems to bring out the UberDrama!).

  12. #27
    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeakAnkles View Post
    That combination of technically demanding (thank you Doris for explaining just how technically demanding this dance is) and a bubbly, effervescent performance makes it a really good choice for an Olympic year, doncha think? It will also complement what will no doubt be a SLEW of heavy, dramatic free dances (it will be an Olympic year after all, and that always seems to bring out the UberDrama!).
    If you look at the quote by Petri Kokko that I posted upthread, it seems that he doesn't consider it a particularly difficult dance technically - it's the timing that makes it difficult.

    I think there aren't that many lighter free dances even outside of Olympic years.

    Doris - IIRC, one of the European teams was involved in making the training/instructional video for the Finnstep prior to 2008-9. Am I right? I think it would have been either C/L or Carron/Jones. Do you remember anything like that?

  13. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    Doris - IIRC, one of the European teams was involved in making the training/instructional video for the Finnstep prior to 2008-9. Am I right? I think it would have been either C/L or Carron/Jones. Do you remember anything like that?
    Not sure. There was [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDXIgUuNwq4]this demonstration[/url] in 2007

  14. #29
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I know that Kati Winkler & René Lohse of Germany did a demonstration version of the Finnstep when it was called "The Sunshine Quickstep." They were a very elegant dance team, and favorites of mine, but they had many injuries. In their final season, they won the bronze medal at Worlds in 2004.

    On the Finnstep documentation, Winkler & Lohse are given credit for assisting Rahkamo & Kokko with developing the ISU Finnstep from their Quickstep OD.

    As to the difficulty, there are 70 steps, done at a rapid tempo, which must be done on the correct beats of the music, and the correct edges.

    During the one season it was competed, it was not uncommon to see lower ranked teams leaving out steps to get back on the beat. So as pattern dances go, I'd say it was difficult.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 02-07-2013 at 07:20 AM.

  15. #30
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    Winkler & Lohse and Rahkamo & Kokko were both coached by Martin Skotnicky. Skotnicky was known for creating interesting and unusual programs and still does to this day. The Finnstep, besides being quick with a lot of steps, also must have a light, bouncy feel to its presentation. Zoueva didn't think it was difficult enough for the Olympic year, but Gordon-Poltorak insisted it was. At least the Finnstep will be a fun dance to watch.

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