And that's the difference between a fan and an uber: the fan can appreciate many skaters, and doesn't need to diminish others beyond all reason in order to enjoy his or her favorites. Whereas the uber is incapable of seeing merit in anyone but a select few (if even that).
Doris, of you have specific videos to share of good US teams from the 6.0 era, please do!
BTW, it is possible to succeed with a small height difference. The Kerrs managed to get on the podium at Euros and into the top five at Worlds despite getting a late start in ice dance, pairing up as seniors, having the smallest height difference of any elite team I can recall (6 cm), being a sibling team and having a federation that's not really the most powerful or supportive. If they could do it, others can to! It does mean that you have to understand what your strengths and weaknesses are, what you can improve and where you to think outside the box (if you can't improve some things).
I seems like people do not talk so much about "line" as they used to. Navka and Kostomarov had better "lines" than Belbin and Agosto in 2006, for instance. I would imagine that when it comes to lines, the longer the better. Tall and willowy beats short and petite (and blows short and not-so-petite out of the water altogether).
By the way, in the opening pose of Virtue and Moir's long dance, they are standing back to back, like children measuring themselves against each other. It's cool because the back of Tessa's head fits perfectly into the the hollow of the back of Scotts neck, looking like some sort of Janus-like human sculpture, fraught with anticipatory significance. (Not exactly sure what the significance is , but anyway, their relative heights make it look all artsy. )
here they are side by side on the podium in Torino, and you can see that the difference is quite small. Some skaters just have better lines than others. Emily Samuelson, who's not tall and willowy (though obviously lovely and fit!) had wonderful lines.
Lines aren't that important compared to some things these days, though - such as speed and athleticism, as seen in twizzles and lifts.
Yes, Tanith & Ben were put together as part of the 6.0 generation.
Here's a bunch of old US dancer videos. I'm not claiming they should have placed higher than they did in most cases, only that I liked the following programs enough by them to remember them after all these years.
Wynne & Druar do tap dancing 1990 US Nationals. The intro about the Air Force Academy and the Detroit skaters going there is really the heart of what happened at Arctic Edge later. It also has some hints about how to sell ice dance to the Olympic audience
This is a team that needed smoother lifts, but their ability to do tap on ice makes me smile, and I love the part where they do the tap dance "heads together" stunt.
Susie & Joe do the Charleston in 1989-I think they were a bit undermarked here. I wish I had a better vid to show. They really got the dance; a certain amount of higher ranked teams just didn't.
Punsalan & Swallow " Race Cars" number to Yellow. The part about the cars going into the pits is just spot on This routine did not fit the rules of dance at the time when they had gone back to ballroom. It has too much 2 footed skating, for one thing, but I still like it.
Punsalan & Swallow 1998 Worlds FD Tango (they never really broke through at worlds, but at this point in their careers, I liked them better than Bourne & Kraatz and Fusar-Poli & Margaglio, both of whom always finished ahead of them)
Blumberg & Siebert 1984 Olympics FD. This is a team that had 2 problems:
1. competing against Torvill & Dean
2. A tendency to do stuff that was too hard for them and falling. I wish I could find a good copy of their Victor /Victoria pro number, and their Mme Butterfly pro number with the huge fans.
Fox & Dalley do a nice Paso doble at the 1984 Olympics CD. This is just nicely done. Makes me smile.
O'Connor & Millns 1975 Worlds FD (The first US ice dancers I was really ever aware of, although Schwomeyer & Sladky were earlier)
Schwomeyer & Sladky 1972 (inventors of the Yankee Polka)
2001 Belbin & Agosto Quickstep OD to Girls, Girls, Girls
Belbin & Agosto 2002 Sarajevo tribute FD
Belbin & Agosto close out 6.0 with with their Elvis number at 2003 Worlds in Washington DC
Edited to add: Oh, I see Doris beat me to Blumberg and Seibert. (The 1982 dance was more fun than the 1984, though. )
Last edited by Mathman; 02-17-2013 at 03:13 PM.
Here's one of Punsalan and Swallow's best. I think the opening move is where Virtue and Moir got the inspiration for their Carmen. It's OK, though. Jerod and Elizabeth are married.
I remember O'Connor and Millns as my first ice dancers. And they won an Olympic bronze--no U.S. team managed another Olympic medal until Belbin and Agosto. I remember that O'Connor especially had a wonderful fluidity. I encountered her once, and she was rather petite, probably about 5'3", though that's just a guess.
One couple I liked a lot was Jamie Silverstein and Justin Pekarek.
Here's a favorite Roca/Sur program from Stars on Ice. The first section, they perform a quartet with pairs skaters Meno/Sand. This then morphs into the splendid Casi Un Bolero that Gordeyeva and Kulik perform to some of the same music. There's a simplicity and unfussiness about Roca and Sur's skating that I find so effective. No frills, no flinging their arms around. I also like that Renee keeps her hair short--it echoes the uncluttered nature of the skating. I really miss them.
Last edited by Olympia; 02-17-2013 at 03:29 PM.
Last edited by Mathman; 02-17-2013 at 07:38 PM. Reason: Fix quote
This thread has been a great opportunity to do research. I went back and looked up Angelika Krylova to see how tall she was relative to her partner and read up about her post-eligible career. Man, I'm slow on the uptake. I didn't realize she was married to Camerlengo and was choreographing (and coaching) with him.
Last edited by Olympia; 02-18-2013 at 12:45 AM.
Thanks to everyone who posted links. Youtube was loading so slowly for me that I couldn't watch much - but I had seen the Race Cars program before, and while technically it's not the most demanding, it is a lot of fun. I got a kick out of the fluff about Wynne/Druar - I can't imagine elite ice dancers being badly conditioned now! And coming back to the matter of Soviet/Russian skaters vs. Americans, I suspect back in those days the former had not just better training in ice dance but just a better training situation all around.
Aag...Buttercup, you have no idea how much skating I miss these days. Either the two hours they show on American TV are at a time when I'm not around, or they're hidden so I forget that they're on, or (Murphy's Law) the minute the TV goes on, a chatty friend phones me, and I can't bring myself to say "Though we haven't talked for six months, I'm going to hang up on you to watch TV." Or I'm doing office work. Drat, anyway. I caught the ice dancing of several couples on YouTube last year, which means I watched Davis/White to that splendid Die Fledermaus about a million times and got distracted before looking at the others.
Earlier in the thread was a bit of innocent discussion as to whether there is any possibility that Virtue/Moir would retire before the Olympics.
FYI, on a page posted yesterday, the Canadian Olympic Team website seems confident that V/M will compete in defense of their title:
"At Sochi 2014 they’ll look to be just the second ice dance team to repeat as Olympic champions, following Russians Pasha Grischuk and Evgeny Platov in 1994-1998."
Maple Leaf Moments: Skating to top
February 17, 2013
[With photos and a video, the page look backs at V/M's win in Vancouver.]
Last edited by ice coverage; 02-18-2013 at 10:08 AM.