About YuNa's strengths, I agree with what Pangtongfan and others said, so I won't repeat. In my view the primary source of her strengths is her unique athletic talent. I remember Gkelly mentioning "balance, awareness of where the body is in space (proprioception, alignment), fearlessness" as some of the constituents of skating talent. I think YuNa is as good as anybody in those qualities.
Her ability in feeling and moving with the music was apparent as well since her first time out with a big audience at 2005 JWC. I thought she's very perceptive. I also agree with what Jeff Buttle said about her arms. The thing about her arms is that, her arm movements often seems stemming from her spinal movements. They don't look forced. In other words, her arm moves in connection with, and as extension of, the movements of her whole body. I think that's what sets her arms apart from others'.
I think Yuna's strengths as a skater is firstly her uber strong mentality.. I mean c'mon who else in the business can skate under enormous pressure like her?! And secondly, her jump technique - it seems to rarely fail her. Lastly, her musicality- she definitely listens to the music. I can tell a lot of skaters jut hear the music and almost skate through it, but she definitely listens well and skates with it.
Eta- oh my goodness.. It looks like Yuna is out of the Grand Prix. She seems to have injured her right ankle during a run through. She's apparently gonna be out for 6 weeks.. Dang!!!
I think dancing to rhythmic music requires more skating skill than emoting to lyrical music.
What requires more "musical skill" or "musicality," whatever that is irrespective of skating skill, i.e., what one could demonstrate standing on the floor, might be more subject to debate.
Then it's another question as to which skaters best demonstrate it.
The closer we get to the actual events, the more such announcements could become a reality. I truly truly hope not, but it only makes sense that we learn of difficult decisions as events approach. Here's to hoping for good health amongst all of the competitors this season. And of course, in particular given what we know, to recoveries for Yuna, Kiira, Evan, etc.
Tp me, what is emotionally satisfying is the sports thrill. A clean program with triple jump piled on triple jump all the way to end, building to a grand climax in time to the music, that's like a football plater bursting through the line and streaking toward the end zone. He's to the 20 (triple flip), the 15 (triple Salchow), the 10....!!!
And here comes Yuna Kim making her move on the rail. Now she's ahead by a nose, a neck, a length...
It's a sharp hit to right. Yuna takes off from second, the third base coach windmills her on, "go, go, go," she rounds third digging for the plate, here's the throw, she slides!
Now pick music that has cymbal crashes at the right place and you've got it.
"Emoting" to lyrical music isn't really what I have in mind. It's hard for me to articulate since this isn't my turf, but I could point to, say, Michelle's "East of Eden" for an example. That program is not punctuated with fast, rhythmic moves to a musical beat--just pure fluid motion and smooth choreography, the sort of movement that figure skating is most naturally suited to, with skates gliding uninterrupted on the ice surface.
On the other hand, music with a tempo/beat can be great skating music as well. But it has to be a certain type and I'm not sure dance pop is a suitable one. Latin dances like Tango are excellent, and some of the most "musical" skates I can think of are programs to Latin music.