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Thread: Figure skating in the United Arab Emirates

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    Figure skating in the United Arab Emirates

    Here are a couple of articles about the growing figure skating programs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

    http://www.sport360.com/going-out/fi...urns-abu-dhabi

    https://www.facebook.com/DubaiFigure...42231102461686

    Here is "couple number four" competing in pairs footwork. I suppose boys and girls cannot skate together in the UAE.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDSMS2FbqcI

    Here is a video about ladies' champion Zahra Lari, the first girl from this country to compete internationally.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQaFwaQb0Ns
    Last edited by Mathman; 06-28-2013 at 07:48 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Here are a couple of articles about the growing figure skating programs in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

    http://www.sport360.com/going-out/fi...urns-abu-dhabi

    https://www.facebook.com/DubaiFigure...42231102461686

    Here is "couple number four" competing in pairs footwork. I suppose boys and girls cannot skate together in the UAE.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDSMS2FbqcI

    Here is a video about ladies' champion Zahra Lari, the first girl from this country to compete internationally.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQaFwaQb0Ns
    Spellcheck for the title needed .

    A surprising development. I could not be more bemused if I learned that there was a boomlet for surfing in the Northwest Territories .

    A few stray (and no doubt ignorant and uninformed) thoughts:

    1) The obvious way to reconcile pairs/ice dance with Sharia, it seems to me, would be to encourage sibling teams. Can we expect an army of Shib-sib clones from the region in the next decade or two?

    2) A greater stumbling block, it seems to me, will be the expectations for modesty that will apply to all ladies skaters. Unless I mistake, figure skating costumes are too revealing to pass muster in the Islamic Middle East. Would a budding talent from the Emirates be competitively disadvantaged if she skated at Worlds clad in a style last displayed by Madge Syers?

    3) If a hijab (head covering) were deemed to be necessary by the religious authorities, would it also interfere with certain PCS aspects, as it hides the movements of the head and neck, and, if a veil or facial covering were also used, would further obscure some of the visual cues for judging emoting, interpretation, and projection?

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    If you ask Agnes, she would tell you a little lesson she learned from the wise old gals of Sex and the City 2. Third world laws in first world setting is not the place for Emirati boys to skate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    2) A greater stumbling block, it seems to me, will be the expectations for modesty that will apply to all ladies skaters. Unless I mistake, figure skating costumes are too revealing to pass muster in the Islamic Middle East. Would a budding talent from the Emirates be competitively disadvantaged if she skated at Worlds clad in a style last displayed by Madge Syers?

    3) If a hijab (head covering) were deemed to be necessary by the religious authorities, would it also interfere with certain PCS aspects, as it hides the movements of the head and neck, and, if a veil or facial covering were also used, would further obscure some of the visual cues for judging emoting, interpretation, and projection?
    Here is her competition costume. It is very pretty, actually.

    http://photo.epltd.eu/img/s3/v42/p449409094-3.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Here is her competition costume. It is very pretty, actually.

    http://photo.epltd.eu/img/s3/v42/p449409094-3.jpg
    .....................

    The hijab is counteracted by the excessive illusion mesh on the top. Which signifies nudity. Er...

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    Quote Originally Posted by karne View Post
    .....................

    The hijab is counteracted by the excessive illusion mesh on the top. Which signifies nudity. Er...
    Is it illusion fabric or just, um, sort of silvery-tan?

    Anyway, her music this year is Lord of the Dance and her favorite skaters are Evan Lysacek and Sasha Cohen. She has a double Axel and a triple Salchow. At first her dad did not want her to skate because it was "dancing in front of an audience of men." But her Irish-American mother talked talked him into letting her do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Is it illusion fabric or just, um, sort of silvery-tan?

    Anyway, her music this year is Lord of the Dance and her favorite skaters are Evan Lysacek and Sasha Cohen. She has a double Axel and a triple Salchow. At first her dad did not want her to skate because it was "dancing in front of an audience of men." But her Irish-American mother talked talked him into letting her do it.
    Ah, so she is an American skater? I think it quite possible that such issues may be even more problematic for Middle Eastern skaters. If ladies skating in that region is truly a growing and persistent phenomenon, I have a feeling that the struggles of Islamic mores and the sport to come to terms with each other have only begun. In my mind's eye, I can already see the Katie Couric story and news clip .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    If ladies skating in that region is truly a growing and persistent phenomenon, I have a feeling that the struggles of Islamic mores and the sport to come to terms with each other have only begun. In my mind's eye, I can already see the Katie Couric story and news clip .
    Actually, I would welcome such a discussion. Traditionally, the basic idea of figure skating has pretty much been been this:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3208/...d0919cdb2e.jpg

    +3 for pointed toes.

    Personally, I would be quite content to go back to outdoor skating:

    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...59528244_n.jpg

    In the "more is less" category, is it possible to look cute while fully clothed?

    http://goldenskate.com/wp-content/up...5/ats_cast.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Actually, I would welcome such a discussion. Traditionally, the basic idea of figure skating has pretty much been been this:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3208/...d0919cdb2e.jpg

    +3 for pointed toes.

    Personally, I would be quite content to go back to outdoor skating:

    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...59528244_n.jpg

    In the "more is less" category, is it possible to look cute while fully clothed?

    http://goldenskate.com/wp-content/up...5/ats_cast.jpg
    The first link would make a great poster for the ladies World Champion in a Jetsons episode .

    The question of whether or not skaters ought to be competing in the colorful, individualized costumes that they wear now, or whether skating would be better served by moving to the barracks leisure-wear look of unitards, as in gymnastics (as distinct from rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming, in which the kit is arguably just as flamboyant), is bound to inflame passions on both sides, if taken up seriously, possibly even fisticuffs.

    It would be like asking whether the British Royal family ought to dispense with the palaces, coaches, and guardsmen with their impractical furry hats, and, like sensible people, live in a nice modern London flat while taking the Tube to most functions. (Although I understand that members of the Dutch royal family actually know how to ride bicycles). Does it perform any valuable function that justifies the effort and the expense?

    If the sport lost its fanfare, pageantry and traditions, would it lose something ineffably vital, or would it merely be a much-needed housecleaning for the twentieth-first century?

    My own views on the matter are still not fully formed, although in considering such potentially radical proposals, the precept that I start with is: first, do no harm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mathman View Post
    Is it illusion fabric or just, um, sort of silvery-tan?

    Anyway, her music this year is Lord of the Dance and her favorite skaters are Evan Lysacek and Sasha Cohen. She has a double Axel and a triple Salchow. At first her dad did not want her to skate because it was "dancing in front of an audience of men." But her Irish-American mother talked talked him into letting her do it.
    It looks like badly-matched illusion mesh to me.

    Oh, so she's not really a typical UAE girl, since she's not been raised in a strict Muslim family, so she's not the best example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robeye View Post
    The question of whether or not skaters ought to be competing in the colorful, individualized costumes that they wear now, or whether skating would be better served by moving to the barracks leisure-wear look of unitards, as in gymnastics (as distinct from rhythmic gymnastics and synchronized swimming, in which the kit is arguably just as flamboyant), is bound to inflame passions on both sides, if taken up seriously, possibly even fisticuffs...

    If the sport lost its fanfare, pageantry and traditions, would it lose something ineffably vital, or would it merely be a much-needed housecleaning for the twentieth-first century?

    My own views on the matter are still not fully formed, although in considering such potentially radical proposals, the precept that I start with is: first, do no harm.
    To me, this is similar to the debate about CoP versus 6.0. What it boils down to, IMHO, is this. Is figure skating a participatory sport or a spectator sport?

    The strongest argument in favor of CoP scoring goes something like this. Ninety-nine per cent of all skating competitions are on the “less than elite” level. 6.0 scoring left myriad little girls crying, “Boo-hoo, the judges don’t like me. Next time I am going to hide Suzie’s skates so she can’t find them.”

    Under CoP such wailing is left to the fans, while the coaches can say, “Good job, you got 16.2 points. Let’s start to work on Monday on your double Salchow and see if we can get up to 18.5 by the next competition. And the reason Suzie won is because she did a more challenging combination spin and got a higher level, so that is something else we can work on.”

    The arguments against CoP are: the fans don’t like it, the fans don’t understand it and have no interest in improving their understanding, 6.0 is a familiar copyrighted brand associated in the public mind with figure skating, CoP skating is less entertaining and displays less variation and originality, etc.

    The debate about costumes – especially sexy and revealing costumes – falls within the same parameters, I think. We are seeing a sea change in the whole idea of sports for girls. Way back in the day, teenaged boys in the U.S.wanted to be football heroes. The most praised and emulated teenaged girls were the cheerleaders who stood on the sidelines showing their panties while the boys bashed each other back and forth on the gridiron. But for the past thirty years or so girls have been saying, “Why can’t we bash somebody (at least symbolically, in the case of figure skating)?”

    Historically, one of the appeals of taking up figure skating as a sport is that little girls got to dress up like princesses and have everyone tell them how pretty they are. That seems old-fashioned and sexist now.

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