2014 Canadian Nationals Jr. Dance
Since no one has done this yet, thought I'd take a crack at opening a new thread.
Had the pleasure of watching an evening of outstanding dance. The Junior ranks are really quite strong. Here are the results from the SD.
Rank Competitor(s) Points
1 Mackenzie Bent / Garrett MacKeen EO 59.63
2 Melinda Meng / Andrew Meng QC 56.89
3 Brianna Delmaestro / Timothy Lum BC/YK 54.60
4 Danielle Wu / Spencer Soo BC/YK 53.55
5 Laura-Maude Verret / Simon Desrochers QC 48.75
6 Tina Garabedian / Alexandre Laliberté QC 48.24
7 Carolane Soucisse / Simon Tanguay QC 46.52
8 Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve / Dominic Barthe QC 46.27
9 Lauren Collins / Danny Seymour CO 45.78
10 Samantha Glavine / Jeff Hough EO 44.61
11 Caroline Falardeau / Benjamin Mulder QC 43.67
12 Courtney Royer / Addison Voldeng SK 41.71
13 Katie Desveaux / Dmitre Razgulajevs CO 40.90
14 Alexa Linden / Eric Streichsbier BC/YK 39.04
15 Catherine Daigle-Roy / Alexis St-Louis QC 37.60
B/M were really the class of the field. They have an ease and a quality of skating that comes from so many years together. They were packaged well, they skated well and deserve their spot. The Meng's looked more solid and stronger than I've seen them all season. It was a great skate for them. Normally I would think W/S would be ahead of D/L, but W/S had some errors tonight. Places 5 through 11 could really be anyone's ballgame. They are closer than their marks appear, I think. V/D and S/T were over-scored for how they skated. I felt that F/M were under-scored, especially on PCS, which may have had something to do with where they skated (1st flight, right after Meng's). Their tech scores were 8th, but their PCS scores were 14th. That's a pretty big gap, and a review of PCS shows scores all over the place from 3 to 5. This may be skate order, or the fact they are still a new team with not many outings this season. New team notwithstanding, they were strong, have lovely lines, posture, elegance, and even speed tonight (especially noticeable when D/R skated after them). They are a very well matched team. The choreo is interesting, and there was some great expression and musicality. So I looked at the other skaters in the first flight. All of them, except for D/R, have a huge gap between tech and PCS. Makes one wonder what was going on. Meng's have a 12 point gap. Yes, they pretty much maxed out the levels on the tech, but was their PCS really that far behind? They had a great skate with a great program. G/L have an 11 point gap. Yes, they looked a little tentative, but was it that much different? CV/B also had a 10 point gap. In looking at the rest of the flights, the gap between PCS and tech is much closer. I was a little surprised at the scores from C/S. I was expecting something much higher, but a review of the scores shows some hits on the tech side, even though they received solid PCS. I'm really enjoying watching this team develop, though, and they have a lovely FD, just like F/M do. G/L were consistent and charming. They looked a little careful, but otherwise really strong. They had great tech levels. I do think the bottom 4 are the bottom 4 in this competition. R/V did better than I thought they would, but they don't have the finesse of the others. D/R look quite young, and I expect they have a few years to develop yet at Junior. L/S are adjusting to being a new team, and matching their skills and abilities. DR/SL just had an off night. He looked quite nervous, which caused too many errors, resulting in these scores.
Should be an interesting afternoon on Wednesday. At least it's afternoon, and not 11pm at night. Surely there was another way to setup the schedule without making people skate until after 11pm? Most of the audience and skaters were gone before the last flight started.
Thanks for the update. I was really surprised to see a few of the results. Namely S/T have had a great showing this season and I thought they might be in contention here. Also V/D, who are they and where did they come from. And D/R, really low considering they had a JGP.
I also assumed that S/T would be contenders. But she fell during the twizzle, and they had a number of errors that impacted their technical mark. I actually thought their PCS was a little high. They looked tight, and like they were trying really hard (ie. going to make it happen, instead of letting it happen). Posture was off, extensions were missing or mis-matched. V/D hit their levels, but I think they had a halo effect with PCS of coming off the warmup as part of the last group. I don't expect them to maintain their position tomorrow. Start order isn't supposed to matter, but as we saw yesterday, it certainly seems to more often than not. D/R skated as part of that weird marking in the first flight. There was a solid effort from CV/B, followed by a strong charming program from G/L, followed by the Mengs who didn't put a foot wrong and have a complex program, and then followed by the sophistication and elegant skating of F/M. By the time we got to D/R, they looked slower, more cautious, and like the kids they are. It was a more open and simple program. They had a JGP, but I don't think they placed particularly high (as was true of most of the JGP assignments). They are still a developing team. Give them a couple of years!
Originally Posted by from the sidelines
Thanks for your feedback. Looking forwArd to hearing your thoughts on the freedance
Mackenzie Bent & Garrett MacKeen train at Scarboro with coach Carol Lane, and so they are also benefitting from seeing Gilles & Poirier and Ralph & Hill work around them every day.
Katie Desveaux & Dmitre Razgulajevs also are coached by Carol Lane (as well as Juris Razgulajevs obviously!) and also spend a lot of time with G&P and R&H, so I'm surprised they haven't had a better event. Katie & Dmitre even went to Colorado before the Christmas holidays with Piper & Paul for altitude training at the same time that Piper went back to visit her family. I think it was their first time doing altitude training, so they got a taste of enhanced cardio!
Actually I think it is G/P who are benefitting from seeing B&M train.
Originally Posted by Ryan O
I've gotta ask you a question that I'm curious about now. Maybe this is because I'm a lawyer and I look for patterns, but it almost seems like you have a personal beef with G&P. Most of us here have our favourites but we don't tend to take digs at another team in every post.
Originally Posted by wasabi
You may notice in my handle above that I joined this board in 2004 and have posted 225 times. I notice that you joined in 2011 and have made only 36 posts so far, and most of them seem to be negative comments about G&P. I find that curious. Are you a friend of one of G&P's former partners that doesn't like it that they are skating together or something?
I happen to think that B/M are on the path to being a better team than G/P. It may very well be G/P think so as well. There is nothing negative about this, just an observation.
You seem to be one of G/Ps biggest fans. Looking at your posts, you seem to be not just a lawyer but a family member or close friend of one of G/P. Just curious.
Well, that was quite the Junior event! Here are the results after the FD:
Rank Competitor(s) Section SD FD Points
1 Mackenzie Bent / Garrett MacKeen EO 59.63 82.98 142.61
2 Melinda Meng / Andrew Meng QC 56.89 77.65 134.54
3 Brianna Delmaestro / Timothy Lum BC/YK 54.60 79.65 134.25
4 Danielle Wu / Spencer Soo BC/YK 53.55 74.89 128.44
5 Carolane Soucisse / Simon Tanguay QC 46.52 80.43 126.95
6 Lauren Collins / Danny Seymour CO 45.78 74.15 119.93
7 Audrey Croteau-Villeneuve / Dominic Barthe QC 46.27 65.03 111.30
8 Samantha Glavine / Jeff Hough EO 44.61 66.23 110.84
9 Tina Garabedian / Alexandre Laliberté QC 48.24 60.39 108.63
10 Laura-Maude Verret / Simon Desrochers QC 48.75 59.66 108.41
11 Katie Desveaux / Dmitre Razgulajevs CO 40.90 66.52 107.42
12 Courtney Royer / Addison Voldeng SK 41.71 63.56 105.27
13 Caroline Falardeau / Benjamin Mulder QC 43.67 58.12 101.79
14 Alexa Linden / Eric Streichsbier BC/YK 39.04 57.10 96.14
15 Catherine Daigle-Roy / Alexis St-Louis QC 37.60 56.31 93.91
I would say that the order of the top 5 looked right to me. I would have had some different numbers, but otherwise the order looked pretty solid for those teams. Congrats to Bent/McKeen! They've been skating since they were little, and their hard work has paid off. I don't see their program being an international contender. It's just way too ridiculously cheesy for that. But they definitely skated it well. You know, that FD from last year and the SD from this year would be quite a combo. The Meng's were LOVELY. My goodness, they deserved the 2nd highest mark for that FD in my opinion. It was interesting, created a mood, used lines and edges, was just gorgeous. Delmaestro/Lum looked better in person than on video. And I'm so glad they didn't pick something from the "greatest hits musicals" list. But it's still untidy between them, showing a big difference in abilities between the 2 of them (he is really, really good). It was also still too wildly fast in my opinion. Wu/Soo have a good program with a few interesting moments, and a good understanding of rhythm, but they also had a few technical bobbles here and there, and I just felt the program was generic COP from the "greatest hits" list. Soucisse/Tanguay had a very strong FD. They were a different team out there for the FD than the SD. It was also the 2nd year on the program, and everything was in place. It was crisp, clean and with appropriate speed. I still think the Meng's were a little better, but there is no denying it was very well done.
My next 5 would lead with Collins/Seymour, who I think have one of the nicest programs in Junior this year. They are simply lovely, and I'm looking forward to watching them develop. She needs to start growing to keep up with him. It's not too often we get to say that! They have really wonderful lines, and really put the dance in ice dance. I'd have Croteau-Villeneuve/Barthe, Glavine/Hough, Garabedian/Laliberte and Falardeau/Mulder to round out the top 10. CV/B really have made huge strides this year. I haven't traditionally found Glavine/Hough beautiful to look at. Everything was unfinished from a line and dance perspective, and lifts were clunky. There was still a lot of this, but this year's FD was much lighter in feel, used the music well, and the elements flowed better. It suited them. Garabedian/Laliberte are a well matched new team with another charming program for the FD. An unfortunate fall on a step sequence moved them down the ranks. Falardeau/Mulder have a really lovely program and are a beautiful new team. It suited their elegance well, and highlighted their lines, finishing, soft knees, beautiful connection, and told a story. They were a bit slower in the FD, and had a few technical knocks, but they weren't obvious, and I do think they were under-rated in both the SD and FD. With a stronger FD performance, I would have had them closer to Collins/Seymour. Those 2 teams have a lot in common.
Desveaux/Razgulajevs had a stronger FD, and so they ended in 11th, which is probably where I would have placed them. It will be interesting to watch their development over the next few years. I'm not sure exactly how Verret/Desrochers ended in the top 5 after the SD. Predictably, this did not do them any favours in the FD where the contrast in the last flight was striking. They looked like they were having fun with their FD, but it really was missing refinement, finished lines, musicality, and edges. I'd have placed them 12th overall. Royer/Voldeng had a solid skate. Training in Vancouver has certainly improved their skating significantly this year. Linden/Streichsbier looked a little more "new" in the FD. I'm not sure when they teamed up, but I'm guessing it was a little later in the season. Perhaps next year they will have worked out more unison in their lines and more finishing. I liked their program. Daigle-Roy/St. Louis had a better FD than SD, but still looked a little nervous.
What we do know is that results at Junior do not necessarily predict success or failure at Senior. For me, the ones to watch after this season?
- Bent/MacKeen because of their strong foundation and quality skating (assuming they have better material in the future and don't get stuck in a rut)
- Meng's, but only if she doesn't out-grow him, and they grow their confidence and skating foundation, while managing the "brother/sister" relationship as they get older
- Collins/Seymour because of their wonderful lines, elegance and well-matched skating skills and real dancing from both of them, assuming he doesn't grow too much taller
- Falardeau/Mulder for the same reasons, and their ideal physical match, assuming they continue to work on confidence and speed
For me, "jury is out" on these teams who could really shine, but also have a bigger risk of either not surviving or stagnating for a variety of reasons:
- Delmaestro/Lum - he is really, really good. But I'm not sure about the team yet, or what kind of range they will have.
- Wu/Soo - they look really young, and one never knows how things work out through those teenage years.
- Desveaux/Razgulajevs - they look really, really young, but have a strong foundation and time will tell how they weather their teens
There are a number in this group that age out of Juniors (I believe that new age for men lowered to under 20). Wonder if they will all continue on in the tough senior level?
Your bias to a certain team in this group is quite obvious, so some of your comments I take with a "relative grain of salt" , but agree overall we do have strong juniors. I agree that the Tech panel was off in their calling in the the short dances (it appears to them that many teams apparently forgot how to quickstep between Challenge and Nationals!) and the judges seemed stingy with GOE and PCS other than for a few. Top 3 looked about right for the event, but S/T may have been up on podium except for the fall on twizzle in short.
Actually my bias is for a certain style of skating. I love the dance in ice dance: matching lines, matching and deep edges, quality extensions, close and varied skating holds, musicality, etc. I'm really tired of "greatest hits" music, and elevator music in general. I love novel choices and interesting choreo. (CV/B upside down lift, and unique music; C/S whole program, M/M etc...) I've been awfully consistent about that. It's why I prefer V/M over D/W, P/I over G/P, and at Junior here M/M over D/L, etc. I really don't like the trend lately that emphasizes speed over all else. This isn't speed skating. I was thrilled with the Senior results because I felt that dance skills were more rewarded than the last few years. Junior unfortunately seemed to regress back to placing more importance on speed than all the rest of the GOE and PCS marks. Speed is important, but I don't think it should be at the expense of the rest of the criteria. I didn't have such a problem with the tech calling at Junior. It was more the application of GOE and PCS that was a little off for me.
Originally Posted by Skatie
I agree that S/T would very likely have been on the podium with a better SD. It wasn't just the fall. They just looked off that night. They were completely on track during the FD. It was like 2 different teams showed up.
Next year will be interesting I think. Not sure how many Seniors will call it a day into the next quad, or how many of these Junior teams will continue. Usually there are a lot of changes after the Olympics. Maybe we'll actually have a full event at Senior. Lately that doesn't seem to be the case.