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Thread: How do I watch Ice Dancing?

  1. #1
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    How do I watch Ice Dancing?

    I've never been to keenest of audience when it comes to ice dancing as i have poor discrimnatory power for the teams. Most look similar. From what I can catch from commentaries:
    1) Speed, of course the faster the better

    2) Skating in opposite directions is more difficult

    3) Doing steps separately is more difficult than doing it holding each other esp for coordination

    Some are more obvious like with Annisina and Peizerat where she lifts him instead of the other way round.

    What are the other things to look for? Sometimes the little nuances make watching it far mroe interesting. Need some fodder for my Worlds watching in Dortmund.

  2. #2
    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Here's some others:

    The skaters skate in rhythm to the music. In the CD's, they should be on the strong beat. There are, surprisingly, some dancers out there who literally can't dance to the rhythm.

    The pattern of the dance should fill the ice. In the CD, the bigger the pattern the better, and the patterns should come as close to lying over each other as possible (just like in figures).

    Twizzles should not be just connected 3 turns; they should flow.

    Twizzles and turns balanced between clockwise and counterclockwise is better. Both skaters have to do them, not just the woman.

    Extension from the center of the body right down to finger tips and toes is very important.

    Lifts with more changes of position are better.

    A useful thing to do is to pull up Levels from old COP competitions. You will find that step sequences and lifts are graded as Level1, Level2, or Level3. If you have tapes of the different couples' programs, this is very helpful for knowing what judges think is a harder element.

    Power of stroking is very, very important.

    I think it is better if the couple is well matched, and one is not just towing the other around.

    Hope others answer!

    dpp

  3. #3
    Rooting for the Kerrs!
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    Watch out for:

    * Equality between the partners. In some teams, one partner (usually the girl) does a lot more of the difficult moves than the guy. Judges are now looking a lot more at the guy than before.

    * Rotation in both directions, not just one, particularly on step sequences. Step sequences that only include turns in one direction are easier.

    * Dance holds. Look for teams to change holds, not just keeping the same one. Also, closer and more complex holds are more difficult than open holds.

    * Do you have any experience skating yourself? Try to learn to identify different turns. Some are more difficult than others. In singles and pairs programmes, you usually don't see much more than 3 turns and mohawks (apart from sometimes in step sequences). Dancers often also put in turns such as brackets, rockers, counters, and choctaws, which add difficulty.

    * Look for the quality of the edges (depth, smoothness, flow - and not making snow as they skate or turn).

    * Twizzles - look for unison, and that the turns are donw in quick succession (if they're more spread out, they're actually 3 turns, not twizzles). Doing them in both directions is also more difficult. And forward inside ones are the easiest, so look for teams that do other types - some of the teams at Euros did back outside and forward outside ones.

    * In the lifts, the man going onto one foot (and holding it) adds a great deal more difficulty to the lift. Changing direction of rotation or changing hold/position in the lift also adds to it. Watch for security in the movements too.

    * Interpretation of the music is also important - that the choreography is effective and fits the theme/music/skating style, is original, innovative, etc. You also want the elements to be well placed throughout the programme (and thoughtfully placed, eg. highlighting the music or choreography). Ideally, you also want the movements to flow into and out of one another - i.e. it not just being a case of crossovers - lift - crossovers. You also want a good variety in the moves, and originality in the moves themselves aswell as the choreography and the whole programme.

    * Of course speed is important too, but you should also look at how they are gaining and maintaining speed. Is it through the moves alone and the power of their stroking, or simply through crossovers? Also, like all skating programme, a variation in speed is best. You also want the skaters to have unison in their lines, e.g. free leg height and extension.

    As for the CDs - yes, it's good to have a bigger pattern, but it's judging whether they have a big pattern because their edges are shallow. Ideally, you want deep edges and also a big pattern, which also showcases speed.

    Hope that helps!
    Last edited by icenut84; 02-20-2004 at 07:37 PM.

  4. #4
    average opinionated skate fan
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    A couple of additional things...

    * If you hear a commentator say the ID team has "quiet skates" it means that they are very secure in the edging of the blade and therefore there isn't a lot of "skidding across the blade" which makes a noise. You will find this in all disciplines. It is far more noticable when at a competition live. The quieter the blades, the higher the quality of the edging. Torville and Dean set the standard for this (among other things)

    * Deep knee bends throughout the dance. The deeper the bend into the knee, the more secure the edge has to be to support the weight. It also gives the dance a far "lighter" quality and extends the range of "amplitude" a move can acheive in the dance. Bourne and Kratz are a great example of this quality.

  5. #5
    average opinionated skate fan
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    A couple of additional things...

    * If you hear a commentator say the ID team has "quiet skates" it means that they are very secure in the edging of the blade and therefore there isn't a lot of "skidding across the blade" which makes a noise. You will find this in all disciplines. It is far more noticable when at a competition live. The quieter the blades, the higher the quality of the edging. Torville and Dean set the standard for this (among other things)

    * Deep knee bends throughout the dance. The deeper the bend into the knee, the more secure the edge has to be to support the weight. It also gives the dance a far "lighter" quality and extends the range of "amplitude" a move can acheive in the dance. Bourne and Kratz are a great example of this quality.

  6. #6
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    Don't forget:

    Toe pointed!!!!

    Swing rolls - deep edges

    unison between the partners. Good dance hold positions. Backs straight; good posture.

    Actually the lifts Annisina and Peizerat did where she lifts him were just good tricks. I never cared for them.

    Timing; also watch for any "sloppy" footwork; should be precise.

    Ice dance is fun to do and fun to watch. Some of the best skaters in the world are ice dancers.

  7. #7
    I keep on fallin' for Kwan
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    COSTUMES.

    Sometimes they're horrible.

    Sometimes they're hilarious.

    Almost all the time they fit with the music they're skating to.

    Which almost all the time brings even more horrible costumes.

    Sometimes it's over the top.

    It's rarely *simple looking* if you can call it that.

    And almost all the time, it's a distraction.

    That's one cool thing about ice dance.

  8. #8
    ~ Figure Skating Is My Passion ~ Ladskater's Avatar
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    adamlondon:

    The set pattern dances are the best form of ice dance to observe. Free dance is totally different. People find it difficult to follow because they don't know what is going on out there.

    The idea of free dance is to allow the dancers to express an idea or theme. Still, they must adhere to restrictions while doing so. Although, today's ice dancers are allowed a lot more freedom than ice dancers of the past.

    One thing to look for is expression from both dancers and how they are communicating with one another. Are they wooden or animated? Do they flow freely and smoothly? Is their choice of music appropriate to their steps?

    Hope you enjoy watching the Worlds!

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