Whereas obviously speed isn't the issue in skating, so that can't be pushed (well, I mean as in it's not a race) isn't there always room for more innovation, new techniques or lifts or such? Or room for even more precision or greater interpretation of the music?
Part of what's been so great is that there were top teams pushing one another and having something to strive for, in turn impacting the ice dancing world.
If Charlie and Meryl stick around (maybe scaling back for a year to rest some and finish school, though not giving up skating entirely - truly just dialing it back some) ice dancing will continue to grow because there will be some pair that will fill in that gap of V/M's retirement.
While that close back and forth they had with V/M, pushing another team and being pushed in return would take awhile for D/W to not still be too far ahead, some team will end up stepping up and move into that role. Charlie and Meryl are too determined, have a drive to compete and give their all ever time, and of course they clearly love the sport and want to push things a bit, and I think that's where ice dance would be far better off with them staying - obviously that's just my opinion.
And, for the US, it'd certainly be a very good thing. It's hard (for me) to imagine the Shibs or (holy cow just spaced on their names! LOL) really being a true threat even in four years (especially not for gold and without a ton of work!) without them having some pushing more directed at them now (if that makes sense?) I guess I'm trying to say that the other two US teams would end up being focused on more just because it wouldn't be what has come across as a (very deserving, in my opinion) battle solely between V/M and D/W for the top spots, and then the Russians and another one person trying to battle out for the bronze.
Maybe I'm writing this too late at night and need to rethink my words before I say more!