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Thread: The History of the Twizzle

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    The History of the Twizzle

    Hi everyone! I'm looking for some comments from ice dance enthusiasts especially

    I was doing some off-season wikiwalking and came across the entry for the Twizzle. I gotta say I was very very surprised to see that according to Wikipedia, twizzles were first performed or invented as late as 1991 ! Does anybody know any history of the element? I'm especially interested in how it came to be such an integral part of ice dancing.

    I became an ice dancing fan this past year really. Although I remember sort of following it before - partly because Rahkamo & Kokko were such celebrities in Finland in the 90s - I never got chills from it like I do now watching D&W and V&M perform. Recently I watched a few old performances by Rahkamo and Kokko just to see if I used to like them as a kid just because they were Finnish or because they actually were that good (for the most part, they were!), and though they were awesome, it is incredible how far ice dancing has come as a sport! It has to be the one discipline that has made the most progress without sacrificing any quality, consistency or artistry.

    The twizzle, although it is just one element, makes a huge difference. I don't know whether it's a coincidence but the advent of the element seems to coincide with general increase of speed in ice dancing. For instance, R&K's Valse Triste, though beautiful, now seems like a slow borefest compared to even some junior dances this year! Their quickstep - the original Finnstep - on the other hand seems like a preview of what has since happened in the sport. It's funny when you watch some performances from the 80s and 90s how the audience oohs and aahs and claps for the simplest little tricks that the skaters do, some of which would be considered mere transitions today!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Well they are wrong. Twizzles were part of K&P's Viennese Waltz OSP in 1987, the dance that became the Golden Waltz CD. And twizzles existed before then, although often they were done by one partner only.

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    Thanks! I thought it seemed a little late. Although 1987 is only 4 years earlier...I was sure twizzles had been around forever!

    Could it be that 1991 was when the element got its official name? I didn't really trust that Wikipedia article anyway, since it gives no source for that claim.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I would guess the term is from the 1960's, named from a tv character. Thanks to Action News 5 for this catch.

    http://www.wsls.com/story/24777309/a...ncings-twizzle

    Both the word and the skill were all over in the early 1990's when I recall a non-fan of G&P referring to one of their FD's as another Oksana Grishuk twizzlefest.
    Last edited by dorispulaski; 05-06-2014 at 05:44 AM.

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    Thanks again - I would love to see a twizzlefest! I love 'em

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    The Argentine Tango set pattern dance, invented in 1934, includes a step called a twizzle, with one full revolution.

    Unlike most multirevolution twizzles we see in IJS-era dances, the Argentine Tango twizzle is entered with counterrotation.

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    I think that the twizzle as an ice skating move (called in different ways, obviously) has more or less always existed, but the "set of twizzles" as a specifical compulsory Ice Dance element has been introduced with the new system (2003-2004 season maybe?), even if a lot of couples (B/K were among the first to do so, I believe) began to include a "set of twizzles" (in the FD, mostly) as early as the 90s, but they were mostly made of one-two revolutions... Now the twizzles are super fast and perfectly in sync, but if you watch programs from the 2004-2007 period you can see that even many of the top teams (who were raised under the old system) found it difficult to perform twizzles that would be considered "slow and easy" today!!

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    Outside of compulsory dances, twizzles were first required in the 1998-99 season: each partner was supposed to do at least two twizzles somewhere in the free dance. They did not need to be done at the same time. Most of them were single revolutions.

    That was also the first year of the required side-by-side step sequence in the original dance, and of the required dance spins.

    I believe FSGMT is correct that the side-by-side twizzle sequences were new with IJS, which was first used in the 2003 Grand Prix and Nebelhorn Trophy, and officially adopted with the 2004-05 season.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    I never had a set of rules in the 1980's-what I remember from then is that they were mostly prohibitions, not requirements. If someone had wanted to do a side by side twizzle sequence, they could have, I suppose, but extended groups of moves not in hold, afair, were not encouraged? I hope someone here knows for sure?


    When IJS came in, one of the issues was ensuring that both partners had similar skating skills. Hence the OD had not-touching sequences and twizzle sequences, which are also not touching.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FSGMT View Post
    I think that the twizzle as an ice skating move (called in different ways, obviously) has more or less always existed, but the "set of twizzles" as a specifical compulsory Ice Dance element has been introduced with the new system (2003-2004 season maybe?), even if a lot of couples (B/K were among the first to do so, I believe) began to include a "set of twizzles" (in the FD, mostly) as early as the 90s, but they were mostly made of one-two revolutions... Now the twizzles are super fast and perfectly in sync, but if you watch programs from the 2004-2007 period you can see that even many of the top teams (who were raised under the old system) found it difficult to perform twizzles that would be considered "slow and easy" today!!
    This is exactly what I was wondering about - how it happend so quickly that from occasional single/double twizzles we went to required sets of sycnhronized twizzles in just a few years! I would have loved to have been a fly in the wall in the meeting where that was agreed upon

    Also funny that you mentioned 2004-2007 period: This was the spring of V/M and D/W and their twizzles were spectacular even then! A good omen of things to come.

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    I would love to gather some videos here of spectacular twizzle sequences. By spectacular I mean anything you find chill-inducing: originality, perfect sync, timing with music, the "what just happened there" -factor... I'll start with my newest crush:

    Hubbell/Donohue and their 2013 FD set which just screams "Flamenco!"

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    Early side-by-side multirevolution twizzles:

    Bourne & Kraatz 2001 OD midline steps

    Belbin & Agosto 2001 OD midline steps

    sharper by 2003

    Davis & White 2003 were ahead of the curve incorporating multirev side-by-side twizzle in their junior free dance

    Other teams started playing catch-up, trying to do triple and quadruple twizzles. Then in 2004 the new rules came in requiring them, and everyone had to learn them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    Early side-by-side multirevolution twizzles:

    Bourne & Kraatz 2001 OD midline steps

    Belbin & Agosto 2001 OD midline steps

    sharper by 2003

    Davis & White 2003 were ahead of the curve incorporating multirev side-by-side twizzle in their junior free dance

    Other teams started playing catch-up, trying to do triple and quadruple twizzles. Then in 2004 the new rules came in requiring them, and everyone had to learn them.
    Thanks for these, very interesting to see the development.

    This summer, I'll be mostly watching B/A, B/K and DWTS seasons 1 thru 17

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    I remember BK 2001 FD twizzles, on one foot and in the same direction. I liked them more in their OD first step sequence.
    http://youtu.be/e14SJsOzkoc?t=2m29s 1st set
    http://youtu.be/e14SJsOzkoc?t=3m11s 2nd set
    She does some other twizzles on her own during the program, more difficults.

    They tried at the begining of the 2001-02 season another variation :
    http://youtu.be/FvHYfPt0jTE?t=5m45s

    but it was gone at the games :
    http://youtu.be/Rhn8dBLz_4A?t=4m11s

    Rewatching them, I think they might have played a part in the bronze decisions, he has a misteps on them.

    Anissina Peizerat also had. Their 2002 FD starts with twizzles on both feet and directions.
    http://youtu.be/8FwnVWi3pXA?t=57s

    Delobel Schoenfelder had awesome twizzles because very difficult.

    2003 Mythodea
    http://youtu.be/j7c3qPnZb4U?t=2m35s

    2004 Merlin (sadly you don't see their feet at the begining, the whole event coverage being sometimes bad)
    http://youtu.be/YCe3zAEg_1o?t=2m28s 1st set
    http://youtu.be/YCe3zAEg_1o?t=3m26s 2nd set

    2005 Frida
    http://youtu.be/APOhY_8hVGo?t=2m7s 1st set
    http://youtu.be/pKQBLBp6M38?t=4m3s 2nd set

    Belbin Agosto were the most reknown because of their twizzles right from the begining of their senior career. Later when I saw V/M ones I remembered this. Because theirs would give an even bigger impression. I didn't follow them closely enough to say about VM but Belbin Agosto had very good ones for their time and moreover they would rarely miss them unlike Kostomarov... I don't remember Belbin Agosto missing one set before 2006 OG, maybe at 2003 US nationals OD or FD.

    Delobel Schoenfelder had crazy twizzles but they were so difficult they would often miss them partially. Also they were considered as an unconsistant team for good or bad reasons and this was the US team stronger point. Overall I can't say who was the best, quantity over quality.

    Delobel Schoenfelder were the first I remember performing this variation :
    http://youtu.be/lSZI2Ap6A1U?t=1m56s

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    Thanks for all the links, machin!

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