What do you want for... THE DANCE(rs)

Gold: Virtue/Moir
WHY: Let’s get real. I love them. I wouldn’t be a fan of figure skating if it weren’t for “Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” But more realistically, I don’t know how much longer we’re gonna have them skating for. Because their initial plan was to skate through this season and then have the surgery, I did wonder if they planned on 2010/2011 to be their swan song. If we only get three more competitions (4CC, Worlds, World Team), I want them to go out on top at Worlds. They’re a great enough team to deserve two World championships along with that OGM.
WHAT NEXT YEAR: To see them skate. That’s all. But if they could figure out a free dance to something by Sigur Ros (“Hoppipolla”), I might die of sheer emotional overload. And if possible, an SD to “Sway.” Or an FD to “Idioteque!” Or “Black Swan.” In fact, I think if they could just postpone retirement until their 40s, I’d be satisfied.

Silver: Davis/White
WHY: Okay, it seems churlish to want them to lose to their training mates again, and I don’t really want that. But I don’t love them like I love V/M. If they win, I’ll cheer – the growth in ice dance in the USA has been remarkable and a World Gold Medal would be a fitting tribute to that. And I also want to see them grow further.
WHAT NEXT: Something a little more subtle then this year.

Bronze: Pechelat/Bourzat
WHY: You know how Blades sorta wishes Patrick wouldn’t be on the podium in men’s despite his growth and recognizes that if he skates the best he can, he deserves it? That’s how I feel here. They have so clearly worked so hard at EVERYTHING – improving their performance skills, creating programs that work for them while still maintaining their individuality, figuring out the SD and how to make that work..... only a curmudgeon can root against the always-4th team. As a curmudgeon, I’m trying not to....
WHAT NEXT YEAR: Something uber-French and/or sexy. I loved their 07/08 flamenco and would love to see something that caters to the fact that they are very attractive people. Hey, if I can’t be a curmudgeon, I’m gonna be shallow.

Fourth: Crone/Poirier
WHY: Barring V/M’s FD, “Eleanor Rigby” is by far my favourite dance of the year – a flat out agonizing masterpiece. I want them to bring it. Top five would be a stunning achievement for these two (especially if the field isn’t redacted by an absent V/M). Realistically, I just hope they skate clean and accomplish their own goal (making the final group/gala)
WHAT NEXT YEAR: Work on their connection. Find something a chemistry that’s not necessarily romantic (can’t force that) but less esoteric than what they have

Fifth: Kerr/Kerr
WHY: Okay, I don’t love their FD like everyone else does. Nor do I like their SD (but I don’t think I like any SD’s this season, except C/L’s and W/P’s, maybe), but I see a spark/drive to their skating that I haven’t really seen before. I don’t want them to drop out of the top five when I expect to see them next season.
WHAT NEXT YEAR: Something English – for Euros, right? The Who maybe..... ooooh, I can see them doing a wonderful dance to “Baba O’Reilly”

Sixth: Bobrova/Soloviev
WHY: There’s so much to love about this team. The sinew of their movement; the elegance of their line. But they don’t have “it” – the intangible quality that puts them above the rest of the crowd. And I hate hate hate their new SD. But their FD is lovely and the way they skated at Europeans? Glorious.

Seventh: Shibutani/Shibutani
WHY: Okay. “Cinema Paradisio” was love – the way Zoueva/Shpilband emphasized their youth while simultaneously hiding their weaknesses (that height difference..!). They had issues last season, but her growth this season has made them such a beautiful match. They have a lot to improve on, but my goodness – the sheer old fashioned class of these two! And I won’t deny it – I would love ice dance to finally (FINALLY) have a non-white team enter the top ten at Worlds. A quick scan tells me this hasn’t happened before.
WHAT NEXT YEAR: Some more old-fashioned goodness.

Eighth: Weaver/Poje
WHY: A top ten placement would be stellar for this team. I want them to do well such that we can see them getting noticed more and more, but not so well that they coast (which is my fear with Bourne as their coach)
WHAT NEXT YEAR: NO MORE CHINTZY FREE DANCES!!!!! Moulin Rouge seems plastic where “Cheek to Cheek/At Last” is classic and “Phantasia” romantic. It’s really a giant step back.

Ninth: Faiella/Scali
WHY: The tale of ice dancing: too many teams to love. If you had told me last year that I would hope that the Kerrs would outrank F/S, I would’ve laughed at you. But the Kerrs’ maintained a drive this season that F/S really don’t have. Disappointing
WHAT NEXT YEAR: .... retirement (with only two spots, I wanna see Alessandrini/Vaturi march onto the world stage too), or recapturing the spark

Tenth: Cappellini/Lannotte
WHY: There is too much beauty in this team to have them fall out of the top ten. Too much beauty for them to be demoralized the way they were by the continued presence of F/S (which, interestingly enough, is how F/S felt when Fusar-Poli/Margaglio came back in 2006 – Italian ice dancers just can’t let go, apparently). I think a top ten placement (and perhaps more importantly, a close score/ranking to F/S) could be the motivation for next year
WHAT NEXT YEAR: a no-holds-barred FD. I adored “Requiem for a Dream”

Also, if they skate: Hurtado/Diaz to make the FD, so we get to see this again