2020-21 U.S. Ice Dance

oly2018

Final Flight
Joined
Feb 13, 2018
Here's the FD

H/D are skating to Hallelujah. I like the music (it's one of my favorite warhorses), and it's not a bad program, but I'm not sure if it's good enough to regain the title.
Didn't they do Hallelujah for a short dance at one point? Seems strange to do when they need to fight for the number on spot.
 

heartyxo

On the Ice
Joined
Aug 27, 2019
Here are my thoughts! *copied and pasted from FSU :)*

RD:

-McNamara/Spiridonov: I'm glad Lorraine's found a new partner... but Big Spender, really? It barely even fits the Finnstep! A little rough in places but they definitely have potential.
-Pate/Bye: They really made me smile :D I loved her facial expressions, she looked like she was having so much fun! Technically weaker than most of the others, but still very good.
-Cesanek/Yehorov: They look very mature for first-year seniors, which is a good thing. The program wasn't my favourite but they did really well! Definitely ones to watch for the future.
-Green/Parsons: Love their costumes! And I definitely prefer this RD to their last one too, although there are still other RDs I prefer. I truly think they could be the top US team post-2022. Beating C/P in this segment is quite a feat.
-Carreira/Ponomarenko: I still prefer C/B's Too Darn Hot by far, and we've likely ended up with two US versions again, since I don't think C/B will change their RD. They're very talented but I just don't connect to their skating as much as most of the other US teams.
-Hawayek/Baker: Love this program! It was nice to have a slightly different version too, it was fresh. It was nice to have a new lift too, instead of the curve lift they've done several times. Hope they keep their US no.3 spot!
-Hubbell/Donohue: They are another team I've never really connected to, even when they had "good programs". Their skating skills and power are still tops. This RD is definitely better than the last one and suits them well, but its not to my taste. The score was lower than I expected too- I hope this means C/B aren't gonna lose out politically for being injured and not ready yet.
-I miss C/B :(

FD:
-M/S: Again, has potential, but a bit dull. Not that I'm surprised, it's WISA.
-P/B : The "stumble and fall" slide never gets old :D I love this song and again, love their skating and how much fun they look like they're having.
-C/Y: I quite liked this program last year and I still like it now. I never took a lot of notice of them in the stacked US junior dance field but they looked great here!
-G/P: LOVE LOVE LOVE!! It was so refreshing in this group of FDs. As they get more comfortable with the program the expression will come more but it's so good. Their two FDs have been the best choreography to come out of WISA in years.
-C/P: I'm still annoyed at Igor for reusing another old C/B program. And the program isn't stand out compared to the rest. Their strong spot last year is definitely not guaranteed this year.
-H/B: I really like it! It's a different sort of Blondie program than I would have ever expected but I did enjoy it. I think its the best FD Gadbois has given them so far. I was worried about them keeping US #3, but I think they're looking good to thus far.
-H/D: Better than their last 2 FDs, but why reuse Hallelujah!? That program was amazing, yes, but to create another iconic moment like that I think it needs to be something new. And it doesn't match up to most of their past FDs IMO. With C/B out, I thought they might have a chance of getting the top spot back, but I'm not sure any more, obviously depending on how C/B look and how their programs are.
-I STILL MISS C/B. Come back, babies!
 

dancelion21

On the Ice
Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Both of H/D's new programs feel 'average.' Not awful, like last year, but also not what they need when they're trying to upend the status quo. If they used these programs two seasons ago when they were on top, it would've been fine, and they probably wouldn't be able to challenge P/C, but would remain as World #2. However, that's not the situation they're in now. Now, what they need are amazing programs (like what C/B needed two years ago to stage their comeback), and I don't think these two programs are it for that.

TLDR
H/D's programs aren't bad, but they don't feel good enough to upset the status quo. Of course, this could change if C/B's programs are awful.
 

litenkyckling

Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2018
I actually really enjoyed H/Ds FD (and personally am not a fan of the song like ever). Maybe they won't beat C/B but it feels so much more authentic than the last two seasons. Back to their roots is maybe how I'd describe it - hopefully good building blocks for 2022. All the lifts looked smoother, the elements were on the music unlike last year and that final lift moment was so lovely - finally a lift that truly celebrates her height instead of trying to hide it!!

Everyone seems to really like H/B but for me it was a little... flat? Such a great song but I didn't enjoy the downbeat-ness of it. But they skated it well obviously. It didn't have a crescendo moment for me.

As much as C/P weren't quite on top form here, they sell the emotions of their programmes well - I would just love some outside of the box choreo for them. Don't Charlie and Tanith live in the area? Please help them! They have the goods, just show Igor how to use them please and thank you!!

I also really enjoyed G/P - mostly because he in particular looks like he is having the time of his life, I love ice dance so much when its fun!
 

readernick

Medalist
Joined
Dec 5, 2015
Just a note about the US Junior ice dancers.
I was so happy to see Brown/Brown again. I just love that team. It looks like he is starting to grow taller, which should help them with the lifts. They are just delightful performers. Chen/ Wolfkostin were also impressive. They are wonderful technical skaters. I am not really into any of the other junior teams.
 

Hyena

Medalist
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Here are my thoughts! *copied and pasted from FSU :)*

I agree with pretty much every single thing you said.

Hubbell/Donohue - I feel like I should like both of their programs, since they're very much in their wheelhouse, but neither do much for me. Hallelujah worked for them as a rhythm dance, but now that they're doing it a second time - right after Mariah Bell had such a beautiful free skate to it last season - I'm not drawn in. I could definitely see my opinion here changing as the program matures.

Hawayek/Baker - love this FD! I think in some ways it also fits into the "typical Gadbois" box, but I also think that's a style that works well for these two. And it's a choice of music we haven't heard a hundred times before.

Green/Parsons - I thought the performance of the FD massively improved over the first outing, so I was surprised that they got a lower score again. I wish we got the full protocols. These two appear to have the technical goods and an energy/style to them that I don't get from the other US teams.

Carreira/Ponomarenko have a style too, it's just one I feel like I've seen a lot before - I'm never inspired to go back and rewatch. But they definitely sell this year's programs well so I could see them holding onto the 4th spot this year
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada

Kittosuni

Medalist
Joined
Nov 2, 2012
Problem with H/D is that they dont have identity as a team. The french, the russians, even their own home country rival C/B, heck even the Canadians have a distinct personality to them.

the russians sticking to their own style and skating the other tide made them a rival to the french. It was the same strategy the french did to stick to their own style when faced with V/M. They did not try to blend but instead directly challenge what the other teams are showing.

If I think of H/D i think of power, athleticism and this FD program hides all their best quality. Instead it made them look slower, holds are more open and reveals their lack of extensions. This program has zero attack.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Problem with H/D is that they dont have identity as a team. The french, the russians, even their own home country rival C/B, heck even the Canadians have a distinct personality to them.

the russians sticking to their own style and skating the other tide made them a rival to the french. It was the same strategy the french did to stick to their own style when faced with V/M. They did not try to blend but instead directly challenge what the other teams are showing.

If I think of H/D i think of power, athleticism and this FD program hides all their best quality. Instead it made them look slower, holds are more open and reveals their lack of extensions. This program has zero attack.
The actual “problem” with their FD right now is that it’s brand spankin’ new. They only recently put it together with Scott Moir and built upon their sucessful SD from a few years ago. I love it and can’t wait to see it grow.
H/D actually do have an identity and have always bucked the trend in ice dance, the last few years they’ve been more low-key and that is ok. They are allowed to experiment. I’d rather they do the low-key in a non-Olympic season than in an Olympic one.
 

SnowWhite

Record Breaker
Joined
Nov 30, 2016
Country
Canada
My thoughts on all the new programs:

Hubbell/Donohue - I'm not sold on the RD yet (actually I think I enjoyed it in the IAM stream more than here). It's fine, but for me Burlesque needs to be campier to really work. I really liked the FD though. They did use Hallelujah as a SD, but that was years ago and given the lack of prep time for this weird season, that doesn't bother me. Haven't rewatched, but I enjoyed it and liked the music arrangement. Definitely better than the last two FD. Could be really beautiful with more mileage.

Hawayek/Baker - I'm not sure how I feel about the FD yet. Nothing wrong with it, but I think I need to watch it a couple more times to decide if I really like it.

Carreira/Ponomarenko - I hear everything people say about Igor's recycled choreo/music, but this still really worked for me? Maybe it helps that I wasn't watching ice dance closely when Chock/Bates used it, but I loved it the first time I watched and again this time. I think it's mostly just that they sell it well. And I never really liked the flamenco last season - this feels much more them even if it's not new or creative.

Green/Parsons - Wasn't sure about the new RD the first time I watched it, but this time I really liked it. I'm glad they went for two new programs so they can keep exploring styles as a new team. The FD is so much fun. Michael at the beginning of it is just great, and I felt they performance more from Caroline this time too. Still needs a bit of work in the middle section for me, but it's already a favourite.

As for McNamara/Spiridonov, the FD was not memorable for me. The RD was a bit better - I thought they had some nice moments playing to the (invisible) audience / camera - but still not very memorable. I wasn't paying that close attention to the tech side, so no comments on the relative abilities, but at least I enjoyed him performance-wise in the RD. Definitely not the same reaction I had to seeing Green/Parsons together for the first time though (I know the situations are completely different, but M/C and P/P were always paired in my mind so I can't help but compare a bit).
 

TontoK

Hot Tonto
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Country
United-States
With the caveat that I didn't watch all the performances, here are my thoughts:

I like H/D Free Dance, more than I thought I would when I heard the music selection. The beginning, especially, I liked. Low key music with very powerful stroking. The RD... not so much. Matter of taste, I suppose.

I've been off H/B for a while... but the first half of the FD was masterful. I was not so much into it in the back half... but early days.

I've been a fan of C/P, and I've thought they'd surpass H/B. But, now I dont think so. The RD is tired and unoriginal, and the FD only captured my attention at the end.

I'm undecided on G/P.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
I wonder if there is a reason why Madi & Evan could not have been assigned Skate Canada? :scratch2:
 

Lamente Ariane

Record Breaker
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Late to the party but I just got around to watching the second round of ISP free dances and... I'm actually really, really disappointed in Hawayek/Baker's new free dance. I wish they'd either skated to the actual Blondie Heart of Glass or just the Philip Glass music, but even beyond that I just feel like the program doesn't build or go anywhere. The new lifts are lovely, but I actually preferred Beethoven Flamenco. Maybe that was too high concept but at least it had a concept. I hope I'll change my mind as the season goes on but I'm not feeling this at all.

By contrast, and I'm truly surprised to be saying this... Hubbell/Donohue's Hallelelujah was a breath of fresh air. I felt like I was really seeing their skating again, and their connection. This is the program they needed in 2018-19.
 

Colonel Green

Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Country
Canada
I wonder if there is a reason why Madi & Evan could not have been assigned Skate Canada? :scratch2:
The USFS wanted their big names at home, and probably also they didn't want to compete against Gilles & Poirier at an event where all the judges are Canadian.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
Record Breaker
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
The USFS wanted their big names at home, and probably also they didn't want to compete against Gilles & Poirier at an event where all the judges are Canadian.
That certainly makes sense in "normal" times.

But now, when crossing the border means losing two weeks of training and may be dependent on a friendly border agent, I think a super duper Ice Dance event in Canada makes sense:biggrin: Also, even with Canadian judges, I think Madi and Evan are capable of outscoring Piper and Paul, but maybe I have too much faith;)
 

TontoK

Hot Tonto
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 28, 2013
Country
United-States
I believe there were too many teams at Skate Canada?
I'm absolutely certain that Skate Canada could have found room for reigning world medalists.

They were assigned to Skate America because USFSA and (presumably) NBC wanted the biggest American names to compete at their home GP, especially since they'd only be in one GP event.

They can't get healed and switch to Skate Canada now, because once the GP assignment is made, that's the end of it. They can't shop around for a later GP just because they were injured or not ready to compete at their assigned GP event.
 

ice coverage

avatar credit: @miyan5605
Record Breaker
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
As I discussed in another thread, McNamara/Spiridonov have been added to Team C envelope funding, apparently on the basis of their assignment to Skate America.




I'm absolutely certain that Skate Canada could have found room for reigning world medalists. ...

In the absence of an official statement from any of the parties involved, I do not feel at all certain about what the true (and/or complete) answer to el henry's question is.

Seems very possible -- and understandable -- that it could have been a priority for Skate Canada to find room for more of its own dancers.

Seven couples representing Canada (instead of the usual maximum of three) are invited to Skate Canada International.
(Which of course is allowed by this season's rules. I want to be clear that I am not criticizing Skate Canada.)
 
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