Proper death spirals - a lost art? | Golden Skate

Proper death spirals - a lost art?

labgoat

On special assignment for work, see you in August
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For some time I have been irritated by the poor execution of death spirals. I hope some of our skaters might see this and aspire to these beauties performed by Ludmila & Oleg Protopopov. They remain the gold standard for death spirals. I link midway through this exhibition to an encore made entirely of all the death spirals. Note how how beautiful the forward outside one is and how much lovelier it is than any of those of the last decade.

I hope this art will not be lost to time...
 
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Joined
Jun 21, 2003
These were beauties! Currently it's more about counting the number of circles, and whether the head of the woman is beneath the knee than about beautiful positions.
It's the price we pay for the modern scoring system. Spirals in general have fallen by the wayside. :(

On the other hand, Belousova and Protopopov are the goats of pairs skating. It is not really fair to expect today's skaters to match up well agaimst them.
 

ladyjane

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And isn't it a pity spirals have fallen by the wayside? I totally understand that comparing with Belouova and Protopopov might be a bit unfair, but that's no reason to stop being inspired by such beauty!
 
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Diana Delafield

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For some time I have been irritated by the poor execution of death spirals. I hope some of our skaters might see this and aspire to these beauties performed by Ludmila & Oleg Protopopov. They remain the gold standard for death spirals. I link midway through this exhibition to an encore made entirely of all the death spirals. Note how how beautiful the forward outside one is and how much lovelier it is than any of those of the last decade.

I hope this art will not be lost to time...
Beautiful! Makes me realize how lucky I was to learn death spirals not too many years after they'd retired, when we all tried to "look like Ludmilla" -- hopeless, but we tried. Look how lovely and controlled her entrances are, unlike the popular method today where the lady first bends over and apparently checks to be sure her laces are tied, and then squats down and kind of unfolds once she's down there.And he doesn't haul her up like he's using a plunger to unplug a drain.
:palmf::rolleye:
 

BlissfulSynergy

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Beautiful! Makes me realize how lucky I was to learn death spirals not too many years after they'd retired, when we all tried to "look like Ludmilla" -- hopeless, but we tried. Look how lovely and controlled her entrances are, unlike the popular method today where the lady first bends over and apparently checks to be sure her laces are tied, and then squats down and kind of unfolds once she's down there.And he doesn't haul her up like he's using a plunger to unplug a drain.
:palmf::rolleye:
Yes, of course. Unsurprisingly, Oleg & Ludmila were totally responsible for evolving pairs skating with their graceful, balletic approach. It was like poetry, a painting, and a ballet watching them skate together. And obviously, they created some of the different death spiral entrances, so they were masters of that unique pairs element. A book could be written about their groundbreaking contributions to pairs.

They skated during a transitional era, in which they helped evolve pairs in a different direction with their creativity and vision. A lot of what they did is to me somewhat reminiscent of adagio pairs. What Oleg & Ludmila lacked is the speed, power, and athleticism necessary to excel in pairs today. And what many teams today lack is the grace, elegance, musicality, style, simplicity, technical precision, and unfettered dedication that the Protopovs exemplified.

Until the people running the sport understand how to foster proper technical competence (along with nurturing and accurately rewarding artistry), the sport will remain with these haphazard issues being inadequately addressed.
 
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PaulE

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Beautiful! Makes me realize how lucky I was to learn death spirals not too many years after they'd retired, when we all tried to "look like Ludmilla" -- hopeless, but we tried. Look how lovely and controlled her entrances are, unlike the popular method today where the lady first bends over and apparently checks to be sure her laces are tied, and then squats down and kind of unfolds once she's down there.And he doesn't haul her up like he's using a plunger to unplug a drain.
:palmf::rolleye:
I loved Ludmila's death spirals—no bum sticking out intermediate position for her. :love2::love2:
 

4everchan

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Beautiful masterclass on DS for sure... some of these were only one turn though and I think with today's rules some teams have to approach the element differently to get 3 revolutions.

Maybe an unpopular opinion but I think Deanna and Max are really awesome with theirs and are inventive within the difficult IJS requirements.

I always liked Isabelle and Lloyd's DS. LIke Deanna and Max in the LP, they do a FO DS.

 

TontoK

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My favorite pair of all time.

In addition to the incomparable death spirals, this exhibition also had a pairs sit spin, which used to be included in just about every program back in the day, but I can't remember seeing one in a very long time.

I bet @Diana Delafield may have learned to do that spin. I always thought it must be difficult for the lady to be in a lunge-type position, but keep the back leg extended off the ice. Looks like it takes a deceptive amount of strength.
 

Diana Delafield

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Beautiful masterclass on DS for sure... some of these were only one turn though and I think with today's rules some teams have to approach the element differently to get 3 revolutions.

Maybe an unpopular opinion but I think Deanna and Max are really awesome with theirs and are inventive within the difficult IJS requirements.

I always liked Isabelle and Lloyd's DS. LIke Deanna and Max in the LP, they do a FO DS.


The FO is by far the most difficult to do. Never did master that one myself. My blades are set to the inside of centre on the sole, so getting that low on an outside edge meant I hit the outer edge of my boot on the ice every time and came off the blade. And then I watch the few who can do it glide down into the position so smoothly.............sigh. :slink:
 

Diana Delafield

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My favorite pair of all time.

In addition to the incomparable death spirals, this exhibition also had a pairs sit spin, which used to be included in just about every program back in the day, but I can't remember seeing one in a very long time.

I bet @Diana Delafield may have learned to do that spin. I always thought it must be difficult for the lady to be in a lunge-type position, but keep the back leg extended off the ice. Looks like it takes a deceptive amount of strength.
You're right, I did. Still manage it, or sort of. It takes back and hip strength more than anything, squeezing everything together from the shoulder blades on down and pulling the leg up using the lower back muscles. That, and the man keeping the speed going to make it easier to keep that extended leg off the ice.

I actually hadn't noticed hardly anyone does that spin anymore! Am I getting a reputation here as a one-volume history of pairs skating? :laugh:
 

icewhite

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Of course figure skating is ever changing and has evolved a lot. Of course the teams of today have qualities the old ones didn't, but there's no denying that this was absolutely beautiful and perfect and it would just be amazing if the many rotations and positions of today were melted with movements that were as fluent, synchrone and perfect as these.
I still think Savchenko and Massot came close to reaching the combination of both with La Terre, but... only close, not there.
 

4everchan

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I appreciate our contemporary pairs. The level of skills needed today is incredibly high. Nothing against watching the Protopopovs. They were amazing but looking at the proficiency of today's pairs, especially when it comes to lifts, let's give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.
Some of today's teams are just extraordinary. I will repeat it.... Deanna and Maxime have great death spirals. They also have awesome lifts. Valentina and Max also have wonderful lifts.

Skills come and go in this sport. Some spins that seemed so cool back then disappear... (Miskuthenok and Dmitriev famous spin is rarely seen today... I saw it recently and well, it was just a meh... ) Sometimes tricks can look super cool when they first come in but only time will tell if they will become iconic. Will we ever see again Max and Deanna's FO death spiral with the forward pivot ? I thought it was cool and original and gave a very different look to the element with Max's extension. It makes the element so big...But many people hated it. Though, I admit, their version for this year is nicer to look at...



Now, this is something I would love seeing again...

The axel twist.

I don't think anyone is even training this move anymore. I am not even sure it fits today's requirements for the twist.


 
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1969 was a watershed moment for pairs skating. This was the year that Belousova and Protopopov retired from international competition and Rodnina and Ulamov won their first world championship. Abruptly, lyrical romanticism was out and dazzling acrobatics came in.

Irrelevant factoid: The Protopopovs started skating together after he completed his service with the Soviet Navy. Irina Rodnina and her two partners skated for and were sponsored by the Army. I'm sure this is highly significant somehow. :)

Perhaps of greater interest, they were all coached at some point in their careers by the legendary Stanislav Zhuk (a Marine ;) ). He later also coached Gordeeavand Grinkov. In total his students/former stidents won 67 Olympic Gold Medals.
 
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Diana Delafield

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I always loved Underhill and Martini's death spiral :) Remember the "whip" of her head to throw off the ice?
At that time, Canadian pairs girls were noted for the depth of their death spirals, with Barb Underhill as the queen bee. That was the aim, to get snow on your hair.

I also remember when she was commentating for CBC at the 1998 Olympics and Kazakova and Dmitriev attempted a BO death spiral. She was barely able to bend a bit backwards at the waist, wobbling dangerously. Barb was disgusted and said she had seen them do that repeatedly in practice. She wanted to rush out on the ice, grab Oksana and demand, "What is your problem!" and give her a lesson :scratch2::rolleye:. (K/D still managed to win in spite of that.)
 
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Guess who was the first skater to do death spiral? Charlotte Oelschlagel, of course, skating professionally with her husband, Carl Newmann in the 1920s.

They did it with a two-handed hold.
 
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Diana Delafield

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Guess who was the first skater to do death spiral? Charlotte Oelschlagel, of course, sjkating professionally with her husband, Carl Newmann in the 1920s.

They did it with a two-handed hold.
And now informally acquiring the name "synchro hold" among practitioners of the art. The grip used by synchro skaters.
 
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And now informally acquiring the name "synchro hold" among practitioners of the art. The grip used by synchro skaters.
!!! <*scurries off to You Tube*>

Here are the world champion Les Supremes. :love:

 
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