Skate Canada Changes Terminology - what do you call these elements where you are?

anonymoose_au

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I feel like most non-skating folk hear “Mohawk” and think hairstyle, tbf.
Oh yeah this too, is there a non-culturally insensitive way to refer to this hairstyle?
 

kolyadafan2002

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Jun 6, 2019
It doesn't feel right to you (and plenty of other people) to say yet because you're not used to it yet. Give it a few years' worth of practice and it will flow more naturally - and for the kids who start learning to skate using this terminology, it will always feel right because they've never known any other way to say it. :)

And remember, some of those kids may be First Nations. Do you not think they'd be more comfortable learning to skate using names that are based on shapes drawn on the ice, rather than names that are based on ignorant stereotypes about their Nations' sacred rituals?
I had no clue of the offensive origins, as me along with most non-Americans have no clue about Native American sacred. I attributed mohawk and choktaw to the turns on the ice, nothing more than that and that's what they always meant to me.

Is it actually based on stereotypes, and why did they chose those names to begin with?

I still think that many people wont adapt to these changes, especially other countries which will get confusing over time.

In terms of what other people are saying, snake step just doesn't feel right for choktaw. S step won't work in other languages. Maybe instead of Choctaw they could just call them "chocs" assuming that isn't offensive.

Since a mohawk isn't recognised in a step sequence they could just call it a transfer of weight, or a "demi-choc"
 

silver.blades

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I wrote a little piece on this topic (it's in English, Ukrainian and Russian) - would love to hear criticism to this explanation if any:
Very good piece. :clap:
I've been to a lot of figure skating countries and met with a lot of international coaches... Every single one of them called them Mohawk and Choktaw. The new terminology is not interchangeable with every alphabet / language so people will not be able to use these terms when speaking to foreign skaters. I don't know why they changed them: Can you imagine somebody saying "Triple flip from C-step entry" or "S-Step into triple lutz." It just doesn't feel right to say.

It's a non-existent problem... its beaurocracy trying to make itself seem useful by making unnecessary changes which in my opinion are unsuccessful changes.
I had no clue of the offensive origins, as me along with most non-Americans have no clue about Native American sacred. I attributed mohawk and choktaw to the turns on the ice, nothing more than that and that's what they always meant to me.

Is it actually based on stereotypes, and why did they chose those names to begin with?

I still think that many people wont adapt to these changes, especially other countries which will get confusing over time.

In terms of what other people are saying, snake step just doesn't feel right for choktaw. S step won't work in other languages. Maybe instead of Choctaw they could just call them "chocs" assuming that isn't offensive.

Since a mohawk isn't recognised in a step sequence they could just call it a transfer of weight, or a "demi-choc"
First, not all skating terms translate across all languages, so that's a non-issue. Coaches can easily learn the correct terms in their skater's language or demonstrate. And second, just because Indigenous peoples are a minority and Indigenous issues, particularly in the US, are low profile in the mainstream media does not make them non-issues. If changing the terminology can make an entire group of people more comfortable within the sport then that's something we should do. As others have said, it will feel weird for a while, but we will adapt.
 

kolyadafan2002

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Very good piece. :clap:


First, not all skating terms translate across all languages, so that's a non-issue. Coaches can easily learn the correct terms in their skater's language or demonstrate. And second, just because Indigenous peoples are a minority and Indigenous issues, particularly in the US, are low profile in the mainstream media does not make them non-issues. If changing the terminology can make an entire group of people more comfortable within the sport then that's something we should do. As others have said, it will feel weird for a while, but we will adapt.
I still think that calling it a Chock wouldnt be a bad idea. (And speed up in the adjustment process). And then Mohawk could be half Chock (like Walley and half Walley)
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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I still think that calling it a Chock wouldnt be a bad idea. (And speed up in the adjustment process). And then Mohawk could be half Chock (like Walley and half Walley)
I understand where you are coming from, but I am sorry, I will think of Madi every single time if it is called a “Chock”:biggrin:
 

kolyadafan2002

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Tell that to an ice dancer.
I assume whilst mohawks are an essential part of ice dance routines, rhythm dances and pattern dances they are not counted within a step sequence? At least that's what I was (potentially incorrectly) told.

if we can get used calling a half loop a Euler, we certainly can get used to C-Step and S-Step.
Nobody I've met so far is used to it (other than those who originally called it euler). Why did they make that change? Also there's no base value for a double Euler, so if somebody does it it's got to be called double loop . (Used to call it here a double half loop). I now am enlightened by this forum of the native origins of mohawk and choktaw so understand the search for new terminology, but I doubt half loop was offensive to anybody.

Whilst I could possibly get used to S-step, my overactive imagination (a burden sometimes) automatically thinks of C-section everytime I read the word C-step (I don't know why).

I think it's best to have global names for skating elements and steps, so S and C aren't good due to different alphabets (people will be confused when going on camps, training abroad, international commentators etc). Knowing the origins, I agree it might be best to change the names however these aren't the right names in my opinion.
 

gkelly

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Jul 26, 2003
Using a syllable from one of the original offensive names does not solve that problem. If anyone asked where the term "chock" came from you'd just have to refer back to the original etymology, which was the problem the change is intended to solve.

The idea is to base the new names on the shapes they make on the ice.

So if you want to avoid being specific to a particular alphabet, maybe something like "curve step" and "change-curve step." But that doesn't include the fact that these steps also include turning the body. But "curve turn step" and "change-curve turn step" get more unwieldy.
 

4everchan

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Mar 7, 2015
I understand the issue with different alphabets... but at the same time, C and S are also shapes .... i am pretty sure people from all languages would "see" them and get to understand them quickly... tell me, for those using the Cyrillic alphabet, do you understand what X-rated movies mean? :) yup ... you do. :laugh2:
 

axelanika

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Oct 31, 2020
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United-States
Cyrillic Letters
С pronounced "es"
Ѕ pronounced "dze"

S-step (in english) vs С-step (in Cyrillic) may be confusing, however learning to use another letter is not that hard.
 

TontoK

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Using a syllable from one of the original offensive names does not solve that problem. If anyone asked where the term "chock" came from you'd just have to refer back to the original etymology, which was the problem the change is intended to solve.

The idea is to base the new names on the shapes they make on the ice.

So if you want to avoid being specific to a particular alphabet, maybe something like "curve step" and "change-curve step." But that doesn't include the fact that these steps also include turning the body. But "curve turn step" and "change-curve turn step" get more unwieldy.

Serious, non-trolling questions: Is there any evidence at all that the Choctaw Nation or Mohawk Nation find the terms offensive? Have they released a statement?

I'm reminded of a flurry of outrage a few years back about the Florida State Seminole mascot. So much outrage... until the Seminoles themselves told everybody to sit down and shut up... not to speak for them... and that they were honored by the association.
 

4everchan

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Serious, non-trolling questions: Is there any evidence at all that the Choctaw Nation or Mohawk Nation find the terms offensive? Have they released a statement?

I'm reminded of a flurry of outrage a few years back about the Florida State Seminole mascot. So much outrage... until the Seminoles themselves told everybody to sit down and shut up... not to speak for them... and that they were honored by the association.
it's not always about receiving protests from the first nations... reconciliation comes with respecting the traditions of first nations, and avoiding cultural appropriation. Every small gesture counts as we will never be able to repair completely what was done. There is so much more to do, but if Skate Canada has given itself a mandate of equity and inclusion, that's a good way to start.
 

el henry

Fangirl of men’s spirals and split jumps
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Tthe reaction of First Nations is an interesting question, but I would think that Skate Canada would have members with indigenous heritage that they consulted, but I have no idea. Since it was proposed by a diversity and inclusion board that is in fact, diverse, this seems reasonable.

The Seminole nation was in fact in contact with FSU, from what I understand (and I do not follow college football that closely, or at all,
:biggrin:
so I could be wrong) an offensive mascot, "Sammy the Seminole" was dropped at the nation's behest in favor of Chief Osceola. And of course, Florida the state has a relationship with, and connection to, the Seminole nation.

There is no relationship between the Mohawk or Choctaw nations and these moves. Instead, it is based on romanticization of the "noble savages" in the late 1800's. I did find an indigenous Roller Derby team asking to rename the steps in 2019 (evidently roller skating has the same terms, who knew?)

I think these steps will be renamed everywhere and in 50 years no one will know or care about their "original" names. And I won't be here to be taxed if I am wrong😄
 
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