Thoughts on Free Dance at Japanese Nats?


Record Breaker
Jun 21, 2003

“We have already been able to match our feelings better than we did at NHK,” he said. “And we will gain our experience to improve our skills through that. We have already made progress, but we still need to work more intensively on all elements. However, we want to improve that step by step.”

What are your thoughts on the Free Dance. Do you think Takahashi will stick with it?


May 20, 2018
Unfortunately, the free dance video links I had saved were removed, so the only dance I have been able to view is Kana and Daisuke's! If anyone knows of any other links I'd appreciate them!

Firstly I'd just like to say Hurrah, there are 5 teams! It's been 3 years since there was a full group of 5 competitors and it was nice to see a substantial masked audience too.

I think Daisuke was suffering from nerves here. Perhaps the earlier fall with Kana still affected him. There was a fall exiting the stationary lift, lost balance during the twizzles, a stumble after the diagonal step sequence. My favourite parts of this free dance are the said step sequence (I especially like the music build up with it) and the choreo steps! It was fun to hear everyone clapping along!

Overall I'm positive that Daisuke will stick with it, they just need more time to get used to the free dance. With a lot of work on twizzles and lifts. I saw their EX skate at NHK and thought that Dai looked a lot more comfortable skating that. Should they keep their program(s), I'm sure we will see a lot of improvement in a year's time.


Final Flight
Apr 27, 2011
All of the FD video have been removed. The YouTube account that had posted videos of Japanese Nats for the last few years was deleted, so many ice dance videos are now lost. :frown: I wonder who will benefit by this? :angry:

Misato and Takeru defended their title again with the very solid performance. It was a kind of they had to because they skated this program for the second season while the other teams had new FD. Good luck at Worlds!
It looks like Kana's injury affected more Dai mentally than Kana physically. They need more experience, needless to say. It was unfortunate that they could have very few competitions in his first season as an ice dancer. La Bayadere is such a beautiful program, and I hope they'll keep it for next season although it may up to Marina's strategy for the Olympic season.
Rikako and Oliver a bit concerned me. She fell right before OFSt and the performance a kind fell apart. Maybe that's because they finished choreographing this new FD just last summer (to replace their Muran FD from the last season), but they didn't look comfortable to each other much more than last season.
I love Kiria and Aru's characters and chemistry. I hope Kiria improves her skating skills, though. That may be one of the reasons that their PCS are so low compared to the top 3 teams.
Harauno and Yoshimitsu were very cute. Their program was more simple compared to the other team, but they showed lots of improvements since Eastern Sectionals.


Sep 2, 2019


Final Flight
Mar 1, 2014
For anyone, who hasn't been able to watch the entire FD event yet :):

I'm currently uploading the RD too and will post the link in the respective thread.

The RD version I have is the same as the one posted by CarolPooh in the "Russian vs japanese nationals coverage"-thread.

In case anyone prefers google drive (and since I uploaded it anyway :wink:):


Record Breaker
Nov 14, 2007
I watched the free dance recorded on my TV the other day. :)
My first thought while watching the entire 3-day J-Nats was 'In general I dont like the reverse order in the free'. If I'm not mistaken we never saw that kind of order at J-Nats in the past I think... sigh
Second? I was really happy to see 5 teams participated this time. During 5min warm up I was like, 'oh my god I'm seeing 10 ice dancers on ice at our Nats?! @@ and 6 (or should I say 7 counting Dai's singles career ;)) out of 10 has experiences competing int'ly. ^^ :yahoo:

Very nice to a team from Tokyo area. Seems they had SB free score, job well done! I hear again and again that it's very difficult to find available rink for their daily trainings for skaters locating in Tokyo area, the situation remains the same even for Wakaba, one of the top singles skater, says she still has to drive to a different rink to another as her norm. Must be harder for ice dancers I'd imagine.
Pretty much enjoyed Kiria/Aru's free dance. Their high-five upon finishing made me smile. Second best free score, well revserved. I used to love Aru's skating when paired up with Kirako, so I was sad when he had to retire for his shoulder injury;;; Am happy he came back to competitive ice. Stay healthy Aru.
Sorry about Rikako/Oliver's free. The first half they skated really well. Her fluke fall must have affected them both mentally. I feel for Oliver especially, he seemed very sad during the medal ceremony;;; They skated really well at NHK thus must have expected a lot on themselves.

Re Kana/Dai
Loved their SD full of energy and spark, more speed and attack, much much better than at NHK! 👍 Sorry about their FD, mis steps, stambles a fall here and there. Just glad they could finish their free with no further injuries. Get well soon, Kana.
At NHK I was like :jaw: :rock::love: the whole time while watching Dai ice dancing like that tbh. Less than a year of training? Wow. I'm no expert in ice dance but both of their programs are well choreo'd, packed with intricate moves; first rate ones indeed esp FD very lovely for a rookie like Daisuke. Hats-off to Team Marina.

Many congrats to Team KoKo a very well-deserved win same as at NHK T! They are just miles ahead of others in the field right now. No doubt. I do like Tim shows more emotions and skates now. I hope KoKo will stay healthy, continue to skate better and do very well in the autumn (at Nebelhorn, right?) so that they can get a ticket to the Oly Games. Good luck!

ETA Re ice dance final standings:
Would not have surprised me had the final standings been the same as free dance. The way (or the way it seems to me) JSF trying to score KoKo and Kana/Dai as tier 1 PCS-wise is a little generous at the moment, I thought, considering how this new team skated free at NHk and Nats. It's one thing to promote the weaker/less popular disciplines such as ice dance and pairs, to Japanese people and its media. But its another thing to score fairly and equally throuout competitions. It's a sport, an Olympic eligible sport. If they are doing so only for media attention, I'm afraid in the long run JSF may lose popularlity, support, money and most importantly credibility. The reason I'm sounding a little harsh on free dance is because I was so sad there was so little TV coverages on team KoKo, the reigning and three time national champion... Were I a judge? again I'm no expert but rikako/oliver for second, then kana/dai or kiri/aru thrid, maybe?
Anyway, I never liked the reverse order in the free, in particular at the Nationals and in any power-house countries. From spectators' side it's so exciting to watch skaters from behind skate well and give some pressure to later skaters, I fully agree, but on a bad day it may give/allow judges some room for doubtful cooking by changing GOEs here and there or PCSs.

All said, Ice dance in Japan is finally starting to grow and bloom. Imagine Uta/Shin moves up to senior next season. It's unbelievable, so deep. :drama: How exciting! :yay:
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Jun 26, 2012
Finally able to watch this. A bit underwhelming (sorry to the fans) after seeing some other dance events, but I thought Misato and Takeru did quite well. I like it that Takeru has a Japanese name now. Is fitting I think. A shame about Kana and Daisuke (the stumbles and so on) but it does prove again that ID is a very different beast compared to singles skating, even for a very musical single's skater! And not easier as so many people tend to think (but not ID fans).