Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by skamper23, Jan 14, 2011.
No, you smile at the judges!
This has actually been around for at least 15 years at non-qualifying competitions here in the Midwest.
You can still do the steps, demonstrate the technique and skate in time to the music. You do not need a partner to do learn ice dance. I have said this a number of times to skaters who complain that they can't learn ice dance because they don't have a partner.
This is so cool! I competed in freestyle for most of my skating "career", but enjoyed doing ice dance for years -passed my first silver dance a few years back but haven't had time to dedicate to it since. This could be just the kick in the behind I need to start skating seriously again. Sounds like a lot of fun!
I have mixed feelings about solo dance competitions. One the one hand, yes it is good for people who wish to compete but have no partner, but a male dancer I know says he finds that many of the strong solo dancers are not easy or pleasant to dance with, so maybe it should not be encouraged over partnered dancing. It could be one of the reasons partnerships don't work out so often. If you have been dancing solo for many years, working to accomodate someone else is going to be harder than if you were used to it from an early age.
It also seems to me that here in the UK, once the solo dance competitions really took off, we started having less and less ladies competing in free skating competitions.
In fact, looking back, the decline in the numbers of higher level competitors in all disciplines except men's free skating, and the gradual decline in the social dance scene both seem to date back to the introduction of lots of forward dances and the solo competitions that followed suit.
I don't think it is having solo competitions on a local and club basis that cause this, since dancers do need to be able to do their steps solo. Moving to having National and possibly International competitions is the real culprit. From the point of view of young girls, why go through the pain of learning to jump if you can wear pretty dresses and win medals doing relatively easy compulsory dances.
I would like to disagree with this statement, I've found solo dance as a good place for young girls to learn how to dance/compete when there are not enough boys to go around.
I will cite the french ice dancers Géraldine Bott and Tiffany Zahorski as examples. Both had very long solo dance careers before they found partners. In fact neither of them had their first partner until they were 14. Yet, both of them have had little difficulty adapting to partnered dancing and have both gone on to have 2 successful seasons on the international Junior circuit.
The exposure that the national solo dance competitions gave them, undoubtably made it easier for them to find partners.
Given a significant imbalance between male and female dancers, if most skaters in the much-larger gender pool are going to get a chance to compete at all, the options would be either solo or in same-sex teams. Or maybe both.
Pro-am competitions where many girls/women all compete with the same male hired partner/coach are another option, but then the skaters have to split that partnered practice time with all the other female skaters using the same partner.
Otherwise you're just telling all those girls that they're not welcome to compete at all and they might as well just quit if they can't find a partner, and that doesn't develop a good pool of high-level dancers with good partnering skills either.
Well, some girls like to jump and they will want to do freestyle regardless of whether solo dance is an option or not. Maybe they'll do both, or maybe they'll ignore all dance options.
If we're talking about skaters who are doing this for fun, why not let them choose whichever events they enjoy best?
If we're talking about developing world-class elite skaters, the ones who have the talent and the drive will gravitate toward the disciplines that they can have the best success in. We're a long way away from the existence of a world championship in solo dance, so the most ambitious aren't going to choose that path.
If solo dance is a viable option for women, it might also shift the partner power balance back from the women having to accommodate the men because they are so scarce and because top-level men are even scarcer.
Your experience with skaters appears to be vastly different from mine. Getting young girls to practice anything other than jumping is often a chore for coaches- suggesting they practice MITF or compulsory dances and not jump at all is laughable to me for anyone at any rink I've skated at, though I'm sure there is an exception somewhere.
The difference may be older girls who can't get their triples and can't find a partner, now they have a place that they can stay in the sport.
Adults I can see this statement working- I hate jumping personally and would gladly be done with it except I really enjoy spinning, so want to skate freestyle. Dance isn't for me either though because the idea of "easy" compulsory dances is something that doesn't work for me. I can't do the step behinds in the Rhythm Blues, which is supposedly the easiest. So I just stick with MITF and easy freestyle programs
Roller has the great issue of not very many men trying to break into coupled dance (I was just discussing this with someone yesterday, because I sort of want to do coupled dance [since I LOVE ice dance!], but I love freestyle, and the lack of coupling opportunities tips the scale in favor of freestyle). There isn't really that kind of issue in elite ice dance, though.
I don't really mind; I think solo ice dance might be fun!
From a club side where you are trying to promote the sport to a whole range of people, having the solo dance events will help keep skaters in competition whereas they may have left the sport due to a lack of a partner. Those skaters also provide an income stream for the coaches who can still teach them the skills and technique.
You know, a beautiful skater is a beautiful skater, no matter what discipline they are doing. I attended a solo roller competition and there was one girl who just had it. My first thought was she should have been on the ice.
When you have the roller sports who have really developed the solo dance culture compared to the ice side of things, it probably isn't surprising of the number of roller skaters doing solo dance as opposed to ice dance. We still have this thing in ice skating that ice dancing is not dancing unless it is with a partner.
Actually roller has the issue of not many men period. When youngsters start skating majority of them are pushed into every discipline for the first few years or so. Solo dance was specifically started because of the lack of male partners. The issue they are having now with men deciding to skate solo dance as opposed to with a partner was a problem they did not see coming and are still trying to work out what to do.
hmmmmmm why could that be? Why might many male dance skaters not want to be in close physical contact with a pretty female skater? I wonder....
What are the chances of solo dancing becoming part of international figure skating in the future?
I don't see it having a role in a world championship (if that is what you are asking). Although there is nothing stopping it having international type events where you could get competitors from multiple countries competing.
Imo, roller's biggest issue is that it doesn't lead to the Olympics. I can't say why I think it gets in the way, but it's not that expensive (as sports go) and you can basically try it anywhere (backyard, street, etc.). Why else would guys rather be figure skaters?
And, for that matter, I can't figure out why roller sports (hockey, speed or any form of artistic/figures) haven't been added to the Summer Olympics.
I 100% agree that not being in the Olympics is roller's biggest problem. However, there were no ice rinks (or coaches) where I was growing up so what choice did I have? Abut roller not being expensive, my boots plates wheels and bearings are worth close to 1500 dollars. Skaters often have three pairs of skates (figures, dance, free) and they last about the same as an ice skate. Not to mention you need to buy numerous sets of wheels thourghout the year and they run around $150 a set. Lessons are about $50 per hour fr an average coach, costutmes are the same price as Ice. Basically Ice or Roller figure skating is extremely expensive. Roller Sports have been trying desperately to get into the summer Olympics for years. We got down to the final four last time but missed out again. Speed and Hockey would get in before Artistic, basically because artistic is based on opinion as opposed to first over the line. The argument of "look what happens with judging and results of figure skating in the winter Olympics" has been mentioned often by the Olympic comittee to FIRS (Federation of International Roller Sports).
Don't get me wrong, we know we are the ugly sister relegated to the corner. In some ways we are further ahead than ice, in other ways we lag behind.
I've done some roller skating, but never competitively (I don't live close enough to a rink to commit to a regular training schedule). While I love ice, I really love roller (not so keen on inlines, though) and wish there were more competitive opportunities for roller skaters.
I also don't know where I got the cheaper thing from; I feel like someone may have thrown that out when I was just getting started in roller skating (but the cost of gas to and from the rink would have killed it, anyway).
Totally agree about inlines. They are a gimmick thing that I feel the world roller body introduced to try and build the sport and cash in (not negatively) on the inline skate craze that was sweeping the world at the time. What I've found is that the parents aren't prepared to commit the money and time to something that isn't an Olympic sport. Not all the time obviously but we've lost some really talented people because of this. In Europe (Especially Spain and Italy) Artistic roller skating is huge. At world level roller has solo dance which has been discussed in another thread, but they also have this amazing event called showgroups. It's sort of like synchro but it's completely show based. They actually say in the rules to avoid synchro tricks, I didn't think much of this event until I saw it and it's now my favourite event at worlds. Talk about being voidy!!! This is the recent World Championship Showgroup winners from Spain. They were water pipes, or something...
What would constitute "synchro tricks"?
I can't imagine Showgroups (on ice or roller), or Theatre on Ice, ever being admitted to the Olympics if choreography is always more important than technical content.
That does make it more enjoyable for audiences though.
I think the only mistake I've ever seen Skary Babs make was picking Maurizio as a partner.
I kind of like this idea, and I wish it was around back when I was a lonely dancer looking for a partner! If I had something like this, I wouldn't have retired....It reminds me of some of the very early dance tests like the Pre-preliminary through Pre-Bronze levels.
Yeah, no need to convince me about inlines.
I spoke about "pattinaggio rollare" in my Italian class, and my teacher was very excited because roller skating is a big deal in Italy.
Kind of a shame that parents feel that way, though, because roller sports are great exercise and a ton of fun (not to mention, so few people make the Olympics).
And if you reach that level in roller, you can convert to ice:
O'Connor & Millns
Also weren't their an Italian pair who had been world champions in roller who tried ice skating in this last quad?
^ Yes there was and they have been talked about alot on this forum. I really liked them. However I can't remember their name at the moment.
Also I think in the 80s a lot of German skaters did both.
Marika Zanforglin/Frederico Degli-Espositi.
And there's Matteo Guarise (I think it's him, can't remember well), also a pair skater, that took it to the ice last year.
Didn't Marina Kielmann do both?
Yes. There are a few who have made the transition.
Not sure I knew this, interesting.
I know Caydee Denney did make the transition, but I didn't know that she was a major competitor. I did know, however, that both of her parents were world-class roller skaters.