vocalsl for free skating?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by toothbrush, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. toothbrush

    toothbrush New Member

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    well, i have decided to push the boundaries and go for vocals for my free skating programme after dithering over it for a while. going to oberstdorf for adult comp and we are the first group of skaters to work with the new rules. any judges on here ? would love to know what people think about using vocals for freeskating? my coaches were initially concerned that the judges may not like the changes. but i feel for me that skating to music i enjoy will enhance my performance. dont get me wrong i did like my free music , but i dont 'love it' and i picked it myself! ;)
     
  2. toothbrush

    toothbrush New Member

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    VOCALS - oops
     
  3. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    My thoughts about choosing vocals:

    Make sure the music itself is interesting aside from the words -- melody and/or rhythm you can skate to.
    Don't just act out the lyrics.

    Don't choose a song where the story the singer is telling is more interesting than what you'll be doing on the ice.

    If you have to cut a song down for length, and if the lyrics are supposed to make sense, make sure you don't cut so that the sense is lost. And if there are setups for rhymes, don't cut to lose the rhyme.
     
  4. Clarice

    Clarice Active Member

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    I agree with gkelly. It's very tricky to cut vocals so that they make textual as well as musical sense. Doesn't mean you shouldn't do it, but be careful.
     
  5. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    An intermediate man used vocals this week at nationals and his program was very nice. Ice dancing has done it for years. It is all about good cutting.
     
  6. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    Don't lip synch. Judges hate it.
     
  7. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    This may seem kind of basic, but.....choose vocals where you can actually understand the words over the PA. I would *highly* recommend playing any music on the PA at the rink before you decide to use it. The judges may be hearing the song for the first time, and if understanding the program requires understanding the words of the song, you are going to be in trouble if the judges can't make out the words.
     
  8. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    I went with vocals for my program for adult nationals in the US. The movement I'm doing ties in to the vocals, but is not a slave to them. And I have no plans to lipsynch :lol:

    I'm considering doing a second program as well, which will also have vocals.

    I think US adult nationals started allowing vocals last year?
     
  9. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

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    It's been about 5 years that USFS has allowed vocals in all test and 6.0 event freeskates, and adult and juvenile and intermediate IJS events.

    What will change next year, thanks(?) to the ISU, is allowing them for novice-senior as well.
     
  10. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    I don't lip-synch but I have been known to sing along while I skate. None of the judges ever told me that they "hated it" and a couple told me they were impressed that I could do both! :) Of course, it was a character piece that I was acting out, so singing along was part of the program. I don't know that I'd do it if it was something dramatic or just vocal music as part of a freeskate program. That would be silly.
     
  11. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    I've only judged very very low level competitions- but it bothers me when skaters sing along, if singing along is not part of the program.

    Oh, another example of a skater who used vocals (and took the deduction): Misha Ge. The vocals did not distract from his skating, though the cutting of music in his piece was rather bizarre, it wasn't the vocals that was the problem (I think only one selection had vocals).
     
  12. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    Don't profess to speak for "judges" in general. Maybe you hate it and maybe some other judges you've talked to do, but as zaphyre14 said, some of them like it and I have seen a few examples myself where I was impressed that the skater was able to do so and it added an additional level to making the performance more effective, IMO (most cases were in a showcase/interpretive type event but also once in a competitive free skating event at the juvenile level-- and a few times in ice dance, now that I think about it). Additionally, judges should be able to put aside any personal distaste or dislike of something if they are attempting to be objective. I don't see how lip-synching or singing along could negatively impact any actual judging criteria (but would be interested to hear if you think it can or have seen examples where it did, and how it detracted).
     
  13. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    Lip-synching that appears to be more 'nervous singing along' - (just mumbled mouth movements) negatively affects interpretation/presentation. (IMO)
     
  14. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    I have used vocals for ISI competition but I chose the pieces because I could picture the moves that went with the music - the lyrics just happened to be there. I don't think lyrics per se are helpful, but allowing them widens your choices of music. I still think the music should dictate your movements not the lyrics.
     
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  15. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    There might be judges who don't mind it, but pretty much every judge I have spoken to hates it.

    The problem is that whilst a performer on stage will present the song to the audience, you will not get the full picture with the skater because of their movement around the ice. They are not always going to be able to face the judges. Or if they do face the judges, then the people on the other side of the rink (if the audience are on both sides) won't get it.

    Also for me personally, it is gimicking and does detract from the performance at hand. You should be able to convey the intent of the song through movement and skating.

    As for "putting aside" personal preferences, that is more about the type of music and what the skater does with it. For example I hate Mariah Carey and Celine Dion (yes that has to do with my personal music preference). But if a skater uses it well I will give them credit for it (as I have done when judging artistic). I can definitely put aside my personal preferences as I always do when juding. However at the end of the day lip-synching is just mouthing the words of a song. To me that has nothing to do with adding or enhancing the performance.
     
  16. AndyWarhol

    AndyWarhol Well-Known Member

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    Im with Aussie Willy, on this one. To me lip synching is tacky.
     
  17. shah

    shah Shhh...

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    I wholeheartedly agree!
     
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  18. Ozzisk8tr

    Ozzisk8tr Well-Known Member

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    Unless it's a man in a frock doing either Diana Ross, Whitney Houston or Gloria Gaynor. That is all.
     
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  19. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    But again, one's personal opinion of whether it's "tacky" shouldn't be factored into the judging (obviously judging is never going to be completely objective and there are subjective factors that can influence one's perceptions, but judges should try their best to use the actual judging criteria as objectively as possible).

    :lol:
     
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  20. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Do you guys actually see a lot of people lip synching to vocal music while competing? I haven't seen that. Well, with the exception of Emmanuel Sandhu's program, which only included a second or so of "Oh".
     
  21. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

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    No, it is rare.
    I see it more in artistic/interpretive events where it is used as a feature of the program.
     
  22. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    It is tacky, a cheap gimmick and most skaters do it because they really don't know what else to do. And from my judging perspective it does factor in my judging because it is not original. Anyone can lipsynch, not everyone can do choreography and movement to the music.
     
  23. zaphyre14

    zaphyre14 Well-Known Member

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    There's a bit in low-level showcase programs but I hardly think it will show up much in free skates. The skaters are usually saving their breath for the jumps. :)

    After spending a week at Nationals, I'm actually looking forward to hearing some music that isn't overused ballet scores or screeching violins for a change.
     
  24. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    Obviously a skater who only lip synchs and doesn't do choreography or movement to music shouldn't get very good marks, but they shouldn't get worse marks than if they had failed to do any choreography or movement to the music and DIDN'T lip synch (in fact they should probably get at least slightly better marks, because they're at least showing a connection to the music in SOME way). Nor should a skater who does choreography and movement to the music AND lip synchs get worse marks than a skater who does choreography and movement to the music but doesn't lip synch. As zaphyre said I would be impressed if a skater could do all that at the same time. If done well it can show an increased connection with the music and program, IMO. However, I wouldn't want to see everyone do it because then it would become unoriginal and I prefer to see a variety of styles and types of music (including non-vocal music) used, but I would try my best not to let that personal opinion of mine negatively affect my judging of skaters who did do it effectively.
     
  25. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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    From the judging side of things, if any skater comes and asks me for feedback after an artistic program and they have lip synched, I will tell them how much I personally don't like it. It is up to them whether they choose to do it in future, but most of them don't realise that most judges (yes it is the ones I know) don't like it.

    There are other things that also come into the artistic side of judging as well, such as the suitability of the music to the skater. This includes whether the music is "age appropriate" or whether the music works with the ability of the skater. Again all subjective criteria but these things all come into play about how a judge views a skater.

    Most of the time skaters ask for feedback from a judge, the judge is going to provide feedback based on their personal likes and dislikes because it is a subjectively judged sport, particularly on the components. A skater could ask what a judge thinks about their music. Depending on the judge they could tell the skater they love it or hate it. A judge could say that piece of music is better suited to the step sequence whereas the coach or choreographer hasn't put the step sequence in that place. I have suggested to skaters to switch elements around in a program because in my opinion they will have better success with the elements.

    Skaters can choose to ignore or take on the advice of a judge. It is up to them.
     
  26. shah

    shah Shhh...

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    Just a few examples (all from ice dance):
    -Madison Chock (when she would skate with Greg Zuerlin) and the Reeds when both pairs skated to "Cabaret";
    -didn't Elena Ilynykh lip synch in this dreadful "Ghost" routine?'
    -a few years back, Barbora Silna (skating with Dimitri Matsjuk then) sang all programme long to Meat Loaf :)scream:).

    Probably there are some more instances, but I can't recall anything more now. Maybe the number of cases is not excessive, but for me lip synching is awfully distracting...
     
  27. RFOS

    RFOS Well-Known Member

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    I know it happens that judges do discuss their preferences but in the U.S. at least they are urged not to according to ethical guidelines (see http://www.usfsa.org/content/00S-PSchool Manual2-02.pdf
    ). Obviously there are gray areas involved, and one's reason for "liking" or "not liking" something might legitimately have to do with feeling that it meets or doesn't meet established judging criteria. Most of the time I like things I think are good and don't like things I think are bad, and in those cases obviously that should be reflected in the marks, but there are other reasons I might like or dislike something that shouldn't be reflected in the marks and I try to be careful how I think about and phrase things to avoid coming off as letting my personal preferences get in the way of my judgment. Being objective is of extreme importance to me (see my attempt at a more objective method of scoring transitions in Great Skate Debate for an example) even though I'm certainly not perfect. I was disappointed when Gracie Gold dumped her SP even though I many disliked the music and I personally didn't like it either. I thought she used the music very well, had good choreography, and it was different, and it annoys me that so many seemed unable to get past the music itself that she seemed to have gotten the feedback to dump the program altogether. If I had critiqued her as an official, I would not have seen it as my place to express personal dislike of the music and hope I would not have mentioned it unless specifically asked, in which case I may have been honest that I personally didn't but that I thought she used it well and it didn't matter to me in my judgment whether I liked it or not. (Likewise, Kwan's "Miraculous Mandarin" program I thought had really good choreography but she was allegedly told to dump it by people who personally didn't like the music and I think that's unfortunate.)
     
  28. kachilyn

    kachilyn New Member

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    Many of the skaters at my rink lip synch their artistic/showcase programs. They seem to do very well at competitions - almost always medaling! I do for my light entertainment but not my dramatic...fits with the character of the one program and not the other. I think it stems from the fact that our show/skating director has a Disney on Ice background and we always lip-synch the shows - so our skaters are used to singing/skating - and it is much harder then just skating!!
     
  29. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    IMHO if you need to lip synch to get the idea across, why are you skating? You could stand on a stage or somewhere else
    and "sing" and move or dance and get the same effect. Sorry, but I think the only place for lip syncing in skating is in an ice show where a character has to 'speak' as part of telling the story.
     
  30. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Well-Known Member

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