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  1. #1
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    Underrated U.S dance teams

    It seems there is consensus among alot of people that until Belbin & Agosto some of the top American dance teams have been underrated on the international stage. Who are some that you think were. Here would be some of mine:

    Blumberg & Seibert- I think they deserved to be 2nd over a still pre prime Bestiamanova & Bukin on some occasions and they certainly deserved a medal of some kind at the 84 Olympics. Like Torvill & Dean they were bringing their own form of innovation to the event at the time, and they were excellent technical skaters.

    Lang & Tchernyshev- I think they are one of the most underrated dance teams I ever saw. They were polished, had amazing leg lines, were very strong in basics, had some great programs, and Naomi really caught up to Peter's level in the later years. Some of their programs could use some more difficulty but still way underrated I felt.

    Roca & Sur- I always though they were really undermarked as amateurs before getting the scores they deserved in the pros.

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    Punsalan and Swallow in 1998 for sure. The fact that they finished BEHIND FP/M at both Olympics and Worlds was a travesty.

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    Gregory & Petukhov

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    i'd probably go with L/T, but thought they were undermarked in CD's only. Their matching bodies, flexibility (mostly from him) and good edge quality set them apart from B/A at the time. I enjoyed their OD and FD's (especially in 2002), but their holds were quite open and they did not have the difficulty in the big elements, ie step sequences. They were the best US team technically, so they were talented enough to do it. If COP existed at the time and if the judges marked their CD's properly I think they would have placed a tad higher overall. But...if they had the difficulty..who knows..

    B/S had interesting choreography, they did their elements well, like Roz Sumners, but I'm not that fond of them, the way I was of the rising and more charming K/P. I actually thought K/P deserved their olympic bronze in 84, but definitely thought B/S should have placed higher than 3rd at 1983 worlds, where they were very undermarked. But after that, till the end of their career, I thought they deserved their placements. B/B had more difficulty, and K/P were already improving at a quick rate.

    Roca and Sur--. I had only watched 2 of their US nats, and 2 worlds (95 and 96) . From that imo they were undermarked at 1996 worlds as I would them in the top 10. Their FD that year was piece of work. So i thought they were undermarked there. (My favourite program from their pros was the Bach Adagio piece, though).

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    For underrated US teams, I would say Chalom and Gates and Stiegler & Magerovski. I would have had S&M as the third team for the 2006 games. They looked like someone paired Navka and Schoenfelder together.

    I really never felt Lang ever caught up to Tchernyshev, and that's why their programs got progressively easier post 2001. There were times during the footwork sequences of their 2000 and 200 1 FDs where she was literally hanging on to him while he pulled her through them. They even had to change the collar on Petr's costume for "Anytime, Anywhere" because during the GP the edge of the collar would wind up being pulled down around his shoulder from her clutching on to his arm for dear life during the circular footwork sequence.

    I really never understood how they beat Denkova/Staviski in 2000 or 2001 or Delobel and Schoenfelder (yes i know, broken record) from 2001 -2003. I think they just got lucky in 2003 that worlds where in the US otherwise I think they would have finished a few spots lower.

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    Punsallan & Swallow, Roca & Sur, Naomi & Peter, Melissa & Denis

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    OhMahGash....I cannot stand Naomi Lang skating, even moreso than Tanith and Davis. Nor the brouhaha over this team. She along with Tanith Belbin are examples of what is so wrong with Igor Shpilband's girls who can't keep pace with their male partners. That and they were just politicked by Igor Shpilband.

    I like Blumberg & S. And Susie Wynne & her first partner.

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    Roca & Sur, Punsallan & Swallow. Probably the two teams most hurt by protocol judging keeping them just out of the top ten and thus the U.S. restricted to only one dance entry for Worlds, which they traded back and forth. (Having said that, I don't think that under any system of really objective judging that they'd ever have been higher than 6th.)

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    Lang & Tchernyshev

    Quote Originally Posted by casken View Post

    I really never understood how they beat Denkova/Staviski in 2000 or 2001 or Delobel and Schoenfelder (yes i know, broken record) from 2001 -2003. I think they just got lucky in 2003 that worlds where in the US otherwise I think they would have finished a few spots lower.
    At 2003 worlds, DelSchoes were trying to pick up their speed and were glaringly off the beat in the CD's. Really bad. (Yes, I was there in the arena.)

    If you wanted a team that I thought underscored in the CD's at 2003 Worlds, it was Wing & Lowe, who at least managed to have decent timing, if not good speed. They also had the guts to skate to John Lennon's "Imagine" while the US was in the midst of heading off to war in Iraq.

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    Ah, I didn't see the CD that year. But still, they were still clearly superior to L&T in the OD and FD both in technique and choreography.

    I think Punsalan and Swallow were only really underrated in the FD in the 98 Olympics/Worlds. They actually did very well with the judges prior to that. The jumped from 14/15th area in 94 to 7th in 96 after not making it to worlds in 95. At the time it was very unusual for a team to make that kind of jump after being out of the scene for a while. They stayed ahead of L&A in 97 despite falling in the OD, and just missed the top 5 in a 5/4 split to A&P in the FD.

    I think the millionth generic latin program parading as an Elvis program they debuted for the 98 season did them in. That was just an awful retread of their previous latin dances and they showed absolutely no improvement from the season before. At the Olympics they probably should have been 4th ahead of B&K with the new FD though.

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    casken, I agree 100% in regards to your comments about P&S.

    At times I wonder if P&S and L&T weren't American/NA would quite as many people think those two teams had been underrated and undermarked by the judges.

    As with P&S, I feel there was only one season where L&T were undermarked. It was during the 99/00 season when they were beaten at Lalique by Nowak & Kolasinski and again at Worlds I felt they could have bit a touch higher.

    Before that season and after I felt that L&T were given the marks they deserved and maybe even finished a tad higher than they deserved (I'm thinking of them beating DelShoes at 2000 Lalique in particular). I realize it's always been a touchy subject for some but like Casken I don't think Naomi ever became completely equal to Peter although she had improved as a skater. Also the biggest plus for team L&T was their bodyline and the lifts. As casken stated they lacked in other areas.

    Teams who were underrated IMO were definitely Roca/Sur, Blumberg/Seibert (during the Sarejevo Olympics), Pratt/Gillies and in the last few years of their career I think B&A were underrated by the fans and this season even by the judges.

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    I was not a big fan of Punsalen & Swallow. I found them predictable, generic and not very appealing. JMO. Technically they were strong enough in some ways, but they never seemed to have the technical difficulty a team like Roca & Sur did. I do agree they could have been placed better in the 98 season and should have probably been ahead of Fusar Poli & Margarlio and Lobacheva & Averbuhk (and maybe Bourne & Kraatz) that particular season. They really hit their personal peak of their own skating that season once they ditched their early season programs. Other than that I never found them underrated at all.

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    I really don't think any of the #1 US teams has been under(over)marked more than any other world top team. I don't see either Lang/Tchernyshev (sorry, but she never reached his level for me) or Punsalan/Swallow (the least favourite top US team of mine) on the Worlds podium (top 6 at best) in any case.
    On the other hand, both Belbin/Agosto and Davis/White have been judged more or less fairly (held up in the beginning of their career and losing in favour of the younger compatriots in case of B/A).
    Blumberg and Seibert probably were a Sarajevo bronze medal worthy team. But I also can not say that Klimova/Ponomarenko were not, and of course they were a couple with a significantly stronger potential back then.
    As for Roca/Sur - they found their niche as Pros, so I don't think there can be any complaints about their career.
    So the US couples that are/were worthy the Worlds and Olys pidium are there, and the couples that are not - have been placed accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by casken View Post
    For underrated US teams, I would say Chalom and Gates and Stiegler & Magerovski. I would have had S&M as the third team for the 2006 games. They looked like someone paired Navka and Schoenfelder together.
    I wish they had been able to stay in longer...
    "The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy

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    I agree that whilst Naomi improved *hugely* (I don't know if anyone else saw their first year programmes when they trained with Dubova and Annenko, but whilst very cute she was still very much Junior level IMO and took a long time to come back from a fall in the FD at Nats) she was never quite up to his standard - but that was because he was so amazing! She did have a lovely bendy back, and did gorgeous highlight moves. But Peter was just amazing, just the way he moved was

    I do feel that teams with a stronger female (Navka, Grushina, Fusar-Poli) did tend to do better at that time than those with a stronger male. I don't think Lobacheva/Averbukh would have done as well if they were not the top Russian team. I think overall L/T were as good as *some* of the teams that beat them, and overall I do think they were underrated. But they were also let down by their choreography. I think they were capable of doing more; Zhulin & Morozov just didn't push them enough.

    I'd still love to know what really went on between them & Shpilband/Coates in the 1999-2000 season that caused them to leave. I remember hearing various snippets but never enough to satisfy my curiosity!

    I also think NavBoms were underrated. In their 1st season they should have gone to the Olympics. All of their programmes at Nats were great, especially the FD. Brent and his previous partner Kendra were underrated too in 2005.
    “What’s on the revengenda this evening?” – Nolan Ross

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    Quote Originally Posted by judgejudy27 View Post
    Lang & Tchernyshev- I think they are one of the most underrated dance teams I ever saw. They were polished, had amazing leg lines, were very strong in basics, had some great programs, and Naomi really caught up to Peter's level in the later years. Some of their programs could use some more difficulty but still way underrated I felt.
    Only they had hardly any difficulty in their programs (but I do agree about the rest). So I'd never think of them as underrated.

    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Gregory & Petukhov
    Only Melissa couldn't skate.

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    Omg I can't believe I forgot....


    KIMBERLY NAVARRO & BRENT BOMMENTRE!!!!!!!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Omg I can't believe I forgot....


    KIMBERLY NAVARRO & BRENT BOMMENTRE!!!!!!!
    ITA!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by blue_idealist View Post
    Omg I can't believe I forgot....


    KIMBERLY NAVARRO & BRENT BOMMENTRE!!!!!!!
    Their programs were always totally empty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Their programs were always totally empty.
    Yeah, but they sure sold them well.

    I love rewatching their 2010 US nats performances.

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