I read an interview quoting Hongbo saying that the five young teams spend the morning doing skating skill lessons. They also have core strength training and dance training. That might explain the changes we see here. Even for Hao Zhang, Hongbo has been trying to loosen his upper body stiffness through modern dance training. It also helps that Xue Shen was there helping the girls with throw landings and refine body movement. In addition, they have a ice dance coach and Nan Song's coach to help the girls' jumps. So it seems they are really serious about getting the new batch out there with good skills and polish. Way to go!
I would also like the Chinese Fed to hire someone from overseas to work on the crossovers of all top Chinese skaters (maybe sans Yan Han). The abundance of sloppy forward crossovers with bad posture hurt my soul. All the single skaters (again, maybe sans Yan Han) also need dance and music lessons and be whipped everytime they skate through music.
Thank you for the info, skatingfanfun!
Hao Zhang might need to do some work, but I can see him thriving with modern dance lessons. At early as 2006 Skate Canada in Victoria, where Gary Beacom did group choreography for the gala, you could see that he could really boogie when given a chance to let loose, and he looked like he was having a great time. I've always wished he could do a competitive program that would showcase this.
"The team doesn't get automatic capacity because management is mad" -- Greg Smith, agile guy
You're welcome kwuanfan and Ziggy! I was so excited about the young Chinese pairs' performances that I went to Chinese website to dig out information about their training and preparations.
The new coaching structure sure shows positive results! I'm impressed by Sui/Han and P/Z, but most excited about the Wangs! The basic skating is quite decent besides their outstanding performance skills. They are by far the the most natural performers among Chinese teams, including the past top three. Looking forward to their development, they could do fairly well in the World next year if they got to go, but I don't think so. Hopefully P/Z and Sui/Han can earn 3 spots but still the Wangs might not be going as there is another pair that is quite good in Junior level that should be old enough to move to senior. What a change. I thought Chinese pair skating was done after the big three, now there are just not enough spot to show all the decent teams, something to worry about but better than there is not enough to send.
I wonder what is happening with Yu/Jin who also trained with Bo Luan.
I have never seen a skater as thoroughly disinterested in their own performance as Zhang Kexin.
The fact that she is still skating like that this season means one or more of the following:
1. she really is disinterested
2. she is a huge introvert
3. she doesn't get music or expression
4. she is all focused on her jumps because she has significantly upgraded her content
I think its a combination of all of the above, with an emphasis on 4. I don't expect her to turn into a Proklova over night, but at least smile or flick an arm once a while?
It was a pain to watch Kexin. She used to be a bit better, at least not skating with two fists. I wanted to scream when she didn`t make an effort to make any of her choreographed move meaningful, what a waste. I believe she got her programs from Lori too. Come on girl, give it a try.
Prosperity makes friends, adversity tries them. – Publilius Syrus