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  1. #41

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    Ryan Jahnke's video is nice but it's kinda PC and generic. I'd show this one.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdgrxZ6x6Aw

    Or maybe this.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmf9akrRLGc

    Totally agree with those who are suggesting focusing on things outside of the actual skating. When I get the sideways looks like, "You travel the world for figure skating?" Ummm, okay " I'm like, are you joking? It has ...

    -- wonderful music to snark about ("My God is that worst cut of Bolero evah?!" "F* Swan Lake again?" "How dare she skate to East of Eden!? ")
    -- crazy costumes to snark about (see http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/2011/02...ips-men-2.html)
    -- big fat coaches in fur coats (any photo of Tarasova will do)
    -- grown men with stuffed animals (http://i.imgur.com/Ockgu.jpg)
    -- Russians, affairs and (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w227JiWLImM)
    -- a place actually called the kiss 'n cry (http://janeheller.mlblogs.com/2010/0...igure-skating/ - I actually love how she compares it to the baseball dugout in a whimsical way)
    -- divas (http://www1.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/M...ZnKVheUdUl.jpg)
    -- politiks, eville judges, sekret judging, Speedy and skandal !!!!

    If you have to demo something, I don't know. You could demo "the process of judging a jump", slo mo a video that shows the preparation, flight and landing pausing the video every second or so and talk about how each point this contributes to a GOE score. Maybe show a 0 GOE double axel vs a +2 GOE double axel. (A fall vs. a good one is too obvious to be instructive.)

    But I've found that people are either hypnotized by the skating itself or not, especially once they see it live. It's hard to sell. I don't think it really takes practice to appreciate, most of my friends through FS fell in love instantly the way I did.

    So the whole point is to practice engaging an audience, getting a points across to them in a quick and accessible way and hoping they leave with a takeaway or two. You won't engage them or give them anything to remember that might make them want to watch it on their own unless you talk with passion about why YOU love skating. Can you boil it down to three points? Can you compare it to things more mainstream for accessibility (like the kiss 'n cry is like the baseball dugout )

    If had 7 minutes, I'd frame it around how it uniquely combines three things for me like no other sport can: drama, art and athleticism, especially for the men. I'd probably talk about big name male skaters, the thrill of watching the final warmup group of men at Worlds (with quads just booming all around and you just don't know which one to watch!), the tension as each comes out to skate and sets up for their opening quad, and show a couple of examples that for me illustrate why I love men more than any other discipline - show a Misha Ge footwork, a Dai footwork, some Fernandez choreo, dig into the vault for some voids a la Klimkin, show some of Chan's complex transitions, etc.

    For another perhaps its the musicality of ice dance, dance rivalries, and lots of off ice drama with coaches and politiks.

    What are your three things?

    Good luck!

  2. #42
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    Sorry not trying to go on about Michelle Kwan again or anything......but watch this montage, it is exceedingly well-created with tons of drama and triumph: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVq_ZEVSfkY

    I think you should try to make a montage like this (it takes a lot of work, but personally I would find that much more memorable and effective than a simple verbal presentation. Or maybe you could combine a montage with your verbal portion, like a 50-50 split. You wouldn't make it about Kwan but about skating in general, using all the ideas posted (triumphs, comebacks, brutal falls, streamlined quads etc.) I think you could really create something magical, heck I'd even use the same song from this video.

    Hope this post is more helpful than my last!

  3. #43

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    heh, I never said *I* didn't like Plushy choreo - I think he has amazing charisma .
    Also, when I just started watching FS, I preferred Slutskaya over Kwan - I loved her explosive jumps and fierceness. I appreciate Kwan more now that I understand edges better, but that is hard sell, especially on video. (Note though, that when I brought my husband to see SKAM live, after watching every discipline, he promptly declared that everyone needed to take icedance lessons - they 'skated with more flow' - I think he noticed their generally better edges. He also thought Aliona S. hotpants were awesome...)

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by BreakfastClub View Post
    Ryan Jahnke's video is nice but it's kinda PC and generic. I'd show this one.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdgrxZ6x6Aw

    ...
    Well, Mr. Weir(d) certainly "makes/ made figure skating exciting." I get it ... figure skating is a great way to "express yo'self" if you're brave enough to step outside the box and be yo'self.

  5. #45

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    There are lots of venues in which people can express themselves, experience defeat and triumph, demonstrate athleticism, demonstrate emotion and artistry, wear tacky costumes, perform to great or cheesy music, etc.

    So what's special about doing it on ice with blades on the feet? That's what you should focus on.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    There are lots of venues in which people can express themselves, experience defeat and triumph, demonstrate athleticism, demonstrate emotion and artistry, wear tacky costumes, perform to great or cheesy music, etc.

    So what's special about doing it on ice with blades on the feet? That's what you should focus on.
    Do people want to know what makes skating different and special - or would a better approach be to show them ways in which it is similar to sports they already like and thus might appeal to them as well?

    I don't have an answer to that question, BTW.

  7. #47

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    I agree with what gkelly and rayhaneh mentioned earlier about variety of skills. Maybe putting together a video of things people do well i.e. Midori Ito and Plushenko for jumps, Krieg, Ruh and Scott Davis for spins, couple of dance teams for ballroom, a nice clip of a pairs spiral or extended MITF, etc. I for one don't like 'love carrot' pairs programs one bit (and I say this as a skating fan and someone who's done adult pairs), so if someone had me sit through that as a way to get into the sport...let's just say it wouldn't work too well. And then there are people who would love this and showing them voidy programs and big flying spins would leave them going 'meh.'

    Another (somewhat crazy) idea would be to show some big falls and how skaters get up keep skating -or take the 2 minutes and then come back and finish the program, i.e. Zhangs at the Olympics. My pro sports-loving coworkers were impressed when they heard about that. Might as well cast a wide net, IMO. Good luck with the speech -and let us know how it goes.

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by maatTheViking View Post
    heh, I never said *I* didn't like Plushy choreo - I think he has amazing charisma . ..)
    Are there charismatic skaters without artistic side? I don't think...

    Otherwise I will make a reminder Plushy's programs here: Plushenko's Fan Thread since 1996, maybe there are some people who interest in it. He has so long career, maybe many forum members don't know his programs, or saw them very long time ago.
    Last edited by lala; 01-05-2013 at 02:58 PM.

  9. #49

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    For humor you could introduce a drinking or bingo game for them to play while watching. You could mix technical content (nailed his quad) and some announcer/skater cliches ("I just want to go out there and have fun", "His artistry has improved"), costume or coach drama. Each player could take a skater.

  10. #50

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    I am returning to the thread after about 15 hours, and haven't had a chance to look up all the videos. Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone.

    Last night I decided not to emphasize the upcoming Olympics because not everyone gets excited over them, particularly the winter ones. I know this audience, and they know how passionate I am about FS. This is my opportunity to describe to them why I like it so much- I think they will find that interesting-, and what's in it for them (to get interested in FS). Since the purpose of the speech itself (as required by the manual assignment) is to demo something, my focus will be on that, with perhaps two short video clips- one could display the athleticism and danger of FS, and the other showing the grace & beauty.

    Since the US Nationals will start less than a week after my speech, it will be a perfect time to encourage them to watch the nationals, then worlds in March, and mention that the Olympics will be next year (but not spend time talking about the Olympics). I could talk about key skaters- both US and outside, to familiarize them ahead of time.

    I also decided that I don't need to create a lofty goal like making them fans of FS. If it happens, great. If it doesn't, they can still enjoy the speech, and the skating for a brief period.

    In the future, I could create a somewhat longer speech for another occasion, and include more visuals.

  11. #51

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    Vash, I wish you good luck in getting it done what with all the amazing suggestions. I am sure you will do a great job and I will be "rooting" for your speech to go over well with those listening.
    Crazy about sports!

  12. #52
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    vash01 , i thought you was kidding, but the best way. is to start with why Figure skating impresses you and how or/why you got involved in this. you might want to downplay the technical side of knowing a lutz from a loop.
    but i would start why it impressed you and the sport "called" to you.
    etc i started because a)wanted to , a kid on a pond practice and imagine me being ogm, wchampion, little tidbits that are personal to you-might be fascinating.

  13. #53
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    I remember watching 1997 Euros with a friend (live on TV), and I was fascinated by Grishuk&Platov FD The feeling begins, while my friend felt oppressed by that program ! So, I guess I won't use it to convert a non fan. lol

  14. #54
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    Good Luck Vash!!!! I'm sure you'll do just fine!!!

  15. #55

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    Thank you Vash01 for starting this thread. It's been really interesting reading all the comments.

    My approach would be completely different (and I know it's not what you'll be doing).

    I'd tell the story of Shen and Zhao, how pairs skating began in China, what their lives were like with the government restrictions, how they fell in love, but were forbidden to express that love in public. The poverty, the dorms, the endless practices, how they became world class, how Shen became more expressive after her extensive dental work. The whole story.

    When Shen and Zhao won in Washington DC, they didn't skate in the exhibitions because she was injured. Instead ABC showed their freeskate with no commentary. So it would be very easy to talk over.

    I'd explain how she had hurt herself in practices a few days earlier, how no one even knew if she could skate. Then I'd say how they skated last, and the team before them had skated brilliantly.

    I'd show the commentary free verson, while explaining the moves they were making, the difficulty of landing jumps and throw jumps when injured. And then I'd be quiet for those amazing last 15 seconds or so, when they're skating and the crowd is already standing and cheering.

    I'd say that unlike most other sports, skating is about sales. You have to sell your performance to the judges, the audience. You have to connect with your market, the way good salespeople do. The people in the audience that day knew Shen and Zhao's backstory. The connection had already been made, and the skaters came through. Everything, even the fact that they skated last, fell into place for a truly memorable championship.

    And then I'd speak a little more softly, and say that all sports are reflective of life, but figure skating is reflective of individuals' lives, even a country's life, and that special connection between athlete and audience is what makes it such an extraordinary sport to follow.

  16. #56
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    ^ I agree that Shen & Zhao's story is very compelling! Good luck with your presentation, Vash!

  17. #57
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    How about in seven seconds with a wad of small unmarked non sequential notes.

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by gkelly View Post
    There are lots of venues in which people can express themselves, experience defeat and triumph, demonstrate athleticism, demonstrate emotion and artistry, wear tacky costumes, perform to great or cheesy music, etc.

    So what's special about doing it on ice with blades on the feet? That's what you should focus on.
    Are there lots?
    Ballroom or Latin dancing competitions are somewhat similar, but there is no element of extreme sport. Gymnastics, but there are no real elements of artistry ( I know people will argue; but it is more about precision and form than artistry. Rhythmic gymnastics, yes, but once again, it's not an extreme sport with 4 revolution jumps and throws and constant sense of physical danger; and there is no partnership)
    Circus acrobats? Normally not judged; no clear technical rules.
    Virtuoso musicians? Some similarities, but it's a sport only in the eyes of some devoted fans; not judged by a sport system.
    There are many disciplines that carry some of the similar challenges as skating, but I really cannot think of anything too close to it. Ballet is the closest, but again, there is no unified judging element and it is not an Olympic sport. The dedication to mastering one's body, often despite physical pain is the same, though, as well as combining fine- tuning one' body with artistic expression.
    Last edited by dinakt; 01-05-2013 at 11:41 PM.
    improving my ballad- like lines

  19. #59
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    I agree, dinakt. Ballet is similar to skating in some ways, but there is not as much chance for self-expression in classic ballet.

    I really do think figure skating is unique in how many different genres it pulls together. Even in ice dancing alone, the skaters are expected to be good at Latin ballroom, Standard ballroom, and various other dances (flamenco, charleston, polka, folk dance etc). Even most professional ballroom dancers specialize in either Latin or Standard (with the exception of 10-dancers). There is not as much room for self-expression, because most competitions involve dancing syllabus steps to music that you don't know until it starts playing. Ice dancing had this in the form of compulsory dance, but it also had the OD/OSP in which the dancers got to select their own music and compose their own choreography to the given theme, which ballroom dancers only get to do with showdancing (which, in my understanding, is a very small percentage of actual ballroom competition). Now, those elements are still present in the SD (one section of compulsory steps, the rest an original composition).

    But on top of this, ice dancers also perform in the free dance. In theory they can use only ballroom rhythms there, but almost all ice dancers will attempt contemporary/ballet style at some point. It's extremely unusual to have dancers who would be expected to master this on top of ballroom... no one excepts ballet dancers to be great at ballroom or vice versa. And some ice dancers have done a damn good job showing all these different styles fairly accurately. They can even venture into hip hop and modern stuff. The only other place where I can remember seeing that much crossover of styles is reality shows like So You Think You Can Dance, but those are short term shows where you don't see the long partnerships and technical mastery you do in ice dance.

    And that is just one genre of skating, and it doesn't even include the gymnastic elements that you see in singles and pairs. That's what I love about figure skating and what makes it so unique... there is room for such a huge variety. I like rhythmic gymnastics just fine, but it all looks like skinny, flexible girls with colorful costumes throwing around their apparatus, alone or in groups. I can watch Yagudin's Gladiator, then V&M's Carmen, G&G's Vocalise, and Bonaly's Caravan and they are all completely different and unique. I really don't see that in any other sport.

    And then you add that they do it all on a thin blade in the cold and just... wow. It's amazing.

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    The post above from Cherub721- a hundred times Yes.
    Skating has great freedom of expression, choreography, ( and fewer conventions than a lot of dance- the variety of style one can choose from is awesome) combined with highly challenging sport. On a blade. With theater, politics, costumes, and national pride ( not that I am into it, but it adds drama for sure), and coached that are highly visible. There is so much to love, and it feels different from anything else.
    improving my ballad- like lines

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