View Poll Results: Who is the Best Ladies Ice Dancer?

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  • Natalia Linichuk

    0 0%
  • Natalia Bestemianova

    3 2.13%
  • Marina Klimova

    27 19.15%
  • Oksana Grishuk

    21 14.89%
  • Anjelika Krylova

    5 3.55%
  • Marina Anissina

    5 3.55%
  • Barbara Fusar-Poli

    2 1.42%
  • Tatiana Navka

    9 6.38%
  • Elena Grishina

    2 1.42%
  • Isabelle Delobel

    3 2.13%
  • Tessa Virtue

    46 32.62%
  • Other

    18 12.77%
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  1. #1

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    Who is the Best Ladies Ice Dancer?

    I am actually curious as to who people think is the best Ladies Ice Dancer out of these options. I wanted to add Tracy Wilson, Judy Blumberg, Maya Usova, Galit Chait, Shae-Lynn Bourne, Meryl Davis, Natalie Pechelat, and Susanna Rahkamo among others, but I ran out of space. I created an other category because I know I didn't list some top ice dancers.
    Last edited by VIETgrlTerifa; 04-20-2013 at 03:02 PM.

  2. #2
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    Oksana Grishuk

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    That was a tough decision!

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    That is a really tough question. IMVHO, T&D, K&P and G&P are the three greatest teams in ice dance, but as to who is the best female ice dancer out of all of the ones listed in the OP is really hard.

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    I think, although Christopher Dean is probably the more prominent half of Torvill/Dean, you shouldn't have omitted Jane Torvill. I'd say Elena Grushina is not indispensable in this poll. And I would have put Maya Usova in it instead of Isabelle Delobel. Delobel is very good, but, in my opinion, while she and Schoenfelder are one of all time bests, Usova and Zhulin are one of all time greats. I know that people have said that Zhulin was better than Usova, but with her balletic lines she was still a really great dancer. But it's your poll and your decisions, of course.

    I voted for Marina Klimova. She had great technique, beautiful lines, musicality and emotionality in her performance that was not over the top. I have no time for a more lengthy explanation, though. And I am also not an expert - this is just my feeling. But Virtue, Grishuk, Anissina are close. And almost all the others on this poll have their great qualities too.

  6. #6

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    Yeah, I know I made a huge omission with Jayne Torvill and Maya Usova, but I (probably mistakingly) thought of teams where the female partner pretty much carried the team and how a lot of the team's success was due to the strength of the female partner. That said, I shouldn't have undervalued the female partners in teams where both the man and woman were close in-skill and shared difficulty. Marina Klimova, I believe, is a perfect example of an extremely strong female dancer who had a partner who was probably one of the best in his time. I ended up voting for Klimova myself. I just think she had it all.

  7. #7
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    Not sure who to vote for here. Torn between Virtue, Grishuk, and Klimova.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gk_891 View Post
    Not sure who to vote for here. Torn between Virtue, Grishuk, and Klimova.
    They are my three choices as well

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    Quote Originally Posted by gk_891 View Post
    Not sure who to vote for here. Torn between Virtue, Grishuk, and Klimova.
    Same here. And if Usova were here, it would be impossible to vote. I'm not sure right now, I want to say Klimova because she had it all, but I see Tessa and she has it all too. So tricky.

  10. #10
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    I voted for Klimova, even though a lot of them are great. I'm not sure about the inclusion of Grushina or Delobel, either, especially Grushina. It's been said by some that they didn't even deserve their Olympic bronze.. I'm not sure about Navka, either, if she is actually better than Torvill or Usova.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by gk_891 View Post
    Not sure who to vote for here. Torn between Virtue, Grishuk, and Klimova.
    I sort of think Virtue is a good mix of the two. She has the attention to detail and brilliant positions of Klimova not to mention her more subtle expression, but the speed and power of Grishuk.

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    I'm surprised that many are mentioning Usova. She was pretty to watch and quite lovely but technically she isn't anywhere near the level of the likes of some of the others mentioned here. I still remember watching her constantly do her chocktaws incorrectly during the blues CD at both the 92 and 94 Olympics. And the content in U/Z's programs was rather unimpressive for me (Zhulin was a very strong skater so the lack of content was probably to accommodate Usova's abilities or lack thereof IMO).

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by gk_891 View Post
    I'm surprised that many are mentioning Usova. She was pretty to watch and quite lovely but technically she isn't anywhere near the level of the likes of some of the others mentioned here. I still remember watching her constantly do her chocktaws incorrectly during the blues CD at both the 92 and 94 Olympics. And the content in U/Z's programs was rather unimpressive for me (Zhulin was a very strong skater so the lack of content was probably to accommodate Usova's abilities or lack thereof IMO).
    Yeah, that's what I thought. Usova had a beautiful, statuesque look about her and really knew how to perform. However, technically, I didn't think she was as strong as many in this thread were suggesting.

    I'm surprised that there are no arguments for Barbara Fusar-Poli because I remember during the FP/M v. A/P heyday, how many were lamenting Maurizio's lack of skill due to Barbara being one of the best female ice dancers at the time.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIETgrlTerifa View Post
    Yeah, that's what I thought. Usova had a beautiful, statuesque look about her and really knew how to perform. However, technically, I didn't think she was as strong as many in this thread were suggesting.

    I'm surprised that there are no arguments for Barbara Fusar-Poli because I remember during the FP/M v. A/P heyday, how many were lamenting Maurizio's lack of skill due to Barbara being one of the best female ice dancers at the time.
    Barbara was a confident and sure-footed skater but not at the level of some of the others. Not quite anyways.

  15. #15
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    This is pretty close to what my list would have been. I would have put Ludmila Pakhmova in over Natalia Linichuk, but that omission is understandable given that there is not much video of Pakhmova/Gorshkov. I would have had Usova instead of Delobel. DelSchoes strength IMO was in the difficulty of their programs, not so much in how they were performed by the dancers, if that makes sense.

    There are some inherent imbalances that can make it difficult to decide when the choices involve women who are all clearly excellent. Fusar-Poli, Navka, and Grushina didn't have the best partners, so maybe we haven't seen the very best they could do. The CoP programs tend to be more difficult, so that gives a boost to Delobel and Virtue, who competed the longest under that system.

    I would narrow my choices down to Grishuk, Klimova, Anissina, and Virtue. It's really hard! They all had great basics and technique, all were great at compulsories. All of these teams have notably had dances choreographed by modern dancers (Shanti Rushpaul and Jennifer Swan), which is something I love to see, and all were very good at ballroom.

    Grishuk IMO was the best (with Fusar-Poli) at interpreting all the different ODs, very strong in both Latin (jive, paso) and standard (quickstep, tango), and when Platov got injured she took on a lot of the difficulty gracefully. She had some of the best edges in the business. I admire her creativity and ability to really transform herself into the character of whatever the dance was, and her skating was just as good with Chickov, Zhulin, and her celebrity skaters as it was with Platov, so she's very good even outside her most successful partnership. I didn't vote for her because sometimes her leg line was not quite as good as the others... very nitpicky, but you have to be when dealing with this level of quality.

    Anissina had such a strong character on the ice, she was feminine, yet also clearly tough. She had beautiful edges, extension.... everything you could want, really. I've no reason not to vote for her as best ever. Today's programs are so packed that often the old 6.0 programs don't stand up technically... I watch them and think "that was it?" (in contrast, the CoP ones are weaker in terms of transitions and interpretation). A&P aren't one of those... their elements look fantastic even now, and the programs are very difficult... she keeps moving throughout the program, putting in lots of turns...

    Klimova is basically textbook perfect... but K&P are one of those couples whose programs don't seem as difficult by today's standards. There is quite a bit of stroking in Air, and the lifts are simpler (but so effective musically) and some of the highlight moves are on two feet. The use of the full body to express the music is though and something we hardly see today. It's still one of my favorite FDs of all time, so I'm not hating. And of course, K&P had to spend much more time on CDs and less on the FD, and were operating under different rules... they probably could've rocked CoP as well.

    Virtue really has the best of both systems. The things she was doing in Carmen are absurdly difficult. I really can't see any of these women doing those lifts. And that is combined with extremely difficult footwork, twizzles, and spins. She doesn't have any major weaknesses. Even with these more difficult elements she has had to train for the past 8 years, her CDs were excellent too and stand up well against these other women (and remember she was still very young when they were phased out and is being compared to women who skated them at the peak of their careers). She has the strongest off-ice dance background here, but the nice thing is that her bladework is comparable too. She has the qualities of a 6.0 female ice dancer in terms of leg line, posture, skating in holds, etc which are sorely missing today (Pechalat and a couple of the Russian girls have some of those qualities, but you can see the effort on some of their elements). I know some feel she is not versatile, but IMO she was outstanding with the Latin and flamenco rhythms as well as standard dances like tango, foxtrot, quickstep (that's going back to juniors), and especially waltz.

    I guess where I give her the edge over Anissina is in very very small details (and I do see where people can disagree) ... the way the music is expressed in the lift... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyJkn...tailpage#t=80s she's holding position and just waving her arms... again in this move http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyJkn...tailpage#t=98s compared to Tessa using her full body in Carmen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AicVw...ailpage#t=139s you need to have such amazing timing for that!


    Thanks for this poll; really interesting discussion so far.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cherub721 View Post

    Klimova is basically textbook perfect... but K&P are one of those couples whose programs don't seem as difficult by today's standards. There is quite a bit of stroking in Air, and the lifts are simpler (but so effective musically) and some of the highlight moves are on two feet. The use of the full body to express the music is though and something we hardly see today. It's still one of my favorite FDs of all time, so I'm not hating. And of course, K&P had to spend much more time on CDs and less on the FD, and were operating under different rules... they probably could've rocked CoP as well.
    In my layperson's opinion, I actually found Air to probably have their least difficult footwork of any of their FDs. When I compare Air, which I consider a masterpiece, to something like their Hungarian Rhapsody FD, their 1985 Latin dance, My Fair Lady, and especially Lawrence of Arabia, I just found the unison and footwork to be quite incredible (especially going by 1980s 6.0 standards). I also think that affected them was that they were developing with OSPs as opposed to ODs (although their last two seasons had ODs) and that may have had an affect on what sort of elements they decided to develop compared to someone like Anissina and Virtue who basically had to deal with stringent OD elements requiring high difficulty. Also, K/P's biggest rivals were the Duschenays who were being rewarded for their creativity and passion as opposed to their technical elements so maybe K/P decided to scale back on it to work on a modern approach to dance.

  17. #17
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    Those are all fair points. I definitely agree that the Duschenays pushed them to have a more modern style and skate with abandon as opposed to doing perfect and neat footwork (which wasn't as overtly credited in the scoring as it is today). Similarly, I think the fact that Fusar-Poli was doing a lot of twizzling around a weaker partner is what pushed Anissina to do a lot more turning in Libertas than in some on their earlier, more open FDs.

  18. #18
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    I guess some took the poll to say "who is your favorite female ice dancer" or maybe "what female ice dancer do you like most". The poll was who is the best.

    I took the poll question as something that relates to the specific sport in which these skaters are competing, which is pretty specific technically.

  19. #19

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    To make an original meaning argument, I'm allowing people to define "best" in whatever way they define the best. Some people care less about technical skill and more about personality and musicality (which are personally defined) and I think that can be just as valid.

    Also, some may also have different standards for some of the dancers because it wouldn't be fair to compare Linichuk's level of difficulty to someone like Tatiana Navka because the level of training and difficulty were just different in their respective eras.

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    If it were favorite ice dancer, I would've voted for Grishuk.

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