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  1. #1
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    V&M vs D&W - Help from dance experts out there! (no uber fans please)

    HI everyone. I donít post often, but after watching the dance this season, Iím confused and am hoping for those of you who are knowledgeable in dance to help me out...... Iím not looking for the opinions of V&M or D&W ubers please.......... and please donít yell at me for asking this question!

    Iíve watched the competitions this season (or at least both free dances of these teams) and have made the following observations. However, I am a very casual dance fan and Iím sure I must be missing something!

    I have great respect for D&W and can see that they are very good, but it seems to me that V&M are far superior on so many levels, I donít understand how they are getting marks that are so far below those of the Americans. I realize they have been making mistakes, but even if you factor those in, their marks seem to be much less than those of D&W.

    I see V&M as superior because of the following:
    1. They spend more time skating in dance holds Ė which is what I have always been lead to believe is more difficult and therefore better
    2. Their lifts are unique and appear to be very challenging
    3. They do a lot of one foot skating while leaning (ie not straight up and down)
    4. They have deep, smooth, curved edges
    5. Their line is beautiful and they never seem to even have a finger out of place and are always well matched

    Like I said, Iím not a dance expert, but from what Iíve read on FSW over the years, all of the above points should mean that V&M are ahead of D&W as the Americans to do more two foot skating, skate side by side more, donít seem to have the beautiful lines (although I canít tell what the difference is, there seems to be one) and they seem to skate in a more vertical fashion. Iíve also noticed that their lifts donít seem to be as challenging. D&W are certainly more dramatic in style, and do a beautiful job of creating highlights and present a wow factor, but I wouldnít think that would be so overwhelming as to overtake the issues noted above.

    I know itís dance and therefore politics plays a big role (Iím sure the US is pushing hard for them to win and Canada is probably more focused on Chan right now), but it really seems like the better team on the night should win, whoever that might be, and if they both skate clean, I donít understand how the better team is D&W.

    Even with what I said above, it seems to me that these are the top two teams in the world and they seem to be head and shoulders above the rest of the teams. But I have read that some people think the judges are dumping V&M (forget about 1st vs 2nd, Iím talking about finishing third or lower). Do you think thatís a possibility? Assuming that both teams skate clean, are V&M really vulnerable to the Russians?? Iím sure they will make a huge political play for 2nd, but wonít that cause a scandal????

    Please donít think Iím dissing D&W. I can see they are a wonderful team, it just appears to me that V&M are a bit better but that doesnít appear to be playing out in the marks this season and I donít understand why. Iíd appreciate the opinions of those of you who are knowledgeable about dance.

    Thanks to all you dance experts for your comments 

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    I'm not an expert either but I think your analysis is accurate but the difference between Virtue/Moir and Davis/White on the points that you made is quite small and in recent head to head competitions Virtue/Moir have tended to make technical errors whereas Davis/White have been perfect for five years now.

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    Uandmfan - One could quibble with some of your points but that's not what I intend to do. As skatingguy points out, competition is performance v. performance not generalized qualities v. generalized qualities.

    These two teams are now so close (and I think that is recognized in the ice dance world generally - that they are in a category by themselves and either can beat the other on a given day) that the smallest error on either side can cost one team the gold in that event. It's not about who is best when everyone is skating perfectly in our minds. It's how they are skating actually on the day. If you review the last 18 months or so of head to head, again as noted above, you will see that V/M have made more errors (granted some of them are tiny) than D/W - and at their level of expertise and competition, that's the difference.

    We're talking about almost perfection at their levels. They have very different basic qualities as teams but they each can skate almost perfect programs where tiny errors (or bobbles or speed of twizzles or distance between skaters on particular elements, etc) are the difference between beating the other team. You may prefer V/M's style; I happen to like them both for different reasons but it's clear to me that neither is fundamentally superior to the other. That's where we differ - you think V/M are superior and I don't. I think it's toss up and it comes down to the day, the execution, the attack - all of it in the particular moment.

    V/M skating perfectly directly v. D/W skating perfectly - I don't think we've seen that in the last two years (correct me if I'm wrong). And I'm not talking about a "clean" skate; I'm talking about something more elevated than even that. Now wouldn't that be one amazing moment in Sochi if it could be done!

    Your political analysis seems to belong to pre-COP days. Sure politics plays some role but the judges can't (and won't) drop V/M to 3rd or 4th if they skate a 1st or 2nd place set of programs. They have both the Zoueva team and Skate Canada behind them - those are people who know politics.

    Just for full disclosure - I'd put real money on D/W because I think they have a quality trajectory (especially for the past two seasons) that is just stunning but that's me.
    Last edited by Willowway; 11-21-2013 at 08:00 PM.

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    I agree. I think Tessa & Scott are the most natural Ice Dancers of all time (Including T&D). For me in Ice Dance less is more but this judging system is not like that.
    Maybe V/M are a decade too late as the judges seem to want fast paced skating.
    Everything that made Ice Dance special has gone now.
    If I could have D/W do one thing it would be to Slow down but they can't. The system does not work that way.
    V/M are pure Ice Dance while D/W are more like mini-pairs skaters, exciting, fast & very technical. I also don't see the emotional connection between D/W as I do with V/M.
    I love watching both couples but for me V/M are the best.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by uandmfan View Post
    HI everyone. I don’t post often, but after watching the dance this season, I’m confused and am hoping for those of you who are knowledgeable in dance to help me out...... I’m not looking for the opinions of V&M or D&W ubers please.......... and please don’t yell at me for asking this question!

    I’ve watched the competitions this season (or at least both free dances of these teams) and have made the following observations. However, I am a very casual dance fan and I’m sure I must be missing something!

    I have great respect for D&W and can see that they are very good, but it seems to me that V&M are far superior on so many levels, I don’t understand how they are getting marks that are so far below those of the Americans. I realize they have been making mistakes, but even if you factor those in, their marks seem to be much less than those of D&W.

    I see V&M as superior because of the following:
    1. They spend more time skating in dance holds – which is what I have always been lead to believe is more difficult and therefore better
    2. Their lifts are unique and appear to be very challenging
    3. They do a lot of one foot skating while leaning (ie not straight up and down)
    4. They have deep, smooth, curved edges
    5. Their line is beautiful and they never seem to even have a finger out of place and are always well matched

    Like I said, I’m not a dance expert, but from what I’ve read on FSW over the years, all of the above points should mean that V&M are ahead of D&W as the Americans to do more two foot skating, skate side by side more, don’t seem to have the beautiful lines (although I can’t tell what the difference is, there seems to be one) and they seem to skate in a more vertical fashion. I’ve also noticed that their lifts don’t seem to be as challenging. D&W are certainly more dramatic in style, and do a beautiful job of creating highlights and present a wow factor, but I wouldn’t think that would be so overwhelming as to overtake the issues noted above.

    I know it’s dance and therefore politics plays a big role (I’m sure the US is pushing hard for them to win and Canada is probably more focused on Chan right now), but it really seems like the better team on the night should win, whoever that might be, and if they both skate clean, I don’t understand how the better team is D&W.

    Even with what I said above, it seems to me that these are the top two teams in the world and they seem to be head and shoulders above the rest of the teams. But I have read that some people think the judges are dumping V&M (forget about 1st vs 2nd, I’m talking about finishing third or lower). Do you think that’s a possibility? Assuming that both teams skate clean, are V&M really vulnerable to the Russians?? I’m sure they will make a huge political play for 2nd, but won’t that cause a scandal????

    Please don’t think I’m dissing D&W. I can see they are a wonderful team, it just appears to me that V&M are a bit better but that doesn’t appear to be playing out in the marks this season and I don’t understand why. I’d appreciate the opinions of those of you who are knowledgeable about dance.

    Thanks to all you dance experts for your comments 
    Ask DorisPulaski.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by leafygreens View Post
    Ask DorisPulaski.
    Yes, but unfortunately Doris is long time DW uber. One of the most passionate Meryl and Charlie fan.

  7. #7
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    Are experts usually dispassionate?

  8. #8

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    This thread stands no chance.

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    uandmfan,

    I agree with Willoway on many points.

    1.We are comparing actual performance vs. actual performance and V&M have had tiny issues in their performance (not in the basic skating quality; they are beautiful to watch). I agree that V&M have superior posture/lines, etc. which I always value in skaters, but the competition is so close here that it will not be the deciding factor.

    2.These two teams are in a class by themselves and no other dance team can beat them, barring injury/sickness to either one (heaven forbid!- I want to see their best at the 2014 Olympics). Russians have no chance at all.

    3.D&W are not winning because of politics, but because they have worked hard to get to this level and they deliver every time, while V&M have shown minor imperfections in the execution of their performances since the 2010 Olympics. In Sochi it may come down to the actual performance that day (or days) in determining the winner.

  10. #10
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    I think these are fair questions, but I don't think the ubers or the "experts" can give you a satisfying answer. Maybe BKfan will make an appearance and try. She's a fan of both teams and quite knowledgeable about ice dance!

    Mostly I'd just say enjoy whichever teams you like and don't get caught up in the

  11. #11

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    I would like to think that I can look at this dispassionately.

    Going by last season, the one thing that D&W had over V&M was content. D&W probably were more on the music with their choreography and particularly their SD they really hit it - every moment of the music was used. V&M, whilst personally I prefer to watch them, lacked content and also were not as on the music throughout. I can see why D&W won because if you are applying the judging guidelines, they really did a better job at fulfilling the criteria.

    Also there is one thing that D&W do so well is to give 110%. I have never seen them leave anything out there unanswered and their commitment is undeniable.

    Personally after last season I would have thought V&M needed a coaching change.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I would like to think that I can look at this dispassionately.

    Going by last season, the one thing that D&W had over V&M was content. D&W probably were more on the music with their choreography and particularly their SD they really hit it - every moment of the music was used. V&M, whilst personally I prefer to watch them, lacked content and also were not as on the music throughout. I can see why D&W won because if you are applying the judging guidelines, they did a better job at fulfilling the criteria.
    In Carmen compare to NDP?

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    To me, Virtue and Moir are quite boring. When they won in 2012, even my mother who knows nothing about skating thought that Meryl and Charlie were much better. To me, I am clueless why V/M are held up as high as they are. I like many other teams more than them.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pani View Post
    In Carmen compare to NDP?
    I had done an ISU dance seminar last year so after that I was able to look at programs a lot more analytical and according to the guidelines. If you are applying the guidelines, then D&W ticked more boxes.

    But to comment on specific performances I would need to go back and watch them. But definitely at the time that was the one thing I remember the most. D&W whilst I can appreciate them up to that point I couldn't understand why they were ranked so highly or considered so good. After that seminar I got a greater understanding.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    It's really cool to have an ISU judge on this board. Aussie Willy: Would you mind listing the areas VM should address to tick more boxes on score sheets to overtake DW?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunhead View Post
    It's really cool to have an ISU judge on this board. Aussie Willy: Would you mind listing the areas VM should address to tick more boxes on score sheets to overtake DW?
    She is not an ISU judge. I think she has said that on more than one occasion in previous threads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I had done an ISU dance seminar last year so after that I was able to look at programs a lot more analytical and according to the guidelines. If you are applying the guidelines, then D&W ticked more boxes.

    But to comment on specific performances I would need to go back and watch them. But definitely at the time that was the one thing I remember the most. D&W whilst I can appreciate them up to that point I couldn't understand why they were ranked so highly or considered so good. After that seminar I got a greater understanding.
    Thanks! Very interesting. Did you talk about Carmen at judges seminar or just about overall skating level of ice dance teams?
    Its always interesting to know, how things work inside judging system.
    For me its interesting - did they discussd specific perfomances or talking about overall skating level, wich didnt depend from what program skaters show?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aussie Willy View Post
    I had done an ISU dance seminar last year so after that I was able to look at programs a lot more analytical and according to the guidelines. If you are applying the guidelines, then D&W ticked more boxes.

    But to comment on specific performances I would need to go back and watch them. But definitely at the time that was the one thing I remember the most. D&W whilst I can appreciate them up to that point I couldn't understand why they were ranked so highly or considered so good. After that seminar I got a greater understanding.
    Aussy Willy, You're an ice dance judge? It would be great if you could provide a comparison of the 2 teams with regards to the Finnstep pattern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tweak View Post
    She is not an ISU judge. I think she has said that on more than one occasion in previous threads.
    Really? If so, my apologies. I thought she/he is a singles judge in Australia? I know journalists aren't allowed to take ISU Judging seminars so I don't know how else Aussie Willy could have participated in such a seminar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bunhead View Post
    Really? If so, my apologies. I thought she/he is a singles judge in Australia? I know journalists aren't allowed to take ISU Judging seminars so I don't know how else Aussie Willy could have participated in such a seminar.
    I think they meant she is not an international judge.

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