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Canadian Pairs in 2010-2011

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by haribobo, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member

    To me it seems that there is a lack of strong female pair skaters in Canada. They either can't do the SBS jumps and/or throws, or else they are so unpolished/unrefined/unsophisticated that you just know they are never going to do anything at the senior international level with respect to PCS marks.

    I think there's a big problem in Canada in that many of our female skaters (ice dancers excluded) are not encouraged to take ballet. As a result, they look like truck drivers out there. I thought Skate Canada was supposed to be encouraging ballet 10 years ago with the coaches, but I'm not seeing that that is happening. Either the parents don't buy it, or the coaches don't think it's important.
  2. Rafter

    Rafter Well-Known Member

    So it looks like we have the Kitchener-Waterloo brigade in this thread. :rolleyes:

    The problem with MT&M is that they zero finesse, polish, toe point, etc in their skating. There are times where she skates around with arms dropped beside her. Nothing is ever placed. They just bomb around from one element to the next rushing through the music and movements. Hopefully there will be improvements this fall.

    As for Jones & Gaskell, I think he has potential, but she needs big time work on posture, edge quality, stroking, toe point, etc. She can't even hit a good position in the BODS. One of the worst I've ever seen.

    I blame the coaching situtation. The Wirtzes were never the most polished team out there. Kristy herself was a bit of a truck driver and obviously they (as coaches) have put all the emphasis on the "big tricks" and pretty much nothing else. It's a shame because their teams are athletic.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  3. Shallwedance

    Shallwedance New Member

    Truck driver is a good description- even some of Canada's more refined pairs have that quality.

    My all time favorite Canadian pair -Hough & Laudret. They're Canadian (I hope), right? Boy I love watching their old routines on SOI video clips. Toughy(ie?) Hough could dance rock'n'roll on the ice like no other.

    Maybe SC needs to start farming out their pairs to some of the non-Canadian coaches around.
  4. The Observer

    The Observer Active Member

    I agree. This to me is the biggest problem.

    What I would like to know is, why is it usually the girls who seem to have so much more trouble with the SBS jumps than the guys? It was a big problem for Jamie Sale for many years, and now it continues to be a big problem for Annabelle Langlois and Jessica Dube. I have rarely seen these ladies get through a long program without a problem on the SBS jumps.

    Despite the fact that Cody Hay has less experience than Langlois, he is already more consistent on his SBS jumps than she is. Why are the guys more consistent?
  5. cmdiva

    cmdiva New Member

    So where should pair teams go to get the coaching that is needed to succeed?
  6. yfbg722

    yfbg722 Active Member

    I'm curious Rafter. Are you a (former) skater, a coach, a judge or just a skating fan? I don't mean to offend by this question, I'm just quite interested in what background you bring to your criticisms. Would you consider sharing teams and/or coaches that you admire and the reasons for that. I don't have a dance or skating background. I'm just a fan but I'm interested in learning more.
  7. Shallwedance

    Shallwedance New Member

    No idea but if dance teams can go to non-Canadian coaches, can't a Canadian team go to Muskvina or something?

    Just - Barabe is the worst, IMO. These are simply impressions and I'm open to correction, but she seems like she coddles D&D and is more of a peer than a coach. Fine if they're getting results, but they're not. For instance, she let on that D&D were disappointed at first in Vancouver but then realized sixth (seventh?) in the world is amazing. Heeelllloooooo! It's like this team spends way too much time contemplating the universe and their place in it and not enough time getting themselves and their skating in the absolute best condition they can possibly be, raising the bar and trying to push past it. That's how it has to be done.

    Have to wonder how William Thompson and Skate Canada looks at their situation right now. He touted the results of all of the skaters but D&D, but what's the answer? Toss em in the trash, pull the plug? A meeting that includes pep talks and goal setting without any change in environment? I mean, ??
  8. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    I think that more top pairs should go to Lee Barkell. He has Langlois/Hay and for all his singles coaching success (Jeff, Chris Mabee, Nobu, Joey Russell...), pairs is really his specialty, so I'm surprised he doesn't have more top pairs there.
  9. yfbg722

    yfbg722 Active Member

    I don't think there's much left in the way of pairs in Barrie though. It's uncertain if Langlois/Hay are continuing and their other senior team Pisotta/Stewart have split and well as their junior team of Bird/Schultz so it doesn't seem there's much of a pairs environment there any more.

    There aren't a lot of pairs training centres in Canada really. There's Kevin Wheeler in Preston, Scott Rachuk in Strathroy, the Wirtzs in Waterloo and then Gauthier and Barabe in Quebec and then I think Lawrence and Sweigers are with Hole in Saskatchewan.

    Might be kind of interesting, if one had a lot of time on their hands, to do a medal count for each of them lol!
  10. JillyBean16

    JillyBean16 Member

    If I was a skater I would want to hang up my skates after reading some of these posts.

    How can anyone say that a skater who has reached the level that these kids have has 'zero' anything???? As a fan, I sat through Canadians and was so inspired by the depth that there seemed to be, in pairs especially. I can honestly say that I never once thought about a skaters' toe point or whether or not they looked like a truck driver or whether or not they sucked because they lacked consistency. I did however think WOW how awesome are these skaters. How amazing that they have the courage to do what they are doing.
  11. flowerpower

    flowerpower Well-Known Member

    I was in London, too, and I agree that it was great to see lots of confident senior pairs teams, each with their own style, putting on a great show.

    But when teams reach this level, people begin to look at their international potential, and look at what it would take for them to get podium results at senior Grand Prixs. And that's where the comments and criticisms (often constructive, although not always phrased as such) come in.

    If teams are happy with success at the National level (and that is a great achievement in itself) then they needn't worry about the comments. If they want international success, there's more work to do.
    geoskate and (deleted member) like this.
  12. JillyBean16

    JillyBean16 Member

    Don't you think that the teams know where improvement is needed? I would think that they're working on it. I really hope that they don't read these sites!
  13. maggylyn

    maggylyn Well-Known Member

    These sites aren't for the skaters, they're for the fans. And the fans can talk about all this stuff because this is what is interesting to the Fans.

    IMO, if a skater comes in here at all, he/she should know what to expect and not get upset that there's (gasp!) criticism.
  14. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Maybe Fedor Andreev can go back to his old idea of skating pairs? There just may be a spot on an Olympic team for him, after all. By hook or crook!
  15. ice.dance.girl

    ice.dance.girl Member

    Jones and Gaskell are training in Barrie with Lee Barkell now.
  16. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    If it's true - then good move. Hopefully, she'll get some ballet training. They have the tricks but zero finesse.
  17. ice.dance.girl

    ice.dance.girl Member

    Yup since wednesday
  18. shutterbug

    shutterbug Well-Known Member

  19. blademate

    blademate Active Member

    According to Langlois facebook status, she has decided to retire :( ...best of luck to her and Cody in their future endeavors... they will be missed!
    jtpc and (deleted member) like this.
  20. blue_idealist

    blue_idealist Well-Known Member

    Oh noooooo :(
  21. mag

    mag Well-Known Member

    Does anyone know if it is just Annabel or is Cody retiring as well?
  22. Mevrouw

    Mevrouw living every minute

    Anyone have a link to the facebook page?
  23. blademate

    blademate Active Member

    Glad to hear about the Jones/Gaskell move!

    Not to knock the Wirtzes - their teams are always extremely well-trained for every competition, and he seems to be able to teach ALL his teams how to a triple twist - but Jones/Gaskell did not seem to be improving all that much. At least not in their second mark.

    I agree I wish more teams would train with Barkell. Not sure why he isn't really building his pairs school. His teams always seem to have the classic/balletic look that (rightly or wrongly) the International judges still seem to prefer.
  24. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

    :lol:Thanks for the truck driver comment, rafter. Succinct. Saves me trying to find a diplomatic way of putting it. Kristin has got to get those shoulders down , and Kristy is not the one to teach her that...

    I, too, would love to see more pairs go to Lee Barkell..Lenny and Jazz had some pretty good programs, as I remember, plus good line. Gautier also seems very good about getting some dance training for his skaters, working on line etc. I think he's done wonders for Tran and his partner ( whose name wants to elude me at the mo..), he just hasn't had the best material to work with lately.

    But I can't echo strongly enough the need for ballet training ( or modern dance , or yoga ..something stretchy and strengthening)Why must it come as an afterthought, when there's a problem to correct... when it could be built into the training at a young age. I remember Skate Canada paid it some lip service in the past..but we're sure not seeing much of it on the ice. It should be a requirement, not a suggestion.
  25. ice.dance.girl

    ice.dance.girl Member

    Guess what, all the Wirtz teams are taking ballet/dance classes as well as Pilates. Not every skater is naturally balletic.
  26. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

    I don't get why Kristy is not the one to teach skaters these skills. Just because she didn't excel in that area? Oh, I didn't realize Tarasova does triple axels in her sleep.
  27. 4rkidz

    4rkidz plotting, planning and travelling

    well I'm obviously in the minority but I actually think the pairs program in Canada is in good shape. The novice and junior pairs at Canadians were looking very good and our senior results speak for themselves.

    IMHO Kris & Kristy are good at developing a well packaged pair team, or any team for that fact.. however I agree about the lack of flexibility in Kristen's back.. but she had that as a singles skater too - but as long as they are working on it I think this team can do well, they have great personalities on the ice.

    Bryce and Jessie are too good to toss out - hey when they are 'off' they are like 7th in the world - when they are 'on' they are fighting for the bottom of the podium - pretty damned decent :barrel.. Now if we could reign in some of our wayward pairs skaters who are skating for other countries we would be in even better shape :lol:
  28. Pratfall

    Pratfall Active Member

    :)Well, I'm glad to hear that the Wirtz's pupils get ballet etc.. I hope it's enough. And it is hard to tell how much blame to pass around when the coach may not see the skaters 'til they're in their teens and some bad habits may already be set (more difficult to untrain something , than to train good habits in from a young age). However , when I see Kristin give the same automatic hitch of the shoulders leading into an element that typified Kristy's skating, and the same stiffness..it makes me suspicious. Kristy did work to improve this toward the end of her career ( after some work with a Russian coach?) but she never really overcame it. So I wonder how much importance they place on it ,whether it registers with her to the same degree as it might with another coach...Really. I'm on the west coast , I'd like to know.

    Valerie Marcoux was likewise very stiff 'til Richard Gauthier took her on and it took quite a while to make a big improvement. Gauthier is very good in this respect ..He's worked wonders with Duhamel as well..but it may never be quite enough to fully compensate for the stiffness,lack of turnout that was allowed to set in in her early career.

    Lee Barkell seems to always be able to develop good line and extension in his skaters... he just hasn't had many lately.

    But I just shake my head when year in, year out, Bryce Davison's extension never improves ( and OT ...who keeps thinking it's OK for him to skate in rumpled street pants, with the pockets gaping.).:mad:

    I'm not down on any of our upcoming pairs..I'd just like to see them realize their full potential. And it's not a matter of a balletic style versus an athletic style. An athletic style still looks better with good position.;)
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  29. sk8tingfan30

    sk8tingfan30 New Member

    There's a contradiction if I've ever heard one! Gautier has worked wonders with Duhamel BUT why would he have to since since Meagan trained under Lee Barkell previously. If he ALWAYS is able to develop good line and extension than why did Duhamel any work at all?

    The coaches/choreographers need to be given a break. They can only work with what they're given.
  30. screech

    screech Well-Known Member

    When Meagan was doing pairs under Lee her partner was Ryan Arnold who wasn't exactly the greatest - I don't think she was really able to reach her potential with him or would have improved if their partnership stayed. Also, at that time both Meagan and Ryan were doing singles as well, so I don't think Lee was able to really spend the time working on pairs with them that was required to get her there.