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Katherine Healy..How good could she have been?

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by DarrellH, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    I remember seeing her skate and just thought of her again today. If she had stayed in skating, instead of going to the ballet, how good could she have been? She seemed very focused and gifted.
  2. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    She couldn't jump. I mean she could do some double jumps, but they were far from text-book. I doubted she would've been able to do even a triple toe or sal with those long limbs of hers. She looked great with the non-jump elements though.
  3. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I've seen her in person, she is quite tiny. She was doing beautiful double axels at 11.

    However, from what I've heard, ballet dancers are discouraged from doing sports because the muscles they develop distort their lines and inhibit their stretch - so she was probably discouraged from training too much at skating at an early age.

    At any rate I can't picture her grabbing her foot, pulling it next to her ear, and displaying her crotch to the audience. I don't think competitive skating would have been for her!
  4. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Well, she would have been competing in the 1980s, when there was less reward for those kinds of positions.

    And she still would have been doing high arabesque spirals that display the crotch.

    If she had beautiful double axels at 11, then she probably had the athletic talent to be relatively successful in 1980s competition if she had focused on training for skating over ballet. World-team level, probably not. Nationals/minor internationals? Could be.
  5. leafygreens

    leafygreens Well-Known Member

    Why not? She could do the oversplits in a split jump, so why couldn't she do an I-spin?
  6. essence_of_soy

    essence_of_soy Well-Known Member

    If anyone has seen Healey's Don Quixote skate from around 1997, it is simply magic.

    But yes, if she'd competed, remember that U.S ladies were a world powerhouse in the 80s.

    So, to compete against the likes of Zayak, Sumners, Thomas and Kadavy, she would have needed a 3sal, 3toe, 3loop, and maybe a 3flip.
  7. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    I was thinking of that move where they glide on one foot and grab their blade and pull their foot next to their head. I think that is the most unattractive move anyone can do. I assume people do it for points. I can't picture her wanting to do it.

    I'm not a big fan of catch foot moves period. I think many people do them to disguise poor extension and stretch which obviously isn't a problem for her.
  8. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

    If she had beautiful double axels at 11, then she probably had the athletic talent to be relatively successful in 1980s competition if she had focused on training for skating over ballet. World-team level, probably not. Nationals/minor internationals? Could be.[/QUOTE]

    Maybe pairs with John Curry? :)
  9. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    Were they even doing I-spins then? Since this would have been pre-Oksana and pre-Sasha, Her balletic sytle would have been newer and probably well received.
  10. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Not that I know of. There were occasional Biellmanns (ever since Denise, natch), high catch-foot camels, and Y spins but not with full split that I can recall.

    Spirals weren't a required element until 1989.

    Rory Flack is the most flexible skater of the era I think of. Can't find any of her amateur performances online though.
  11. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    If KH had the double axel at 11 I don't see why she couldn't have the 3 salchow and 3 toe loop, at least. Once one has the 2A, the 3S is not far, and the 3T neither. Having the atlhletic hability to land a hard jump at 11 gives hopes for triple jumps.
    To perform competitively in FS she would have had to give up ballet because the muscles training is so different, intensive training of both can't work IMO from a certain level.

    She made a choice and as ballet dancer she actually reached a very high level, winning prestigious awards at a very young age. As a skater she would have probably been brilliant. As for being an international competitor, I don't know since many other aspects are to take into account, starting from the mental strenght to do the jumps when it counts, as well as the field of competitors, and the will to just compete. But she seemed to have what was needed to do well in FS.
  12. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    She was a vision but IIRC she was also painfully slow.
  13. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member


    If she'd focused her training on skating she might have ended up skating faster and jumping higher than she did. Probably still not at the level of the best in the world.

    Most likely her strengths would have been school figures and the second mark.
  14. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    does anyone have a link to a skating video?
  15. Mafke

    Mafke Well-Known Member

    Forget the jumps, how were her figures? Those took a lot of time to develop and without them any jumping problems would have been moot.

    She probably could have gotten very good at them but there are only so many hours in the day and ballet and freeskating wouldn't leave much time for her to develop world class elite figures....
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  16. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Prima - Katherine Healy Montage
    I made this ages ago but recently Katherine herself left a lovely comment on it.

    MSG Superskates 1976 aged 6

    Casta Diva 1989

    Katherine Healy was pretty much a genius. This is a girl who skated in prestigious skating galas from the age of 6, appeared in a major movie aged 12, turned pro as a skater aged 12, won Varna at 13, was a prima ballerina with the ENB at 15, quit dancing professionally to go to Princeton and graduate in Art History Magna cum Laude, then returned to dance professionally in Vienna, before finally returning to skating in 1997 after not being on the ice for 7 years. If she had wanted to become World FS champion then she would have done everything in her considerable powers to make that happen. She chose ballet over skating though at a very young age and that was that.
  17. briancoogaert

    briancoogaert Well-Known Member

    Beautiful !
    The thing is that usually, flexible skaters don't have the strenght on the legs to jump easily. But I guess that she would have worked on that if she wanted to be a FS champion.
  18. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Thanks :)
    She had very good elevation as a dancer so there's no reason to suppose that this couldn't be translated to the ice using the proper technique. What is very clear when you watch her young skating videos, is that she translated her ballet technique to her skating which was great for aesthetics but not so great for jumping, i.e. spotting her mid air rotations and jumping with turned out hips. If her jumping technique wasn't influenced by ballet, who knows how good a jumper she would have been.

    One area where her skating certainly influenced her dancing was in her formidable ability to turn. Here's a clip of her own virtuosic variation on the infamous 32 fouettes from Le Corsaire:


    It's so ridiculously amazing and she brings down the house :cheer:
  19. mrinalini

    mrinalini Well-Known Member

    One of the loveliest tributes I've seen in a long time. The free foot on the layback beginning at 1:07 actually made me catch my breath a bit - it is just so sublime. I loved how you slowed down the video at certain points to let us better appreciate Katherine's most eye-catching moments.

    If today's skaters had even an iota of this woman's grace, the skating world would be much better off. Those imbecilic Yunabots spouting off in the GSD should take a look at Katherine Healy to understand what true beauty of movement can look like.
  20. oliver

    oliver Member

    I knew Katherine when she was skating and I don't believe she ever had a double axel. Double jumps were very difficult for her.
    gkelly and (deleted member) like this.
  21. Holley Calmes

    Holley Calmes Well-Known Member

    It depends on the individual, but in general, this is correct. I have a number of friends whose kids skate and take ballet, but with a focus on skating. I was looking at some photos they had taken lately, with the girls posed in leotards and tights in some very standard ballet poses (first arabesque, etc).

    Without doubt, the muscle development looked strange indeed for a ballet dancer. Perhaps for any kind of dancer. Ballet develops the gluteus maximus, but NOT that much! :lol: The most striking thing to me was the significantly larger thigh on top of a very thin calf. Is this usual with skaters?

    The girls are beautiful, and there was absolutely nothing wrong with them, but I doubt they'd win any ballet auditions/scholarships. Their line was completely wonky, and it was all of them, not just one of them.
  22. Allen

    Allen Glad to be back!

    Who knows? I think, however, she could have been a sublime ice dancer with the right partner.
  23. Skittl1321

    Skittl1321 Well-Known Member

    Sounds kind of like Carolina Kostner- she's got those skinny bambi calves/ankles... I always worry she will break.

    Most skaters have very developed thighs, but I haven't noticed too many with extra skinny calves otherwise.
  24. DarrellH

    DarrellH New Member

    I remember hearing before that genetics plays a big part in that. Bodybuilders have a lot of problems building up calf muscles, if they don't have the genetics for it.
  25. Artifice

    Artifice Guest

    Multi talented for sure. I personnaly wouldn't call her a genius, but it's a matter of personnal definition of this word. To me a genius is someone who achieves exceptionnal and unique greatness in one or several areas. To me KH achieved high level in several areas but not to a point where she can be considered as an ultimate model in any of those areas.
    She is still really exceptionnal.

    As for her early start in shows I believe it has more to do with her family and personal environment who made so that she could do professional shows, eventhough she was very good with so much poise at a very young age.

    I've seen several kids whose names are spread all over the internet, youtube... presented like the great talent of tomorrow (I have a name of a specific skater in mind), we get to see tons of videos of them, and they get hired in pro shows at 7 or 8. And eventually they never win any competition, beated by better competitors who are more quiet, still better. Time and life make so that those very exposed kids never quite reach the level they aimed for, not even something close. On the other side kids who were so quiet at an early age has been building efficiently their career and we see them at the highest level.

    KH's case is a bit different because she actually had success as a dancer but her early public exposure made me think of these kids.