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New CDN ice dance team - Gilles & Poirier

Discussion in 'Great Skate Debate' started by victorskid, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    I think you could ask any coaches, but why not start with Frank Carroll and John Nicks. Everything can not be taught. Talent meaning a certain amount of ability and predisposition. Talent and also desire along with hard work are essential. Some who are not quite as talented in certain aspects of the sport may make it to a certain point perhaps and never go farther. Certainly a good coach can help skaters with varying degrees of talent go farther and achieve more, but talent is an important factor.

    Ineffable qualities by their very nature are hard to describe, but certainly can be felt. It's in the way certain skaters performances can bring an audience to tears.

    Paul definitely has ineffable qualities as well as talent and years of training and hard work that make him so wonderful to watch. It seems to me that his partnership with Piper has brought out in him a more palpable joy and enthusiasm.

    We were talking about Paul's "lean and edge quality." Just teaching someone basic skills will not necessarily help them achieve the kind of lean, edge quality, grace and panache that Paul possesses, IMO.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  2. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Did you ask them? If not, why are you mentioning them? I can drop names out of the hat as well but what relevance does this have to this discussion?

    I know a number of skaters and coaches and no, none of them think that there are skills you possess from birth. You need to actually learn them.

    No. But all the skills we possess are taught at one point or another. You don't get born with strong skating skills. You might have a body type that makes it easier to jump but unless you're taught correct jumping technique, it won't help you much.

    Pre-disposition is one thing. Ability is another. Figure skating is an extremely complex sport requiring very precise body movement. None of that is innate.

    Now you are talking about something else entirely. About what you feel in response to somebody's performance.

    P.S. Just because you are finding something hard to describe, doesn't mean that it can't be done. Obviously there is something that is making you feel the way you do. But that's an entirely different discussion.

    Yes, if you 'just teach someone basic skills' then they won't achieve the kind of level that Paul has. But if you don't 'just teach someone basic skills' and you continue working on their basic skating, they might get there. :p

    How do you think skating skills are taught? There are plenty of exercises whose aim is to make your edges deeper, glide better, etc.
  3. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    Your knowledge seems quite vast Ziggy, so I will simply bow down to it. ;)

    At the same time, I do adhere to my own perceptions, albeit lesser knowledge than you seem to possess re the complexities of figure skating. Surely you must be an accomplished coach yourself, if not in a former life. :p

    That last part tho', pardon me for wondering that if it were that simple and easy to teach and achieve superior lean and deep edges, why doesn't every top level skater possess the kind of edges and lean that Paul displays? No, no need to respond. I might try asking Frank Carroll, John Nicks, Barb Underhill, and perhaps Paul himself.
  4. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Any individual who learns to skate will have their own physical qualities such as muscle fiber composition, skeletal build, proprioceptive awareness, etc., as well temperament qualities such as fearlessness, focus, extraversion, etc. Probably sensitivity to music as well. These are mostly innate, although they can be enhanced or inhibited by early environmental factors -- for balance on blades, that includes actually getting on the ice on blades within the first few years of life.

    If someone has several of these qualities that are conducive to developing successful skating at high levels, we can say that that person has talent for skating. As Ziggy says, though, that talent won't be expressed unless they actually learn how to skate, and not at the highest level unless they're taught with good technique and plenty of focused practice.

    If you take someone who has favorable physical gifts and give them average training, you'll probably end up with a good skater.

    If you take someone with average physical gifts and give them top-notch training and they put in the practice time, you'll probably end up with a good skater.

    If you take someone with highly favorable physical gifts and give them top-notch training and they put in the practice time, you can end up with a great skater.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  5. fan

    fan Well-Known Member

    one thing that hasn't been mentioned is body awareness. speaking to a few high level coaches, a high level of body awareness is crucial for self correction. elite athletes usually have the ability to feel/identify what goes wrong in a movement, and course correct. others do not have that ability and simply know that "something went wrong". Piper may not be able to feel that her depth of edge isn't sufficient to match Paul's (but this is purely conjecture)
  6. gkelly

    gkelly Well-Known Member

    Absolutely. That's what I meant by "proprioceptive awareness"

    I'd be surprised if that was the explanation in this case, though. It seems more likely to me that she is only leaning over the edge as far as she trusts, based on her own strength and skill level, that she can control the edge on her own.

    Most skaters never get as deep over the edge as Poirier does there. Those that do tend to be elite ice dancers. :)

    Perhaps if the direction of lean were toward instead of away from the partner, and if she trusts him to lean more and have enough control to help support her as well, she would lean further herself.
  7. spikydurian

    spikydurian Well-Known Member

    Absolutely agree. This is not only applicable in sports but including academics.
    Talent/innate ability + hard work/motivation + opportunity/guidance/coaching = success.
  8. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

    I agree and have made the same analogy before. To get through a doctoral program, you need to have a certain innate level of intelligence. Everyone who enters a Ph.D. program has reached this level. There are other factors that are important in determining who will finish and become successful just as there are other factors that determine who will become an elite skater. Coaching/guidance/mentoring is one set of factors. Perseverance, self-motivation, and the ability to accept delayed gratification are some of the "innate" factors that I believe are necessary to be a successful academic.
  9. ~tapdancer~

    ~tapdancer~ Well-Known Member

    Congrats to them on winning the gold at the SLC Senior B comp! I loved both their programs, thought they were interesting and fun. Paul is such a strong dancer and Piper fits him very well. Good luck to them this season!
  10. sarakimm

    sarakimm Member

    So I guess that everyone who has an athletic body, a good work ethic and good coach can be an OGM winner! Oh wait.....
  11. marn

    marn New Member

    After some reading this morning I discovered that Paul Poirier broke his ankle in the first week of May!
    I checked PJkwong's twitter feed because she usually keeps up with the Canadian skaters. On June 16 she said that she had put up the news on twitter but Paul asked her to take it down. Piper and Paul were blogging consistently but have stopped since he was injured and none of their numerous tweets mention a thing.
    Does anyone know anything about the severity of his broken ankle?
    Tessa was extremely quiet about her injuries but G and P have always been open about their training and goals so this silence make me think that they are having some serious concerns about how his injury will impact their year.
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  12. aftershocks

    aftershocks Well-Known Member

    ^^ Sorry to hear that. I hope Paul will be able to fully heal and that the time needed for healing won't too adversely affect their training time for the new season.
  13. Emdee

    Emdee Well-Known Member

    How sad for them. I will try to go to Thornhill and see if they are recovered by august.
  14. joeperryfan

    joeperryfan Well-Known Member

    I find this strange as well, I mean, they are followed by a certain number of people, eventually someone would notice they weren't showing up at shows, I did and that's when I started asking what was going on, not because it's any of my business but because given their usual behavior I'd expect one of them to mention a reason at some point. I wonder if it could be some contractual problem or something to do with sponsorships that requires them to keep quiet... Regardless, I hope he makes a full recovery.
  15. halffull

    halffull Life is a beautiful thing

    This is sad news indeed. Speedy recovery, Paul!
  16. blueglass

    blueglass New Member

    The gods must have a quirky sense of humour with both Paul and Kaitlyn Weaver breaking their ankles and them not being the friendliest of competitors. I imagine there are different degrees of breaks and perhaps it's a bad one.
  17. peibeck

    peibeck Simply looking

    :sekret: Says Paul had to have surgery on his ankle, but I have no other news than that.
  18. joeperryfan

    joeperryfan Well-Known Member

    I found this article where he mentions having a broken leg.

    Also Piper tweeted yesterday:

  19. blueglass

    blueglass New Member

    When I read this article, it makes me feel sad for Vanessa Crone - PP must have blamed her for this stress he experienced (not trying to judge him). I wonder what the coach was doing during that time? You'd think she could have managed this better. After last season, I don't believe G&P will ever achieve much beyond Canadians but I wish them well. Does anyone know how Vanessa is doing?
  20. joeperryfan

    joeperryfan Well-Known Member

    Not necessarily, Paul tends to blame himself for things, not other people. I think that Piper was the chosen partner to a large extent because she managed to relieve his stress somehow. I watched some videos of C/P not long ago and he was always barking at Vanessa before they performed, I wonder how it was outside of competitions... I've had my doubts that Piper will be Paul's last partner since TEB, only time will tell.
  21. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    They could have been fine with each other. Some teams are horrible to each other at competitions, but they understand that's because it's how they act in that situation. When it becomes a problem IME is when one gets tired of being treated that way and the other doesn't respect that and change their behaviour. (I'm not saying this is what happened with C/P because I have absolutely no information on that particular situation - just saying that this is what I've seen happen with other teams.)
  22. blueglass

    blueglass New Member

    Didn't Vanessa say in a recent interview that the split was sudden and that she was so upset she didn't leave her house for 8 weeks? That doesn't sound to me like a healthy partnership. I saw them at Skate Canada their last season and didn't notice any difficulties, but it was hard not to notice that Vanessa had become quite thin. Also, tension between Weaver/Poje and C/P during the pre-Olympics Canadians and the year latter won their title came through loud and clear in the tv coverage. If the elite figure skating crowd made it clear they preferred W&P, that'd certainly contribute to stress, for both C&P.
  23. overedge

    overedge Janny uber

    If this is the interview you're thinking of, she said she didn't leave her house *and* "tie on her skates" for 8 weeks. So it sounds more like she didn't skate for 8 weeks, not that she refused to go out.
  24. museksk8r

    museksk8r Holding an edge and looking dangerously sexy

    Really hoping and wishing that Paul makes a speedy and complete recovery and comes back to the ice with a vengeance. I've always LOVED his skating! Good luck, Paul! :)
    alilou and (deleted member) like this.
  25. Sylvia

    Sylvia Prepping for club comp. season!

  26. marn

    marn New Member

    The headline on the front page of The Star reads "Only one thing standing between skaters and the 2014 Olympics-a passport"
    I find it presumptuous and a bit insulting to the bronze medallists, Orford and Williams. G/P do actually have to qualify before they go to Socchi. This team hasnt been around for that long but I feel like they are always in my face telling me how fabulous they are. I don't get that vibe from any other singles skater or team. I would rather see it on the ice than in a marketing campaign. Give it a rest.
    The comments included at the bottom of the newspaper article seem to concur.
    mag and (deleted member) like this.
  27. blademate

    blademate Active Member

    I wonder if Paul would have chosen Piper to skate with, knowing she wouldn't be granted second-generation Canadian citizenship? Surely that was a big contributing factor in his decision...

    Also, wonder what this means for Alexe's career... If she can't get Canadian citizenship easily, I'm guessing she may be done soon.

    I like Piper and Paul, and know their skate at Worlds was a bit of a fluke, but they likely would not have finished much higher regardless, and certainly are no where near the level of Vanessa and Paul... I don't know if they really deserve fast-tracking when born-and-raised Canadians Paul and Islam are pretty much at the same level, as are Orford and Williams, and heck, even Ralph and Hill on a good day... In other words, since Canada isn't exactly lacking in talented Canadian ice dancers who trained their whole lives in Canada to make it to the top, is there a dire need for Piper to get her citizenship, other than for Paul's sake?
  28. kwanfan1818

    kwanfan1818 I <3 Kozuka

    "For Paul's sake" seems to be pretty compelling to Skate Canada. As a result, Gilles/Poirier have a decent chance of making the Olympic team. Alexe Gilles' chance of making the Olympic team is much smaller.
  29. Erin

    Erin Well-Known Member

    Well, to be fair, Kaitlyn Weaver got her citizenship in similar circumstances in 2009 and one could argue that there was even less of a case for Weaver since Crone & Poirier had beaten Weaver & Poje a couple of times in 2009 whereas none of the teams you've mentioned have beaten Gilles & Poirier. I'm a bit lukewarm toward Gilles & Poirier (whereas I'm a huge fan of Weaver & Poje) but it does seem a bit unfair for Weaver to get her citizenship in 2009 and not Gilles now.
  30. Subway

    Subway Well-Known Member

    I believe Kaitlyn Weaver waited three years and didn't make her case in the press. Nobody disputes Piper Gilles' application, just fast tracking it. As others have said, the angle of this story is presumptuous and quite insulting to other dance teams. There is no compelling reason for her passport to be ready for for Sochi. Canada is in good shape without them. The exception states, I think, unusual hardship, or to reward exceptional service. At the moment I don't see how she meets the criteria for the exception.

    "For Paul's sake". He had a Canadian partner with whom he was National Champion and with whom he went to the Olympics in 2010. Nobody disputes his right to change partners if that's what he decides he needs. But, that decision isn't something that should burden Canadian immigration or permit Piper to jump the queue. If Sochi is so important, stick it out with the Canadian partner, and then, after actually qualifying at Nationals, perhaps you'll go to Sochi. It's an athletic partnership not marriage. Otherwise, wait your turn.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2013
    mag and (deleted member) like this.