ISU Statement on Russia's war against Ukraine - Participation in international competitions of Skaters and Officials from Russia and Belarus

greenapple

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The Ruskies were a fad, which many of us have now tired of. Watching pure skating this season, for the first time in years, has really shown how gimmicky that whole situation had become. I really don't care if there are no quads in women's skating.

And I am also really enjoying watching all the young skaters and teams getting an opportunity to compete at the big competitions. Skating is not only more interesting this season, it is also exciting because in a lot of cases there are no clear cut winners.
 
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Holy Headband

Gubanova OGM2026 truther
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Sorry, I still love ballet style skaters the most. My favorites have all had that style...John Curry, Peggy Flemming, Toller Cranston, Paul Wylie, Sasha Cohen for a few examples. Heck I even remember how much I loved the short career of Yukina Ota and also Marin Honda when she was a well trained junior. Gorgeous movement on the ice. Right now I'm loving Levito and Broussard at their stages of development. I don't consider Eteri's skaters to be particularly balletic. Certainly not Trusova. And Scherbakova could not point her toes or turn out. Kostornaya was no ballerina either. Though her overall package was pretty great for a time. Valieva maybe more so balletic and I did like her until the drug test.

As a ballet fan (and one who used to take ballet lessons) I can tell you achieving this kind of style is very difficult and very hard work off the ice. A top ballet dancer is a life time of work just as a top skater is. For me if you can't skate with great carriage, stretch and line, I'm not as interested, although I enjoy seeing all the different styles. My favorites are always the onces who pay attention to carriage, line and extension. I'm glad the judges still seem to appreciate it too. I have lots of skating fan friends who love Midori Ito, Tonya Harding and Kaori the most. To each his own!
As a ballet fan I can tell you none of the skaters you mentioned have anything to do with ballet.
 

VGThuy

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And I don’t think anybody said they dislike skaters with balletic qualities, who pay attention to detail, and emphasize carriage. What I do think is distracting is when some young skaters over-emphasize a balletic “look” but are seriously underdeveloped in important areas of skating.
 

coppertop1

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The Ruskies were a fad, which many of us have now tired of. Watching pure skating this season, for the first time in years, has really shown how gimmicky that whole situation had become. I really don't care if there are no quads in women's skating.

And I am also really enjoying watching all the young skaters and teams getting an opportunity to compete at the big competitions. Skating is not only more interesting this season, it is also exciting because in a lot of cases there are no clear cut winners.
That really does sum it up. I was watching the women's competition at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and it really struck me how much older and more polished the field seemed.
 

Trillian

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And I don’t think anybody said they dislike skaters with balletic qualities, who pay attention to detail, and emphasize carriage. What I do think is distracting is when some young skaters over-emphasize a balletic “look” but are seriously underdeveloped in important areas of skating.

Realistically, I think the biggest issue is the mindset that thin = balletic. Almost no skaters have professional-level dance training because there are only so many hours in the day, but there are obviously some (including many of those @mtnskater listed) who have a higher level of body control, attention to detail, etc. in their movements on the ice. Ballet (or whatever kind of dance) purists aren’t going to recognize it as ballet (etc.) because it’s not - it’s figure skating - but there is a general tool bag of dance-related skills that some skaters have developed more than others. And there’s nothing wrong with appreciating those qualities as a fan.

The problem with “balletic” (besides, as the ballet folks like to remind us, that this is not ballet) is that it’s often used to refer to skaters’ bodies instead of whatever they’re doing with their bodies. Obviously many fans don’t intend it that way - I know it’s been used as shorthand forever - but it’s kind of a loaded word in a skating context.
 

Dobre

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Well, I disagree. I think the carriage one can obtain from ballet early in life tends to hold a skater in good stead in the long run. It doesn't mean the athlete is "finished" but it seems to give them a much stronger sense of body awareness when it comes to executing choreography. Those athletes are ahead of the game even if not yet fully developed.

Meanwhile, I feel for the choreographers of athletes like Kraznozhon & Grassl who seem to try very hard but don't have that sense of carriage & position.
 

Bouffantrex

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That really does sum it up. I was watching the women's competition at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and it really struck me how much older and more polished the field seemed.
Again, you are completely on point. I noticed this competition was uploaded to YouTube recently, so I took a gander, and I was stunned at how much more enjoyable the ladies' skating was back then. And that applies to the entire field, not just the medalists.

I'm feeling charitable tonight, so I won't solely blame Russia for the degradation of women's figure skating, as there have been some enjoyable Russian skaters over the past decade, but I do place a bulk of blame on the Tutberidze school of skating, along with the judges for vastly overscoring these skaters.

I will also note it was remarkably refreshing to watch figure skating without vocal music. I realize this comes down to the matter of taste, and to be honest, I pity those who do not share my opinion. But when lyrics were restricted, we saw significantly more variety in program styles and genres.
 

coppertop1

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Again, you are completely on point. I noticed this competition was uploaded to YouTube recently, so I took a gander, and I was stunned at how much more enjoyable the ladies' skating was back then. And that applies to the entire field, not just the medalists.

I'm feeling charitable tonight, so I won't solely blame Russia for the degradation of women's figure skating, as there have been some enjoyable Russian skaters over the past decade, but I do place a bulk of blame on the Tutberidze school of skating, along with the judges for vastly overscoring these skaters.

I will also note it was remarkably refreshing to watch figure skating without vocal music. I realize this comes down to the matter of taste, and to be honest, I pity those who do not share my opinion. But when lyrics were restricted, we saw significantly more variety in program styles and genres.
I definitely place a lot of the issues in Tutberidze and Sambo. I do like Kostornaya and Liza, but she's not a Sambo student. The monopoly got boring and predictable though I would have taken that over the trainwreck we saw in Beijing. As far as lyrics, I think it depends on the arrangement. Sometimes it works, sometimes it gets in the way.
 

Willin

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This! The judges have a huge impact on the direction FS goes. Tutberidze and team saw what got the big numbers and ran away with it.
Polina Edmunds said she knows multiple coaches teaching the Eteri style because it's so overscored, and more trying to teach it. At least with skaters like Mia Kalin and Isabeau Levito it's working well.
 

Karen-W

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Polina Edmunds said she knows multiple coaches teaching the Eteri style because it's so overscored, and more trying to teach it. At least with skaters like Mia Kalin and Isabeau Levito it's working well.
I wouldn't say that it's working well for Mia Kalin. At least not if her JGP results are anything to go by.
 

BittyBug

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I mean, Curry’s first love was ballet. He wanted to be a ballet dancer but his father wouldn’t let him. And all those exercises that he developed for his troupe were the equivalent of barre work for skaters.

And look at his skaters. For example, Cathy Foulkes, who was a very serious ballet dancer in addition to skating.
 

Japanfan

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The problem with “balletic” (besides, as the ballet folks like to remind us, that this is not ballet) is that it’s often used to refer to skaters’ bodies instead of whatever they’re doing with their bodies.
When I think of balletic in FS, it is Emanuel Sandhu who first comes to mind - he did study ballet for some years.

I think of him as a balletic because of his style and movement, not his body type (though it helped).
 

Vagabond

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When I think of balletic in FS, it is Emanuel Sandhu who first comes to mind - he did study ballet for some years.
Wasn't it fairly common for elite skaters of that era (especially the women and girls) to have taken ballet classes and even still to be taking ballet classes?
 

Willin

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I wouldn't say that it's working well for Mia Kalin. At least not if her JGP results are anything to go by.
While I would agree overall with that, using the Eteri style has gotten her quads and therefore lots of love and attention from USFS. She's a lot more successful than she'd be without the Eteri-style jumps. Without them she probably wouldn't even make nationals...
 

On My Own

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Apart from Curry, it's true that that list didn't have anyone who had anything to do with ballet. I think Mao Asada and Lucinda Ruh should be named much before someone like Sasha Cohen. Fleming, Wylie, and Cranston certainly not.
 

screech

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IIRC wasn't Sasha a gymnast, not a dancer in her youth?
Jeff Buttle also studied ballet in his youth. While not to the level of Sandhu, Jeff's wikipedia indicates that he did competitive ballet to improve his skating.
 

Trillian

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Sandhu didn't just take ballet classes - he was a student at the National Ballet School for several years.

And this is one of the very few cases in which I’m aware of an elite skater having that caliber of pre-professional level ballet training.

Many skaters have studied some ballet and/or other forms of dance. I think a lot of us would agree that those who study more dance have certain obvious advantages over those who study less dance. But even among those who’ve studied ballet, they might apply it to their skating in vastly different ways because - again - they’re not ballet dancers. If you give ten film directors a copy of the same book and tell them to adapt it into a movie, they’re going to make ten very different movies, and it would be silly to grade them on a spectrum of “more like a book” or “less like a book.” Same deal with skating and ballet - we’re talking about two different art forms. Skaters can learn and incorporate some wonderful things from dance, and we can all appreciate when they do. But “more like ballet” and “less like ballet” is a weird metric to apply to people who are not doing ballet.
 

kwanfan1818

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Tessa Virtue is also a skater who studied at National Ballet of Canada's company-affiliated elite school, but I'm not sure if she was in the kids track or left before studying in the pre-professional track. Her carriage and extension shows a high level of ballet influence, but I wouldn't call her style balletic. She more typical of skaters, gymnasts, and other types of dancers who use ballet training as a base or to focus on one or more attributes.
 

airgelaal

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Training in Ukraine
If russian skaters still believe that they have been offended, then let them try to practice like this.

 

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