The Dance Hall 7: Tripping the Light Fantastic 2019-2020

Taso

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For the record, I have no idea what happened at Spanish nationals from any technical perspective.

I've posted more than once that the two Spanish teams are - at the moment - on fairly equal footing, a case could have been made for either one to get the Worlds assignment, and mostly they just really need to get that second spot already, if not this season then at least for the Olympics.
And in trying to get two spots for next year, which is harder than maintaining two spots the following, this is a Gadbois friendly - not Zhulin friendly - panel. Politikal as it gets, but its working with what is...
 

Dobre

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You may be following the wrong sport. :shuffle:
Nope. I follow the right one.

I've no problem with speculating about the politics. They exist. But it's also folly to think you can predict the future on them.

I submit the following podium from the last World Championships in Canada as evidence;):
http://www.isuresults.com/results/wc2013/CAT004RS.HTM

Not sure if either Spain or France is going to get the results it is hoping for. Think S&D have a shot, but it's getting more crowded rather than less in this battle so it's really hard to know. (As with the top 7, it would behoove everybody fighting for these lower spots to not muck up).
 
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Dobre

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Levels at Spanish Nationals & Europeans (excluding choreo elements):

Smart & Diaz
Nationals RD: 3, 3, 4, 2, 2, 3, 2
Base value-31.15
Europeans RD: 3, 4, 4, 2, 3, 3, 3
Base value-32.64
Nationals FD: 4, 3, 4, 1, 3, 4, 2, 4, 4
Base value--44.09
Europeans FD: 4, 4, 4, 3, 2, 4, 3, 4, 4
Base value--45.46

Total base value: 153.34


Hurtado & Khaliavin
Nationals RD: 3, 4, 2, 1, 2, 1, 4
Base value--30.78
Europeans RD: 3, 4, 3, 2, 3, 3, 4
Base value--33.02
Nationals FD: 4, 4, 1, 2, 4, 4, 4, 1, 4
Base value--43.58
Europeans FD: 4, 4, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 3, 4
Base value--45.84

Total base value: 153.22


Difference in total base value: 0.12
(I reserve the right to have made mathematical mistakes;). Feel free to correct any flaws above).
 

heartyxo

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That’s interesting, thanks. I do still think that either team is deserving to go to worlds and they’d place similarly no matter which went. It’ll be tight to get into the top 10 but we’ll see.
 

Ka3sha

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I still think Spain's best chance to grab two sports was in Milano two years ago. They should have sent Sara/Kirill to Worlds that year after they placed 12th at the Olympics and had a momentum.
 

barbarafan

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And in trying to get two spots for next year, which is harder than maintaining two spots the following, this is a Gadbois friendly - not Zhulin friendly - panel. Politikal as it gets, but its working with what is...
Why do you feel that teams would not be judged fairly in Canada? pls explain?
 

Michalle

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Things are so unpredictable in dance this year, it's great but also stressful. There's a month (?) to Worlds and nothing to do but worry about your faves, everybody's just reading tea leaves, I don't think it's that meaningful in real terms. I'm definitely ready for Junior Worlds to have some distraction though for sure!
 

Dobre

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Predict your top 10 for Junior Worlds:).

Mine:
-Nguyen & Kolesnik, Kazakova & Reviya, Ushakova & Nekrasov, Shanaeva & Narizhyy (top 4 podium contenders in some random order, probably S&N will not win gold but could make the podium)

-Demougeot & LeMercier, Davis & Smolkin, D'Alessandro & Waddell, Makita & Gunara, Bronsard & Bouraguia, Wolkostin & Chen, Taschlerova & Taschler (next 7 in some random order, at least one will not make the top 10, it will probably be one of my favorites)

-Spoilers: UKR (I should maybe bump them up to the higher group, but their levels are always low), JPN (who scored very high in random mixed team event at the Youth Olympics but behind all the Canadians at the Bavarian Open & during the rest of YOG, making for very complicated science?), USA#3, FRA#2, Russians suddenly skating for AZE, British team making waves post JGP

What on earth happened to Bunina & Gruzdev? They were 5th at one JGP and I figured they were all about trying to make the top 10 at a home Junior Worlds?
 
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Michalle

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Honestly, your predictions seem accurate enough that I want to just adopt them as my own. I think the big random factor is Ushakova & Nekrasov. I only watched some of the dances at Russian Nationals and didn't get to theirs, so they are a bit of a ? for me. I do think the top two are locked in pretty tightly barring disaster. I like the fun French Carmen (right?) and Davis & Smolkin - the rest of your top 10 I don't think I've seen so it's nice to see that even this late in the season there are still some new faces to look forward to (not that they haven't already skated, just that I have only seen parts of most of the junior competitions).

What do you think the biggest factor is in making the leap to seniors successfully? Chemistry/teamwork? Offering something "new"? Technical skill? I'm curious, b/c we've seen lots of good junior teams fall by the wayside.
 

Dobre

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What do you think the biggest factor is in making the leap to seniors successfully?
Perspective.

The ability to weather the tough seasons when you get beaten by someone younger or more recently partnered and instead of rushing to swap partners or coaches or retire after the first season that doesn't go your way, you take it as a learning experience, continue to grow, and come back stronger the following season. I think when you make those kinds of big changes that you want to make them because there is a great opportunity ahead.
 

Barbara Manatee

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Charlie White recently described the move to seniors as going from having an intense hobby to having a job. You suddenly realize how much seriousness and commitment it will take to succeed. It's hugely daunting, and not surprising that a lot of teams struggle to make that mental adjustment and decide there are other things in life.
 

barbarafan

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Why do you feel that teams would be judged fairly anywhere?
I did not say that it did. But this poster & some others were indicating that because worlds were in Canada would make a difference in the outcome and I would like to know exactly what they are referring to. ie who is supposed to do what?
 

Ka3sha

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Interview with Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya (in Russian)
 

Andora

Skating season ends as baseball season begins
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I did not say that it did. But this poster & some others were indicating that because worlds were in Canada would make a difference in the outcome and I would like to know exactly what they are referring to. ie who is supposed to do what?
I mean, I think it's fairly hilarious to infer a competition's locale would not be at least an ingredient in results, though I have to agree it's not a driving factor. I think the most direct I hear over and over is audience reaction affecting judges marks, maybe give benefit of the doubt on a level, PCS boost, etc. Home field advantage for big federations has also endeared Carol Lane to many skate fans following her "Skating in Russia" remark. 😂

To that end, I can't blame any federation that chooses to send a team enmeshed right there in Montreal, part of a large and popular school, over other non-regional teams that are alike enough in skill. It's not a slam-dunk benefit, but when teams are so close, these peripheral things start to count more, imvho. I'm impressed with H&K's fight all season when they had to know it would be an uphill battle to make it to worlds over S&D. (And I loved her classy response on Twitter). No idea how applicable it really is for French L&L, but I'd save some cash and send 'em and be done with it if my house was on fire. ;)
 

Dobre

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Both Smart & Diaz and Lauriault & Le Gac have a results-related argument for going to Worlds. What I find disturbing in both scenarios is that no criteria was ever announced in either situation, and no explanation was given for why these teams were selected. Which implies--fairly or not--that if another team were to meet the same criteria in the future, it might not be accepted as valid. Athletes have every right to know where the goal line is, IMO. As far as I can tell, there wasn't even an attempt at fuzzy criteria here.

And, seriously, I don't think "trains in the same city" qualifies as acceptable sports criteria for any major international sporting event.
 

Andora

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Both Smart & Diaz and Lauriault & Le Gac have a results-related argument for going to Worlds. What I find disturbing in both scenarios is that no criteria was ever announced in either situation, and no explanation was given for why these teams were selected. Which implies--fairly or not--that if another team were to meet the same criteria in the future, it might not be accepted as valid. Athletes have every right to know where the goal line is, IMO. As far as I can tell, there wasn't even an attempt at fuzzy criteria here.
Oh, yeah, absolutely. Federations pull different stunts to do what they want with assignments, and no explanation/criteria available is one. I lost count of the jokes around US/Canadian nationals regarding each federation's different approach to getting what they want. No matter how it's done, the athletes lose out, and not just the ones who don't get to attend worlds. It doesn't do the "winning" teams any real service either.

And, seriously, I don't think "trains in the same city" qualifies as acceptable sports criteria for any major international sporting event.
:rolleyes: Yes, that's exactly what I said. Thank you for nailing the point, 100%. +5 GOE.
 

barbarafan

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I mean, I think it's fairly hilarious to infer a competition's locale would not be at least an ingredient in results, though I have to agree it's not a driving factor. I think the most direct I hear over and over is audience reaction affecting judges marks, maybe give benefit of the doubt on a level, PCS boost, etc. Home field advantage for big federations has also endeared Carol Lane to many skate fans following her "Skating in Russia" remark. 😂

To that end, I can't blame any federation that chooses to send a team enmeshed right there in Montreal, part of a large and popular school, over other non-regional teams that are alike enough in skill. It's not a slam-dunk benefit, but when teams are so close, these peripheral things start to count more, imvho. I'm impressed with H&K's fight all season when they had to know it would be an uphill battle to make it to worlds over S&D. (And I loved her classy response on Twitter). No idea how applicable it really is for French L&L, but I'd save some cash and send 'em and be done with it if my house was on fire. ;)
ok..I can see how crowds going wild for a skater might influence a level where it is hard to tell and perhaps performance, composition and interpetation might be affected a bit like at Spanish Nationals where crowd really loved SD's programs (so do I). It is also true that it is natural to become attached to international teams which train in your city. The thing is if the programs are blah you will not get a great audience reaction no matter how well performed.

AT Cup of China GP the crowds were not reacting to other country's skating. You could hear crickets.

As far as Carol Lane's remark about Russia it actually made her look ignorant to those in the know of skating (which I am not but commentator showed and described it) when they did their silly gimmick of Piper pulling down Paul's sleeves right b4 they started their pattern it threw her off a bit and she skated the pattern on the flat of her blade.Hence bad levels on the pattern. Talk later was also that choreo was boring and they did make changes after on the programs including moving the sleeve thingie to a diff. place within the program. I am sure when team looked at it later they saw the problem. I am hoping the crowd will be wonderful and be enthusiastic for all athletes of all countries. I will be very ashamed if they do not.
 

Dobre

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:rolleyes: Yes, that's exactly what I said. Thank you for nailing the point, 100%. +5 GOE.
I did not mean to imply that you said this. Simply that there seems to be a thread of "acceptance" for this line of thinking running all the way through this thread recently. And it should, therefore, be called out. If the Spanish and French Fed are selecting these teams based on actual results, then at the very least those organizations should put that argument into the public record. The other athletes don't need to worry that they have been passed over due to politics & favoritism, and the athletes selected don't need the flack that comes with disappointing results if things don't go any better for them at Worlds than they did at Europeans or French Nationals.
 

chantilly

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Isn’t it possible that these teams that are so close to each other in skills and results; that the teams being sent/ being chosen is in some part related to $. That is, since you could successfully argue that both teams of both federations could be chosen, but given that the federations would have to spend less money by choosing the teams who already live and train there, that that might be the deciding factor?
 

allezfred

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What I find disturbing in both scenarios is that no criteria was ever announced in either situation, and no explanation was given for why these teams were selected.
That any of us outside those federations know of.
 

Dobre

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Isn’t it possible that these teams that are so close to each other in skills and results; that the teams being sent/ being chosen is in some part related to $.
Considering that a whole lot more major international events for the teams from Spain & France are held in Europe rather than North America, I don't think that would go over well, no. Most of the time the great battles in ice dance are close ones. And often it is the teams that are the most successful that can afford to travel halfway across the world to train with coaches from other countries.

That any of us outside those federations know of.
Yes, they may feel free to enlighten us at any time. Though it is always more valid before a selection than after it.

I have the impression now--based on L&LG's statement referencing the second part of their season following Nationals--that they knew they were going to Worlds prior to Europeans being held. And I had the impression watching Hurtado & Khaliavin's expressions after their scores came up at Europeans that they knew those would not be enough. But it is disturbing because we have yet to actually hear anything about criteria in either case.

We usually hear about it with Spain. We know what it was last season, and if it is the same as last year then S&D would have been selected. We also know Spain ignored their own criteria a few years ago. With France, the selection is in contrast to Nationals and the events after it. When that happens, we usually hear an explanation or it is generally obvious based on high results in the past. Or pre-announced criteria.
 
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chantilly

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Honestly I think that any federations or countries with one spot at Worlds SHOULD use the whole season and perhaps the season before it to make a selection.

I personally think Canada made the right choices for the Worlds team this year and a lot of spots were compromised this season for a variety of reasons.

Many of those decisions were based on, I’d argue, the entirety of this season and some of last.

Which when you’re rebuilding or trying to rise like Canada, France and Spain is also wise. You have to stay open but cautious.
 

Dobre

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Lauriault & Le Gac:
192.18-French Masters
185.48-Warsaw Cup
182.91-Autumn Classic
179.49-Nationals
172.11-Bavarian Open
167.14-Skate America
166.28-Internationaux de France

Galayavieva & Thauron:
187.16-French Masters
184.85-Nationals
179.14-Egna Dance Trophy
172.52-Mezzaluna Cup
172.15-European Championships
165.64-Denis Ten Memorial
164.79-Rostelecom
159.93-Lombardia Trophy

Like I said, Lauriault & Le Gac have an argument based on results. It's not a super strong one, especially if one is looking at the trajectory of the two teams during the season, and I personally feel that the least France could have done was to send both teams to the same Senior B after Europeans to get a clear international head-to-head result.

I understand why it is so difficult to set criteria. You never have the same scenario twice. (And very often dance teams pull out of head-to-heads). I think Germany finally got it right this season--with multiple head-to-head results late in the season. And ultimately, Canada got it right with all their very close junior dance teams fighting for the three berths at Junior Worlds. That was no easy tangle to sort out while sending different teams to YOG and Nationals; but it was so very obvious that there was no way to compare the scores from the two different events. It was the right call, IMO, to send everyone to the Bavarian Open.
 
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Ka3sha

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Several really interesting and thoughtful interviews were published/ uploaded last week:

1. Two-hour long interview with Aleksandr Zhulin.
I haven't watched the whole thing yet, but found these snippets interesting.
- He talked about the importance of working with ballet dancers and choreographers for figure skaters. Back in the day he learned how to skate without “bulging ass” and how to push only thanks to one of the ballet choreographers.
For example, Marina Klimova, Sergei Ponomarenko and Evgeny Platov were naturally gifted, very good at stretching and turnouts (need a help with translation here, don't know what term is better to use :) ), but for him it took a lot of time and efforts. And even after several years and all the hard work, he still couldn’t do a spread eagle. And now his student, Katsalapov, has exactly the same problem.
He was asked to name the best male dancers of all time: “Dean, Platov and won’t name the third one” :)
When they were still skating and competing, Maia and he always used to spend an hour after the practice in choreo class, working on new elements, transitions and choreographic details. It helped a lot because by the time they had to choreograph new programs, they already had some choice and ideas.
Ice Dance at his times was easier. There weren't that much rules - they had more freedom and the lifts were way easier, you could have done 1 lift or 10 lifts in the program and it was ok. Now skaters are taught to execute elements, it's the main focus. He says that Tessa&Scott, for example, could have skated in the 90s, but ice dancers of the past would have had a lot of troubles with modern rules.

- Of course, he was also asked about Europeans.
SinKats came prepared to this Championship, didn’t have even small mistakes during the practices, while the French couple were nervous and seemed to be off. Even before he heard that the French were thinking about withdrawing and not coming to Graz, he assumed there might be some kind of injury or something wrong with them, because at this Euros they didn’t project happiness and lightness like they had before.
According to him, scores took that long because the French fed or someone who submitted planned content lists to ISU did a mistake and input partial stsq instead of one foot sets. Interesting that during that pause he was sure that the French would win and left the arena to have a nervous cigarette with other coaches.
He was also asked how Pap/Ciz reacted to their loss - they are a great athletes and people, pretty honest and took it okey, but their coaches stopped paying any attention to us (can’t be sure whom exactly he meant), "looked at us like we are some servants”.
Says lots of colleagues and top dance coaches called him and congratulated him after that victory, because this win showed that everything is possible.

2. Cross-posting this from the From Russia with Love thread, interview with Ruslan Zhiganshin

3. Also, there was an interview with Popova/Mozgov
Injuries are the main reason of their retirement, they just had enough. Betina also mentioned problems with eating disorder and shared this story:
- Recently, you mostly focused on your weight.
Betina: Well, yes. Of course, our problems, injuries - it goes out of weight. I had a story in childhood, after it I had a very complicated relationship with weight. I can’t stand on the scales and be weighted. I'm shaking, starting to cry.
- What kind of story?
Betina: I won't say that it was bulimia or anorexia, no. I lived almost alone, my mother left and came [Betina's mom lives in Cyprus]. At some point, she came to Moscow and after a week said: "I have never seen you eat at home." I replied: "Oh, I'm eating at the rink." And I ate one time in two days at most. And it was a chocolate bar or a slice of pizza, a donut or something else. So my mom cooked buckwheat for me and said: "Eat." I started to eat and understood that I couldn't do it. I felt sick, I felt bad, I had a complete aversion to food.
I burst into tears, became hysterical. Mom changed her tickets and stayed with me and didn't leave until I was cured and began to eat normally. Since then, my relationship with weight is so-so. Then at some point I had to use the pills. They, of course, are not doping, but they are bad for your health. Unfortunately, a lot of people use them, mostly young girls. To everyone who uses it I want to say that it won't lead to anything good. Never. For a short time it will help, then it will be very difficult to treat the consequences. It’s not worth it. This is a very serious topic for me. Now I'm trying to solve this problem with humor. Take myself chubby and plump.
- Look, come on. For a normal person, not a skater, you are very slim.
Betina: But I'm not a normal person.
- I understand, I understand. But you are no longer a professional athlete.
Betina: Yes, but anyway ...
- I think you just need time to accept.
Betina: It takes time to calm down, to accept everything. Yes, of course, it will get better. But now, the situation was like that. But I always had Sergei who forbade me eating those pills. But anyway that was the situation.
 
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Bigbird

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It is either Moir or Cizeron. No mystery there.

EDIT: What are the pills Betina refers to? Diuretics to help shed water? Is this what the Russian forums refer to when they say an athlete becomes "dry"?
 

Michalle

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Something in this interview prompted me to rewatch the U/Z Four Seasons program. I haven’t seen it in a long time. Their pairing ended pretty unpleasantly obviously but they were such a great team at their best.
 

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