The Skating Lesson 2018/2019

aliceanne

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3,554
See, I disagree about figures. Does anyone remember getting up at the crack of dawn to practice your figures on a small patch of ice? I found that stroking/edge coaches are much more important (and less expensive) to learn your edges instead of toiling on a figures patch for hours on end. It just seems as if some old-timers look back decades with fondness and a romanticized view of yesteryear. Figures were for the most part judged politically, ruined a skater's Olympic dreams, and really didn't help someone's SKATING. (For instance, Schuba was awesome at figures and was a very mediocre skater, while Lynn was terrible at figures yet her skating is legendary). It still boggles my mind that no one helped Surya on her basic edging and stroking, or that Mama refused to let anyone help Surya with such a fundamental requirement for good skating.
My complaint with practicing figures on a patch was that it taught you to do your edges and turns looking down, a very hard habit to break.
 

WillyElliot

Tanning one day, then wearing a winter coat today.
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662
That might have hindered poor Jenny Kirk's skating. (This is the TSL thread). All that looking down to the ice. BUT, I will say, she really did trace a beautiful heart in the ice during one of her programs! Cheesy for sure, but she could at least trace SOMETHING! lol I still laugh when I think of Evy stating in 2001 that Jenny could very well win the Olympics the next year.... EEK
 

skateboy

Well-Known Member
Messages
6,643
Schuba was awesome at figures and was a very mediocre skater, while Lynn was terrible at figures yet her skating is legendary.
And yet, Janet Lynn publicly stated that her training of figures is what made her the free skater she became.

Actually, Janet wasn't really terrible at figures, she usually placed relatively well. It was more that Schuba was so over-the-top better than anyone else (Toller Cranston felt that she was actually underscored in figures), that everyone else looked like a beginner in comparison.
 

giselle23

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,533
And Karen Mag, Julie Lynn, etc. And what I said above about figures being political, I would bet that Lynn was even worse than her placements actually were. They weren't about to "Tiffany Chin" her to keep her out of the medals. The figures were rife with cheating/politik.

And as for Lynn being a huge advocate of figures, that doesn't surprise me. I'm sure she'd also be a huge advocate of going back to the Eisenhower Era where women had little if no education, and stayed in the kitchen, pushing out babies. Mem'ries, it was all so simple then.....
Janet was kept out of the medals because of her figures. Check out her 1971 Worlds free skate. She had the audience yelling, "Bravo" when she finished but finished off of the podium (the crowd started chanting, "Janet, Janet" during the medals ceremony and she came out for a brief bow). As for whatever you think she advocates politically, that has nothing to do with what she thinks about figures.
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,062
I mean, if I were to assess my time management, I waste a few hours a week with TSL.
This goes for me with figure skating in general. :drama: As far as TSL, I've cut back from watching. I was only tempted to watch Scott Dyer episode, because I like him, and had never heard him speak at any length. It turned out to be great info from Scott, but creepy and questionable as usual from Dave and Jonathan.

Same for the Joe Inman episode. I watched for the best of the Joe Inman info and insights, nothing else. I also enjoyed the Benoit Richaud episode for Richaud, not for DL (who has snarkily criticized Richaud in the past). I haven't been bothered to watch some episodes I normally would have including the Raf interview, Kurt Browning, and Katia Gordeeva. I love all three, but I simply wasn't too tempted to watch because I need to cut back on wasting precious time fogging my mind with negative, full-of-themselves characters like DL and JB poisoning the already frightful and fraught-filled atmosphere of figure skating. Oh wait... :shuffle: Negative, fraught-filled commentary, or else over-hype that disregards the pressing issues appear to be right up figure skating's alley these days. The skaters definitely deserve better. But that's an age-old refrain.

I'm still addicted to watching the sport (NOT TSL) because there are skaters I love, and it's hard to break a habit formed over so many decades. But caring about skaters and figure skating is simply becoming too frustrating.

Everyone who enjoy TSL and co-hosts, you can surely continue doing so without getting all on a high-horse about critiques in this thread. It's funny how DL and JB like to dish snarky criticism, but neither they nor their fan followers can take the slightest put-downs. :p
 
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aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,062
See, I disagree about figures. Does anyone remember getting up at the crack of dawn to practice your figures on a small patch of ice? I found that stroking/edge coaches are much more important (and less expensive) to learn your edges instead of toiling on a figures patch for hours on end. It just seems as if some old-timers look back decades with fondness and a romanticized view of yesteryear. Figures were for the most part judged politically, ruined a skater's Olympic dreams, and really didn't help someone's SKATING. (For instance, Schuba was awesome at figures and was a very mediocre skater, while Lynn was terrible at figures yet her skating is legendary). It still boggles my mind that no one helped Surya on her basic edging and stroking, or that Mama refused to let anyone help Surya with such a fundamental requirement for good skating.
I guess everyone has their point-of-view about figures and the role that figures have played in the sport's development. But I'm gonna stay humble and realize that the actual history and resonance of the sport is too complicated, dense, and bigger than any of us to truly understand or unpack on forums like this, much less on snarky fs podcasts.

I'm glad there are people who love figure skating who don't frequent fan forums and are actually doing something about preserving the sport's history (shout out to @N_Halifax). That list includes former U.S. pairs skater, Karen Courtland, and everyone involved in the effort to document and preserve the history of figures, while continuing to produce the recently formed World Figure & Fancy Skating Championships. Here's a link to some of their videos and to Courtland's explanation of their mission. It's so cool seeing former U.S. men eligible skater, Shepherd Clark!!! Pretty cool.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=World+figure+&+fancy+skating

Indeed, the issue of figures is complicated, and of course it's true that compulsory figures ended up becoming a politically convenient scoring tool. The sport needed to have better vision in the 1940s or earlier about the direction of figure skating once acrobatics began to enter the picture. But no, they simply frowned on acrobatics and continued to mindlessly over-aggrandize figures, without actually understanding the significance of figures in helping to guide the advancement of technical feats. With better clear-headed vision and leadership, those in power could have made adjustments early on to the sport's competitive structure (while still preserving figures in a separate competivie and historical archive capacity).

Of course, now, instead of overly revering figures while frowning on acobatics, the reverse has happened (forgetting about the forest for the trees, i.e, technical feats over foundational prowess, maturity and a true understanding of aesthetics). Also, poor Mom-Pop organization and decision-making continued right into the television contract era, where the ISU made bonehead decisions to accommodate the networks, without thinking about the best interests of the sport and the athletes.

That's not to say nothing is currently good about the sport. But whatever good we do see happening is definitely because of the athletes and other passionate, selfless people! Anything good that goes on in this sport occurs in spite of, not because of conflict-oriented, overly political ISU decision-making.
 
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vesperholly

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,582
Sure, they needed to eliminate figures from competition. But I don't think they needed to abandon figures entirely as if figures have no relevance whatsoever to good skating development.
USFS added basic figures back into their moves in the field tests. You have to do a forward 8 on the 2nd test (preliminary) and backward 8 on the 3rd test (pre-juvenile).
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,062
USFS added basic figures back into their moves in the field tests. You have to do a forward 8 on the 2nd test (preliminary) and backward 8 on the 3rd test (pre-juvenile).
That's great. Unfortunately, TPTB always do things in convoluted, belated fashion, which truthfully has and is hampering interest in, understanding of, and growth of the sport.

This type of thing (incorporating figures into Moves in the Field testing) should have been thought of at the time they decided to eliminate figures from competition. There are simply too many cooks and too much politics in the overheated and underbaked ISU kitchen.

Forgive my frustration and my overwrought analogies, and please do continue to enlighten with the knowledge you have. :)
 

vesperholly

Well-Known Member
Messages
12,582
This type of thing (incorporating figures into Moves in the Field testing) should have been thought of at the time they decided to eliminate figures from competition. There are simply too many cooks and too much politics in the overheated and underbaked ISU kitchen.
First of all, the ISU has nothing to do with US test levels. Also, I have no idea what countries other than the US did "in place" of figures to teach their skaters how to skate. Canada has a similar test system called skating skills, though that may have changed.

While figures were eliminated from elite competition after the 89-90 season, moves in the field were not introduced in the US testing structure until the 94-95 season. For a short period, you did not have to pass a figures test to take the corresponding freestyle test. When my first coach took her tests in the 70s, you used to have to take figures and freestyle together on the same day! Testing used to start with preliminary freestyle, and when they added moves, they added an earlier level called pre-preliminary. Pre-juvenile and intermediate were also added levels, but I'm not sure when.

Moves were created by a committee of very high-level coaches and judges from around the US, and they used a lot of figures and dance as the basis for creating the test patterns. The idea was to create a well-rounded skater by focusing on both free skating elements like stroking and a version of figures that young skaters wouldn't hate, like 3 turns "in the field" aka on the short or long axis. There are 3-turns, double 3s, brackets, counters and rockers on moves tests, in addition to dance steps like mohawks and choctaws. They're not as insanely picky as figures, but skaters are still learning the fundamentals of skating edges and turns.

The moves tests underwent a huge update about 10 years ago to reflect IJS judging changes, adding in patterns of loops and twizzles as well as more difficult footwork sequences.

Personally, I would have like to see figures phased out in the top levels in the early 1980s while moves were being phased in. But the ISU is just as much reactionary as it is reticent to change - how fast did we go from 6.0 to IJS in 2002 to 2004?

Were figures beneficial in teaching good skating? Absolutely. Were figures used politically and left in elite competition too long? Absolutely.
 

aftershocks

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Messages
16,062
^^ Your last observations are definite no-brainers which is actually the same thing I said, which you might have missed since I have a habit of adding to my posts, as my thoughts pile up. :p

First of all, the ISU has nothing to do with US test levels. Also, I have no idea what countries other than the US did "in place" of figures to teach their skaters how to skate. Canada has a similar test system called skating skills, though that may have changed.
Sure, but there are definite connections and non-boundary influences relating to how the sport evolved over centuries, that can't be separated by artificial country boundaries and domestic testing initiatives instituted by individual federations. :)

Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the U.S. system. I am thinking of trying to become more involved in skating at local clubs, if I can. Maybe that might be a positive avenue to redirect some of my frustrations and to satisfy my passion for the sport. If I can manage to do so, I might shave more from the online time I spend grinding my teeth. ;)
 
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vesperholly

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12,582
Thanks for sharing your knowledge of the U.S. system. I am thinking of trying to become more involved in skating at local clubs, if I can. Maybe that might be a positive avenue to redirect some of my frustrations and to satisfy my passion for the sport. If I can manage to do so, I might shave more from the online time I spend grinding my teeth. ;)
Do you skate? If not, I would suggest learning. It will give you a great appreciation :)
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,062
Do you skate? If not, I would suggest learning. It will give you a great appreciation :)
Oh definitely. I was inspired by Tai & Randy ages ago to learn skating. It was definitely eye-opening, but I need to get back into learning more (hopefully focusing on ice dance), and also volunteering on my local level. :)
 

alchemy void

#paninmemorialchamp
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20,504
Meagan was a joy per usual on the Worlds Pairs Recap! :encore:
I watched, because Meagan.

And she is SO good. She needs to commentate every possible pairs event. Honest, articulate, minimally biased, yet keeps it real and isn't overly PC or only saying nice things about everybody.

Dave was very well-behaved, and although scattered, is still a very entertaining host, especially when he has a guest of some stature.

However, Jonathan brings very little of anything to the table for me. Well, he knows classical music, but has a shallow knowledge of the sport. And I don't find him particularly endearing, either.
 
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D

Deleted member 53443

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Jonathan with the Zagitova hating is sad. I could have "strong feelings" about his non-knowledge about the sport, but I am too nice. If you want to nit-pick on one single skater you can take anyone and trash her like all three of them did. I understand, they predicted Zagitova to fess up all season and now it must burn like hell in their behinds that she won, and deservedly so.

I'm taking a break from dat show, this was just too annoying and shitty from them.
 

skatfan

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4,231
I'm really enjoying these recaps with the special guests.

Meghan should do all pair commentary for all events. That girl is honest and her love of skating shows. Her respect for Sui/Han shows no bounds, and I think she was spot on when she said that T/M probably thought they'd won the gold after their free skate.

Jenny came back - I guess they mended fences with her, and since she is wanting to start a skating coach/life coach career, this is a great time for a reappearance. They all got along pretty well. The conversation about the Ensoo/Mariah 'incident' was pretty intelligent. Anything they said about Zagitova's programs, I've been thinking. I was glad that they emphasized that they are not blaming her but the team, acknowledging that since it is succeeding, it's not likely to change. The Eteri style is simply not one that inspires me.

Mark Hanretty is doing Dance with them, and I would guess that Doug Haw might join them for the Men's Final.
 

skatfan

Well-Known Member
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4,231
Eteri's style inspires judges to award her skaters highest medals, top name brands/sponsors for her girls, and millions of fans to enjoy their performances...
Hey, obviously there's a market. I guess you feel like you have to make clear that my opinion is not valid - LOL! Trust me, I'm not alone in this assessment.

I think Eteri is a master of mentally preparing her young skaters to compete well. She is amazing in that department (who else has multiple jr ladies skaters doing quads!), and the technical prowess is undeniable. That is pushing the sport all to the good.

But I find it all - cobbled together in the choreography and style. Zagitova's SP is a musical mess and so choppy. And she didn't even have the best Carmen program - that was Kolyada's.
 

Tinami Amori

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18,342
I guess you feel like you have to make clear that my opinion is not valid - LOL!.
I am sure it is valid to you... But on the grand arena, it is about as valid as standing in the middle of Louvre and loudly announcing "I don't like Mona Lisa". It won't stop millions of people per year to come to France, to Louvre, just to see it.. :lol: If one does not like it, one does not have to look at it.

And i think it is "a bad tone" to criticize a coach who sweeps top podiums for the last several years, in senior and junior ranks, when there is no legal issues involved, or official public judging controversies.... because it always casts a negative light on the critics in terms of their true motives..;) But don't let me stop you... and don't stop me if i reply.
 

skatfan

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4,231
I am sure it is valid to you... But on the grand arena, it is about as valid as standing in the middle of Louvre and loudly announcing "I don't like Mona Lisa". It won't stop millions of people per year to come to France, to Louvre, just to see it.. :lol:

And i think it is "a bad tone" to criticize a coach who sweeps top podiums for the last several years, in senior and junior ranks, when there is no legal issues involved, or official public judging controversies.... because it always casts a negative light on the critics in terms of their true motives..;) But don't let me stop you... and don't stop me if i reply.
Huh? There are plenty of people who think the Mona Lisa is overrated.

Surely being in this board you know the myriad points of of view held by super fans like us. Given it’s you of all people taking about “bad tone” I’ll take it as a complement. I’m sure Eteri can handle my puny criticism that I think the programs are middling to bad, and that her skaters don’t have much in basic stroking skills. As to true motives, as I’ve said good things about her too, I think I’m pretty balanced in my critique. But have at it, I know you have to have the last word with me. :)
 

Tinami Amori

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18,342
Huh? There are plenty of people who think the Mona Lisa is overrated.
I know, that's why i picked that piece... But Louvre is not removing it from the walls, millions of people do not stop coming to see it, printing companies do not stop reproducing it, and publishers of art, history, and text books do not stop printing it.. and those who stand in front of it and loudly (vs. to themselves) announce that they don't like it, are usually told to move on to the next gallery.. :lol:
 

skatfan

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,231
I know, that's why i picked that piece... But Louvre is not removing it from the walls, millions of people do not stop coming to see it, printing companies do not stop reproducing it, and publishers of art, history, and text books do not stop printing it.. and those who stand in front of it and loudly (vs. to themselves) announce that they don't like it, are usually told to move on to the next gallery.. :lol:
Ah ok, I guess me posting on the board I’m a thread about the Skating lesson is equivalent to going up to Eteri right after Z’s skate and telling her she doesn’t inspire me. Gosh I am so important now - thanks for boosting me!
 

MK's Winter

Well-Known Member
Messages
308
That’s sad. Terrible a poster would make this up, post as fact and the whole board believed it.
She’s completed her degree in social work and I believe is a licensed therapist. That alone is enough to keep busy. I don’t think it left time for anything else. People ran with it.
 

skatingguy

Golden Team
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6,043
Jonathan with the Zagitova hating is sad. I could have "strong feelings" about his non-knowledge about the sport, but I am too nice. If you want to nit-pick on one single skater you can take anyone and trash her like all three of them did. I understand, they predicted Zagitova to fess up all season and now it must burn like hell in their behinds that she won, and deservedly so.

I'm taking a break from dat show, this was just too annoying and shitty from them.
I think that Zagitova, as Olympic & World Champion, is going to get more attention and more criticism of her skating, and that is appropriate. Having a high standard for the best female skater in the world is not bad, and her skating quality is lacking, particularly in her posture.
 

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