The Skating Lesson

aftershocks

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Aftershocks, are you aware that there is a long-standing debate in the classical music world as to whether Porgy is an opera or a musical? I don’t agree that Jonathan was being dismissive about it.
In the context of their snark-filled discussion of Starr's programs, they were definitely being dismissive of Porgy & Bess. Read how he referenced Porgy & Bess: "It doesn't know if it's an opera or a musical..." Don't miss the forest for the trees @Tavi, unless you are hoping like @Tinami Amori is, to soft-pedal Dave's and Jonathan's bias-filled commentary away from anything to do with looking down on Starr Andrews, a young skater of color in a sport that has few athletes of color represented. And that doesn't mean she requires coddling nor special handling either. She does deserve respect. Obviously, Dave is not someone who gives anyone much respect, but that fact is not going to make me ignore or sweep under the rug his OTT snarky bias against Starr Andrews.

It's one thing to make fair, critical comments about the weaknesses of a young athlete, no matter their heritage and background. But that's not what Dave and Jonathan were doing here. From beginning to end, it was all negativity and smirky dismissiveness. They had nothing positive to say whatsoever.

I can see it coming now. Everyone who feels uncomfortable is going to downplay these despicable comments by Dave and Jonathan. It's already happening. By doing so, it helps everyone else take cover behind their own ingrained, unexplored biases.
 
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Tinami Amori

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.....looking down on Starr Andrews, a young skater of color in a sport that has few athletes of color represented.
So you want her to be treated "as special" and not critique because she is Black? TSL is nasty to soooooo many skaters... why should Starr be an exception? (not that i like their nastiness in general towards anyone..)
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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Because not all critiques are equal and last time I watched a video of theirs there were tons of Russian fans complaining about their anti-Russian bias and not getting Russian aesthetics. One can be discriminating to multiple groups. That doesn’t take away problematic attitudes and thinking towards a particular group.
 

Tinami Amori

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Because not all critiques are equal and last time I watched a video of theirs there were tons of Russian fans complaining about their anti-Russian bias and not getting Russian aesthetics. One can be discriminating to multiple groups. That doesn’t take away problematic attitudes and thinking towards a particular group.
The difference is: when one critiques 2 girls (Zag/Med) who won every competition in their league for 3 years straight, plus 2 top placements in the Olympics, it is very suspicious why some-one critiques Consistent Winners.

If Zag's "tutus" did not come with bunch of Gold medals, then complaining "you hate Russians" would not be appropriate.

When one fails to perform well at a 2nd-tier competition, and fails half of the jumps, the critique seems more appropriate, and if "identity" is created by skater's team, then that "identity" maybe critiqued as well.

If Starr's team wants to make sure she is identified not just as "skater who happens to be Black", but "Black Skater", they are entering a dangerous territory, and/or creating an uncomfortable atmosphere where people are reluctant to critique and expected to "only say nice things" and give high marks or they will be called "racist".

I can very well see a situation where if Starr does not place high, there will be talk about "discrimination". And yet so far she put out 2 very mediocre skates.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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Walking on eggshells about constructive criticism of Starr Andrews aside (that's a subject I will not touch in this conversation and I honestly think the only people who are uncomfortable are ones who are uncomfortable with people taking pride in their heritage and identity and race), I honestly do think a lot of the attitudes and quotes by Dave and Jonathan are incredibly problematic and carry a lot of racist attitudes and shows how uninformed they both are. Just because he's nasty about everybody doesn't excuse that.
 

MacMadame

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Racist pricks.

First of all, I'd be extremely surprised if Starr Andrew's mom actually said to anyone, let alone "famous choreographer" that she only lets her daughter skate to music by Black artists. [This isn't even getting into the issue of whether said choreographer even exists. It sounds too much like "people are saying".]

Secondly, their belief that someone skating to Black music more than once == that's all they ever skate to reminds me of people who insist that "everyone on network tv is gay now" because there are maybe 3 more gay characters than last year. It's a very defensive reaction based on believing the world is a pie and someone else getting a piece means less pie for you.

Third, having skaters skate to music that they know and love makes sense especially when they are coming up the ranks and maturing as a skater. People were told to stop criticizing Bradie Tennell for skating to Cinderella as she obviously loved the music and she was scoring well. It's the same with Starr. She obviously loves her music and performs the heck out of it. Making her skate to something that she doesn't love just because it will make some internet fans happy is dumb. The Andrews are not dumb.
 
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Frida80

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There’s a lot to unpack with all this bile spewed by Dave.

1. Porgy and Bess was originally an opera, written by Gershwin himself. The made into a musical for a film in the 1959.

2. Dave is lying about Starr’s mother’s conversation. Starr has had many programs skated with non African American artist or theme related. Romeo and Juliet, Debussy, Swan Lake, Pink Panther, and Kung Fu Panda. All of these have been choreographed by her main coach, Derrick Delmore.

3. AFAIK, both her SP and FS are choreographed by Derrick as well. So I highly doubt suddenly she started to talk to outside choreographers this year.

4. Someone skating to music that is from the same race, nationality, or religion as you does not make you a novelty. Nor does that mean that you want to go viral. Starr went viral by accident. At no time has she or her mother deliberately tried to make her videos go viral again. If anything she is focused on becoming a serious competitor.

5. Surya often wore Unitards because they didn’t make skating tights in her color. That’s also why she had a boot “sock”, to give the illusion she was wearing tights.

6. Starr has been wearing unitards every year since she was in novice. She likes them.

7. The FS is actually, the Rain Maker by Hans Zimmer.

8. Dave lease is a complete (*&%^A).
 
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VIETgrlTerifa

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There’s a lot to unpack with all this bile spewed by Dave.

1. Porgy and Bess was originally an opera, written by Gershwin himself. The made into a musical for a film in the 1959.

2. Dave is lying about Starr’s mother’s conversation. Starr has had many programs skated with not African American artist or theme related. Romeo and Juliet, Debussy, Swan Lake, Pink Panther, and Kung Fu Panda. All of these have been choreographed by her main coach, Derrick Delmore.

3. AFAIK, both her SP and FS are choreographed by Derrick as well. So I highly doubt suddenly she started to talk to outside choreographers this year.

4. Someone skating to music that is from the same race, nationality, or religion as you does not make you a novelty. Nor does that mean that you want to go viral. Starr went viral by accident. At no time has she or her other deliberately tried to make her videos go viral again. If anything she is focused on becoming a serious competitor.

5. Surya often wore Unitards because they didn’t make skating tights in her color. That’s also why she had a boot “sock”, to give the illusion she was wearing tights.

6. Starr has been wearing unitards every year since she was in novice. She likes them.

7. The FS is actually, the Rain Maker by Hans Zimmer.

8. Dave lease is a complete (*&%^A).
Thank you for these facts.
 

Tony Wheeler

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This was addressed probably on the first or second page of this long thread, but the same people come here to complain and give exact commentary of the videos every time they go up.

You’re still giving him/them attention, whether it’s the off-season and there’s not much skating news elsewhere or not. Dave showed his methods long ago and it’s old news. Watch with the expectation of him being an awful person and you won’t have anything to complain about. Or don’t watch at all and don’t give him the views and steam to continue.
 
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There’s a lot to unpack with all this bile spewed by Dave.

1. Porgy and Bess was originally an opera, written by Gershwin himself. The made into a musical for a film in the 1959.

2. Dave is lying about Starr’s mother’s conversation. Starr has had many programs skated with not African American artist or theme related. Romeo and Juliet, Debussy, Swan Lake, Pink Panther, and Kung Fu Panda. All of these have been choreographed by her main coach, Derrick Delmore.

3. AFAIK, both her SP and FS are choreographed by Derrick as well. So I highly doubt suddenly she started to talk to outside choreographers this year.

4. Someone skating to music that is from the same race, nationality, or religion as you does not make you a novelty. Nor does that mean that you want to go viral. Starr went viral by accident. At no time has she or her other deliberately tried to make her videos go viral again. If anything she is focused on becoming a serious competitor.

5. Surya often wore Unitards because they didn’t make skating tights in her color. That’s also why she had a boot “sock”, to give the illusion she was wearing tights.

6. Starr has been wearing unitards every year since she was in novice. She likes them.

7. The FS is actually, the Rain Maker by Hans Zimmer.

8. Dave lease is a complete (*&%^A).
I think even calling her a "novelty" is not the best choice of words... if she was a different race would she still be a novelty? Idk, that whole segment about Starr rubbed me the wrong way...I don't think we should be surprised, though. Dave is terrible to everyone.
 

Frida80

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I think even calling her a "novelty" is not the best choice of words... if she was a different race would she still be a novelty? Idk, that whole segment about Starr rubbed me the wrong way...I don't think we should be surprised, though. Dave is terrible to everyone.
He would never have the gall to call Karen a novelty for having chinese themed exhibitions. Karen is celebrating her heritage while skating to music that she enjoys. Why can’t the same be said for Starr?
 

Tinami Amori

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Dave/TSL is nasty to everyone he/they don't like. And whatever stands out about a skater, they will pick on. He said many times "it must be a Russian thing" in a negative context, including insinuations that "all Russian girls are on starvation powder and probably are taking strange drugs".

His nasty comments about "russians", which highlight the "russian part" do not cause the same uproar on english speaking/north american forums.....
 

aftershocks

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This was addressed probably on the first or second page of this long thread, but the same people come here to complain and give exact commentary of the videos every time they go up.

You’re still giving him/them attention, whether it’s the off-season and there’s not much skating news elsewhere or not. Dave showed his methods long ago and it’s old news. Watch with the expectation of him being an awful person and you won’t have anything to complain about. Or don’t watch at all and don’t give him the views and steam to continue.
Yep, I get what you are saying, and I've heard it before. Since I love figure skating, and there's a dearth of coverage, I have tended to check out the TSL podcasts, sometimes browsing through and making a point recently of not coming here to comment. I enjoyed the interviews with Shpilband and Aljona, because of Shpilband and Aljona, not because of Lease and Beyer. And so I came here to share because the interviews were informative and interesting.

Recently, due to some of the backlash criticism he's received for his nasty commentary and slams against athletes, it had seemed as if Dave was trying to rein in a bit of his constant snark, or at least to be more careful. That's why I was completely taken off guard by their disgusting attempt to disrespect Starr Andrews at the end of the Asian Trophy/The ICE episode. Not that I should be particularly surprised, but they were OTT, with nothing positive to say at all. It was blatant and showed their perhaps unconscious biases. That's enough for me. I stopped watching and listening to the rest of that episode. I only came here to record what they said because I feel that it needs to be called out for what it is. I now wish I had missed that episode altogether. But once again, many of the interviews are valuable. So maybe if people in skating hear about their terrible and unfair comments, they won't be getting guests willing to be interviewed. But I'm not holding my breath.
 
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Besides creating gossips (not repeating but creating) and conspiracy theories, Davis/TSL can be vile about any skater or pair, if he disagrees with or dislikes something/everything in their skating. He usually attacks "the theme", "the subject" or the skater's "shtick".

If the "shtick" is "tutu" for Zagitova, he'll attack the "tutu", like he did again in this interview.
If the "shtick" is "mime" like in Med's routines, he'll attack "mime" issue.
If the "issue" for Nagasu is "under-rotation", he'll attack "under-rotation".
If a skater poses as "flirty one", he'll go after "flirty"

He finds an "issue/theme" associated with a skater and goes after it.

So, if Starr's mother clearly stated that she wants only African-American music artists for her daughter's programmes, then "Af-Am programmes" is the "shtick"/"issue".. There is nothing "racist" or "un-PC" is David's addressing "the given shtick/issue" if it is the issue that is identified or made obvious by the skater's team.

If Starr's team chose to position her not just as "another skater" but specifically as "Af-Am skater" and to highlight her "ethnic origin and race", then just like with "tutu", "mime", "too sexy", "too theatrical", "too xxxx", the Af-Am issue will be part of the discussion.


:D I think David presents so many "fake news" that it is more like the Democratic Candidate rally.
You mean Trump/Republican rally...
 
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In the context of their snark-filled discussion of Starr's programs, they were definitely being dismissive of Porgy & Bess. Read how he referenced Porgy & Bess: "It doesn't know if it's an opera or a musical..." Don't miss the forest for the trees @Tavi, unless you are hoping like @Tinami Amori is, to soft-pedal Dave's and Jonathan's bias-filled commentary away from anything to do with looking down on Starr Andrews, a young skater of color in a sport that has few athletes of color represented. And that doesn't mean she requires coddling nor special handling either. She does deserve respect. Obviously, Dave is not someone who gives anyone much respect, but that fact is not going to make me ignore or sweep under the rug his OTT snarky bias against Starr Andrews.

It's one thing to make fair, critical comments about the weaknesses of a young athlete, no matter their heritage and background. But that's not what Dave and Jonathan were doing here. From beginning to end, it was all negativity and smirky dismissiveness. They had nothing positive to say whatsoever.

I can see it coming now. Everyone who feels uncomfortable is going to downplay these despicable comments by Dave and Jonathan. It's already happening. By doing so, it helps everyone else take cover behind their own ingrained, unexplored biases.
I watched the episode and I never got that impression regarding Starr. I do think that they were too quick to assume her mother's preference for music selection though.
 

barbarafan

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Listening further, I see they did immediately launch into a brief discussion of Bradie's new programs right where I left off the transcript. They couldn't say anything negative about the boffo triple jump combo Bradie performed (which is mostly all we saw in the posted clip). Then Jonathan attempts to say something positive about Bradie's opening moves, and Dave jumps in: "Don't overblow it. Like Boyang Jin, I am still like..." (gives side-eye). Dave mentions someone at Skating Protocol who is a 'big Boyang Jin fan.' They go on to discuss the comeback of Dai Takahashi (apparently fawning rather than negative), and then Dave mentions something positive about posting a clip of a nice triple flip by Gracie.

Their OTT nastiness is so sad, because more extensive skating coverage is needed. I guess that people who agree to go on the podcast for interviews don't know a lot about Dave's negativity, and there aren't any other real opportunities for in-depth interviews during the off-season especially. Particularly, now with IceNetwork being defunct.

They really need to apologize to Starr Andrews and her family. But I guess that won't ever happen. Many people in the skating community are now ignoring TSL, so the word needs to get out more widely. What keeps them going are their fans and supporters like Sandra Bezic, Meagan Duhamel, and perhaps Christine Brennan and Phil Hersh, who give them a pass which helps them maintain some credibility. And I'm sad to have to say that there must be some people in the skating community who actually agree with their negative commentary.
they apologize when they have to....Not that I heard the apology. During the exhibition of 2017 cdns he completely trashed Lubov and Dylan...said Sandra Bezic was an unfair Choreographer as she made I/M look like they had chemistry when they had none. That Julie Marcotte was a terrible choreographer and Quebec teams had no choice but to use her. Anyway I did not listen to him for months and then it popped up somewhere that he had interviewed Sandra Bezic which I found unbelievable so I looked up the CDN interview and Most of his nastiness had been removed from it so he must have done some groveling and removed stuff to make peace. I cannot see Meagan dealing with him as well with Julie Marcotte being her sister-in-law so that must have been settled.
 

aftershocks

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they apologize when they have to....Not that I heard the apology. During the exhibition of 2017 cdns he completely trashed Lubov and Dylan...said Sandra Bezic was an unfair Choreographer as she made I/M look like they had chemistry when they had none. That Julie Marcotte was a terrible choreographer and Quebec teams had no choice but to use her. Anyway I did not listen to him for months and then it popped up somewhere that he had interviewed Sandra Bezic which I found unbelievable so I looked up the CDN interview and Most of his nastiness had been removed from it so he must have done some groveling and removed stuff to make peace. I cannot see Meagan dealing with him as well with Julie Marcotte being her sister-in-law so that must have been settled.
Yeah, Dave will probably get away with this too. Like I said, there's already some soft-pedaling going on regarding how they dissed Starr Andrews (among other skaters during this most recent snark-fest). I've always been willing to give Dave some slack, even knowing some things about his poor behavior toward others that is not common knowledge. He's gone too far before, but this was too much for me. I didn't find it funny. But they sure seemed to.

So apparently there are plenty of other people who have been willing to give Dave some slack too. And then even more people who are probably unaware of the extent of his nastiness. And others who are willing to continue overlooking it for one reason or another.

I'm happy to hear if Justin Lamb, Claire and Josh are going to team up! Please keep us informed @mysticchic. :)
 

bardtoob

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You’re still giving him/them attention, whether it’s the off-season and there’s not much skating news elsewhere or not.
Yeah, I was giving him tonnes of attention by coming up with names for him that do not include traditional swear words. My favorite was "Prolapsed Slore".
 

Tinami Amori

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So apparently there are plenty of other people who have been willing to give Dave some slack too. And then even more people who are probably unaware of the extent of his nastiness. And others who are willing to continue overlooking it for one reason or another.
Very few are giving Dave any slack..

Dave dissed, or half-dissed, many skaters in this pod-cast (Jin, Honda, Miahara, Zagitova, Andrews), and did not just diss but ridiculed many aspects of their skating which he did not like.

You noticed how he critiqued “Black skater” and right after praised “White skater”…. And I noticed how he dissed Alina’s POTO and predicted that she pretty much finished while gushing over Korean girls saying how he is excited that some other than Russians and Japanese can take the lead.

He has a nasty mouth, and he strives on being provocative in his analysis….. but your “pet issue” with Blacks is not more important than my "pet issue" with Russians, both to us sound equally offensive… and that’s my point.
 

Tavi

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In the context of their snark-filled discussion of Starr's programs, they were definitely being dismissive of Porgy & Bess. Read how he referenced Porgy & Bess: "It doesn't know if it's an opera or a musical..." Don't miss the forest for the trees @Tavi, unless you are hoping like @Tinami Amori is, to soft-pedal Dave's and Jonathan's bias-filled commentary away from anything to do with looking down on Starr Andrews, a young skater of color in a sport that has few athletes of color represented. And that doesn't mean she requires coddling nor special handling either. She does deserve respect. Obviously, Dave is not someone who gives anyone much respect, but that fact is not going to make me ignore or sweep under the rug his OTT snarky bias against Starr Andrews.

It's one thing to make fair, critical comments about the weaknesses of a young athlete, no matter their heritage and background. But that's not what Dave and Jonathan were doing here. From beginning to end, it was all negativity and smirky dismissiveness. They had nothing positive to say whatsoever.

I can see it coming now. Everyone who feels uncomfortable is going to downplay these despicable comments by Dave and Jonathan. It's already happening. By doing so, it helps everyone else take cover behind their own ingrained, unexplored biases.
I’m not hoping to soft pedal anything - I deliberately didn’t comment on the the rest of your post, in part because I’ve never experienced someone being dismissive or biased because of my skin color, so I don’t feel comfortable weighing in on Dave’s comments about Starr and her mom.

On the other hand, as a former singer, I inhabited the opera world for years and have good friends who’ve sung in multiple productions of Porgy. So I do feel qualified to weigh in on that and on the opera versus musical debate. By the way, did you know that Gershwin and his estate mandated that Porgy must be cast with singers of color? It’s one reason I had a hard time dealing with Radionova skating to it a couple of years ago - it just seems wrong to me.

One other thing, and this goes back to your use of the word “dismissive.” I noticed that in laying out the conversation between Dave and Jonathan, you added what I would consider to be stage directions - for example, Jonathan speaks “dismissively”; Dave’s and Jonathan’s chatter is “inane”; Jonathan laughs “derisively.”

The words they stated are facts. But when it comes to how something was said, that is a matter of interpretation. So when you say Jonathan spoke dismissively, you're essentially couching your opinion as fact, when it’s really your personal reaction.

I’m not criticizing you or anyone else for reacting negatively to Dave’s and Jonathan’s remarks - and clearly a lot of people here did. But not everyone hears or understands things the same way, so I think it’s better to let people reach their own conclusions rather than editorializing and essentially telling others how they should respond.

JMO.
 

aftershocks

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our “pet issue” with Blacks is not more important than my "pet issue" with Russians, both to us sound equally offensive… and that’s my point.
^^ I don't have a 'pet issue.' That's your shtick and your ignorant gall. And another thing for you to swallow and regurgitate in whatever fashion you choose: 'Blacks' is a faux manmade term, not an 'ethnic' group. 'Russians' is an 'ethnic' group, one that is among the many different groups which make up present day people of Slavic origin.
 

aftershocks

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I’m not hoping to soft pedal anything
That's fine @Tavi. You can read it differently. In the context of what they said, and the way they said it, along with their gesturing and smirking, it's quite obvious they were mocking Starr's music choices. So the reference to Porgy & Bess while tangential, is still included in their overall mockery of 'African-American' music themes.

Thanks I appreciate your weighing in on your knowledge of opera. :)

And that's fine too about your take on how I interpreted their laughter and smirking as being 'derisive' and 'dismissive.' If they haven't edited it out yet, anyone is free to check the visuals and decide for themselves how they would characterize the gesturing, the laughter and the facial expressions. The excerpt I transcribed is word-for-word, as indicated.

I speak for myself only and always @Tavi. It's you making assumptions that simply by my having posted my own reactions I'm telling others how to react or respond. Hmmm, maybe you are doing a bit of editorializing of your own.
 
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Tinami Amori

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^^ I don't have a 'pet issue.'
If you noticed only Starr's issue and not the other offenses, then it is a pet issue. He was equally nasty to several skaters.

That's your shtick and your ignorant gall. And another thing for you to swallow and regurgitate in whatever fashion you choose: 'Blacks' is a faux manmade term, not an 'ethnic' group. 'Russians' is an 'ethnic' group, one that is among the many different groups which make up present day people of Slavic origin.
"Russians" as an ethnic group are not of Slavic origin only, they are mixed with several other ethnic groups.
"Blacks" is an adopted English term from the Latin origin word "Negroid" which is an official identification for a race in studies of Anthropology: (in alphabetical order) Australoid, Caucasoid, Mongoloid, Negroid (and variations and sub-groups/classifications).

"African-Americans" is also a questionable term and a classification in regards to those who live in USA but were not born in Africa or those of Negroid/Congoid race born and or living in countries outside of Africa. You can't call a Black man living in France an "African-American".
 

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