Ice Dance at the Finlandia Trophy – Short Dance

The Finlandia trophy is more like a test run for skaters sans the cheesefest factor. This year, the ice dance competition is quite exciting since there are a few A and Asian F list competitors.

Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, Olympic Champions are the most obvious members of the A-list skaters competing at Finlandia. Their rumba SD is a sort of condensed version of their FD from the previous season. The program does look a little busy sometimes and empty at others but my major problem is… for a dance that’s supposed to be sensual and sexy, the rumba compulsory dance feels very G-rated. (Even more so when the Shibutanis do it.)

Still, this is a very solid performance and these two look a lot stronger now that Tessa’s had time to recuperate from her surgery. Knowing these two, they’ll improve gradually and steadily over the season. I want these two to skate this program with a little more attack (especially Scott) but one positive aspect of the performance: Tessa’s killing it. She’s usually been the more reserved performer of the two but here, I couldn’t keep my eyes off her. Come on, Scott! I know you have it in you. Another positive thing: Tessa’s finally wearing something that not black, white or red, though I do prefer the gold number she wore at Worlds last season.

Score:68.74

The Shibutanis burst onto the senior scene last year, making a bang with their bronze at Worlds. They have a bit of a disadvantage with the rumba since it’s supposed to be a sensual dance. Their program isn’t that bad and it seems as if they are actually trying to break out of their “cute” image. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a bit of a tough season but I hope that they can take it in stride and use it as a learning experience. These two can’t be adorable for the rest of their lives and the challenge of doing a convincing rumba (or any other passionate dance) is one they need to surmount in order to be great ice dancers. For now, the siblings need to work on their hip action, bring a lot more energy and learn to shake it like it’s nobody’s business. On a more positive note: either Maia has grown and/or her extension has really, really improved. She looks like she’s ten feet tall when she stretches her limbs. She has really great posture which gives her the most gorgeous lines. (Take note please, Meryl.)

Score: 58.45

Among the Asian-F list is the new team of Madison Chock and Evan Bates. To be truthful, I never really paid attention to Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein. At all. I did, however, watch Evan and Emily’s programs a few times and I did see them live 2 years ago at Skate Canada. I’m more of an Emily Samuelson fan – I envied her gorgeous red hair and adored her toe points but I admit I’m curious about how her partner is doing after the supposed rough split.

For a new team, their chemistry is impressive. However, I really wish that these two (and well, everyone in the top three with the exception of Tessa) to put more commitment into the performance. Madison’s arm movements look a bit unpolished and junior-ish but overall, this team shows a little promise but I’m not too thrilled with them. I really don’t see them winning any World medals… unless a ton of people get injured… or drop out of a competition… after they’ve been partners for about 5 (or more) seasons.

Score: 53.91

I’m super excited about the FD. There’s already a video of Tessa and Scott’s FD practice. It looks like it’s going to be a routine that will just bring a smile on your face. I sincerely hope that this is the case.

Here’s another Tessa and Scott practice video:

Aunt Joyce has a few others and more in this blog post.

~The Rinkside Cafe

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