And the Short Dance Pattern for the 2014/2015 Season is…

This is probably old news to a lot of you but in case you didn’t know, it’s the Paso Doble.

For a more classic and intense Paso, here’s Domnina/Shabalin’s from 2009.

The North American teams (aka Team Marina) opted for a lighter, more modern take with more unusual holds between partners.

I have to say, I’m surprised how much I’m enjoyed Domnina/Shabalin’s CDs. They’re not usually a team that I particularly adore but they bring it in the CD.

Fun fact: I was thinking about the dance pattern for next season and guessed that it was going to be the Paso and it turns out I was right!

Are you going to miss the Finnstep or are you more excited for the Paso Doble next season? Let me know in the comments!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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Skating 101: Ice Dance

Welcome to Skating 101, a series of posts dedicated to creating more informed viewers on skating. Hopefully, these posts will help you be a better judge when watching figure skating in Sochi! Now, the topic for this post is… ice dance! Ice Dance is quite unique among the disciplines in figure skating in that its focus is not on big jumps but rather on the complicated footwork, edges (look how close Tessa and Scott’s skating blades are to the ice below) and the interpretation of music.

Tessa Virtue Scott Moir Finlandia 2011 SD

To start off, here are a few things unique to ice dancing:

  • Ice Dance is supposed to be somewhat like ballroom dancing on ice.
  • Until the end of the 2009/2010 season, skaters had to skate to set dance patterns in the compulsory dance (CD) segment of the competition. (For more information on the CD, check out my Throwback Thursday post on it.) This segment has since been eliminated but skaters still have to incorporate these patterns in their short dance.
  • Ice Dance is the only discipline that allows vocal music with lyrics in competition programs. However, with ISU Communication no. 1741, the rules have been changed and starting in the 2014/2015 season, other skaters in all other disciplines will be allowed to use vocal music with lyrics.
  • There are no jumps in ice dance. In fact, a jump with more than a half rotation is illegal, even as part as a lift or other element.
  • As I mentioned in my Skating 101 post on Pairs Skating (see link below), overhead lifts are illegal in ice dance. The highest a partner can be lifted is on the other partner’s shoulder.
  • The blades on ice dancers’ skaters are slightly shorter in the back to allow for the partnering and footwork sequences.

Unique Elements in Ice Dance

Side-by-Side Twizzles

For some reason, commentators call the twizzles the “quad of ice dance” which I don’t really get. Maybe they are that difficult in terms of comparing them as elements, it’s like comparing apples and oranges seeing that quads aren’t mandatory (though highly, highly recommended for top echelon skaters in this Olympic cycle) while side-by-side twizzles are. In any case, for those of you who haven’t watched the video, a twizzle is a one foot turn that travels across the ice. In ice dance, partners need to do this side by side. With the Code of Points system, twizzles are given a level from 1 to 4 and a grade of execution score ranging from 1 to 3. (For more information, check out the Skating 101 Code of Points post.)

As a casual viewer, you can look for the following when ice dance teams do side by side twizzles:

  • Partners should be in perfect unison. Being even 1/4 of a rotation (or less) off from your partner ruins the effect.
  • Twizzles should be fast and cover a lot of ice.
  • Partners should be close together during the twizzle sequence.
  • Teams should enter into and exit out of twizzles smoothly.
  • Teams can increase the difficulty by holding onto the blade of their free foot, changing arm positions, change of edge, rotating in different directions or do a mirror twizzle (see them starting at 0:55).
  • Transitions between the different twizzle positions should be seamless and smooth.
  • Partners should do the same number of rotations.
  • The rotations should be done without any bobbles, stumbles or falls.

I have to say, the montage above should be entitled, “The Saddest Twizzle Montage Ever” since these are supposed to be top teams and yet a lot of these twizzles are out of sync, too far apart or full of bobbles.

Ice Dance Lifts

As I mentioned before, ice dance lifts cannot be done over the head. There are also two major categories of ice dance lifts: short lifts (consisting of 6 seconds) and long lifts (consisting of 12 seconds). Skaters who have overly long lifts get penalized with a deduction. Ice dance lifts are also categorized by their trajectory across the ice:

Short Lifts

  • Curve lift – The lifting partner moves in a curved trajectory across the ice either on one or two feet. (Watch at 3:35 here.)
  • Rotational lift – The lifting partner rotates across the ice in one direction only. (See 2:31 on this video.)
  • Stationary lift – A lift in which the lifting partner stays in one spot on the ice, often rotating. (Watch at 2:10.)
  • Straight line lift – The lifting partner moves in a straight line across the ice either on one or two feet. (See 3:48 on this video.)

Long Lifts

  • Reverse rotational lift – The lifting partner rotates across the ice in one direction, and then the other. (I don’t really recall any so if anyone has an example, link me in the comments!)
  • Serpentine lift – The lifting partner moves in an “S” or serpentine pattern across the ice. (Watch at 4:05 here.)
  • Combination lift – A lift that combines two of the short lifts together. (At 1:05, you see a curve lift that then transitions into a rotational lift.)

Most of the time, the man lifts the lady but it is perfectly legal in the rules for the lady to lift the man! At 1:18, you see Marina Anissina lift Gwendal Pezerat.

The lifting and lifted partner must also be in specific positions, which are listed nicely on this wikipedia page.

In general, ice dance lifts should:

  • Look effortless, despite being otherwise.
  • Transitions between positions should be seamless and smooth.
  • The type of lift should be clear as well as the positions of each lift.
  • They should be aesthetically pleasing and suit the theme of the program.

Dance Spins

For information on dance spins, check out my Skating 101 post on spins.

Footwork Sequences

The footwork sequences, though maybe not the most exciting to watch for most viewers, is actually one of the most important part of ice dance. Footwork sequences differ by whether or not the partners are touching and the general trajectory of the footwork sequence (circular, diagonal, straight line or mid-line).

In general, footwork sequences should:

  • Have speed and power. These two are pretty much the most important aspects of ice dance. The footwork should cover as much ice as possible and the skaters should not lose speed despite skating on one foot for extended periods of time. It should also look as if partners are working together (or not working hard at all!), you shouldn’t get the impression that one partner is “dragging” the other around the ice.
  • The free leg (the leg not on the ice) should create beautiful lines and should be in unison when the choreography demands it. In other words, the free leg shouldn’t look like a dead piece of wood hanging off a person.
  • Skaters should create deep edges when the skate that is on the ice.
  • And as always, stumbles, bobbles and falls are not acceptable.

For more information on ice dance in general and its guidelines, look fir the ice dance handbook on the ISU website.

The Short Dance – The Finnstep

As mentioned earlier, ice dance went through a major overhaul after the 2009/2010 season with the elimination of the compulsory dances (CD) and original dances (OD). These two segments were in a way, combined to create the Short Dance (SD). The short dance has a theme and specified rhythm for the music like in the OD as well as a dance pattern that used to be a CD. The dance pattern used this season is the Finnstep. By itself/as a compulsory dance, the Finnstep looks like this:

In the short dance, skaters have to incorporate two sequences of the Finnstep into the program, along with a step sequence, side-by-side twizzles and a short lift.

Someone has written a blog post and made video to serve as a guide to the Finnstep pattern:

Ice-dance.com has also created an easy guide to the Finnstep, which may be a little easier to digest. This guide shows you the three distinct sections of the Finnstep.

Musicality is perhaps even more important in ice dance in that the required dance pattern tests the skaters ability to recognize the beat in the music and time the set movements in the dance to the music. The Finnstep should have a tempo of 104 beats per minute and the music for the sequence should be in 2/4 time. The accent in movement should occur at the beginning of the beat.

So, now that we know that the Finnstep is divided into 3 sections and that skaters need to keep the beat, let’s take a look at this particular skating protocol to understand mistakes that skaters can make:

Shibutani SD Protocol

Here, we have Maia and Alex Shibutani’s protocol for their SD at Skate America this season. We see can identify the two Finnstep sequences by their codes:

1FS2+kpYTN
2FS2+kpYNN

With the 2 after the “FS,” we know that Maia and Alex didn’t do very well since they were graded a level 2 on each Finnstep sequence and the end of the code gives us a clue as to why without having to watch the program. The Y, N and T mean yes, no and timing respectively and it indicates whether or not the team has done the pattern correctly and with the right timing.

Y = elements in the dance pattern done correctly, with the right timing
N = elements in the dance pattern done incorrectly, either with or without the right timing
T = elements in the dance pattern done correctly but without the right timing

So in the end, what on earth are ice dancers supposed to do while doing the short dance?

  • Skaters should skate the dance pattern correctly, with the right timing.
  • Skaters should have speed and power throughout the dance.
  • When skaters skate the dance pattern, they should attempt to fill up the rink as much as possible with their pattern.
  • The choreography, music and costumes should reflect the mood of the dance pattern. In the case of the Finnstep, the dance should be light, fun, like sparkling champagne. The Finnstep sequence should also be skated crisply and cleanly.
  • In the Finnstep, edges should be deep when the steps are long to contrast with the sections with light hops and toe steps. Skating posture should be upright.

So now that you know all about the Finnstep, and you’ve seen Tessa and Scott do the Finnstep as a CD, try to identify the two Finnstep sections in their SD this season!

Enjoy the Finnstep while you can this season because the ISU sets a new pattern for the SD each season!

~The Rinkside Cafe

Other Skating 101 Posts:

History of the 6.0 and Code of Points Judging System

The Basics of the Code of Points Judging System

Olympic Berths and Teams: How We Decided Who and How Many Go to the Olympics

Figure Skating Jumps

Figure Skating Spins

Pairs Skating Elements

Ice Dance

Skate Canada 2011: Day 1

My cold-induced tiredness is setting on again and the scope of this post will be a limited so I apologize. In any case, let’s begin.

Ladies

I will never have any inclination to watch either Ashley Wagner or Rachael Flatt unless I am in the middle of a live stream. Unfortunately, to my chagrin, I found out last night at 2AM after 2 hours of sleep that my internet connection cannot support the sketchy Russian livestream that I am forced to resort to. I may try again on a different browser too but I don’t know if that will make any difference. I think I may be stuck in this Philistine place with no figure skating on TV and possibly no livestream either. F.M.L.

That aside, I am super proud of my little Liza, who is the LEADER  by almost 5 points after the short program. What a spectacular senior debut at age 14!

She opened with a beautiful 3Lz-3T combination, followed by a 3Lp (not perfect but landed cleanly) and her signature fierce tano armed 2A. Go Liza! I really enjoyed how she attacked her footwork sequence with a Yuna-esque drama and gusto. (Please take note, PJ Kwong, this 14 year-old girl can outshine Cynthia Phaneuf in charisma any day of the week and at any point in Phaneuf’s career.) Looking at the protocols, the judges were tough on her in her PCS in transitions. Admittedly, her program looked more like a checklist of elements rather than one of those skillfully woven programs that garner tons of points. It’s unfortunate because with that much star-power, Liza has the potential to do so much better. I still have the impossible hope of her working with Tatiana Tarasova, though if that’s not possible, David Wilson is sure to be able to bring out the best in his skaters.

I’m already so proud of Liza’s debut in the short that I don’t really care about her overall result. Though prediction-wise, it would be absolutely wonderful if she won. As for the U.S. ladies sitting 2nd and 3rd, they haven’t been the most consistent long program skaters in the past seasons so there’s hope for a few of my other favourites.

And before I forget, Liza hands down had the highest TES score of the day but the highest PCS went to Akiko Suzuki, who despite having a mistake in her combination jump (3T-singled loop), skated with a confidence, determination and fire I never saw before.

Ladies short program results and protocol.

Pairs

Tanya and Max are in the lead after the short (and they have no viable competitors in this competition so it’s likely they’ll win) but whoever said that skating to an elevator-fied version of Evanescence (who was cool like… 10 years ago) was a good idea needs to be punched in the face. On the awkward scale, this ranks 7 out of 10 with Florent Amodio’s tiger Latin thing rated at 20. Still, anything above 5 (which is still pushing it) should not be shown in public and this counts as one of them. Other than Tatiana’s two-foot on her 3T the elements were well executed. The music and the choreography, however, do not capitalize on Tanya and Max’s talents. The program just looks like a desperado’s attempt to be cool.

I have yet to watch the other programs but looking at the rankings, I’d say that there’s not much hope for the new partnership of Dube and Wolfe while Sui and Han may still be hiccuping. The latter’s rather upsetting.

Ice Dance

Yes, this post follows a weird order and you’ll see why in a second.

Tessa and Scott obviously won the short dance here with a score that was slightly higher than Meryl and Charlie’s at Skate America. Other than the ending pose, I didn’t quite get into the SD (partly because the compulsory sequence is just dull, dull, dull) and I feel that these two will really want to tweak this program to get the audience in as they did with their FD at Worlds last year. No rock can be left unturned if they want that World title back because Meryl and Charlie are not going to sit quietly while their crown gets taken away. There’s been debate over Tessa’s dress colour (she DOES have a penchant for constantly switching dresses) and my two cents is that we should abandon the flapper tassels and go with a costume with a parrot colour scheme and a Carnival feel to it.

I probably would’ve blogged about Weaver/Poje in all fairness to the other disciplines who I didn’t blog in detail about the 2nd and 3rd placed skaters but I felt a need to watch this program immediately when FSOnline mentioned that Kaitlyn did tiger animal print right. Unlike this debacle:

Maybe he’ll say that the story behind this program is that he’s being a tiger. A magical tiger… in the winter… with wings……

Anyways, back to Kaitlyn and Andrew. I never thought that anyone can pull off animal print in any way, shape or form (even models) but I do admit that this dress sort of works though the tassels are excessive. But this SD… gosh… THIS is what a rumba SD should be like!!! I seriously think it’s my favourite so far. The compulsory pattern was for once, NOT BORING, the music and the team’s expression made it sensual and smooth and the choreography drew the crowd in and made them excited. I think we should look towards these two as what the SD should be. Their SD last year was fabulous and this year, I look forward to a polished performance of this SD. (There are obviously kinks they need to sort out, but all in good time.) Great job, you two!

Men

Now, the real shocker that absolutely delighted and thrilled me. Not only did Patrick not win the SP but both he and former World champion, Daisuke Takahashi were upstaged by a new Orserite: Javier Fernandez who I had pegged for bronze. To put it realistically though, Javier and Daisuke’s scores are separated by the tiny margin of 0.05 while Chan is only slightly more than a point away from top spot. The top 3 men are pretty much locked in a virtual tie and I won’t doubt that Skate Canada will allow Chan to win on a crappy performance.

Javier was sexy, suave and mysterious in his jazzy SP and his jumps (4T, 3F-3T, 3A) were high with fast spins in the air and just gorgeous. THIS is the man that many should have been if they had been coached properly and given the right choreography. (*cough*Tomas, Florent*cough*) Javier made a good coaching change at a fortuitous time (Orser no longer has any high profile students) and I hope that it really puts him as a contender for Sochi.

Daisuke’s new SP is definitely different from those from the last 2 seasons. It’s mysterious and passionate and well-executed. Daisuke didn’t try the quad but landed clean and gorgeous 3F-3T, 3A and 3Lz. The emotion and dedication is surprising at the beginning of the season but I’m very glad that Daisuke that we know and love has come back and ready to compete. I really wish I could’ve seen this live.

Patrick, oh Patrick. At this point, I think I would’ve been slightly disappointed if he didn’t get a ridiculous inflated score because then my predictions would be wrong. He put his hand down on his quad toe (I think the judges mistook that as some sort of creative choreography or something) and then doubled his triple axel (though that doubled jump was probably so beautiful the judges cried). At least his combination was clean. Oh yes, and his step sequence probably made the judges wet their pants. I’m not even going to try and express the ridiculousness of this score. A crappy skate should NOT be rewarded with points on par with two beautiful performances that were a lot better than this mess. Whatever. Not that anyone’s bitching about this inflation will get us anywhere because it’s all been done before.

Anyways, I’m super excited about the rest of Skate Canada, though I dunno if I have the energy or the internet connection to watch it live. Cross your fingers for me!

~The Rinkside Cafe

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

Worlds 2011: Dethronement – Part II

So as I said yesterday, there was another dethronement at Worlds this year, this time a bit more expected. In ice dance, Meryl Davis and Charlie White made history as the first American team to win the ice dance event. Although PJ Kwong has been going on about how missing an entire season only hurts teams not because they haven’t showcased their programs for critique but because they won’t gain as much maturity and experience (and Tessa and Scott are apparently immune to that because they have plenty of both). With that being said, I would care to (strongly) disagree with Kwong.

Neither Tessa & Scott and Meryl & Charlie’s programs this season were as spectacular as their Olympic programs but that is a bit of an understatement. I’m not sure what’s going on with Marina and Igor but Meryl and Charlie had to scrap their Amelie program at the USFSA skating camp at the beginning of the season AND their tango had to undergo a lot of changes. Compare:

Tessa and Scott led by a small margin in the SD purely by their skating skills (they were held up by the TES). Before the World championships even started, I said that Tessa and Scott could win IF they skated cleanly and their program was more spectacular than Meryl and Charlie’s sexless tango. As much as I love Tessa and Scott (and Marina and Igor), I must say that this FD has the worst choreography I’ve ever seen them skate.

The beginning that we saw at 4CC was exciting and the first set of twizzles were really innovative but it just went downhill after that. I have never seen a program so lacking and empty from a World champion team. The entire middle section of the routine did not showcase their skating skills and was simply one lift and some stroking to get the speed and momentum for the second lift. The lifts may have gotten the crowd going but it was not the way to display their speed, power, ability to execute complex choreography and skating skills. The choreography was disjointed and full of posing. I’m glad that the SD next year is the rhumba so they can’t use this program again.

In any case, the point is, if they had the time to showcase this program throughout the season, they could’ve gotten the critique just as Meryl and Charlie did to modify the program for the better. Since Tessa was injured, that was impossible and I feel that silver was the best that they can get and I do agree with their placement after Meryl and Charlie, even despite my love for T&S.

So congrats to Meryl and Charlie for their well-deserved gold medal! And congrats to Tessa and Scott for beating their own world record in the SD!

Now that that is out of the way, I would really like to give a few *honourable mentions* because I think the best parts of the competition came from these two up and coming teams:

A freak fall from Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat in one of the required elements – the circular step sequence – opened some doors of opportunity to some teams that were just a smidgeon behind them. I feel a bit bad for the young French team because they might have to wait a while before they’re this close to the World podium again…

In any case, the first honourable mention goes to Alex and Maia Shibutani who took advantage of Nathalie and Fabian’s fall and snatched the bronze – a fantastic debut at the senior level (I mean, Tessa and Scott were 6th at their first senior Worlds!). These two have such elegance and maturity – to think that everyone was worried about Maia’s height a year ago! Their win also meant… a team Canton podium sweep! The reign of Queen Marina and King Igor is alive and thriving!

The second honourable mention goes to Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje who have grown leaps and bounds. Their SD was the best of the season, hands down. The honourable mention is given because they’ve beaten their Canadian archrivals, Crone and Poirier. I hope Skate Canada takes this result into consideration going into next season. Weaver and Poje are clearly more expressive and fun to watch and they’ve been improving technically with each competition. So my point to drive home to Skate Canada: Kaitlyn and Andrew have star quality, Crone and Poirier do not. I mean, just look at this!

Wasn’t that lovely?

What did you think of the results at Worlds? Posts on the men and pairs competition coming soon!

~The Rinkside Cafe

2011 Worlds Predictions: Ice Dance

I’ve decided to save my favourite discipline for last for my predictions post. So, off we go!

The podium for ice dance, like pairs seems to be set – the order on the other hand, not quite. For the ice dance podium, the expected medal winners are: Meryl Davis & Charlie White, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir and Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat.

The battle for gold will be exciting as Meryl and Charlie battle their teammates and archrivals, Tessa and Scott. As much as I love Tessa and Scott with all my heart (they brought me back to figure skating in the first place), I will have to say that Meryl and Charlie have a definite advantage over the Olympic champions (even though they got a month extra to train because of the tsunami) just because Meryl and Charlie have been undefeated all season and they’ve had so much time to tweak their programs and get feedback from international judges. Not to mention that the Americans are injury-free. Whatever happens, I will be super excited to see the rest of Tessa and Scott’s FD. It’s a pity that they had to change the lift to reduce the torque on Tessa’s back though, it was a really pretty lift… In any case, both teams have to skate their best to get the gold, there is no room for mistake here. (*Sending psychic reminders to Tessa and Scott to get their twizzles right and hoping they receive this message*) If both teams skate their best, the results will depend on:

1. How much weight the Olympic champion title carries over into the next season.

2. How much politicking Skate Canada has done for Tessa and Scott. Because the USFSA doesn’t really give a shit about ice dance.

As for Nathalie and Fabian, it’s obvious that they’re the strongest European team and they’ve been doing well all season. Sadly, for these two Frenchmen, they’re kind of in a “Joannie Rochette” position – meaning that they’re not quite as good as the top competitors but they’re a head above the rest of the pack. Sadly though, I don’t see this team going too far as the Russians will probably take back the European crown in preparation for Sochi.

Speaking of Russians, keep an eye out for the two young Russian teams: Bobrova & Sloviev and Ilinykh & Katsalapov. With many of the top teams retiring, these youngins are moving up the ranks quickly. Although I expect a lower placement for I/K, I would not be surprised if last year’s junior world champions move up quickly – there’s been quite a lot of hype about them and they may be the Russian ice dance team to watch for Sochi.

As for other teams to look out for – the Shibutanis. Their Four Continents silver medal was undoubtedly unexpected because they beat out two senior teams (Crone & Poirier and Weaver & Poje) that have been in the senior circuit a lot longer than they have. The Shibutani siblings have such a beautiful and lyrical quality with them and their programs this year are a joy to watch. They need to work on their speed and polish but I expect that it’ll come with some time. They still have a long career ahead of them if they choose to continue with their skating.

Since I mentioned Crone & Poirier  above, I guess I’ll put in a word for them. C/P (and W/P) probably won’t occupy the lower spaces on the podium until Tessa and Scott retire but their placements this season suggest that Canada will get three spots next year at Worlds. Unless some freak accident happens, that is. I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S.A. and Russia got 3 spots either, actually. We’ll just have to see. In any case, I don’t care very much for C/P, I much prefer Weaver and Poje’s style which is a lot more polished and fun to watch. Watching C/P reminds me of watching awkward gawky teenagers. Not fun. Let’s hope Weaver/Poje work on their speed, power and edges a lot more.

Podium predictions:

Gold: Meryl Davis & Charlie White
Silver: Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (I’ll be cheering for them and hoping they’ll win gold though…)
Bronze: Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat

Opinions? Come share!

~The Rinkside Cafe

A Triumphant Return

Tessa and Scott are 1st after the SD! Tessa’s bringing in the attitude and the two of them look lovely. It breaks my heart at how empty the stands are though.

Here are the results of the SD. But if you’re lazy, here are the top 5:

1. Tessa and Scott
2. Meryl and Charlie
3. Weaver/Poje
4. The Shibushibus
5. Crone/Poirier

I like the result so far. Tessa and Scott at the top and Crone/Poirier not in the top 3. I can’t wait for the FD. I like what I’m seeing in the previews for Tessa and Scott.

In other news, this is something to celebrate: somebody being nice.

Doesn’t that make you all warm and fuzzy inside?

~The Rinkside Cafe

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