Ice Dancing -- Evaluations of Competitors

Dance competitors. All of them. That I know of.

I give a general discussion of edges in the edge page. I hope at some point to have more on dance edges -- it'll just take me time. Just like anything else.

ARMENIA: Smetanko and Gezalian -- Wow. These guys are good. If they'd ever get a chance to show themselves. I don't get the feeling they do a lot of self-promotion, which is what you have to do in dance to get noticed. The judges get these ideas about who's good and who's not, often even one to two years in advance. It's hard to move up in dance. You have to be supergood to be recognized, and even better to be able to move up. You find a high technical standard in ice dancing because of that very fact. You can't slip an edge or anything if you want to climb up the ladder. The judges will notice. And they're already ragging on your hair and costume and makeup and everything. (Yes, even guys. This is a show discipline.)

AUSTRALIA: Fourer and Heinecke -- Wow. Someone from the top adopt these kids so they'll straighten out faster. Do you see the potential here? The sheer lines, the speed, the roundness, the pointedness of the straight edges? This is one of the hottest couples to come along in some time. If I had my druthers, I'd have Chris and Jayne adopt them. If not, about Krylova and Ovsiannikov? Teach them about drama. Teach them about relatedness. Teach them about the fact that all your edges are connected together, girl with boy, and it only looks like there are four feet out there. It should be two. Then watch these Aussie kids sail like mad. Better technical training, some tightening up on the edges -- mostly front and back, like everybody else....grrr...ever heard of figure work? Go snag the freestylers and ask for some lessons.

AUSTRIA: Fuhring and Ellinger -- God, I love these kids! Where's the fan page? Where's the club? Does anybody else see it? Huh? Huh? Just go look at them. Roll tape. Now. Make sure you're sitting there when they practice. Does anyone else see it? Huh? Huh? Grab two judges and make them tell you what they see. That's a good way for you guys to grow -- learn to analyze judges' lessons from a technical and artistic perspective. Make sure one of them is a mean, grumpy old Sovietchik type. That'll teach you something. 2-3 hours if possible. Please. Can it be done? Then take it out onto the ice immediately for the lessons to sink into the feet. Into the soles of the boots. Into the skate blades. Think skate blades. Fondle skate blades. Hang around skate blades. Look at skate blades. Dream about skate blades. When they start dreaming about you, you'll know you've got it. And then go bug some more insane Soviet-type judges. Thank you. And clear a spot on the podium real damn quick. Now. Thank you.

BELARUS: Navka and Morozov -- I wish these guys would concentrate more on their technical edges, as in shaping the lobes of their dances to be more perfectly rounded instead of squashed on the sides. It seems she doesn't quite want to exert the effort to get all the way around and he lets her, or rather he backs her up on it. Go look at Torvill and Dean to see what I mean. They never cheated on a lobe or a roundness once in their life.

BULGARIA: Denkova and Staviyski -- What did he do, hit you? He won't do it again. He promises. See? You can't skate as one if you're scared of each other. A couple of serious two to three-hour talking sessions might be in order here. Go ahead. Talk to each other. Get some emotion out. Throw a few pillows. Your skating will improve 100%+ overnight. Your edges are too good for this.

CANADA: Lefebvre and Brunet -- Why? Canada, what is wrong with you? Why aren't both these kids skating singles? You've got more than enough ice dance talent to back them up and then some. Their feet don't go in the same direction. Their arms look like they're at war. I know love is combat, but unh uh. He's skating on one rink and she's on another. C'mon. Fly someone else over. This is ridiculous.

CZECH REPUBLIC: Mrazova and Simicek -- Good, I was getting depressed. Just a little tighter left edges on the lobes coming out of them on her part, and lifting her arms a little higher, and you've got a first-class pair on your hands. Wow. Where has she been training? She's so much better in other ways that it's a wonder the lobe work hasn't been cleared up yet. The essence of ice dancing is in the heart. Blend as one. You've got it!

ESTONIA: Kalesnik and Terentjev -- Wow. What an incredibly technical pair. They just need time to loosen up, hang out, read a few cool books and meditate on the meaning of life. Then they'll start putting that hellish little armament of theirs to good use. When they are ready. Performance edges and skills take time. (Right, Denise Biellmann?) Let them flow. Let them design their programs themselves. Even (heresy) let them do their own costumes. That's the only damn way you're going to get that looseness and flow out of them. It's there. It's more than there. And when it comes out...look out. They'll be flying. It's going to take a while for them to rebalance themselves, but they are working on a very deep level to do it. They're having conversations about dance edges when it doesn't look like they are. Anybody else recognize this phenomenon? Thank you.


GERMANY: Winkler and Lohse -- It's okay to stretch out and flow with the ice. Let the ice tell you what to do. You both have good skates (maybe an upgrade on his, possibly), you have good arms, and you have each other. Open your eyes to the possibilities. Don't be afraid to be who the ice tells you to be. You've been fighting that for a long time. The only authority in this sport is the ice.

GREAT BRITAIN: Clements and Shortland -- Interesting. Very interesting. How did these two wind up together? They have such completely different motion styles. Looks like they've managed to overcome at least some of it -- mostly him. Dear, you're allowed to accommodate to him too. He really is trying. Okay. Focus on each other and don't forget to show off. You really are allowed to play with this stuff. It is not just a boring job to see who gets the most medals. Enough said, I do believe. Have at it.

HUNGARY: Gebora and Visontai -- Wow. Okay. Grab the phone number and make a call to Pasha and Yevgeny. They are probably the only ones who can help you. Emphasize style, line, and that sheer reaching up with the skate blade to make the most impressive point possible. That's Pasha's specialty. Even Tatiana Tarasova can't really teach this -- she can see it and encourage it, but it has to come from a more technical perspective. These guys have it. They're brilliant. When you really start opening up and emphasizing the line and style in the performances, you'll start gluing together. Your edges will take off. We'll see some decent back edges (sorry) out of you guys. And you may even learn to waltz...a much, much harder trick than it is commonly given out to step is the tango....thank you. Go for it!

ISRAEL: Chait and Sakhnovsky -- Wow. What a pair! They'll skate together more evenly when they have time. Keep opening up -- him to her and her to him. Practice spirals facing each other, holding hands, free feet almost touching. 10 feet all ways. Let it evolve into ice dance. See what happens.


JAPAN: Kawai and Tanaka -- Good classical style here. Maybe open up the big swings, the arm position a little bit. It's deeper. It's prettier. It's within the rulebook and the steps. Your coach can tell you. Don't be afraid to maneuver. It's what ice dancing is all about. A few rounds to "Sing, Sing, Sing" and you'll be fine.

KAZAKHSTAN: Stekoinikova and Kazarlyga -- Wow. What potential. Okay. We need sponsor money. These kids are too tense on the ice. More attention from the coach. And a couple of hours hanging out having fun. Together. Kazakhstan used to be part of the Soviet Union. It shows. Why do I keep thinking Gordeeva and Grinkov with closer steps and tighter snaps?

LITHUANIA: Drobiazko and Vanagas -- Do it. Just once. The most depressed program you can find. Nina Simone's "My Man's Gone Now." Neil Diamond's "Song Sung Blue." A funeral march? Okay. I've got a good one. "Candle in the Wind 1997." Maybe that'll get it out of your system. And then start to dance. It's going to be spring soon. Coach, you're in charge of making sure these kids don't drop below 75-80 beats per minute. 90 would be good. Let them start to heal. They'll be good.

POLAND: Nowak and Kolaninski -- Your assignment is Polish traditional dance. Bring the old steps alive. Make us see it. Make us feel it. Then you'll have a use for those edges. Dance is not about being pretty. Dance is about communication. Communicate something that you feel. Live it. Feel it. Show it to us. Then you'll be happy. Enough fluffy stuff. Do something real.


SWITZERLAND: Hugentobler and Hugentobler -- Oh definitely. A little more style and line on her and a little shapeup on those back technical edges for him, and they'll be sailing around the compulsories like mad. Give them time and quit scaring them, everybody. They're petrified. Let her have some time to calm down. Slip some chocolate into the suitcase or something. Then let her fly. She is the talent here and he knows it (he is just that little bit less, don't worry -- they're paired okay). When she starts flaring out with that mean little inner edge of hers and demanding attention, everybody else had better move. She will be launching herself. She has just needed time and confidence. God, quit intimidating them! I'd point out who to start learning intimidating-back tactics from, but of course that doesn't happen in ice dancing, does it? No. We're all nice people. I think you get the point. Just a little room on the ice to practice, guys....c'mon. Be reasonable.



? Can't believe my eyes. Keep coming back!