Man and woman in motion. The perfect marriage. They rely on each other. They bounce off each other. They balance.
There are no real exemplars of the above statement of the perfect partnership in eligible skating right now (but if Shen and Zhao keep this up, I may change my mind real damn quick).
I honestly think that all solo skaters should have some pairs experience. It teaches you why you're doing this, even if you never do it competitively. Very few people want to stay single all their lives, and pairs is like marriage. You have to consider the partner in everything you do. No spin, no jump, no move is done without the partner, because that person is either mirroring it or otherwise reacting to it. After a while you do not consider, say, a jump properly done unless your partner did it well too. There is no I or you on the ice. They'll count your partner off as fast as they will you.
Watch the entire length of the program. Both of them. These people have the time to do it right. Is ther a move where the one simply does not consider the other? Would you have gotten mad at your boyfriend or girlfriend for that? That's a good test. Consider from the partner's view as well as your own.
Another good thing to watch for is whether the two look like a yin-yang on the ice. You know, they may not look the same, but they fill the spots where the other is not? They don't look the same ,but put them together and they make a perfect circle? Thank you. The perfect example of this is the pair sitspin. He's doing your normal sitspin (down near the ice with a leg stuck out in front of him) and she's leaning back and he's holding her? The most difficult move in pairs. I've seen more couples go down over this one....each swore it was the other's fault. Each was wrong. Both sides give 100% or it looks horrible. Just horrible. And it's dangerous. Unless you are thinking about your partner totally. Totally.
Also watch for height of lifts. Are they aiming for the top of the arena and looking like they're about to grab it? Has she about got one hand on the rafters? Great. If not, he's not supporting her right. It should be easy for her to look like a feather up there.
And any great pair will automatically do this: When coming down out of jumps, look around for the partner to see if they're okay. Did they make it? Are they all right? Should I go on? You can tack a little and make it awfully easy for your partner to catch up. The takeoff legs should be completely even, the freee legs aon takeoff should be mirrors of each other, and they should at leat make an attempt on landing to regroup and make sure the partner's with them. Both them. At once. That zap of a look between the skaters should automatically land them on the podium. Both sets of eyes connecting. And Western skaters, please, it's not patented in Cyrillic alphabet. Get going. Caring is cool in countries with established democratic traditions too.
I have wanted to say that for years. Years. Now I'll hush.