It was tough to figure the Die Fleudermaus placeholder. The constant, gratuitous two-footing? The constant running and skipping? Or the incredible weirdness that keeps showing up with Meryl in entrances to rotationals - in the Giselle twizzles and here, in the lead up to the spins.
They have the sloppiest feet - EVER. Whether on an edge (both of them, not just one of them) or not. But both on an edge is the exception.
But it's spring, so hopping it is. Although in Die Fleudermaus, it's all about the two footing. That will be for gifs, with some screen cap illustration.
P.S. - elsewhere, I mentioned that this team only skates in segments. They don't link the segments with skating. It's hopping, squatting and other tricks, but mostly two-footing. So much two footing. Re-watching, what's actually taking place is that they re-set before and after elements.
Always. They can't take the momentum into the next thing - not on edges they can't. They can't even stay connected. It's get away from me, and I need to get off any kind of edge.
The smiling, hopping, waving, looking out to the audience and WTF-ing is meant to disguise that they've in fact, stopped skating and are re-setting.
Before I started this project - which I didn't know was going to become a project when it began - my expectation about Meryl/Charlie is that they were indeed, "good element skaters" (as Scott Moir has said) but their basic skating was nowhere near as refined as Virtue and Moir, nor was their speed, blade run or ice coverage what was claimed.
I didn't realize that they do little real skating of any kind in their programs. They're freaking ice dancers, for God's sake.
I didn't expect to see that the elements weren't anything to write home about, and in fact, pretty basic compared to Virtue and Moir's. Of course they can go after the element with a lot of attack, as one would expect after practicing relative basics for five years. It will be interesting to see if other ice dancers give this a shot. A lot of dancers at the moment are really going for levels. Forget that. Find your comfort zone. And then drill the shit out of it over the summer til you can execute in your comfort zone in your sleep, and condition yourself so you can just blow through them. It doesn't matter HOW you blow through them. Just do it. Your pcs will grow and it's just a lot easier this way, and whatever you're doing will get the levels just because you're the ones doing it. You'll become the rulebook.
Davis White's elements - not just their skating - their elements are nothing to write home about divorced from the visual trickery in which they're cloaked.
But the thing is - I understand that if you're watching Meryl Charlie you see a lot of what looks like spinning, flying, sailing, dancing - that's how you take it in. All this visual noise is set really well to the music - the music is never subtle, so if Meryl is doing something odd like scrambling her feet before a spin, or Charlie has his feet planted for the umpteenth time - you just don't notice.
But all you have to do is load the program up on some type of editing program and go - okay, I'm going to cut after the first ten seconds. So you've got the first ten seconds of the program and you see how little is really there and what a lot of to do the both of them are making out of presenting this nothing. Then you do the next ten seconds, and it's more visual junkyard stuff. Then the next, and already they've skidded to a re-set on two feet. Basically, deconstructed this way - and it was the case with both Giselle and Die Fleudermaus - you're waiting for the actual program to start - and it doesn't. This IS the skating. It's actually not buried that deeply - this little ten second excerise shows it up right away. Yet the judges are watching this in both the short and long program year after year, at practices and in competition, and haven't noticed it? The pcs have gone up for Meryl and Charlie.