Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Meryl and Charlie's Popular Mechanics

While the technique here is truly peerless, of particular note is where her center is vis a vis his center, and that nobody's arms or hands or torso parts have moved away from home yet. It's mostly just her legs waving out the window.

Look at that. She's in a split with her pelvis pasted to his shoulder. Yet Meryl still doesn't let go of that right hand. She's going to need it (plus the anchor arms are still in place).

I think this is called "The Hat". As we can see, everybody's alignment is textbook. Those right hands gripping may as well telegraph that neither one can control any action even slightly off to the rotational axis or it will unravel. Even though they're not off the rotational axis, but centered smack dab on it. Still, never hurts to be sure. I think the position is so "unique" because Meryl is hunched and one side is lower than the other. That's because her left arm is still under Charlie's and if she has to hunch to keep it there, she will.

As silly as this looks, balance wise it is taking no chances. Everything is dead across the axis - Meryl's entire core is placed there and she and Charlie are still gripping on for stability.

An added bonus is this lift is so perfectly in the character of the "dance" they're doing you know the judges wished they could dish out + 4.

It almost seems awkward or harder to continue gripping with all four arms, but they're doing it. You know how Tessa rotates around her own core in space when she changes position or re-orients her body lines? Here, all of that gripping is creating a secure physical cage for Meryl's core so while she's changing positions everything in her core is physically locked down.

She lays out across his face (look where her hips and torso and shoulders are in space - or actually not in space. All that's in space is her left leg) and now they've risked the release of the hands.

So from her torso laid out across his front it's now a torso laid out across his back. I see a free arm blur there, so - yay.

Listen these lifts are HARD.

I think Meryl's entire left arm across Charlie's shoulders up to her shoulder is a nice touch. She likes to be absolutely sure.

Here's the weird. Meryl is going to be rotated in I don't know what you'd call that position. Her arm is across the back of Charlie's shoulders, so she's pretty solidly there and I'm sure she has nice strong abs. Besides, Charlie's got his entire arm securely gripped around her waist, his shoulder engaged as well, and his other hand is supporting her under the 'straight' free leg knee (she seems able to handle the bent one on her own) - so, snug as a bug in a rug. But she reaches across her body and holds her own knee on the "straight" leg. What the hell Meryl - you'll open up (and the position unravel) despite Charlie's arms and your left arm unless you put your own arm across your body and lock the hand on you knee?

Yes, yes she will. She'll open up on her right side unless she crosses her right arm over to her left leg and anchors her hand on her knee.


I actually think there are newlyweds who can make it across the threshold without that much clinging.

It's like he's taken someone out of the audience.

For real look at Meryl's left arm. And Charlie's right arm locked around her waist. And his left arm still doing duty at the knee even though she's an instant from set down. How can the other ice dancers possibly compete?

I don't know why she's bothering with the edge here, considering everybody's alignment. It's not like she can go anywhere on it.

I love the big "ta da!" of the outside arms now that (Part 1) of the lift is over, although Meryl's edge is still puzzling considering all of her weight is still being supported by Charlie. She's got a foot on the ice - can she not consider maybe just a hand on the shoulder at this point, and Charlie a hand on her hip?

As is seen in subsequent high value lifts in this program - no.

What is happening in this lift is basically Meryl reorienting her body so her legs are up and then down, and across, and then weirdly pretzled, but she's not using her core, she's being leveraged and she's leveraging using externals - not just for position changes, but to keep her stable (or the two of them stable) while doing them and in between. It's like a baby in a car seat.

In real time, Charlie is flinging her around like a laundry bag on fire. And I think what impresses is that her feet and hair are whipping around. But they're always whipping around not her own core in space, but Charlie's and her cores/balance centers pasted together over the axis with extra ballast and bungee cording lashing them in tight.

Yes, it may take practice and good lung, heart, low body fat to whirl around while glued to someone else's core as well as making sure your own core manages nothing independently,but it doesn't tell anything about their skating, their partnering, or even their facility in lifts.  Or at least not anything good. Because if you need to nail down your secure points with this many external stablizers, your lift isn't difficult.


  1. So far, in all these gifs I'm not seeing anything particularly difficult in Meryl and Charlie's lifts. In fact, the tight gripping and keeping bodies plastered together as much as possible is the hallmark of lesser-skilled teams. IOW, as is the case in the other areas of their programs you have examined, the illusion of difficulty boils down to the style of doing things so as to hide deficiencies - the flinging hair, arms, heads. A feeling of quickness- which in fact helps hide lack of tecnique.

    They've managed to fool many fans. I very much doubt they've fooled any judges. No - the monster scores had to have been a predetermined agreement. It's a backhanded acknowledgment of Tessa and Scott's greatness, because the only way to guarantee higher scores than VM is to make DW's humongeous. And that's even while supressing VM's scores!! The judges know what VM are due - they just decided they were not going to judge with truth.

    1. Although...I was rereading this old interview
      and even though Zhulin makes it clear which team he prefers, he still describes D/W as "brilliant technicians" and "polished and clean". So...who knows about the judges, but I think DW have possibly been fooling a lot of people.

    2. Their terrible, fake technique is very polished. Unlike, say, Gilles and Poirier.

      The only thing wrong with their technique is it's not high level and it's cheated. Given that it's completed cheated and they don't give a shit about faking the alignment part, they're great at it. They're polished fakers.

      It's really not that hard, though. The Lynn Rutherfords, who know nothing and have "at your service" tatooed on their foreheads - they don't know anything. The judges do. The commentators do. They ignore it and spin it.

  2. that lift is so fug. i'd take the "#publicunnilingus" lift over this basic ass beige sloppy lift any day.

    1. It can't be fug. The guidlines in CoP require an "aesthetically pleasing" position in lifts, although I have not drilled down to find the ISU's definition of "aesthetically be pleasing". In any event, Davis White always get scored for doing it at the highest level - ergo, this lift must be aesthetically pleasing.

      The ugly isn't the point. It's the cheap, quick fix, low grade mechanics and bogus technique that downgrade not just the move's difficulty, but its point.