Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Skating While Davis White

To me the post title ought to be presented as the reason Davis and White blow out the scoreboard every time they leave the ice.

I've screen capped the rotational lift in the short dance. I am looking at the list of poses by the 'lady' that add difficulty and just the first go over makes me believe that Meryl in the catchfoot - no matter how she's draped across Charlie and never mind the cross-body overall security of her position - qualifies as difficulty, and I think when her chest, shoulders and arms are lying across his body it's also difficulty because her lower body isn't. And then you add in the incredible control and refinement of the whole thing, and no wonder.

Davis White and Virtue Moir got the same score for the rotational lift - 5.36. That's .14 short of perfection.

The fact that Tessa's catchfoot is postcard perfect (foot turned out, body fully stretched, everything perfectly aligned) so that every single time the rotation presents her to the camera it is identical (identically perfect) to the previous position is shown in the screen caps, but I'm going to post those tomorrow. For now, this caught my attention:

Meryl and Charlie's entry into the rotational lift:

Charlie does more than pull her in - he actually yanks her in. We can see that she began quite a healthy distance away.

He lets go with another yank (look at the video) and

Off that yank she is propelled forward and he bends down for take off.

Scott and Tessa:

Shocker. Tessa SKATES into the lift.  She's not jerked or yanked across the ice into Scott's arms. There's no tugging. She skates right into the guy. He also puts his hands on her hips. He doesn't bend over and hoist her across his body like a sandbag. He is guiding her into her rotational move that ends with her laid out on his shoulder. It's a mutual, evolving move.

Which is, of course, not at all better than what Charlie just did hoisting Meryl like he's lifting that bale.
The respective lift exits is the next post because I couldn't help over capping DW to make fun.

So. to sum up:

Tessa skates into the lift entrance position, as does Scott. He only goes to his two foot stance when he's actually lifting her.

Into the lift entrance Scott has his hands on her waist, she has her hands on his arms, and the entrance immediately releases into a fucking no hands arial rotation* which ends with her laid perpendicular across one of his shoulders, where she does a catch foot. Her body position is extended throughout the rotations, everything is aligned, she is set down on an inside edge, flows out of her partner and transitions to an outside running edge.

So while in the rotational, she's not distributing her balance/weight across the plane of his body - she's perpendicular to it, which has got to be just as easy as draping herself across his front diagonally like a Miss America banner with her catch foot securing her position behind his body, the way Meryl does it. Because diagonal weight and balance distribution isn't easier on both of you or anything.

Right? It's elementary.

Davis White:  Meryl hits an arabesque position (after a hop, of course) and with several feet between them, Charlie plants himself into a two-foot crouch and takes her hand, yanking her towards him like she's a pull toy.The lift hasn't started and yet he's not skating and she's not skating. He then bends over her body with one arm under her body and one arm over, her against his side for maximum security, and flips her across his body, diagonally shoulder-to hip, her catchfoot hooks her onto his body. He rotates and she changes position using both hands on Charlie and also her upper chest on him.  She's set down on an outside edge and hops onto two feet.

So of course both lifts are given the same base value and get the exact same aggregate GOE.

*The arial rotation keeps sticking with me. This move first showed up at the end of Farrucus in 2010. Tessa rotated and then she was set down and immediately hit her final pose on one knee. She didn't skate off the set down.

However, very shortly before she and Scott skated it at Worlds 2010, word reached them that it would be better to take it out. Since figure skating - especially ice dance - is a real, legitimate sport, nobody unequivocally told them to take it out, citing the relevant violation. It was just heavy hinting and you know, proceed at your own risk. MAYBE there would be a deduction. So they took it out. They used it in exhibitions.

Come 2012-2013 short dance, it's back in. And it's not an ending pose - she does an arial rotation into her lift position.

Call me suspicious, but it's hard not to think the ISU told them to take out that rotation in worlds because they were FUCKING WITH THEM. Period. It was chain jerking. Otherwise, maybe they'd have an institutional memory and call it out in the short dance this past season. But nope.

Why would it be a violation in Farrucus? It seems that it might have pushed the same buttons as the original goose dismount - oh this is a pairs move (in the goose dismount it was - oh this is a jump).

It's a twist move. In a twist, the female rotates and is set down on, ideally, a running edge without using her partner's body to absorb her descent. So maybe in Farrucus Tessa and Scott did it so well it looked too pairsy - maybe the ISU would have been happier if she'd clutched onto Scott with both hands and landed definitively on two feet, like the current World champion is wont to do with her partner. I think Tessa - out of instinct - was set down on one foot, even if it wasn't an edge, and then did her lunge/kneel final pose. Which is just like pairs.

Considering the set down was nothing like pairs - she was set down onto one foot and hit a pose - one imagines it was the "twist" part of things that had the ISU passive-aggressively hinting around.

And yet it was okay for this year's waltz. She twisted in the air throughout the entire season. And it was okay with the ISU.


  1. But...according to the many fans and DW defenders all over twitter and other social media, what DW do is more "artistic." Therefore, tugging and pulling the partner into position is more artistic. Poor Tessa, actually skating into her partner's arms. How inartistic of her.

    1. Scott waits to crouch until he's actually going to lift Tessa.

      Charlie squats down as soon as Meryl is in arabesque because man, with as much as she weighs, he really needs to bear down in order to pull that girl.

      Unless of course, Charlie is so inherently unstable on his skates without some type of built in momentum check that adding an additional element - like a partner - will drop him on his ass. Best spread those legs and get low, just to be sure.

    2. lmao those people on twitter are so fucking stupid

    3. Where's the "artistic" part in CoP? How's it defined? What are the standards and criteria for meeting the standards?

      I wouldn't be surprised to find a huge artistic value attached to walking or gliding on your flats, using a squat as your default linking move when you're not lunging with a mighty hair toss and swing of your arm, squatting again so as to hoist your partner in repeated small assisted pose lifts, and channeling all of your projectile motion into an upward yank by digging your toe picks or skate heels into the ice.

  2. I think the difference between the Farrucas twist and this one, was that in Farrucas she was set down immediately, whereas this time, it is considered to be a difficult entry into a lift. (Not that I agree with the 'hint' they received to take it out, I'm just saying that this is probably why no one can point a finger at it this season.)

    As for the rotational lift... don't you know that this is just the way that Scott manages to not actually have to lift her, but rather just haul her around on his shoulder like a sack of potatoes? :roll eyes:

    1. Yes, but what is it about her being set down immediately that makes the Farrucus version objectionable?

    2. Well, no clue. I had it in my head that the rotations with her being set down meant it was too close to a jump and therefore too close to singles/pairs (but where I got that or if I just made it up, I don't know). But for the brief time I spent looking, the longest explanation I found that I would have read at the time was:
      "At issue were the number of rotations in the lift. Ice dancing rules say that dancers must not do a move that has more than one rotation. Before the Olympics, they had to change their famous goose lift, in which Virtue rotated 1 ½ turns while leaving Moir's back to a move without rotation at all. It wasn't worth it to lose points for a lift that wouldn't' win them any. Moir said that if the lift was worth something, they would have gone for it.

      And yesterday, their final lift had Virtue rotating 2 ½ times, she said. Ironically, the lift is called a creative lift. They can do anything they want with it, but it's not worth any points. However, if the move is illegal, they could lose points."


      Which still doesn't explain, of course, how it could be considered legal all year and yet suddenly, be in line for a hush-hush maybe-maybe-not deduction at Worlds right before their program. On the other hand, maybe it never was considered illegal, and the information that came to them was (let's generously call it) erring on the side of caution.

    3. If the problem was that it was like a "twist", in Farrucas she's up and down. In the SD, there is an actual lift in between the arial rotation and touching the ground again. Is that when you meant 9:57? I agree though, it's still ridiculous no matter what way you try and figure it out.

    4. The Farrucus version isn't really like a jump, because Scott is assisting. She does the rotation on her own but she's set up for it with an assist from Scott and set down with an assist from Scott. He doesn't lift her into the arial rotation and then she's on her own, like a jump or throw. She didn't land the twist in Farrucus, she was caught and set down from it.

      If it's the 2 1/2 rotation, period, then it ought not to have been allowed in the 2013 short dance either.

      As to what happened at Worlds 2010 - that is flat out unprofessional and sleazy. You come out and tell the athletes in black and white what the problem is and nix the move, or you allow the move. What's with the games?

      This is a statistics-based scoring system with extremely specific breakdown of standards and criteria, what's allowed and what isn't. If this is a legitimate sport there is no room for - well, if you do this, POSSIBLY the judges will cause you to lose points.

      What the fuck? What do the judges have to do with it? The judges are supposed to be following the rulebook, and the rulebook is published for anyone to read. If the interpretation is potentially so ambiguous why is the sport allowing the judges to "intepret" something on the fly anyway? There should be no ambiguity in a scoring system that has a statistical basis. Not when it comes to a technical facet of a move as specific as a rotation.