Thursday, November 7, 2013

Twizzle double standard

These are from youtube's aWaltzFlower

I encourage everyone to watch these. I especially appreciate that the videos have their own musical score (like a well-edited montage) which helps make it easy to watch many twizzles and numerous teams. The close editing is also a plus, each example starting and ending at the actual twizzle entrances and exits.

The material is, needless to emphasize, illuminating. :)

(ETA - I have just noticed, belatedly, that DW's twizzles are aptly scored with You Should be Dancing (yeah, too bad they're not) and VM's twizzles with The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing. :)

The videos fly by and instead of everything blurring, when somebody's twizzles aren't so hot it just jumps at you, when a team has grown, it jumps immediately. It's a great way to get information fast.

Let's note how fans are making the effort to scrutinize the figure skating and to notice if ice dance is actually being judged with integrity.

Looking at how "journalists" write about figure skating, and the mindset revealed in the figure skating marketing and commentary, and guided by the behavior of ice dance's biggest stars (Virtue and Moir) - figure skating in general and ice dance in particular is merely a delivery system for romantic fantasy, or material for relationship voyeurs. Those fans exist but what is accomplished by marketing as if those fans define the public interested in figure skating? They don't.

Virtue and Moir are the sport's greatest skaters, and they're just not interested in talking about their skating. They concentrate on whoring out their (fake) relationship, using the chemistry as a teaser, playing around and baiting, even though at the end of the day, every time, the public is led down a road to nowhere.
I would say to them and to the sport in general - stopping kidding yourselves. There's plenty out there other than figure skating to satisfy the public's romantic fantasies. They don't need to suffer through your bullshit. Although many fans haven't learned about/deconstructed technique, it's still skating they're appreciating. If Virtue and Moir were ordinary skaters nobody would give a shit about their chemistry or her looks.

And as to twizzles specifically, I don't think variety in the actual twizzle type done in whatever sequence (even the same sequence) is as important as the twizzle sequence continuing to keep pace with the highest standard of difficulty (which DW's do NOT do, something the ISU rulebook resolutely ignores, defying principles of motion in the process), and as long as the ice dancers show control of their blades and control of their twizzles by demonstrating they can vary the rhythm in clear relationship to the program music and as long as the style and character of their movement is appropriate to the dance style they're presumably doing in the program. This can actually be accomplished with the same twizzle sequence from program to program - the variation lying in rhythm and in the character/style of the skaters' movement, carriage, phrasing, etc. And of course, execute them as strong twizzles technically - fast rotation, substantial ice coverage, synchronized with your partner, in unison with your partner.

At their best, C/L are a good example of introducing variation in the execution of their twizzles while continuing with the same (three set) sequence. These variations go to skating skills and dance skills, which is the sport being judged here, after all. It's quite remarkable how differently CL manage to phrase their twizzles using rhythm and character of movement.

I do not think that the same twizzles executed the same way season after season, and program to program, with unvarying rhythm, unvarying character of movement, and, most importantly, unvarying level of difficulty for Christ's sake (somehow DW's twizzles magically meet the requirements for each season's highest base value without the twizzles themselves ever evolving) are twizzles that should be competitive for Olympic gold - or World gold.

Yes, you've had five years to drill them so they're rote. I expect them to be more or less clean and polished at this point (IOW, no wobbling), but there are skaters out there with gorgeous double axels that sail like a dream and those jumps don't rate like an imperfect, but rotated and landed, triple axel. Not to mention the supposed speed of DW's twizzles don't stand up to scrutiny in the second set, when everything slows down; the rotation around their axis and their travel across the ice.


  1. Feisty debate going on over at FSU...basically, the D/W ubers are up in arms because the V/M ubers can call BS on every aspect of D/W's skating. The D/W ubers, as usual, can't do the same, and think D/W should win because they have "wow" factor and Scott is a douchebag:

    1. Why don't some of the DW fans ever simply link to program segments or elements to demonstrate why DW are on par with or superior to VM?


    2. According the D&W fans, that's over the top. Someone posted screen caps and was accused of looking for "micro mistakes."

    3. "Micro mistakes?" The deeper they dig in, the dumber they sound. They're acting like people whose backs are to the wall and are very much aware of that fact. If they weren't, they would act so huffed when asked to defend why their favorites are the best by actually breaking down the skating.

      All that being said, I don't understand why some V/M fans are trying to reason with them or feel the need to keep bringing up their ridiculousness over here. It's not like it's gonna change their minds.

    4. I think people just want to vent because we can't really say what we think of them over on FSU. It's hard to let all of that stupidity go unchecked.

      Here's one that's fresh off the presses: " But please, tell me. Why don't D/W deserve their +3 GOEs? why don't they deserve their levels? I would rather not discuss the PCS, as I cannot entirely tell the difference between IN and PE (guilty). "

    5. How about this little gem that keeps popping up? "Winners don't have to justify and that's just a hard pill to swallow for some."

    6. Who cares what a bunch of stupid D/W ubers think? Those people will never see the light, so it's not worth arguing with them. The one thing that thread shows is that *everyone* reads the V/M threads (while practically no one but ubers read the D/W thread). So, use that fact to your advantage -- show all the skating analysis you want. The ones who aren't D/W ubers will come around.

    7. Anon at 5:28 pm - I agree that you won't change the minds of the DW ubers - but is the discussion futile in the FSU thread - perhaps not. Even though we might not think it, skaters, fans, commentators, bloggers do read those boards. The end game is for someone to justify DW scores. Not the underscoring of VM. The overscoring of DW. If someone can explain that using the rulebook, pictures and video - then fine.
      Don't get me wrong - perhaps it is wasted energy - but then again if DW don't retire after the Olympics and stay on for another 2 years - will the overscoring continue...does anyone actually think that DW will retire this year, isn't worlds 2015 in Boston?

    8. D/W will retire. I think they know this rigging game is over the minute V/M are out of the picture. They'll be dropped like stones if they choose to stay in.

    9. I find it hilarious that the thread has reached seven pages and no one has yet to answer the original question, either because they don't understand how a bookie actually calculates odds or they do what a large majority of FSUers usually do, which is to only see what they want to see and ignore the rest.

      If I was a bookie I'd definitely make D/W a favorite over V/M for Olympic gold because no bookie is going to lay odds without taking a public opinion spread into account and given the outcomes over the last several head-to-head match-ups and the way they've been anointed in the press, public opinion would favor D/W. A bookie's intent is to make a consistent profit for the house, after all.

    10. 6:02, you're really depressing me... 2 more years of that shit?

    11. "I find it hilarious that the thread has reached seven pages and no one has yet to answer the original question, either because they don't understand how a bookie actually calculates odds or they do what a large majority of FSUers usually do, which is to only see what they want to see and ignore the rest."

      Are you the person who asked the original question? If not, I highly doubt the original poster understand the question itself. The discussion is probably progressing just as intended.

    12. Anon at 6:09 pm - me at 6:02 pm - sorry I didn't mean to depress you. But it wouldn't surprise me if DW stay on - hell I think they have the egos to stay on and they are earning decent coin. VM can do show skating for a little while...DW's appeal for show skating is less...unless Charlie and Tanith decide to skate as a couple...who knows what the future holds...

    13. @6:14. No, that wasn't me.

  2. Oh man, that second video - now I've got "The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing" stuck in my head and may as well go and watch Danny Kaye and Vera Ellen's dance scene from "White Christmas" on youtube. :)

    Thanks for these, they're great. And holy snow kicking up from the blades during D/W's entrance into their first twizzle passes, Batman.

  3. Actually, at the beginning of the season, I actually looked forward to DW's programs, in particular what they will do as their twizzles. Lo and behold...I literally had the fit of giggles the SAME one yet AGAIN! Even worse, I keep reading on and on how much "improvement" DW they've done over the years! Even so, there were other teams who does the same twiddles with more refinement and stability than them.:-O To think at one point I actually read that these ubers (rabidly) protest anyone who say that doing THOSE twizzles is a LOT harder (oh yes, what was it - ah! the "hop" into the twiddles) than what VM (and many others) accomplished with their 3-twizzles element. Man, I must be sooooo blind... ;-P

  4. Yup, double standard through and through and through....