Monday, July 14, 2014

Here we go with posts sharing more great work from the cuteiceprincess tumblr and Lady B. I'm starting with the analysis below, but will continue with the Finn Step and other comparisons.

cuteiceprincess tumblr link:

Stuff every ice dance judging panel missed, year after year, but with all the good intentions in the world

Thanks very much again for the permission from the cuteiceprincess tumblr and thanks especially once again for Lady B's astute comparative analysis of technique and mechanics.

I'm going to say a few things first, and then Lady B's analysis will be clearly highlighted.
We see right here why Davis White crushed Virtue Moir in pcs.
The sport is subjective. We all know what that means.
Subjective means you can either ignore standards and criteria

 and judge however you want, or it means nobody really
knows what the hell is going on out there because we're
talking micro-seconds of time for each thing being judged,
so not even judges are able to tell in real time if the skating
matches the rulebook. Even when you can sort of tell,
the rulebook is just one of the things used to score
this sport. There's all this other stuff, such as is a team on
the ice said to be always giving 110%, or is it just 100%?
To some judges proper technique and deep edges are
important. For others, a mere gesture in the direction
of proper 
technique without actually executing said technique
what they're looking for. As Lady B says in her anaylsis, go
ahead and "pose" technique instead of actually using it.
Indeed, this past quad, it's what MOST judges preferred.
I love this first illustration from the cuteiceprincess tumblr because it highlights Meryl's characteristic rocking her torso up and down like Duncan the Drinking Bird.

She never re-orients her center of gravity using her core and power from her blades. It's always this jerry-rigged mess. The strange aspect of her hyper extended arms in the top right screen cap is that her chest is closed and her face is aimed face down at the ice. Good extension/alignment involves an open chest, everything expanding/initiating from the core, opening from your center. Meryl's shoulders and chest are as unengaged as always, she's just got a freakish hyper-extension going on, as with somebody double jointed. The compensation in this woman's "technique" is, as always, both bizarre and mystifying. I wonder if the hyper extension with her arms stems from all the back-hooking she does with her arms, jamming her arm behind her, hooking it over her partner's shoulder up to the armpit in order to anchor herself in many lifts, seeing as she can't balance herself.

After Dancing with the Stars, I said I should really refer to Davis White fans as Meryl Davis fans, since Dancing with the Stars certainly exposed that as true. So, when referencing supporters of the American team, I'll try to remember what to call them.

Meryl Davis fans are welcome to come on in and show why Davis and White are actually doing some great skating here, and why their technique is superior to Virtue and Moir's. In the past, I've seen some Meryl Davis fans link to gifs or screen caps that show, for example, VM on their toes, apparently in the belief that a phrase of movement specifically choreographed on toe picks to highlight latin hip action is just the same as running across the ice on your toe picks in between elements because your stroking is subpar. It would be nice if just once, one of their passionate fans demonstrated how Davis and White are stronger skaters than Virtue and Moir in a way that correlated to the rulebook that governs scoring, and if they used Davis and White as their example. There's been a ton of bizarre complaints that slow motion distorts technique (it doesn't) or deconstruction of technique is irrelevant to the whole (even though taking a program's execution apart piece by piece is precisely how this "sport" is scored). I'd love to hear the case from Meryl Davis fans why Davis & White's skating, technique and execution is superior to Virtue Moir's, using Davis & White themselves as Exhibit I. They were given a gold medal in Sochi - how difficult can the challenge be?

Even Charlie is a mess in the bottom right hand screen cap.

Here's Lady B's analysis:

Look here. Tessa and Scott are perfectly upright with their torso , bend knees that makes having a deep blade run, the thrust (basic) of the outer edge is given by the forward bending of the knees and the control of the pelvis and torso.

Look at Meryl and Charlie. Bend forward their torso to give pushing. The forward thrust on the outer edge does not come from bending the knees as it should be, but simply with the movements of the body, to compensate for the boost.

Look at how TS are on the outer edge. blade angle, tilted pelvis, torso upright.

Meryl and Charlie are leaning on the blade, using the action-reaction of their torso, first brought forward and then brought back, to give the thrust.

And Meryl and Charlie nowadays have more points in skating skills, Realize, please.
The skating skills dates from the knees and the exploitation of the edge and the blade, the control of the bust!

This is my favorite. It’s one of the famous hip without closed mowhak. THE MOWHAK requires closed hip, the main rule is that differentiates it from chactaw.
Look at the first two images. Tessa and Scott have the hip perfectly closed, closed left leg over the right, the left hip to the right, as it should be done.
Now look at Meryl and Charlie: the leg is forward, but it is absolutely clear that the hip is not closed. The basin is open, Meryl and Charlie seem to be “supported” by a thread outer plate that has nothing to do with the mowhak. They are, as is their custom, "posing without using edges and regardless of the body.” 10 in skating skills.
The second two images do see the difference of the two pairs as they hold an inner edge. Look at Tessa and Scott, as they cross the left leg back with the other, showing their perfect equilibrium (which Meryl and Charlie do not), look at the angle of their whole body, the chasm between the pads and shoulders, the use of edges, the sustainability of physical time, there is a FORCE that is pushing them to the right and keep them perfectly.
Look at Meryl and Charlie: they are simply supported, as usual, “pose” on a edge that looks like inside, but that is only a fictitious internal angle of the blade. But the rest of the body what is doing?

On this last I think I have nothing more to add.
Look at the respective inclinations of the booties of the two different pairs. Even from the shoes you can see the difference between these two pairs.

There's more to come, but this is a start. It's important to keep showing these, and to keep remembering that there is supposed to be a link between what is happening, and what people say is happening. In ice dance, on and off the ice, the sport seems to believe it's unnecessary to have any connection between what actually is, and what they say it is. All that matters what people in power agree to say. I can't for the life of me figure out why this sport isn't more popular, just because it's gone out of its way to disenfranchise anybody with eyes in their heads,  a memory, operational brain cells, or any self-respect.


  1. Let me go ahead and get the usual "I have no actual understanding of technique and don't really care to understand how or else I'd be able to break down how or why D/W are better skaters then everyone else" D/W fan reactions out of the way:

    1. This is a hateful post intended to smear D/W! Because yes, it is hateful to look at breakdowns of the actual skating via video stills and photos, just as the judging panels are required to do per the rules because ice dance is an actual sport. Instead we should talk about how hard Meryl Davis and Charlie worked and how loud the audience clapped for their performance and made you feel in your heart!

    2. You are just jealous of D/W's victory! Yep, that's totally it. Jealous of how D/W were able to procure an Olympic gold medal in ice dance by not out-skating their competitors. SO JEALOUS! And maybe a bit envious as well. Where can everybody sign up for the D/W seminar on how win things without rightfully earning them?

    3. Oh sweetie, hun, darling...this is so sad. Are you off your meds? You should probably consider therapy. Perhaps my condescending pitying of you complete with ridiculous usage of pet names and accusations of mental illness will stop these kinds of posts. If nothing else, they reinforce my false sense of superiority and isn't that what really matters in the end?

    4. This is improper criticism! Those photos and video stills you've posted are just one moment in time! I mean, sure. It's clear Meryl Davis is on flats in several moments when she was given points for being on an edge, and okay yeah, we can see how Charlie had to lug her up like a sack of potatoes in those lifts, throwing off their balance, causing his blades to rock like a ship in the wind, and negatively impacting their stability in a way that is supposed to result in a drop in GOE but did not, and oh all right fine, Meryl Davis isn't doing anything in those other moments but literally two foot flatting it through the course of those transitions while flailing her arms like a waving arm inflatable, but you focus far too much on the rulebook. What do you think ice dance is, an actual sport? Tsk, tsk.

    There we go. Carry on.

    1. Brilliant.

      And don't forget screencapping and photoshopping are the exact same thing!

    2. I think you've got it covered 2.29 - that will save them the trouble....

  2. Thank you for posting these analyses, they're great. It's important that people see this. I hope that tumbler link gets a wide distribution.

    It's never anything less than horrifying to see the clear evidence of corruption in icedance. DW's skating, if you can call it that, looks worse with every review, with every analysis. Unbelievable that they ever stood on any podium. They may be "nice people" but sports' competitions are won on the merit of skills, not "niceness." DW should be stripped of their titles and their medals. They don't belong to them.

  3. I mean the VM short dance should have receive a perfect score, over 90. that was the greatest SD ever in Olympics. and if VM had competent PR, that would be obvious to anyone with or without eyesight. I'm sick of their lack of character and nonsense. but I love this "sport" and they must be in it. there is simply no team that comes close to them. the sport will disappear without them

    1. Yes, that short dance. If not perfect, then as close as any human could ever hope to achieve. Certainly nothing in the history of ice dance so far can rival it. I can watch it over and over and always find new things to marvel about.

    2. They didn't even receive a personal best!

    3. ^^^really!! WTH?!!!!

    4. Yup. Even with all level 4s they still wouldn't have gotten it.

    5. Their Olympic performance was amazing and clearly deserving of a much higher score but the GPF performance was off-the-charts phenomenal. Both performances were absolutely unbeatable in a fairly scored competition.

    6. In a fairly scored competition, the Olympics SD score exactly as it was would have been leading by about 10 country miles.

      The GPF performance, IMO, was one of their greatest skates ever and one of the greatest performances ever by any ice dance team.

    7. Could you explain why you think the GPF performance was better? Because I don't think many people would agree with you. I remember Ben Agosto saying it was the best he'd ever seen them skate and he wasn't exactly cheering for them.

      I'd have the TES about equal but the PCS much higher, they managed to reach another level in the performance, the quality of skating, the unison and interdependence of movement, really everything that goes into pcs. That's more than enough to overcome slight imperfections on the elements (Both Farrucas and Mahler were *cleaner* at Nationals but the consensus is the Olympic performances were better. This is a similar deal for me).

    8. Sorry, Agosto was talking about the Olympic SD.

  4. What did you think of Abby Lee Miller calling Prima Ballerina Meryl's feet sickled? Meryl Davis fans were extremely upset about that.

    1. Meryl Davis fans were also upset when Charlie got high scores. They were all "I love Charlie, but that didn't deserve that score!" But if Meryl got less than 10 for walking, kicking out and doing supported turns, they raged.

      Meryl's sickled feet aren't nearly the problem as her wooden, flat feet. But she's not a dancer. She's meant to be a high level skater, and she does a lot of standing, walking on ice, two-foot gliding, and re-setting. It's unbelieveable, the intersticial shit she does that's routinely overlooked. Not to mention when she misses her key points she's credited for key points.

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