This "feet only" post is brought to you by this instagram of Tessa:
I know there's a method to Tessa's instagram aesthetic (pregnancy), but what she does with her face on instagram, not only in this image, but in previous images, is getting a little:
Is she gonna start shooting botox into her face by 30? Stuff implants into her cheeks? She seems to be a fan of the look.The profiles and full faces she's instagramming don't even look like her.
If we didn't already know that Tessa herself doesn't believe a word that comes out of her mouth, or posted on her instagram:
Sure honey. Do as I say, and all that. She'll still be coming out with sound bites like that one when she starts injecting her face and lips. She'll be one of those who thinks the work is subtle. To perfectionist Tessa, "imperfection" = any physical sign that you're a human being and not a store mannequin.
Let's look at the skating skills gold standard, Davis & White.
Now let's look at Paul/Islam - those inferior ice dancers who are so subpar, Tanith Belbin pretty much thinks they should hang it up. She shrugged them off - not much they can do but practice if they want to improve.* But even that might be a waste of time
I LOVE how the Eurosport guys begin by saying we're seeing an improved level of skating skill in P/I, and particularly praise the intricate use of hold during the circular step sequence, as well as the difficult transition in the spin.
So it's settled. In North America, the comment booth is actively trashing actual figure skating, most notably via the public propoganda-ing of Tanith Belbin, who last season waxed patronizing about gliding on an edge, and who this season informs us that intricate changes of hold in a step sequence indicates inferior skating skills. The more you skate, the worse of a skater you must be. We'll be hearing a lot of that in the next quad. "Eh, there was too much skating in this program. The dancers were too close together in the step sequence." We all know that Tanith was the last word in skating skills when she was competing. She dragged Ben Agosto to that silver medal in Torino.
My loves, the Shibs:
The Shibs are in the Virtue Moir zone. If they make a visible error or glitch, they lose, while a crap team like Chock and Bates are treated as if their multiple deficiencies, sloppiness, missed key points and two-footing are features, not bugs. Look at them stay on their feet the whole program! They're incredible!
Papadakis and Cizeron.
They have the (non-ballroom) look, so it's the express-track to the podium. Papadakis tends to begin a stroke or step on a shallow edge or flat and then lean in. There are places where the difference between her depth of edge and his are absolutely glaring. They're side car-ing as much as Gille Poirier.
If a give competition doesn't have an ice dance team where both are deficient, then the judges default to favoring a team where one is deficient. The judges (actually the ISU) seems to shrink from rewarding teams where both are good.
Cappellini and Lanotte:
Setting aside his fall at the beginning, they're just uneven. SHE's just uneven. I love their musicality. They skate reasonably close together (blades and bodies) at times. She carries herself well in space. But she's still hit and miss getting her edges in, getting any consistent run of blade.
I struggle with
We all can see that jutting your butt out behind you and using the "tent" shape as the model for alignment in hold is becoming the standard (connect at arms and chest, jut your butt out so your feet, pelvis, legs and blades are distant. The connection up top helps leverage each partner away from the other so the blades don't wander too close.). A male with solid skating skills lashed to a partner with weak skating skills = a high scoring team. A team where both are crap will also score well if the choreography strips any skating from their program.
Most of all, it's very clear that if you skate too much, your scores will suffer. I never thought the day would come where a discipline that was principally about skating, has become the discipline where skating is most discouraged.
*Mitch Islam to Alex: "Why didn't we think of that! We should train!"