Welcome to IDC’s coverage of the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver!

Photographers Liz Chastney & Melanie Hoyt will be attending ice dancing events in Vancouver and will be posting their photographs and the IDC staff will be posting their thoughts both on our blog and via our IDC Twitter.

 

FUN FACTS

Youngest Competitors

  • Allison Reed (Georgia) – June 8, 1994
  • Taavi Rand (Estonia) – July 17, 1992

Oldest Competitors

  • Isabelle Delobel (France) – June 17, 1978
  • Olivier Schoenfelder (France) – November 30, 1977

Longest Partnerships

  • Isabelle Delobel & Olivier Schoenfelder (France) – 1990
  • Christina Beier & William Beier (Germany) – 1995*
  • Alexandra Zaretsky & Roman Zaretsky (Israel) – 1995
  • Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir (Canada) – 1997
  • Meryl Davis & Charlie White (U.S.A.) – 1998

*Though they teamed up in 1995, the Beiers split for the 2008-2009 season.

Olympic Experience

  • Both Delobel & Schoenfelder of France and Faiella & Scali of Italy are competing in their third Olympics.
  • The following teams are competing in their second Olympics: Belbin & Agosto (U.S.A.), Domnina & Shabalin and Khokhlova & Novitski (Russia), Pechalat & Bourzat (France) Kerr & Kerr (Great Britain) and Zaretsky & Zaretsky (Israel).

Sibling Rivalry
Four sets of siblings are competing in Vancouver:

  • Christina Beier & William Beier
  • Sinead Kerr & John Kerr
  • Cathy Reed & Chris Reed (Japan)
  • Alexandra Zaretsky & Roman Zaretsky

** The Reeds’ sister, Allison, is competing in Vancouver, representing Georgia with her partner
Otar Japaridze.

Citizenship
Both Allison Reed (Georgia) and Maxim Zavozin (Hungary) received their citizenship for their respective countries in January 2010.

The following athletes are missing the 2010 Olympics due to citizenship issues:

  • Katherine Copely & Deividas Stagniunas – Copely & Stagniunas qualified a spot for Lithuania by virtue of their placement at the 2009 World Championships, but Copely’s application for Lithuanian citizenship was denied. Lithuania does not have another dance team, so the spot was offered to the alternates.
  • Caitlin Mallory & Kristjan Rand – Mallory & Rand earned the spot for Estonia by qualifying at Nebelhorn Trophy, but Mallory is not an Estonian citizen. The spot went to Taavi Rand (Kristjan’s brother) and his partner Irina Shtork.
  • Nikki Georgiadis & Graham Hockley – Georgiadis & Hockley (Greece) were first alternates based on Nebelhorn Trophy and were offered the Olympic spot given up by Lithuania, but Hockley did not receive Greek citizenship.

Former Olympians at the Boards
A role reversal for former Olympians as many have crossed the boards to move from being competitors to coaches:

  • Evgeny Platov, 1994 & 1998 Olympic champion with Oksana Grishuk, is the coach of Brits Kerr & Kerr and Coomes & Buckland, as well as Georgia’s Reed & Japaridze. Platov also competed in the 1992 Olympics with Grishuk.
  • 1980 Olympic champions, Natalia Linichuk & Gennadi Karponosov, are in Vancouver as coaches for Belbin & Agosto of the U.S.A., as well as Russia’s Domnina & Shabalin. Linichuk & Karponosov also work with Faiella & Scali of Italy.
  • Italian Pasquale Camerlengo, who competed at the 1992 (with Stefania Calegari) and 1998 (with Diana Gerencser) Olympics, is the head coach for Faiella & Scali (Italy) and Hajkova & Vincour of Czech Republic.
  • Alexander Svinin, coach of Khokhlova & Novitski, represented the U.S.S.R. at the 1984 Olympics with Olga Volozhinskaya.
  • Galit Chait, coach of the Zaretskys, competed in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Olympics with Sergei Sakhnovsky representing Israel.
  • Nikolai Morosov represented Belarus with Tatiana Navka at the 1998 Olympics. He is the coach of Reed & Reed.
  • Pechalat & Bourzat are coached by Alexander Zhulin who won an Olympic bronze in 1992 and silver in 1994 with Maia Usova.
  • Maxim Staviyski, who also works with Pechalat & Bourzat, is a three-time Olympian for Bulgaria (1998, 2002 and 2006) with Albena Denkova.
  • Rene Lohse, coach of Germans Beier & Beier, competed at the 1998 and 2002 Olympics with Kati Winkler.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE

Dissecting the Tango Romantica

From the ISU:

  • Tango Romantica – Description, step sequences and patterns from the ISU Rulebook
  • Inventors – Liudmilla Pakhomova, Alexander Gorshkov and Elena Tchaikovskaia
  • First Performance – Moscow, 1974
  • This is a romantic sinuous dance which expresses the soft, lyrical interpretive characteristics of the Tango. It must be skated with deep edges. Foot and body movements must be deliberate and convey a sense of dignity approaching arrogance. Very erect carriage, precise timing, and continuous flow must be maintained. The difficulty of the steps should not be revealed in awkward or stressed upper body positions. Finally, coordination of free leg movements is essential to avoid a tangled, confused effect.

IDC’s Notes:
The Tango Romantica is a very intricate dance. Judges look for precise timing and character with a lot of passion yet retaining the sharpness of the tango. As with all international and ISU-recognized dances (mostly pre-Gold and higher) dances, timing plays an important role. The judges reflect timing not only in the Timing component mark, but also in the GOE. Be sure to understand that if you look at the protocol.

The “TangoRo” is cut into 3 sections in IJS. Judges take these bullet points into consideration with the “marking guide to GOEs” on the page after the Tango Romantica.

To obtain a base score of 0, the team may have one minor error, general placement, shallow but correct edges, stability, turns that are fairly correct (may not necessarily be absolutely clean) and/or are stable.

Section 1:

  • The dance starting on “four.” The dance starts on the two foot glide between partners right before the “Helicopter.”
  • The “Helicopter” (double threes in an offset partner position) in unison and skated correctly.
  • Step 3 not on count “2” (the start of the progressive sequence).
  • Lady’s LBO swing 3 and Man’s twizzle not on clean, distinct edges.
  • Step 9 (cross rolls by both partners) clean and the change of edge distinct.
  • Step 14 (man’s closed mohawk; lady’s RFI 3 turn) on clean, correct edges [watch for skidding, scraped, or jumping of turns].

Another side note: Watch for the lady’s twizzle — the timing and partnering are very important in that section. Close skating between the hips and feet also add points in the Performance mark.

Section 2:

  • Step 22 (LFI rocker) skated cleanly [watch for skidding, scraped, or jumped turns]
  • Cross rolls (Steps 26-27) should be skated on continuous, deep curves by both partners before the step over.
  • Step over must be held for 2 beats.
  • Steps 28-31 “Lobe to lobe transition not clean, with the three turn (turned on count 3) not skated around the same axis staying in closed position.” This dance is amazing to watch and much easier to do when the skaters are on clean edges and skate together.

Another side note: Watch that the steps 17-21 (the main part of the end pattern) are on clear outside edges. That truly makes this section beautiful. Also, watch for teams “fighting” in their holds; that means they are not skating together, plus it makes the dance much more difficult to get through.

Section 3:

  • 35a Clean outside edges; watch for the lady making a clean rocker (no changes of edges, scraped, skidded, or jumped turns). The turn must be done on count 4.
  • Steps 35b-37b Watch for clean choctaws. Each partner must perform closed choctaws (also recognized as “Blues” choctaws). This section also has tricky partnering. This is a good section to showcase the sharpness in the character.
  • Steps 44-45 Another closed choctaw that is performed by the lady in a side-by-side position. It is followed by the lady performing a single RBO twizzle from a reverse foxtrot hold. The man’s 3 turn must be neat and tight. Both turns should be clean and executed on beat 4.

The soft, lyrical quality that is described in the rule book should be seen as almost an “I hate you, but love you” passion. That’s where the sharpness and confidence is seen in the dance. The team, not in this era, that I felt performed this dance wonderfully was Grishuk & Platov. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAE8Gl1bJKY

Cheers! And happy compulsory dance watching!

 

Original Dance Notes (Taken from ISU Communication #1567)

OD Overview:

The original dance is 2 minutes and 30 seconds (+/- 10 seconds) in length. The time starts when one of team members begins to move and stops when both partners come to a complete stop at the end of the program. Vocal music is permitted.

OD Notes:

  • The folk/country dance character and style must be translated to the ice by flow and use of edges.
  • Any type of folk/country dance music or typical dance of the country can be used. For the chosen type, there are no restrictions on the number of musical selections. Although the dance may consist of different musical selections — fast and/or slow — there must be a consistent theme based on a specific country or region.
  • The arrangement of the chosen music should give a genuine feel for folk/country dance. It should be very distant from the feeling of the Grand Ballroom.
  • Same examples: Village, Square, Street, Barn dance, Hoedown, Mazurka, Polka, Tarantella, Hula, Hora, Csardas, Kalinka, Gapak, Syrtaky, Scottish, Irish, Jig, Reel, Guajira, Cumbia, Jarabe, Fandango, Aborigines Dance, Chinese dances, Lesginka, Country Waltz, Flamenco, etc.
  • Argentine Tango is not included in the above mentioned Folk /Country dances and is not permitted because the rhythm is used in the Compulsory Dances (Argentine Tango and Tango Romantica) announced for the season.
  • Small props that are part of the costume and are characteristic for the chosen music are allowed (hats, head bands, ribbon). Props cannot be thrown and/or passed from one skater to the other in any part of the program. If a decoration or a part of the costume (including hair ribbons, etc.) falls to the ice during the performance, the costume deduction of 1.0 is required by the Referee. The following props are not part of the costume and are not permitted: cane (walking stick), umbrella, bouquet, etc. If used, the above mentioned deduction will be applied by the Referee.

Required Elements:

  • ONE short lift, but no more than two lifts (up to six seconds each)
    Note: One additional lift may be performed, but it will be considered by the judges in the choreography mark. This lift is permitted without any requirements for the level of difficulty, provided it is not illegal and it’s duration is within the permitted 6 seconds.

  • TWO Step Sequences
    One Midline Not Touching Step Sequence NOT incorporating the Sequential Twizzles

    AND

    One Step Sequence in Hold (Selected from either Diagonal OR Circular)

    The Step Sequence should be skated in dance holds or variations except Hand-in Hand hold in the sustained position with fully extended arms. Any separation to change a hold must not exceed one measure of music. Lifts, jumps of more than ½ rotation, stops, dance spins, pirouettes, pattern regressions and loops must not be included in either step sequence. If an illegal element is included in the step sequence (e.g. jump of more than 1 rotation, lying on the ice etc.), the Technical Panel will call an “illegal element” and the entire Step Sequence “No Level.”

  • One Set of Sequential Twizzles
    Two twizzles on one foot for both partners skated simultaneously with up to one step in between the Twizzles. No stops are allowed before and/or between Twizzles. The Set of Sequential Twizzles may be skated in any part of the program (except in the required Step Sequence).

 

Key Factors in the Free Dance

FD Overview:

The free dance is 4 minutes (+/- 10 seconds). The time starts when one of team members begins to move and stops when both partners come to a complete stop at the end of the program. Vocal music is permitted.

FD Notes:

  • Decorations on costumes must be non-detachable. If a decoration or part of the costume falls on the ice during the performance, a costume deduction is required.

Required Elements:

  • THREE Different types of Lifts; ONE of which may be chosen from the Long Lifts which must not exceed 12 seconds.
    Note: Two additional lifts may be performed but will be considered by the judges in the choreography mark. These lifts are permitted, provided they are not illegal.

  • ONE Dance Spin (chosen from Spin or Combination Spin)
    Note: One additional dance spin is permitted, but only the first performed dance spin will be identified and considered in determining the level of difficulty. If performed, the additional dance spin will be considered by the judges in marking the component of choreography. Combined Dance Spin and Lift are permitted but are counted as separate elements (as one of the permitted lifts and one dance spin)

  • TWO different Step Sequences (In Hold)
    One from Group A (Midline or Diagonal); and one from Group B (Curved, Circular or Serpentine)

    Either Step Sequence must be skated in dance holds or variations. Any separation to change a hold must not exceed one measure of music. Lifts, jumps of more than ½ rotation, stops, dance spins, pirouettes, pattern regressions and loops must not be included in either step sequence. If an illegal element is included in the step sequence (e.g. Jump of more than 1 rotation, lying on the ice etc.), the Technical Panel will call an “illegal element” and the entire Step Sequence “No Level.”

    ONE Set of Sequential Twizzles
    Two twizzles on one foot for both partners skated simultaneously with up to one step in between the Twizzles. No stops are allowed before and/or between Twizzles. The Set of Sequential Twizzles may be skated in any part of the program (except in the required Step Sequence).