Ice Dance Observer – October 15, 2019

Welcome back to the ice dance observer!

As we head into the Grand Prix series this week, Anne looks back at Finlandia Trophy, which includes insight into the choreographic steps element and why three teams may have received no credit for the element.  Harumi’s photos from practice, rhythm dance and free dance at Finlandia have been posted – with more to come!

Anne and Daphne head to Las Vegas this week for Skate America, so watch for those photos and reports later this week. 

As always, thanks for reading. 

Until next time,

Daphne, Anne and TJ




by Anne Calder 

Americans Madison Chock & Evan Bates won their second 2019 Challenger Series gold by fifteen points after an eight point margin in the rhythm dance. Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu, representing China, claimed the silver medal while Betina Popova & Sergey Mozgov of Russia took home the bronze. Both the Chinese and Russians had personal best free dance scores. The 2019 World Junior Champions from Canada, Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha, were fourth in their second senior international event.

Why did three teams get “No Value” for their Choreographic Character Step Sequences?

The technical panel did not confirm the requirements for the Choreographic Character Step Sequence (ChSt1) for Chock & Bates, Lajoie & Lagha and Russians, Anastasia Shpilevaya & Grigory Smirnov.

The teams received a “No Value” for the element, which is shown as 0.00 in both the base value and GOE columns on the protocol sheet.

A technical specialist shared his expertise with IDC. One of the basic requirements is from “barrier to barrier”. It means both skaters should be able to almost touch the barrier on both sides of the rink. This is usually the main issue. They start (or end) too far from the barrier. Another requirement is that it has to be executed along the short axis / middle of the rink – usually that’s ok.

It was a costly mistake for each team. The loss of the base value (1.10) and the positive GOEs affected not only the teams’ scores, but also the final placement.

If the teams earned the same or close score as their previous 2019 Challenger event, their outcome could have been far different.

Lajoie & Lagha received a 2.59 at Lombardia. The same or close score at Finlandia added into the total could have been enough to be on the podium with their first senior international medal.

Shpilevaya & Smirnov received 2.76 also from Lombardia. The same or close score could have landed them in fifth place instead of sixth – even if by a razor thin margin.

Chock & Bates received 4.59 at the US International. A repeat or close score at Finlandia could have increased their lead in the Challenger Series Ranking.

There is no guarantee that a team could have earned a score in the same range as its previous outing, but on the other hand, there was a 50-50 chance that it could have been even higher. When a team omits a requirement and receives a “No Value”, there is no chance whatsoever.

There had not been any “No Value” calls during the current Challenger Series until the Finlandia Trophy, when there were three for the Choreographic Character Step Sequence.

Last season in the major senior international events – Challenger Series, Grand Prix Series and Championships – only two Choreographic Elements were not confirmed. Both were Choreographic Lifts. The Grand Prix Series begins this weekend – the technical panel is watching!