Dancing On Ice TX1 Has Come & Gone
What Did We Learn About the Teams Who Skated?
Thanks to all of you who have checked out this blog, and especially commented on it. It’s fun to respond to your questions. Ask more!
I’m going to primarily focus on the actual performances in this post, rather than how popularity/voting may influence outcome. I’ll come back to that once everyone has skated. I’m also thinking of doing a post about how I would approach judging – what I’d be looking for and why. Let me know if that is of interest.
To give a bit more of my background, besides my years of competitive figure skating experience, coaching and time on Dancing On Ice, I have also been a US Figure Skating judge. In addition, I’ve also been a competitive ballroom dancer. These roles have given me a good understanding of what is really supposed to be happening out there on the ice! Let me know what you think too.
In the order they skated:
Jane Danson & Sylvain Longchambon
Jane did nice toe steps and assisted back cross overs. She needs to soften more in the knees, but the program was nicely done and she can improve well over the course of the show. She isn’t comfortable on edges on one foot, and this is important for doing more on her own on the ice. She also needs to work on stopping, as it’s clear she can’t do that now. Good performance factor.
Didi Conn & Lukasz Rozycki
Well done with knee bend in standard stroking, but she is generally keeping her weight on the backside of her blades. She needs to learn that knee bend translates into the ankles as well and she needs to find center of gravity over the ankles. She isn’t comfortable on the ice because of this, but she can improve a lot if she can find this center of gravity.
As to performance, I love that they used the music from Grease, and – maybe because she is such an icon – I expected more from the performance. I know it’s in there, so don’t be shy!!
Saara Aalto & Hamish Gaman
OK, I was looking forward to seeing these two, but it was too conservative... If she can skate, let her skate! The lifts were weak and the comfort of skating together was lacking. She seemed more comfortable skating on her own than partnered. I expected much more of someone who was at such a high level initially, but I’m guessing there may have been some limits on time skating together because Hamish has lots of lifting and partnering experience.
Saara needs to improve her knee and ankle bend in her own skating to develop rhythmic motion. She also needs to learn how to hold herself. I still think this team has a ton of potential – Saara is a great example of my point about those who skated as children having No Fear (OMG, this is like- actually their team name🤯) but she needs to advance from the ability to comfortably move on the ice to actual “figure skating,” which will make a big difference in her performance factor.
I do agree with Jason that the choreography was limiting. Some of it was a direct pull of moves from last year’s programs, and nothing stood out as really specific to Saara and her style. I think this team can advance to be real standouts with a bit more time together on the ice and some creative tweaks.
James Jordan & Alexandra Lukasz
I told you I wasn’t buying the “I’ve no clue what I’m doing” story line!
James is very comfortable on his skates: good knee bend and transition into power, comfortable transitioning through the rock of his skates. I felt from the beginning that the make or break factor for James would be the ability to use the heel ball transition from dance and transition it to the ice to achieve power and glide. He’s done that, plus he has great performance quality. James is starting where the previous season left off! It will be difficult to improve but the strong potential is there.
Group Skate with Week 2 Teams
Simply put, I agree with Jason. Funny, while he wasn’t really a fan of mine, I generally do agree with Jason. I’m just a tad less acerbic about how I communicate it…most of the time, anyway.
Mark Little & Brianne Delcourt
Well, we know this team is in the skate off, but for me that could have been a toss up with a couple of other teams.
Back to the skating: well, there could have been a bit more of it, though there was a 3-turn…They looked like they were having fun. I’d love to see that enthusiasm with a bit more skating.
Maybe the PTB needed to give him a concept more than, “Hey, I’m an Aussie at a drink stand,” for him to get fully engaged.
But, wait, I’ve seen this set before – the drink stand – was it shipwrecked during transport from Club Tropicana to Down Under?
Gemma Collins & Matt Evers
I still think Gemma can learn to skate but she didn’t show it here. In fairness, it’s hard to learn if the basics aren’t in place. I mean, during her Masterclass, Gemma’s skates aren’t even tied correctly...learning to do that might be a good starting point.
So, while there was a reasonable attempt at back cross over, beyond that, no skating was achieved at all. She hasn’t found where she needs to be on the blades of her skates and how to find the center of her body in relation to the ice. She is capable of improving, but she has to care enough about skating to learn the physics of skating and why it works the way it does. Why? Size is not determinative, but there is less room for error: consider the size & shape of typical gymnasts - there’s a reason they are petite. It’s called physics. But, the hardest thing to overcome is mindset and perspective, and if the booty shake, semi-split and hair flick gets the votes, where’s the incentive to skate?
Then there’s the gold feathers: Who Wore It Better?
Until next week-
If you have any questions or comments, please comment below. I’ll do my best to reply. However, nasty comments, spam and such will be deleted – my discretion. I’m happy to engage in dialogue, but you won’t find me trash talking Dancing On Ice, the celebrities or skating professionals here, and I won’t have that on my website.
Thanks for reading!!