Thursday, November 17, 2011

Favorite Skaters: Usova and Zhulin

The other day coach complimented me on my swing rolls (both sets of edges!). These seemed really simple when I started, but like other skating elements, as you learn them you discover there are hidden depths. There's the checking with the opposite shoulder, the pointing. of. the. toe, and the knee bend in a flow across the ice. Everything thing has to be timed correctly and you have to maintain a nice edge, good carriage, and power. It's taken me time to put everything together and get to the level of a competent beginner.

In reply to the compliment I said, "I'm channeling Maia Usova."  Pronouncing it the Dick Button way, u-SO-va.
Coach gave me a puzzled look. "Who?"

"Maia Usova, Usova and Zhulin."

Coach Frowny Face said "US-o-va."

What! Dick Button was wrong!

Anyway, these are my favorite skaters to watch for compulsory dances.  Here's my favorite one. Her expression is charming and full of life. His expression is typical Russian male--one of a long line of Frowny Faces. (Hate her dress though, it looks like a negligee'. It looks like it was designed solely with the intent of showing off her tuchus. But if you're a guy, enjoy.)

Those Choctaws and swing rolls and mohawks. Oh, My!

Love their whole presentation, the speed, the carriage and ultimately the ease they show in this dance. Zhulin just does a wonderful job at presenting Usova.

I miss the compulsory dances already. Ice dance is starting to look like adagio dancing with all the ugly extreme holds. The compulsories were what made ice dance a sport. Alas, now it's just judged entertainment.

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