Figure Skating: Skate AmericaSascha Cohen
Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:23 AM
I realize there are the same type (or similar) issues in any sport but in most other sports the emphasis on obtaining the "gold" is not at 16 or 17 years of age.
Posted 29 October 2003 - 01:54 PM
Posted 29 October 2003 - 05:32 PM
Someone at Skidmore College did a bone density study some years ago comparing female gymnasts, college athletes and ballet dancers. The gymnasts had the greatest bone density followed by ballet dancers. In terms of overall strength the ballet dancers were every bit the equal of the gymnasts. The gymnasts and ballet dancers chosen were young adolescents.
Posted 29 October 2003 - 06:00 PM
Some girls are tiny due to genetics. They might never reach peak bone mass just due to their genes. These girls might also be poor eaters. I don't mean they are anorexic or bulimic. I mean they take in poor levels of protein, and not a correct balance of good fats and good carbs. Small framed girls who then dance or skate or do gymnastics and who eat poorly will miss periods. The low estrogen levels mean they loose bone. Then, with just the right impact, there is a stress fracture or a compression fracture etc. They will have postmenapausal bones in their teens.
Good eating habits, and a balance of foods can be the most important things for our dancers and skaters. They eat on the run, in between classes. They may skip meals, or eat too much carbs for fuel and not enough protein. And they may avoid milk and dairy as they perceive them to be too high in fats, and they loss out on the opportunity for calcium.
Speak with your doctors if your teens are missing periods. They might just need a DEXA scan for bone mineral density. It is a simple test. Ask about a baseline of spine and hip--not a quicky scan of heel or finger or wrist. It is a very safe test for a teen. And with a diagnosis of amenorrhea (missed periods) insurance should cover.
More info on the web by searching with words female athlete triad.
Posted 29 October 2003 - 08:27 PM
Posted 29 October 2003 - 11:33 PM
Thanks, Vagansmom, I'll be on the lookout--
I saw a great tour of the champions some 10 years ago at the Oakland Colosseum - The great thing about it was a Russian couple who cast such a spell over the crowd, there was no applause till the end of their dance. It was essentially one seamless adagio in which every stunt functioned as a grace note or complex ornament -- rather than being THE BIG DEAL, each was subordinate to the ovrall design, like Chopin translated into skating. THe long traverses which usually get treated just as breathers or momentum-gatherers-- by most skater-choreographers-- were phrased as a soprano would spin out a pair of tied whole notes, and the uncanny thing was to see how a crowd of 50,000 responded to these artists -- the same crowd that had been applauding stunts and doing hte wave through the traverses -- was reduced to a total hush by this couple.
The most amazing thing they did was when he let her down into a death spiral -- I think that's what they're called, where she put her feet in second position and dida huge back-bend that then I guess somehow flattened, for they slowed down to a near stop, he let her down onto the ice in a position that had lost all but the last iota of momentum, to a pregnant pause in the music -- and from there somehow she rose again, I cannot tell you how it happened, but nobody who was there will ever forget it..... I don't remember their names, but it was clear to all of us there that the Russians were committed to artistry at a level we could all acknowledge and revere, and recognize that none of the rest (talented and hard-working as they were) were working at anything near the level the Russian coaches had conceived of....
Posted 29 October 2003 - 11:50 PM
Posted 02 November 2003 - 03:55 PM
Posted 02 November 2003 - 05:24 PM
I don't recall this happening in other years...?? :shrug:
I caught a glimpse of Skate America (Pairs) yesterday...am not nearly as enamored of the long-limbed Chinese pair as Dick Buttons seems to be, but then I'm not a skater either. As I watched them, I was struck that the woman's feet always seemed flexed. Of course I know it must be difficult to point those feet in skates, but I remember coaches saying this to my daughter when she was younger so there must be something to it.....
Then today I saw a bit of the dance competition from Skate Canada. The top Russian couple (whose names escape me at the moment) had the most incredibly wonderful line...AND the feet were pointed. I'm guessing the difference is the ballet training the Russians must have. What do others say? I really know so little about skating, it's just something I've always enjoyed watching!
Posted 02 November 2003 - 06:17 PM
Thank you for the reports so far. Funny Face, I'm SURE i would have agreed with you... I love it when there's no moment where I have to look away.
Posted 02 November 2003 - 06:55 PM
As to the feet pointing or not, as well as other aspects of artistry, it's not really indigenous to any country. I believe it has more to do with what particular coaches emphasize. Case in point, while we often associate Russians with ballet, it is the American women who currently have much better spirals. It almost seems that Michelle Kwan set the bar in this respect. Other skaters coming up the ranks are following suit and trying to emulate her.
One of the things talked about a good deal in the men's competition today was what a difference it makes when a skater looks up and acknowledges the audience (Vlascenko), as opposed to looking at the ice (Honda). When I was watching this, I thought how applicable this was to dancers as well. It's so important to dance in every class with a focus that is outward directed, so that it becomes second nature when it's time to perform.
Posted 03 November 2003 - 10:04 AM
One of the most frustrating parts of watching figure skating on US TV is that not only are the events not televised live, but that after Skate America, broadcasts come after the next event are finished. Grand Prix events are scheduled weekly, beginning with Skate America (then Skate Canada, Cup of China, Trophee Lalique, Cup of Russia, and NHK Trophy).
Skate Canada has been this weekend...did they really schedule two Grand Prix events for the same weekend?? Ack!
Their names are Tatiana Totmianina and Maxim Marinin. From the description on the ISU website, they weren't flawless in either program, but even so, I can't wait to see their performances, because they have such superior line.
The top Russian couple (whose names escape me at the moment) had the most incredibly wonderful line...AND the feet were pointed.
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