What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by Rex » Thu, 09 Dec 2004 10:58:46


Remember the story of how Sandra Bezic turned the big and awkward Boitano
into the emotional, graceful leading man?  Boitano was one of the most
poised men on the ice, but I am curious about something.

Is it easier to help an "athletic" skater (read: good jumps, bad
everything else) become more graceful than it is to help an artistic and
musical skater up their technical content?

IMO, it seems that if you have the basics, which include jumping and
spinning and stroking, you can build on that more than an inherent grace,
with sloppy jumps.  Am I wrong?

 
 
 

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by Jane » Fri, 10 Dec 2004 08:30:38

Well, let me start by saying I am *most certainly* neither artist nor
athlete, being an almost - - (EEEK!  I can't even type the age here!)
skater.  BUT, I know some better *** skaters, some of whom appear to
have a natural bent for artistry and some for athletic skating.  The
problem, just my opinion, is truly connecting the two.  The artistic
skater has low jumps, yet "skates" the inbetween so much better than
the athletic skater, who appears unable to connect anything.  So,
you're wondering if I have a point.  Yes, I'm thinking that if a skater
is athletic, AND has good edges, it is much more likely that he/she can
start learning artistry.  I know a coach who swears to me she had to
"learn" her arm movements.  They did not come naturally at all.  I
think it is harder for the musical skater to become more athletic.  I
think each side of this takes a lot of work, but the artistic *** I
know has not made the gains in jump height, speed, etc., which will
help her be more competitive.  In my opinion, you are lucky if you are
born with speed and power.  I think grace can be at least imitated
convincingly....whereas power cannot.

 
 
 

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by CurtAda » Fri, 10 Dec 2004 08:53:40

Quote:
Rex writes:
>Is it easier to help an "athletic" skater (read: good jumps, bad
>everything else) become more graceful than it is to help an artistic and
>musical skater up their technical content?

Basically, yes.  Grace and style are much more learnable than raw jumping
ability.  It's rather common for jumping beans to learn to be polished,
poised skaters, but I can't think of anybody who started out as a stylish
skater but weak jumper who went on to a spectacular amateur career.


"It is better to be wrong than to be vague" - Freeman Dyson

 
 
 

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by Altern.. » Fri, 10 Dec 2004 09:08:30

I guessing it's easier to turn an athlete into an artist. That's
because some of the artistry requires a great deal of strength, skill,
coordination, and endurance. Have you noticed the legs of ballet
dancers? They bulge with muscle. It requires a great deal of strength
to make gravity look like it isn't working.
 
 
 

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by john » Sun, 12 Dec 2004 18:50:49

Quote:
> IMO, it seems that if you have the basics, which include jumping and
> spinning and stroking, you can build on that more than an inherent grace,
> with sloppy jumps.

Build what? If the sport is just that .. a sport, then it can afford to
be narrow in scope. If the sport is to have any claim to "be an art",
then it is required to allow each style to express its advantages.
A dancer / spinner should be able to structure a program without
a single jump in it, and beat a jumper. Or, the sport should have
"requireds" in every program from the different styles to offset
style advantages.

johns

 
 
 

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by Jane » Mon, 13 Dec 2004 07:49:39

I agree with you, johns. (and where have you been?  Haven't seen any of
your posts lately until this one)  I was just going to post a reply to
this same topic on rssir, will do it here first.  I had the luxury of
watching a competition two years ago now I think....  large group of
younger female skaters.  This was a showcase competition.  In other
words, "artistic" not "technical" (even though all skating is
technical..right?).  She skated a superbly choreographed program, great
flow, skating, positions, speed, power--- all of it.  Not *one single
jump* in the program.  And she won!  And she should have!  All the
other skaters in the group had jumps, some even had Axels.  It's just
that when you saw that program you KNEW she had to win.  I was hoping
she would, or I figured I might just hang my skates up.  It told me
something about the judges that day, at that particular competition.

A solution could be to have required elements in every program, but
that would defeat the idea of a purely artistic program........Sigh.  I
think there is no real solution.

I do agree that, since figure skating does claim to be "an art", there
should be allowance for artists!

 
 
 

What's Harder: Making An Athlete Into an Artist, or an Artist into an Athlete?

Post by Trudi Marrapo » Mon, 13 Dec 2004 18:45:44


Quote:

> I guessing it's easier to turn an athlete into an artist. That's
> because some of the artistry requires a great deal of strength, skill,
> coordination, and endurance. Have you noticed the legs of ballet
> dancers? They bulge with muscle. It requires a great deal of strength
> to make gravity look like it isn't working.

It's absolutely easier to turn an athlete into an artist than vice versa.
I have seen it proven time and time again. Take a look at some of the
skaters best known today for their "artistry"--many of them started out
having a reputation for being "nothing but a jumping bean" (Orser being
one of them). It was way, way easier to take, say, a Brian Orser and teach
him to pay attention to how he looked on the ice, and to skate to the
music, than to take, say, a Sebastien Britten, who instinctively
understood music and interpretation but lacked a natural talent for
jumping. and make him do a triple axel.
--
Trudi
in the home of the official Crayola "Rock and Roll Raspberry" state