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Thursday, 6 February 2014

You Be the Judge, er, Technical Specialist: Evaluating the Key Points of the Finnstep at ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014

The purpose of this post is to give readers the opportunity to apply their knowledge of the key points of the Finnstep in reviewing the top three teams at the ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Championships 2014. We have provided videos of the Finnsteps in their entirety along with gifs of their key points. We have reiterated what you should be looking for in each of the key points and also identified common errors based on what we have seen this season. We encourage you to slow the videos down and pause them at moments of weight transfer to judge correct blade placement or at the commencement of rotation in the twizzles to determine if the correct number of rotations have been completed.


Ideally, we would have access to the footage used by the technical panel in evaluating these pattern dances, but we still think this exercise can be valuable in understanding what is happening in the key points.

Here is the protocol for this segment of the event.

And here are the videos of the Finnsteps:

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:

video



Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:

video


Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:

video


Finnstep Section I

Key Point 1
Lady & Man Steps 1 & 4 (XB-RF, XB-LF) 
and Lady Step 12 (LFO Tw1½)

You are looking for each partner to cross the right foot behind the left (below the knee) for the first step and then the left foot behind the right (again below the knee) for the fourth step. Soon after (step 12) the female partner enters into 1.5 twizzles from a left forward outside entry edge.
Mistakes on this key point usually occur on step 12, the lady’s twizzle of 1.5 rotations entered into on a left forward outside edge. This twizzle has to be performed very quickly according to the timing rules of this pattern and thus it is easy to lose balance on this step.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:





Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:





Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:




Key Point 2
Lady Steps 20-21
(XB-LBO, XF-RBI/RBI Tw1½/RFO)

You are looking for the female partner to cross her left foot behind her right foot (below the knee) on a back outside edge and then cross her right foot in front of her left foot (also below the knee) on a back inside edge. Errors on this key point most commonly occur on the next part where the female partner twizzles 1.5 rotations entering on that same right forward inside edge and exiting on a right forward outside edge. It is usually the exit edge not being a clear outside edge that causes the key point to be missed and thus the level to be reduced.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:



Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:



Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:



Key Point 3
Man Steps 20-21
(XB-LFI, RFO-Sw3/RBI Tw1/RBI)

You are looking for the male partner to cross his left foot behind his right on a forward inside edge and then cross his right foot in front of his left and then enter into a swing three turn  on a forward outside edge, exiting this turn on a right back inside edge. This edge becomes the entry edge for the single twizzle that follows, and the male partner exits this twizzle on the same right back inside edge. Errors on this key point most often occur due to the man not showing a clear inside edge on the cross step (he either hits a flat or shows an outside edge) or on the exit of the twizzle.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:



Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:



Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:



Finnstep Section II

Key Point 1
Lady Steps 32 & 33 (LFO Sw-ClCho, 
RBI/RBO/RBO Tw1½/RFI slide into stop)


You are looking for the female partner to move forward on her left foot on an outside edge and swing her right leg forward and step onto a right back inside edge (swing closed choctaw on left forward outside edge). The female partner then changes to a right back outside edge which is the entry edge for the 1.5 twizzle. She exits this twizzle on a right forward inside edge and slides to a halt on this edge. Errors on this key point are likely to occur on the exit edge of the swing closed choctaw: sometimes the skater fails to step down on a clear inside edge on the exit. An error may also occur on the twizzle, with the skater not showing continuous rotation.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:



Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:



Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:



Key Point 2
Man Steps 32 to 33c (LFO Sw-ClCho, RBI 
OpMo, LFI, RFI/RFI Tw1/RFI slide into 
stop)

You are looking for the male partner to move forward on his left foot on an outside edge and swing his right leg forward and step onto a right back inside edge (swing closed choctaw on left forward outside edge). The male partner then performs an open mohawk on this same right back inside edge, bringing the left foot in front of his right and placing that left foot on a forward inside edge. He then steps onto his right forward inside edge and performs a single twizzle, exiting on a right forward inside edge and sliding to a halt on this edge. Errors on this key point are likely to occur on the exit edge of the swing closed choctaw: sometimes the skater fails to step down on a clear inside edge on the exit. An error may also occur on the twizzle, with the skater not showing continuous rotation.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:



Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:



Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:



Key Point 3
Lady & Man Steps 64 & 65 (LFI XBClCho, RBO3/RFI Tw1½)

Both partners use  left forward inside entry edges and bring their right legs behind their left and cross the right foot behind the left foot on a back outside edge (LFI XBClCho). On this same right back outside edge they each perform a three turn with the free leg extended. They then bring the free leg in for the twizzle of 1.5 rotations. Errors on this step commonly occur on the weight transfer in the choctaw, with one or both partners not placing the right foot on a clear outside edge.

Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier:



Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue:



Alexandra Aldridge/Daniel Eaton:



Based on these videos and gifs, how would you assess the key points of the top three teams at the 2014 ISU Four Continents Championships? Let us know in the comments section!

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