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Elegance Reigned at Canadian Championships

patrick chan This year’s Canadian Figure Skating Championships featured a return to classical music, elegance and traditional skating elements.

As a spectator, it was a pleasure to see some classic elements done so well. We enjoyed incredible spiral positions, exquisite spins and well practiced, detailed arm and head movements. The days of just skating around and jumping are over and I certainly don’t miss them!

Don’t get me wrong. I know experimenting with new spin positions and modern music and choreography is important to an artist/athlete’s personal growth. Experimentation is also critical for the sport if it’s to progress and stay relevant to a younger audience. But, I must admit that I really did enjoy a return to classic music and choreography at this event.

It helps that the “new” judging system rewards elegance, awarding points for the quality of execution on every move. Along with the scoring system, we can thank choreographers David Wilson, Lori Nichol and even Scott Moir, who choreographed Jessica Dube’s lovely short program, for a return to elegance and sophistication.

It seems footwork is the one element where elegance is hard to achieve, thanks to the difficulty required to rack up points. With the exception of Patrick Chan and Cynthia Phaneuf, most skaters slowed to a halt trying to execute footwork beyond their skill level.

I’ll look forward to Worlds to see whether elegance is a Canadian trend or whether the whole world is focused on a return classic figure skating.

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