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Thread: Why the lack of interest in pairs?

  1. #1
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Why the lack of interest in pairs?

    Pairs is by my favorite discipline, mainly because of the range of elements being performed as well as the perfect combination between art and athleticism involved between the two partners. It's just so exciting to watch! In singles, its just jumps and spins and an occasional sequence, in dance, its step sequences, lifts, twizzles/spin, but pairs have lifts/twist lifts, throws, jumps, spins, sequences, death spirals. So why are other disciplines more popular. Ladies/men I sort of get, but I cannot understand any reason why Ice dance is more popular than pairs, especially when to a casual viewer ice dance cannot really be understood properly. I'm thinking it it is due to the fact that pairs has traditionally been Soviet dominated so there hasn't been as much of a tradition to watch it in some of these Western countries (maybe?).

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    🍿I Pop the Corn🍿 Sam-Skwantch's Avatar
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    For me it’s a lot less of a lack of interest than it is a lack of time. It’s tough enough to keep up with one discipline let alone two. For the time being it’s the ladies who get my attention the most but I think pairs will be the next discipline I get into.

    Right now K/S are my favorites to follow but I’m totally amazed by Sui/Han and watch them any chance I get

  3. #3
    On the Ice
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    I'd be more interested if they'd left me Yu/Jin...

    I have a hard time with both dance and pairs for different reasons (spacing out and boredom vs lack of aesthetical appreciation) but I really like J/C in France, and I like S/H and S/M. My guess is that dance tries to be pretty and the partners try to have a connection whereas pairs can look a little disjointed as a discipline. Paris seem to have the worst programs between the 4 disciplines. The ones who are the most popular are interestingly enough the ones with a little something. (even T/M have a little something).

    I also have the feeling pairs are not maxed out technically? The ladies are pushing backloading and tanos, mens do quads, dance is going ever more conceptual and complex and pairs is kind of the balance beam of figure skating, without a proper identity.

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    Bona Fide Member Crossover's Avatar
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    From my experience that I've tried to persuade my friends - who only watch ladies's figure skating during Olympics (they claimed they're genuine FS fans..well ) - to get more interested in figure skating, they thought pairs is like acrobatics. They said it looked scary and dangerous as well as less artistic than ladies. Therefore, while it was exciting to watch to some extent, they said there are tons of more exciting and familiar sport, so why bother learning difficult rules and following it? They said men wearing glittering shirts and tight pants is like male ballet dancers wearing white tights. They think figure skating is primarily ladies' sport. They didn't get interested in ice dance as well although dancers were very beautiful and graceful. However, I think your question is more towards long time FS fans though.

    Pairs is one of most favorite disciplines, so my main interest for this season is whether Savchenko finally can be an Olympic champion, or Sui/Han take the title as many predict. Of course, there would be other alternative results than I desire. If I have no time watching all disciplines, I watch pairs first and then men. Ice dance and ladies are next at this moment.

  5. #5
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    pairs is often the discipline i watch with the most enthusiasm for the reasons pointed out by the OP... Variety.

    However, I think that it's less popular simply because it's dominated by a few countries. It's the least universal discipline. It also requires a lot more time to develop and rare are teams that stay together from novice/junior age until seniors. Many teams break up.... etc

    What I also love with pairs is that teams can really max out on their own strengths... for instance D/R max out BV in jumps and have a quad throw.
    Other teams have a quad twist. Some teams earn huge points with their perfect lines and connection...

    Also, there are a lot of beautiful moments in choreography because pairs is not as restrictive as dance is.

  6. #6
    On the Ice reneerose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbob View Post
    Pairs is by my favorite discipline, mainly because of the range of elements being performed as well as the perfect combination between art and athleticism involved between the two partners. It's just so exciting to watch! In singles, its just jumps and spins and an occasional sequence, in dance, its step sequences, lifts, twizzles/spin, but pairs have lifts/twist lifts, throws, jumps, spins, sequences, death spirals. So why are other disciplines more popular. Ladies/men I sort of get, but I cannot understand any reason why Ice dance is more popular than pairs, especially when to a casual viewer ice dance cannot really be understood properly. I'm thinking it it is due to the fact that pairs has traditionally been Soviet dominated so there hasn't been as much of a tradition to watch it in some of these Western countries (maybe?).
    Pairs is very exciting to watch! I prefer it over ice dance. A casual skating fan just goes with watching the individual disciplines , i.e. men's and women's. Probably another factor is that pairs are short shrifted when it comes to primetime broadcasting. Hopefully all of the livestreaming NBC plans to do will rectify that at least here in the States.

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    Well, from my standpoint, it has become difficult to get attached to a US pair because they never seem to last more than a couple of seasons. I finally gave up hope when Caitlin and John broke up after winning Nationals in 2011. Most of you know that that was the last time I went to Nationals.....I was so excited for the future......Then, they broke up. After that, I stopped putting my heart into pairs. It's the volatility that keeps me from becoming invested in pairs and unfortunately, I don't see things improving in the US.

  8. #8
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    To people on this site we are the fanatics when it comes to skating but it is hard for the average olympic fan or sports fan to learn all the rules or understand teh scoring system. Ladies is one of the the premier events. In Men's the Americans usually always have a contender and they are one of the biggest viewers along with Japan and China who have top male competitors. Ice Dance right now is poopular and you have several top North American teams so they have a large market. Pairs top teams are the most part not really North American and couple that perhaps not the most engaging personalities. Add to that while Si and Han are gorgeous skaters they are nothing new. They are arguably Shen and Zhou but for whatever reason their personalitiesdo notshineo n or off the ice. With Rodina and Zaitzev you hard her fire and amazingskating record. With G and G you had beauty and romance, and magic.. EVen artur and hispartners had such fire. But now you just have a pretty gracefuland lyrical team and not particularly distinguishable.

  9. #9
    I got cat class and I got cat style ♪ solar's Avatar
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    Pairs has always been a favorite of mine, and I've had a growing interest in it the last few years due to the competitiveness of the top teams To me, it's the most complicated and maybe even the most dangerous event out of all four of them. Those pairs girls are the most fearless skaters I know! I've always enjoyed the event but I've noticed that it's not the most popular one. Maybe pairs skaters are less marketable? Many pairs tend to split up or change partners sporadically so it's difficult to create a following. I don't really have a theory, but I do think pairs deserves more recognition! Especially now.

  10. #10
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    I'm sure Pairs is the favorite discipline for the Chinese, and understandably the least favorite in the U.S.

    eta. solar brought up the issue of stability of the Pairs partnership and this is another contrast between the (very successful) Chineses Pairs and the U.S. counterparts. The Chinese Pairs tend to stay together for 18 years and then they get married whereas the American Pairs break up and search for new partners every year. (All generally speaking for effect, in case some people want to admonish me on account of specific cases.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Bliss View Post
    I'm sure Pairs is the favorite discipline for the Chinese, and understandably the least favorite in the U.S.
    True....For now, we live vicariously through our neighbors to the north, Canada.

  12. #12
    I got cat class and I got cat style ♪ solar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Violet Bliss View Post
    I'm sure Pairs is the favorite discipline for the Chinese, and understandably the least favorite in the U.S.
    I was thinking about this, and how it must be true for Japan too since Japan doesn't have any competitive pairs at the moment. Places like the US and Japan are home to many figure skating fans, maybe the discipline is not as popular in general since it's not as universally represented competitively

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    Tripping on the Podium Sam L's Avatar
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    I don’t like Pairs as much because I see pairs as being too acrobatic.

    I like singles because of jumps and spins. I like ice dance for the skating skills/edges.

    Having said that Sui/Han are one of my favourite skaters.

  14. #14
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    I really like pairs. The hard part, as mentioned above, is that the US pairs don't stay together long enough to get attached to them. I don't think it's for lack of talent, maybe it's for lack of coaching expertise, but you look at the Russians and the Japanese and they have such unity and skate as one. The Knierems come close, but, I think the best pair team we've had in recent years is Denney and Coughlin. I felt they were truly competitive internationally. Once you get past the Knierems it's pretty sparse.

  15. #15
    On the Ice Mrs. P's Avatar
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    It's odd. I enjoy watching pairs when the time allows me and I really like a lot of pairs -- Kavaguti/Smirnov (when they were in competition), Sui/Han, Savchenko/Massot, Peng/Jin, James/Cipres, Denney/Frazier, among many others. But for some reason it's not a huge priority.

    I agree with Sam that time is a time thing. Dance and Men are my top priorities. I think for me both of those disciplines are really unpredictable and there's a sense of parity among the top 8 or so skaters/couples in those two disciplines so it's fun to track.

    That's not so much the case in Ladies or Pairs.

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