Ilinykh & Zhiganshin expectations vs realities

Cup of China 2015

After a great last season (great for a new-made pair) Elena Ilinykh and Ruslan Zhiganshin got lots of fans and lots of expectations too. Not only from their fans but also from the Russian Federation who need a strong ice dance team to fight for return of the three spots for Worlds 2016 and highly desirable for medals at main competitons of the season.

Elena and Ruslan got pretty high marks at ISU senior B event in Saransk, but I won’t take this marks seriously because it was a kind of home competition for them with generous home scores. Their first serious competition of the season was Cup of China. Usually, Cup of China is considering as a frendly GP-event for the Russian skaters. But I can’t tell that Ilinykh and Zhiganshin got high marks. So, lets discuss the perspectives.

I haven’t liked the music for their SD from the begianing. Ilinykh and Zhiganshin is a pair that have beautiful lines, great skating skills and totally can afford to skate a waltz to a powerful classical piece of music. I think an ability to skate a nice classical waltz it’s a huge andvantage, so I really don’t understand why they decided to go creative instead.

Ok, Somebody to love sounds pretty good and their first part of the dance looks solid. The problems start with the march part. We will rock you isn’t a good choice for ice dancing and especially for a step sequence in hold. It’s great for dances on the floor when lots of people are doing not difficult synchronised and rythmical moves. But it’s difficult to adapt such music for figure skating needs. So, I wasn’t surprised when it hasn’t worked out.

The second part of the short dance looks weaker than the first. But they don’t have time to make another short dance before Russian National (and that will be the most important competition for them). So, I would concentrate rather on technical side of the dance, all level four can magically influence the components scores.

I expected a lot from their free dance to Frida OST. It look stronger and more powerful than the SD, but the performance wasn’t impressive at Cup of China. Lots of fuss and unfinished moves. The dance need polishing. Less amount of passionate facial expresions will also help this dance to look more expensive. And the main problem is lifts. They don’t look confident, easy or impressive and Elena & Ruslan are loosing points on this element. They need to skate clean and with sparkles at Cup of Russia or……the Russian Federation will pick another team as their favorite.

I also don’t think that their costumes for FD are perfect, maybe they will try something else. See here some suggestions.

Comments are welcome.

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