Top 4 Tips Figure Skaters Can Learn from Olympic Gold Medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir

Virtue and Moir had incredible levels of difficulty in their Olympic free dance. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Virtue and Moir had incredible levels of difficulty in their Olympic free dance. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir raised ice dance to a new level this season with technical excellence, innovative moves, and smooth, flowing elegance.  They became Olympic gold medalists in the process.  Figure skaters can learn much by following Virtue and Moir’s example.  The following 4 tips are especially noteworthy:

1.  When a team is a good match, it pays to stay together.

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir teamed up in 1997.  The example of Olympic silver-medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White adds to this point.  Davis and White also teamed up in 1997.  Two long-standing partnerships had the highest results in the 2010 Olympic ice-dance event.

2.  Smooth stroking pays dividends.

Watch Virture and Moir’s stroking throughout their routines to see the flow and grace it gives them between their moves.  Stroking is one of the most important fundamentals of figure skating, and this team has used it to propel them to the top of the world.

3.  Bend your knees.

Virture and Moir’s knees give them the softness of ballet dancers.  They practically float across the ice in their free dance with their movements looking effortless.  Their knee bend gives them the ability to incorporate some of the most difficult skating maneuvers into their routines.

 

Group hug for training partners Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. (Photo by Liz Chastney

Group hug for training partners Virtue/Moir and Davis/White. (Photo by Liz Chastney)

4. You can be friends with your competitors.

Virture and Moir are close friends and training partners with Meryl Davis and Charlie White.  In an interview, Moir said:

I don’t think either of us would be where we are without the other. We help each other on our bad days, and even push it a little more on the good days. To have each other up there on the podium, side by side, it’s amazing. They’re such great people.

I’m sure they wanted to be up on the top of the podium, but they don’t show any of that to us. . . . They’re just such great friends, and they gave us the best hug.

Virtue and Moir are great role models not just for ice dancers, but for figure skaters in general.  Which of Virtue and Moir’s qualities do you find most helpful?

March 4, 2010

Inspiration from the 2009 and 2010 U.S. Ice Dance Champions, Meryl Davis and Charlie White

I’ve known this ice-dance team for many years, and we were members of Team USA together at a number of international competitions.  Both nice people, they definitely deserve this second title.  They have great footwork, intricate lifts, and amazing twizzles!

Watch this video of Meryl and Charlie’s awesome free dance from the 2010 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.  And don’t forget to watch Meryl and Charlie at the Olympics!  They compete in the compulsory dance on Friday, February 19, in the original dance on Sunday, February 21, and in the free dance on Monday, February 22.

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February 18, 2010