View Full Version : About This Baby Ballerina Thing

March 15th, 2000, 08:00 PM
I have to make a comment on Dick Button's rants about the new "baby ballerina's".

The man that introduced the baby ballerina to the world, George Ballanchine also said, "When you're young you dance steps, someone tells what to do and you do it, it takes someone older to 'really' dance."

Even Ballanchine wasn't so foolish as to "write off" his brilliant ballerinas for what might turn out to be the unfullfilled potential of newer models.

Perhaps Mr. Button should keep this in mind the next time he has the urge to break into song!!!

March 16th, 2000, 03:18 PM
Amen jenjay!

March 17th, 2000, 09:33 AM
Jenjay, I'm not absolutely convinced from his commentary that Mr. Button really knows much of anything about ballet, anyway. A pointed toe does not a ballerina make.

March 17th, 2000, 01:08 PM
I seem to remember Dick calling the ladies gladiatresses or something like that. Does anyone remember when he came up with that beauty of a comment?

Do you think dick ever hears the playback of some of his commentary and say "what the H_ll was I thinking"?

March 17th, 2000, 04:17 PM
You know, I've been really put off by the term <!--EZCODE BOLD START-->"baby ballerinas"<!--EZCODE BOLD END--> since I first heard it and I couldn't figure out why.

Until now.....

What bothers me about this term is that it reminds me of the 2-year-olds at the dance studio where I used to take tap. Little, little girls, dressed in pink frilly tutus with Pampers peeking out from the bottom sides of their leotards and standing around with noses dripping and that <!--EZCODE BOLD START-->"deer caught in the headlights"<!--EZCODE BOLD END--> kind of look in their eyes.

Now this may be cute enough on a 2-year-old, but I'm having a hard time trying to keep from superimposing that image over the pictures of the young ladies that Uncle Dickie is referring to as "baby ballerinas"!!

BTW - ITA about the pointed toe comment. I might also add that jumps alone do not a figure skater make. <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START ;) --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/wink.gif ALT=";)"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON STOP-->

March 18th, 2000, 05:56 AM
SW and Deetles, ITA. Not only does a pointed toe (or good flexibility) make a ballerina, it doesn't even make a necessarily good skater, either.

"Baby ballerinas", when first coined, had a slightly perjorative meaning, although the press picked up on it with glee. This was originally the other dancers' term for those who were recruited into companies when extremely young dancers were in vogue, not a trend that the dancers necessarily approved of.

Anyway, I wish he'd quit saying it. And if he comes out with "Thank Heaven for Little Girls" again, I'm going to ask for his press credentials to be taken away. That's really quite patronizing and insulting to all the new seniors, who am I sure would rather be regarded as skaters than as adorable young things.

March 18th, 2000, 01:08 PM
Not only that SJB but it is really insulting to the people that know how to sing. Someone needs to tell Uncle Dickie that he needs to stick with his day job.

March 18th, 2000, 09:41 PM
Beth 2000Or give up his day job---and go sing someplace else!!!!!!!

March 20th, 2000, 08:52 AM

I was appalled by both the Thank Heaven for Little Girls song and the baby ballerina comments, less because of Uncle Dickie's horrible voice, but because they smacked of sexism and ageism and encouraged body-type discrimination all at once. The implication was that in Dickie's opinion at last, female figure skaters are all supposed to be frail and child-like, lacking maturity of body or in their skating. Further, using the Thank Heavens for Little Girls song made Uncle Dickie look like a lecher at best or even a pedophile, because the opening version of the song in the musical Gigi was of a prurient nature, of a "light-heartedly" prurient nature appropriate to the theme of the musical, but prurient nonetheless, for the context was an old roue, who preys on fresh young courtesans and discards them as they approach thirty, who is sizing up the new crop of adolescent courtesans-to-be. It made me wonder about Uncle Dickie. I hope ABC gave him a stern lecture, but I doubt it--he was so offensive in those comments and the Angela N. "refrigerator break" comment, that I suspected he had been given carte blanche by ABC to "enliven" the commentary. Personally, I would have fired or suspended him at the least had I been a female executive with ABC Sports.

In any case, I hope he reads himself being characterized as "Uncle Dickie" and hates it, because I will never again think of him as a respectable commentator, but as a crotchety, leering, dirty old man.

March 20th, 2000, 09:54 AM
Armchairskater I am all ready there! I wouldn't trust Uncle Dickie if he was the last man on earth!

March 20th, 2000, 02:31 PM
I am fond of Dick. To me, he's like a senile old uncle who sits and talks indiscriminately and doesn't always make sense.

He adds a little comic relief. Just think of the fodder for discussion he adds whenever he's on - hilarious Sometimes his commentary is spot on, if he has someone to reign him in. Brian Boitano did a good job of that. It's gotten much worse lately. Sometimes he just babbles and babbles to the point where he can't get a coherennt thought out. Especially if he gets too excited. Have you ever noticed that? He'll start out ok, work himself into a frenzy and then he can't utter an intelligible word. Poor Peggy.

Seriously, I wonder wen ABC is going to do something about getting a replacement ready for him. Because clearly, his best days are behind him. But, strange as it may seem, I don't want him gone completely, because, like I said, I am fond of him.

March 20th, 2000, 05:36 PM
Sort of like a senile, blind, toothless old dog one ought to put out of its misery only one's too fond of it to do the humane thing and put it down? <!--EZCODE EMOTICON START :evil --><img src=http://www.ezboard.com/intl/aenglish/images/emoticons/devil.gif ALT=":evil"><!--EZCODE EMOTICON STOP-->

March 20th, 2000, 08:28 PM
I ran over that gladiatoresses(sp?) Dickie made. It was at '97 worlds and it was one of Dick's most memorable quotes IMO. He makes skating interesting and funny.

March 21st, 2000, 06:45 AM
well, I wouldn't go that far..hahahaha toothless, blind old dog??!! hahahahaaa I do however have an almost toothless aging cat and he is getting a bit off his game, but I couldn't dare to part with him until it is time for him to go.

I think Dick has a few more years, but I wouldn't make him the lead commentator anymore. But the dilemna is who's out there that can take his place??? (it's a rhetorical question - I really would rather not get into a Peter C. stinks kind of discussion).

Jason, was that gladiatress thing really 97? so who were the gladiatresses? Tara, Nicole and Michelle??!! hahahahaa, you gotta love him...

March 21st, 2000, 10:16 AM
Gina, I said <!--EZCODE BOLD START--> senile and blind <!--EZCODE BOLD END--> as well as toothless! I'm not advocating putting them down for less than perfect dental work, or I'd have to take care of bad tempered old Snaggletooth (my affection nickname for Samantha the Psycho Cat), who broke off part of one of her fangs no doubt sinking it into someone or something she shouldn't have been biting....

March 21st, 2000, 11:10 AM
Point taken. I didn't really think you wanted to do away with animals. snaggletooth? I like it. My cat is missing 3 fangs.

my cat was given to me by an old boyfriend, who in a very perverted twist decided to call him Mookie for a Mets player (I am a Yankee fan). My Mooker is as wussy as they come. So when he smiles (I like to think he smiles) he looks pretty funny. But I'm nuts about him.

What oh what is Dick going to do without baby ballerinas at worlds???!!

March 21st, 2000, 01:21 PM
The 'Baby Balerina' really didn't win that silver medal after all...

After watching my Nationals tape over and over again I realized one really important thing. Sasha only landed 3!!! Clean triples. That triple salchow that looked so wrong to me gave me an urge to look at it in slow-motion. I don't know why but it was just off. After examining it several times I came to the almighty conclusion. She two footed the landing when her leg swung to the side. She left a clear toe-pick scape mark on the ice and since she landed this particular jump right in front of the judges there is no way they could have missed it unless they just felt like it. I don't understand how a skater receives 5.8's for technical merit when they flutz, have 2 2-footed landing and fall of the easiest of triples.

Maybe I'm ranting but poor Sarah was so robbed (Again) of a silver medal. Hope this doesn't happen again and that the judges pay attention...

March 24th, 2000, 04:59 AM
IMO, Sarah wasn't robbed at Nationals. Her triple/triple was cheated. Both jumps were a quarter of a turn short on the landing and therefore don't count. What was left was a flutz with poor picking technique, not very high, a scrucnhy landing, and not in combination, and a flip with the same kind of technical flaws. Her triple toe was okay, but not very high. If you're going to pick apart the other "baby ballerinas," you must look closely at this one too. That's only fair.

March 25th, 2000, 03:52 AM
OK Sampson. Fair is fair and what you said is true to a certain extent. Sarah did flutz her lutz (At the very last moment) and her picking technique is not great and yes, that landing was bad but certainly complete. Opposed to someone who clearly and distinctly two-footed twice it's not a huge distinction but a viable one. The reason Sarah didn't combination her lutz/flutz was probably because she singled the second jump in her triple/triple and was probably thinking of adding the triple loop on the second salchow but who knows. And they are only allowed to perform three jump combinations. The triple/triple however was not cheated though. After also reviewing the tape very nit-picky (Like I always do) it is important to know that the first quarter-turn of the salchow and loop are performed on the take-off so when she lands it appears a quarter turn short. Sarah just didn't finish her rotation before the landing (Which she needs to do or it will catch up to her) This is also true of Irina Slutskaya, whom many thought she underroted the 3lutz/3loop and 3sal/3loop combinations. They just look weird when you just watch but are certainly complete. As for height Sasha has jump technique ala Tara Lipinski style where she rotates very quickly but gets no real height. Sarah also doesn't have the best height on all of her jumps but she is getting there. They both exhibit the same kind of technical flaws that must be corrected, but in this particular competition, Sarah had the advantage. I'm only going on technique cause presentation I could ramble about all day. But you are correct. The baby ballerinas have their work cut out for them.

March 25th, 2000, 07:34 AM
......Look again my friend. The lutz, flip, and toe are certainly much higher than Hughes. Also, ask Paul Martini whose write-up's of US Nationals were very complimentary of Cohen's jumping.

March 26th, 2000, 02:31 AM
That's right. No Height. When you're 4'08" it can be decieving in comparison to someone who's 5'05". And sorry, but her double toe-loop in combination has only 6 inches of height in comparison to her lutz or flip that has maybe 1-1 1/2 feet of height. And, IMO only and this is not intended as a bash, but I have no interest in someone who compliments someone's jump technique when another skater attempts and lands triple/triple combinations and another doesn't attempt or land and can hardly land a triple/double. Like I said. I'm not trying to bash but take it like you will. Sasha still needs some better height in her jumps, but like I said, so does Sarah...not to mention Naomi Nari Nam. The only skaters out there with good jumping height are Michelle K., Irina S., Victoria V. and Anna R. (Who in my opinion has the highest jumps out there). But I'd like to end this little debate. I have my opinion, and Sampson you have yours. I respect your opinions and the fact you voice them. But I don't want to go back and forth with this. Well, here's hoping to a good Worlds and no matter who ends up witht he gold, I should be happy!!!