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Author Topic: Same Gender Pairs Skating  (Read 3451 times)

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Offline riley876

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Same Gender Pairs Skating
« on: April 07, 2016, 09:19:43 PM »
In the inline slalom world, it's perfectly natural for pairs teams to the be same gender.

e.g.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLqywvZKS8M

What went wrong with the culture of ice skating that similar pairs things are considered "squicky"?  (Apart from the existence of "Blades Of Glory")

One of the reasons why I'm very fond of the Shibutanis (and the Kerrs for that matter) is exactly that their routines are exactly not sexual.   Just plain and genuine sibling affection that shines through.    As opposed to the plethora of fake "love affairs" on ice.   Yawn.  Whatever.   I don't believe it anymore anyway.

( Rant done ;) )



Offline beginner skater

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2016, 04:29:57 AM »
I don't watch a lot of skating, but did see the Shibs doing a very sexual routine. Dont think I took it that way cos I'm a Brit!

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2016, 04:34:14 AM »
In ISI competitions, don't they have a "similar pairs" category?  I know at my rink growing up some of the girls used to do these.  And we'd compete in "shadow" dancing which is the same idea but the same gender and not in holds (presumably because the guys steps are different and no one knew them!).

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2016, 05:53:14 AM »
Augment same-sex pairs to same-sex group affair ... voila, synchro skate!

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2016, 03:30:35 PM »
ISI has no issue with similar pairs or transgender skaters. We had a transgendered skater on the boards a couple of years ago, but she only posted a couple of times.

I know of a similar pairs team--male--who skated together, they were father and son, so really no issue.

USFS says pairs are a 'man and a lady', but that's to put them into alignment with the ISU, which is the representative figure skating organization to the Olympics.  What USFS does is to align the organization with the Olympics--that is their only goal.
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Offline riley876

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2016, 04:09:02 PM »
Augment same-sex pairs to same-sex group affair ... voila, synchro skate!

LOL, perhaps  it's all just a matter of interpretation.   Though I do appreciate those with tongue firmly placed in cheek:  e.g.  the first routine in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeUjZS6LTJE&t=30s .  "Love quadrangle" with predictable outcome! (call me a cynic).

ISI has no issue with similar pairs...

Oh that's awesome.  Didn't know that.  Good on them

I know of a similar pairs team--male--who skated together, they were father and son, so really no issue.

I was thinking we need a Brother/Brother combo to break the ice and show the world how awesome it could be.  Or Sis/sis.   ahem, Gracie and Carly, where are you?

Here's another skating discipline where same gender pairs are meaningless.   Shuffle skating:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4YPAKz3QiM

( Doco about shuffle skating for those interested https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdbLPSsTnUU )

(Bonus clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfG5dP-RsJQ  showing lots of guys wearing white boots *gasp*.  Sigh, which is another really stupid ice taboo).

Which brings me to another rant.  Ice skating seems entirely missing this social dance thing.    Which is a huge shame.

Yes I know this was the whole original point of the set pattern dances (European Waltz etc).  And I know there are a handful of clubs around that still do this.  But it's all way too hard.   Only those who are supremely dedicated can get to the point of even doing the patterns,  and those people are so 100% focussed on their training,  that they'd never want to waste valuable ice time dancing socially!   And who would want to try to socially skate in the vicinity of hockey idiots and abandoned skatemate frames anyway?     And if you get your Ravensburger Waltz up to scratch,  who are you going to socially dance it with anyway?  Good luck there.

Shuffle skating on wheels however can be as simple or complex as you want it.   And public sessions in roller rinks are from what I can tell, on average so much better policed, so that you actually shuffle skate there.  (My rink not included!).

This sort of stuff never turns up on most figure's skaters radars.

So many lost opportunities....   Makes me sad.

Offline riley876

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2016, 04:25:13 PM »
Bonus same gender pairs skating:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL5llzNkuRo

It's still depressingly boringly sexual,  but it's an interesting watch nevertheless.    Despite all that, it's still one of my fav routines to watch (even though it's not world class skating either).   What it *doesn't* have is the usual hetero courtship vibe with all it's unbalanced power dynamics.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2016, 05:14:51 PM »
Just want to say my rink has had several similar pairs at local comps in artistic and light entertainment.

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Offline twinskaters

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2016, 08:32:34 PM »
My girls would love to compete as a pair. They do a duet for the rink's ice show every year, usually trying to play off the twin thing in some way. But when it's competition time, it's singles and synchro only. :(

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2016, 07:06:42 AM »
Actually, various combos in skating should be viable.  In tennis, there are men's doubles, ladies' doubles, and mixed doubles.  Perhaps comparing figure skating to tennis is not en pointe.  Here's a better analogy.  One of my favorite TV shows is So You Think You Can Dance.  Over the years, the show has evolved from solos and traditional male-female couples to anything goes:  all-male group ensemble, all-female group ensemble, male-female group ensemble, male-female couple, male-male couple, female-female couple, and solos.  And I do mean couple, rather than mere side-by-side duet (although that is done too).  With the right dancers and choreographers, they all work; and there was no controversy.

Offline tstop4me

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2016, 07:27:25 AM »

Which brings me to another rant.  Ice skating seems entirely missing this social dance thing.    Which is a huge shame.

Yes I know this was the whole original point of the set pattern dances (European Waltz etc).  And I know there are a handful of clubs around that still do this.  But it's all way too hard.   Only those who are supremely dedicated can get to the point of even doing the patterns,  and those people are so 100% focussed on their training,  that they'd never want to waste valuable ice time dancing socially!   And who would want to try to socially skate in the vicinity of hockey idiots and abandoned skatemate frames anyway?     And if you get your Ravensburger Waltz up to scratch,  who are you going to socially dance it with anyway?  Good luck there.


Ah, this rant brings back bad memories.  Many years ago, when I was working full-time weekdays, I skated regularly only during Sun morn public session (Sat was a total zoo).  During vacations and random days off, however, I would go to a weekday morn public session.  Turns out there was a senior-citizen dance club (~10 retirees) that skated every weekday morn during public.  Both for skating and socializing.  Well, bravo for them.  Except they totally forgot it was a public session and behaved like it was a closed private session.  They didn't care for outsiders encroaching upon "their" turf and expected everyone else to yield as they swooped around the ice.  They even complained to the guards about me hanging around the center-ice circle practicing figure-skating moves (and rink rules did permit figure skaters to practice in center ice during public).  They even complained I was scratching up the ice too much!  And it wasn't just me.  I talked to other skaters not in the dance club, and they told me they constantly had the same run-ins.  If they want private ice, they should rent private ice.  I was real happy when a new rink opened up.

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #11 on: April 09, 2016, 08:45:20 AM »
LOL, perhaps  it's all just a matter of interpretation.   Though I do appreciate those with tongue firmly placed in cheek:  e.g.  the first routine in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeUjZS6LTJE&t=30s .  "Love quadrangle" with predictable outcome! (call me a cynic).

Watched the clip.  A bit of a twist at the end.  But not quite as unexpected as the "Love Triangles" in which the girl leaves the boy for the other girl, or the boy leaves the girl for the other boy.  ;)

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #12 on: April 09, 2016, 11:20:12 AM »
I'm not sure about "Pairs", but ISI has a "Couple(s?)" category that allows same-sex pairs.

Offline icedancer

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2016, 01:22:13 PM »
There is also figure skating at the Gay Games with a lot of same-sex couples.  And you don't actually have to be gay to skate in it.

My impression is that it's an "anything goes" type of competition.

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2016, 06:05:49 PM »
Under IOC and AAU rules, you can self-identify (to the organizers; it needn't be public) as transgender, in which case you can compete as the opposite sex*, so presumably it becomes completely legit. Not sure how that affects ISU and USFSA, but they probably follow the same rules. It is quite possible that some Olympic medalists have secretly been transgender - the IOC doesn't allow release of that info.

But! IOC has other rules that might discourage you - last I checked transgenders must have surgery and hormone treatments.

As far as pretending to be the opposite sex, at most lower level competitions, no one checks competitor's genders - but if someone knew the parties involved, there might be a challenge and a public outcry. Indeed, if you had reason to believe someone was pretending, and you didn't inform the officials, perhaps you might be banned or disqualified yourself, just as Carolina Kostner was banned for not reporting her boyfriend for using performance enhancing drugs.

At the upper levels, very few ladies, hormones, surgery or no, have the strength and relative jump and shoulder width to look like a man. Very few men, hormones, surgery, or no, are able to move with the grace and range of hip motion expected of ladies. (Might not apply to young kids.) I think that if you self-identify as transgender, you should be judged like the opposite sex too. E.G., if a guy can look and move like Meryl Davis at her most alluring best, that might be good enough.

See also:

  http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=6748.msg81584#msg81584

OTOH, no matter what the rules say, most people consider it an unfair advantage for a man to compete as a lady, in any sport involving strength or endurance. I've now decided it IS unfair too, though I know some disagree, and I don't matter. Create separate categories, as some here have noted, and forego fairness issues - though of course those who want their status secret would hate that.

*When I say that they compete as "the opposite sex", I may not be using the language in the same way as transgenders who consider themselves to actually be of the sex that they self-identify as.

Offline riley876

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2016, 06:53:37 PM »
To me, the transgender issue is just a symptom of the larger issue.   And that comes down to effectively homophobia.   Or The Culture War, as a militant friend of mine refers to it.    I've been skirting around saying it outright, but as far as I can see, that's what it boils down to.

Which is all hugely ironic giving that figure skating is perhaps the "gayest" sport there is,  given the number of actually gay competitors out there.

In competitive slalom pairs or shuffle skating pairs, no one would give a rat's which gender you say you are, or what your chromosonal configuration is, let alone what your anatomy is,  because gender is not an issue to begin with - in these disciplines.    Because they're not about sex.  Or courtship.  Or other f'n things.  They're only about amazing skating.   

I just wish figure skating culture would grow up.   And quit making everything about sex.   Sex is supposedly an "adult" topic.  But really it's not.  It's a "young adult" topic.   For the immature (of any age) who have no broader horizons.   </rant>.


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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2016, 07:59:18 PM »
There is also figure skating at the Gay Games with a lot of same-sex couples.  And you don't actually have to be gay to skate in it.

My impression is that it's an "anything goes" type of competition.

Used to be ISI rules/sanctioned but I haven't looked at the requirements/events in years.
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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2016, 04:24:21 PM »
To me, the transgender issue is just a symptom of the larger issue.   And that comes down to effectively homophobia...

If you segregate a sports competition by gender, age or weight, you shouldn't be able to cheat on those rules. If you have an explicitly open competition, without age or weight classes, that's fair too. As long as everyone follows the same rules.

What bothers me about IOC rules is that nominally trans athletes are allowed to skirt the rules that everyone else must follow.

BTW, in the non-competitive social dance community, same sex couples and obviously gay dancers are quite frequent, at least in my geographic area. In line dances, there are usually an unequal number of male and female dancers, and everyone sometimes dances with members of the same gender. In some styles, like English Country Dance, you spend more time dancing with members of the same gender than with the opposite gender, even when the numbers are balanced and everyone dances in their nominal places. For the most part, no one makes a big deal it, though people are always free to decide to leave or not to return.

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2016, 08:52:55 PM »
There is also figure skating at the Gay Games with a lot of same-sex couples.  And you don't actually have to be gay to skate in it.

The Gay Games of Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, in Aug 2014, had an ISI sanction for the figure skating section of the Games, but the actual competition was organized and executed by an organization called the " International Gay Figure Skating Union ".  I participated in the Games because I am an ISI member, but had to abide by the rules and operations of the IGFSU. Both organizations allowed same-gender ice skating, so I was able to compete with another female ice skater in same-gender ice dancing. And Yes, there was a male-to-female transgender ice skater there who did solo female freestyle, ice dance with another female skater, and female solo spotlight/showcase, plus a female-to-male transgender ice skater that did male solo freestyle. I found the same-gender ice skaters, as well as the transgender ice skaters,  to be a wonderful asset and ability that is not seen very often, but needs to be better recognized, allowed for, and presented in the various ice skating organizations and competitions, IMO.

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2016, 09:14:24 PM »
Under IOC and AAU rules, you can self-identify (to the organizers; it needn't be public) as transgender, in which case you can compete as the opposite [gender], so presumably it becomes completely legit.

But! IOC has other rules that might discourage you - last I checked transgender [people] must have surgery and hormone treatments.

Presumably nothing ! It is now completely legit under IOC rules. Also under IOC rules as they are right now, transgender people need only show that they are under a doctor's care for their correct gender's hormone treatments, without needing any surgery to supposedly affirm their correct gender.

 http://www.advocate.com/commentary/2016/1/29/new-ioc-rules-completely-change-game-trans-athletes
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Offline riley876

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2016, 11:03:08 PM »
Motor racing,  there's never any gender rules.   And at the top level it's as physically demanding as any sport.  So what that males dominate?  What does it matter?   You still get the occasional female rising up to (near) the top, if you really really need a female to identify with, anyway.    And that's how it should be.   It's a sport.   The best is supposed to win.   

This whole idea of gender segregated competitions is pretty insulting and patronising really.    The "world" championship for you poor weak delicate little flowers.

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2016, 02:54:29 AM »
Seems, the times, they are a changin'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TiYjbwRu30c

Blades Of Glory it ain't.

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Re: Same Gender Pairs Skating
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2016, 04:52:51 PM »
ISI has been cool with transgender and gay skaters for at least a decade. I don't know what USFS has now, but a couple of years ago when I looked it up it didn't have a similar statement in its Vision.
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