The short dance in senior figure skating incorporates the rhumba and Latin rhythms. I feel if you are going to do Latin, you better do Latin. Go all in. I am very pleased that a lot of the skating world took this view as well. So, a lot of the ladies in the dance (let’s face it, it’s the ladies we really care about) have the slightly outrageous colour and design choices necessary to really pull it off. The question is who has gone too far and who not far enough, and who has hit that sweet spot in the middle.
Let’s start with the Canadian ladies and see where we end up. (Just a note that we could end up anywhere. This has nothing to do with ranking or placements or titles – anyone can make the list. However, I draw the line at Juniors. That would be too much.)
Piper Gilles – Love it! I think it’s a gorgeous colour and a fabulous modern take on Latin.
Tessa Virtue – This what Tessa has been wearing for most of the season.
(She briefly switched it up at the Grand Prix Final – see below). It’s similar to Piper’s except it’s basically a bathing suit. However, I think it’s working for her and really suits their music choices. The gold accent says Latin to me and I think that’s why they ended up returning to it for Nationals, after this one at the Grand Prix Final.
Kaitlyn Weaver – Kaitlyn definitely got my “What are you thinking?” vibes after wearing this early in the season.
Her second dress is a big improvement and back to her usual spot-on costuming (ie., 2014-15’s Paso Doble, 2015-16’s waltz). I love the contrast of the dark with the bright colour. It really makes the colour pop!
Carolane Soucisse – I think this has room for improvement. The length of the fish tail has been a constant worry for me and something about the collar just seems too constrictive, no? I also feel that despite Shane’s sequins, they just don’t look like they fit, like they maybe met up at the same club but that they came with different people and are definitely not a couple.
Madison Chock – This… went for it and might I suggest that it is too much. I’m not a big fan of outfits that look like two or more dresses smooshed together. I’m all for the colour and the sequins there are just too many… tails flying around. I think pick fringe or feathers or tails but confine yourself! I feel sorry for Evan. He must keep getting whipped.
Maia Shibutani – I think this is pretty awesome.
And I think they have improved over the original…which sort of seemed to disappear or fade away at the top and needed more definition.
Still the same great colours but more!
Madison Hubbell – I loved Madison’s first dress but I get that it maybe wasn’t “Latin” enough. It just looked so cool though when she moved and had a cool vibe.
I hope it gets revived at some point. This is the second dress. It’s very Latin, very sexy, not overdone, but I don’t think it has as much personality.
Anna Cappellini – I’m back and forth on this one. I like the ruffles and sequined bodice, but something is missing. Maybe more colour? It is still saying more cocktail dress than Latin rhythm to me.
Charlene Guignard – The year of the waltz, I loved Charlene’s dress. But unfortunately, I can’t say that this year. I absolutely hate it and I have done from the very beginning of the season. And they haven’t changed it! Who is giving them the positive feedback? All I can say is please change the dress. (The nude boob meshed up with the white frou-frou… what? Since when is white a Latin colour, especially when you are on ice!? And they aren’t even good ruffles. They look scratchy.)
Sara Hurtado – I like that Sara is unique among the Latin girls this year. I think the colour and design are successful. Way to think outside the box!
Olivia Smart– Sara’s Spanish-team rival, I think, also has a fun outfit. It has some fun details – two-piece, feathers, boob fringe. I’m all in.
Alisa Agafanova – I like this. This is sophisticated and not all confused. It sort of belongs in the fringe club but I’m putting it here because it’s different. With the sleeves and full bodice and beading, it has a different feel. It pleases me very much.
Rikako Fukase – I like that this is a different direction from a lot of the dresses out there this season. The colours are vibrant and the ruffles fun. I’m on board.
Yura Min – I sort of love this one. I like the red, the open back, the front attachment of the two pieces. I even like the rosettes on the hips. If anything, I suggest removing the roses growing out her entire upper body. With all the roses are on the one side of the body like that it looks like something is growing up her. And I think you want to accentuate the breasts, not hide them, right? It reminds me of Mao trying to compensate with stuff all over her front.
Betina Popova – Someone please explain the polka-dotted apron to me! I think the blue is great but this is a dress with a split personality and the skirt is winning. I sort of keep expecting her to have a costume change moment in the middle but alas, it never comes.
Malin Malmberg – I don’t know much (anything) about Malin and although I like her dress quite a bit, I chose it to demonstrate a point. I think it looks great on her but with just the purple, even two different tones, it looks muted on the ice compared to some of the other dresses. It just doesn’t stand out enough. I think they understand that one solid colour really isn’t enough because they chose the two tones, but I would like to see them go a bit farther.