How can a couple lose when the majority of judges mark them to win?

Luca Baricchi
& Loraine Baricchi
(C) Frederic Lepretre

Augusto Schiavo
& Caterina Arzenton
(C) Peter Suba
Baricchi versus Schiavo - The Facts!

In two most important championships - the 2000 World Professional Standard Championship and the 2001 United Kingdom Professional Standard Championship - six of the 11 judges marked couple Baricchi to win while five of the judges marked couple Schiavo to win. In both of these events Baricchi lost although the majority of judges had marked them to win. Does this engender confidence in the Skating System of scrutineering?

In comparing the two couples, although there seems to be very little wrong with the mechanics of Augusto & Caterina’s dancing, I feel they have not yet fully developed that rare ability to play – like a virtuoso violinist - on the emotional strings of the spectators; a magic gift that Luca & Loraine do possess.

Having seen every round in which to compare every aspect of technical and artistic performance I was therefore convinced that short of breaking a leg there was nothing to stop the Baricchis from winning this title for the third time.

In my view there are a number of talented dancers who, in reality, are waiting for the chance to displace Schiavo. For Augusto is not as fluid a mover as Christopher Hawkins. He does not produce better Viennese Waltz Fleckerls than Timothy Howson or William Pino. His Tango is not superior to that of Massimo Giorgianni.

(I declare that I have no financial or any other kind of vested interest in either of these couples – or indeed in any other couple in DanceSport. I have not taught any competitive couple since I decided to retire from coaching several years ago.)

Harry Smith-Hampshire

This article is part of and should be seen in the frame context of Dancesport UK