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Long Live John Nicks

What is it that John Nicks does with pairs teams.  Was it 1993 where we first saw Meno and Sand?  I remember them skating out in the first practice warm up that we saw.  They went straight into one long gliding move, a simple position where they just looked at each other.  My friend remembers that we were about to leave to go to another practice and when we saw that one move we stopped and sat down to watch. 

This season we have seen in again.  Once with McLaughlin/Brubaker and once with Inoue/Baldwin.  Now Inoue/Baldwin are being coached by Jenni and Todd Sand (does Jenni go by Meno or Sand) and not John Nicks, but I see the definite influence of John Nicks through Todd and Jenni.  Both of these teams suddenly have a new connection - with each other and with the audience.  It's always something very simple; an arm movement done in perfect unison, a held position at the end of an element.  Whatever it is, this connection suddenly compells us to watch and feel the emotion of two skating as one in ways we haven't felt for these couples before. 

I still can't quite put my finger on all of it.  I watch Moskvina's skaters through the years.  They have elegence and speed.  They have seemless movement and difficulty.  Sometimes they are thrilling to watch.  Yet, when I see the influence of John Nicks there is a difference that immediately makes me sigh and think  "That's just right." 


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