Photos from Moscow Junior ChampionshipsDaria Drozd & Bogdan Borovlev | Photo by Julia Komarova Read More +
Four Continents in Seoul!Maia & Alex Shibutani | Photo by Robin Ritoss Read More +
2015 European ChampionshipsAllison Reed & Vasili Rogov | Photo by Robin Ritoss Read More +
Coverage of Canadian Nationals!Danielle Wu & Spencer Soo - Photo by Melanie Hoyt Read More +
Siblings in Skating #6: Rachel & Michael ParsonsPhoto by Barry Gropman Read More +
U.S. National Championships Coverage!Darling & Rodriguez Avellan | Juvenile Dance | Photo by Daphne Backman Read More +
Shall We Dance On IcePhotos by Robin Ritoss Read More +
Photos from Russian NationalsTiffany Zahorski & Jonathan Guerreiro; Event Photos by Julia Komarova Read More +
Pros Bring Ballroom Flavor to the Ice for Detroit Dancers
The Latest from the ISU
Other Technical Updates
Four Continents heads to Seoul
- Created on Tuesday, 10 February 2015 20:02
This week, 13 teams from seven countries head to Seoul for the 2015 Four Continents Championships. This marks the fifth time that South Korea has hosted Four Continents, though it is the first time the competition will take place in Seoul. Since its inception in 1999, all of the ice dance medals have been won by teams from Canada or the United States. In fact, in most years, teams from the U.S. and Canada have occupied the top six spots. The field in Seoul boasts past Four Continents champions and medalists.
Each year, this event follows the European Championships and features skaters from countries in the continents of Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas. Each nation is allowed to send up to three competitors per discipline, as long as they have reached the minimum technical element scores (TES) in both the short and free programs at a prior international event this season or last season. The minimum scores are currently set at 19 and 29 for the short and free dances, respectively.
The fight for gold will most likely be between Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje of Canada (pictured) and Madison Chock & Evan Bates of the United States, newly-crowned national champions of their respective countries. Weaver & Poje won this event in 2010, while Chock & Bates took home the bronze medal in 2013. The teams have faced off twice this season, with the Canadians taking the top spot on both occasions. In December, Weaver & Poje topped the Americans by 14 points at the Grand Prix Final.
The Story of FrenchieSkate
- Created on Thursday, 05 February 2015 20:55
by Daphne Backman
Often, we look back at friendships from our childhood as some of the best of our lives. Fueled by the loss of her childhood friend to cancer, Georgia Glastris poured her energy into something quite special.
Glastris, a three-time national ladies champion of Greece, first met Francesca (Frenchie) Persico on the first day of kindergarten and they became best friends very quickly. Persico had been diagnosed with neuroblastoma cancer at the age of three, but at the time it was in remission. The two inseparable friends enjoyed all the typical childhood activities including playing dress up, MarioKart, holding epic lemonade stands and went to see concerts such as Britney Spears and N’Sync. Several years later, Persico once again was hospitalized as the disease returned. Glastris frequently visited her, including when she was receiving chemotherapy. As a show of solidarity, Glastris and and others all wore the same matching bandanas to school when Persico lost her hair. Unfortunately, Persico lost her battle with cancer on what would have been the first day of the fourth grade.
“Frenchie was incredibly brave, really bright and had a wonderful creative spirit that brought people together,” Glastris said. “It’s easy to imagine what an amazing woman she would have grown to be and impossible to forget her.”
Stockholm hosts 30 teams for European Championships
- Created on Tuesday, 27 January 2015 23:15
This week, 30 ice dance teams from 23 countries head to Stockholm, Sweden for the 2015 European Figure Skating Championships. This is the seventh time Sweden has hosted the European Championships, the last time Stockholm served as the location was 1912. Each European country is allotted between one and three spots at this event, based on the countries results from the previous year. The individual teams that we will see, however, are chosen by their respective skating unions. The only countries that were allowed three teams each are Italy and Russia, both of whom are expecting medals this week.
2014 champions, Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte of Italy will face strong competition from France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron and Elena Ilinykh & Ruslan Zhiganshin of Russia as they defend their title in Stockholm. All three teams competed at Cup of China in November with the French taking home gold. The Italians capped last season with a win at the 2014 World Championships in March and have competed only once internationally this season. After finishing a disappointing third at Cup of China, they withdrew from their second Grand Prix to focus on making some changes to their free dance. They convincingly won their national championships, scoring 190.16.
Papadakis & Cizeron have been on a roll this season winning both of their Grand Prix events as well as a bronze medal at the Grand Prix Final. The team relocated to Montreal, Quebec earlier this year with coach Romain Haguenauer and now also works with Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, the 2006 and 2007 world silver medalists.
2015 U.S. Nationals: Senior Free Dance Recap
- Created on Sunday, 25 January 2015 19:09
by Gina Capellazzi | Photo by Daphne Backman
After finishing second to Olympic champions Meryl Davis & Charlie White the last two years, Madison Chock & Evan Bates got their turn in the spotlight and took home their first U.S. Championship. Their free dance to “American in Paris” electrified the crowd and had them on their feet. They received all level 4 for their lifts, spins and step sequence and finished with a free dance score of 111.11 and an overall score of 185.06. They would finish 3.75 points ahead of silver medalists, Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani. In the short dance, the two teams were only separated by .11 points.
“Tonight felt so great,” Chock said. “The crowd was amazing and we could really feel the energy in the rink. We used that really well and this was one of our best performances of the season. It’s really exciting to have done that at the U.S. Championships and we’re very excited to go forward and on from here.”
Chock & Bates will lead the U.S. ice dance team into the World Championships in Shanghai, China in March. This is their third trip to the World Championships. Last season, they finished in 5th place.
After finishing in third the past two seasons, the Shibutanis won their third U.S. silver medal . Following the Grand Prix Final, where they finished off the podium in fourth place, the Shibutanis, with help of their coach Marina Zueva, reworked their free dance program. In Greensboro, the siblings received level 4 on all their elements, except for their circular and diagonal step sequences, which received level 3. They earned a free dance score of 107.74 and an overall score of 181.31.
2015 U.S. Nationals: Senior Short Dance Recap
- Created on Sunday, 25 January 2015 15:48
by Gina Capellazzi | Photo by Daphne Backman
For the first time in six years, there will be a new champion on top of the podium in the senior ice dance event at the U.S. Championships. Six-time U.S. Champions and 2014 Olympic Gold Medalists Meryl Davis & Charlie White are not competing this season and they have left the door wide open for some of the other top U.S. ice dance teams to take home that top spot. Two teams, in particular, are in the hunt for the gold medal and with only .11 points separating them after the short dance; it is anyone’s guess who the champion will be.
Winning the short dance was reigning U.S. silver medalists Madison Chock & Evan Bates. Their Paso Doble earned them level 4s on their straight line lift and twizzles and level 3s on their Paso Doble section, partial step sequence and midline not touching step sequence. They earned a short dance score of 73.95 and are currently in first place heading into Saturday’s free skate. The 2014 Grand Prix Final silver medalists are looking to win their first U.S. Championship.
“We wanted to show more of a range in our expressions throughout the dance,” Chock said. “We are really happy with our skate and can definitely see places where we’ve improved.”
Also looking to win their first U.S. Championship are reigning U.S. bronze medalists Maia Shibutani & Alex Shibutani (pictured). The siblings skated directly after the leaders and their short dance earned them level 4s on their twizzles, rotational lift and Paso Doble section and level 3s on their partial step sequence and midline not touching step sequence. They scored 73.84 making it a tight race for gold.
2015 U.S. Nationals: Junior Free Dance Recap
- Created on Sunday, 25 January 2015 15:15
by Gina Capellazzi | Photo by Daphne Backman
With two bronze medals and a silver medal at the last three U.S. championships, along with a silver and bronze medal at their Junior Grand Prix events this season, Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter just needed a gold to add to their collection. On Friday, they did just that by winning the U.S. junior title.
McNamara & Carpenter’s beautiful performance to the "Phantom of the Opera" soundtrack earned them level 4s on their lifts, combination spin and twizzles and level 3 on the circular step sequence. The team won the free dance with a score of 91.23, which combined with their short dance points resulted in a total score of 155.39.
Finishing in second and winning the silver medal were the reigning junior bronze medalists, siblings Rachel & Michael Parsons. Their passionate performance to selections from Notre Dame de Paris earned them level 4s on their lifts, combination spin and twizzles and level 3 on their circular step sequence. The team earned a free dance score of 84.37, which combined with their short dance points resulted in a total score of 144.98.
Teams Look to Make a Mark at the Canadian Championships
- Created on Friday, 23 January 2015 08:20
Article and photos by Melanie Hoyt
Next week, Canadian dance teams will convene in Kingston, Ont., to compete at the Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships. Reigning World silver medalists and Grand Prix Final champions Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje are expected to win their first Canadian title, and the battle for the five spots on the national team could be quite exciting. And for the first time since 2012, a full roster of 15 teams will compete at the senior level.
Weaver & Poje are undoubtedly focused on the World Championships as they begin the second half of their season. The Canadian Championships is an excellent opportunity for them to add mileage to their programs and check their levels one more time. They won their first Grand Prix Final crown last month in Barcelona with a new ISU personal best score of 181.14. If they skate well, they could top their domestic personal best score of 183.54, set at last year’s Canadian Championships.
The favourites for the silver medal are Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier, aiming to land on the podium again after a close fourth-place finish last year kept them off the Olympic team. Since then, Gilles & Poirier have worked hard to establish themselves as Canada’s clear #2 team, with two silver medals on the Grand Prix and a fifth-place finish at their first Grand Prix Final. Their new ISU personal best of 158.16, set at the Final, is still quite a ways from the 170-point domestic mark they set in 2013, but given how they tend to score in Canada, they could see the 170’s again this week if they are at their best.
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2015 ISU World Figure Skating Championships22 Mar 2015 All Day
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ISU World Team Trophy15 Apr 2015 All Day
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