Testa & Csolley aim for Pyeongchang
Autumn Classic Coverage!Photos by Melanie Hoyt and Recaps by Jacquelyn Thayer Read More +
Biechler & Dodge blog from Dresden!Photo by Katie Weigel Read More +
Jones & Sharpe share their Nebelhorn experiencePhoto by Robin Ritoss Read More +
Christina Carreira blogs from Estonia!
Evening with ChampionsPhotos by Daphne Backman Read More +
Photos & Blogs from the U.S. ClassicPhotos by Robin Ritoss; Competitor's Blog by Daniel Eaton Read More +
Breaking It Down: Silver Samba & Paso Doble
Weaver and Poje Aim to Dominate
Siblings in Skating #5: Alina & Kseniya Ponomaryova
Orford and Williams Expand their Horizons
The Latest from the ISU
Other Technical Updates
Testa & Csolley aim for Pyeongchang
- Created on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 21:50
by Daphne Backman | Photos by Robin Ritoss
This week, Federica Testa & Lukas Csolley will make their Grand Prix debut at Skate America in Chicago. The team has been steadily improving to earn this chance since the start of their partnership three years ago.
In September 2011, Italian-born Testa’s two-year partnership with Christopher Mior came to an end. At the same time, Slovakian training-mates Nikola Visnova & Lukas Csolley decided to stop skating together after five years as an on-ice duo. Testa had a brief tryout in Finland that didn’t pan out, and then she returned to Italy. Both teams had trained in the same location for the past year and their coaches encouraged them to try out with each other. “It worked out very well, so we decided to start our adventure and represent Slovakia,” Csolley said. In just their third season together, Testa & Csolley moved from 17th to 12th at the European Championships and finished fourth at the Winter Universiade. They placed 23rd at the 2014 World Championships and were just 1.5 points from qualifying from the free dance.
Testa received her citizenship for Slovakia last November, which made her eligible to compete for Slovakia at the Winter Olympic Games, but the team narrowly missing qualifying for the Sochi Olympics after finishing one place away from qualification at Nebelhorn Trophy last fall. Testa & Csolley were first alternates, but did not skate in Sochi.
Skate America kicks off ISU Grand Prix series
- Created on Tuesday, 21 October 2014 21:12
by Katie Tetzloff | Photo by Robin Ritoss
This week, the 2014 Senior Grand Prix Series will kick off with Hilton HHonors Skate America, which will be held in the Chicago area for the first time. This event marks the first time that Chicago has hosted a major figure skating competition since 1946. Eight teams representing six countries will meet in the Windy City to begin yet another exciting year of ice dance on the Grand Prix circuit. Although the home team is expected to take the first two steps on the podium in dance, the battle for bronze is wide open.
All eyes this season are on the short dance, because the ISU introduced a new element this year. Skaters are to perform only one full pattern of the Paso Doble, a relatively short dance, and then skate a partial step sequence, which begins and ends in the same place as the pattern dance. The partial step sequence must incorporate the key points, and it must be done in dance holds, though the holds can change and creativity is encouraged.
The favorites coming into Skate America are probably Madison Chock & Evan Bates of the United States. This is their fourth season skating together, and in the last few years, they have made steady progress in the international ice dance scene, building to a top-ten finish in Sochi and a fifth-place finish at the 2014 World Championships. This will be their second event this year, as they have already competed and claimed silver at Nebelhorn Trophy at the end of September. Their “Don Quixote” short dance scored 62.80 points, and they set a new ISU personal best of 100.93 with their “An American in Paris” free dance.
A Dramatic Free Dance at Autumn Classic International
- Created on Monday, 20 October 2014 22:00
by Jacquelyn Thayer
With several close marks in the short dance at Skate Canada’s Autumn Classic International, the free dance provided an opportunity for some movement across the top. Technical upset would once more shape the day’s major outcomes.
France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron maintained their lead through a solid free dance performance, establishing new ISU personal bests of 90.46 in the segment and overall total of 150.20 and achieving their second senior international victory after gold at 2013’s Cup of Nice. The skate was a particular success on the technical end, with the duo receiving Level 4s on most elements and Level 3s on each step sequence, though a late curve lift picked up only a Level 2 while the team also received two extended lift deductions.
“It was good,” said Papadakis. “Some mistakes as well—lifts felt a little shaky—but it was great. Less good than in France two weeks ago, but we need to work on some things.”
“It’s good,” agreed Cizeron of the victory. “It makes us a little more confident for the rest of the season.”
Autumn Classic Short Dance Delivers a Flair for the International
- Created on Thursday, 16 October 2014 18:53
by Jacquelyn Thayer
Skate Canada’s inaugural Autumn Classic International kicked off Wednesday in Barrie, Ontario, with a short dance event that offered both strong performance and the technical glitches typical of early-season competition—and more than a dash of international flavor.
Taking a lead of 59.74 with a confident skate were France’s Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron, who relocated in July with coach Romain Haguenauer to train at the Montreal facility where Marie-France Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon host their growing school. The team’s marks included the competition’s only Level 4 Paso Doble pattern, though their choreographic Paso sequence received only a Level 2.
“It was a good performance,” said Cizeron. “Technically, we were not at our top in the Paso, but everything else was okay, and we felt quite good.”
The competition also marks their first international as the new leading senior dance team in France, in the wake of the retirements of Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat and Pernelle Carron & Lloyd Jones.
Barrie, Ontario hosts first-ever Skate Canada Autumn Classic
- Created on Monday, 13 October 2014 21:17
by Laura Flagg | Photos by Robin Ritoss
The Skate Canada Autumn Classic is the next event in the new ISU Challenger Series, with 15 ice dance teams scheduled to compete in Barrie, Ontario. This is the first time that Skate Canada has hosted a senior B international competition.
Since this is Canada's event, they are allowed to enter four teams into the competition, and they are taking full advantage of this. Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier (pictured, right), who are coached by Carol Lane and Juris Razgulajevs, are coming off a strong 8th-place finish at the World Championships in March, ten places higher than they ranked the previous season. Their free dance this season is a program to big band music, a change of pace for the duo.
Finishing tenth at Worlds—slightly behind Gilles & Poirier—were Alexandra Paul & Mitchell Islam, who will also be making their international debut for this season here. Paul & Islam, who edged out Gilles & Poirier at the 2014 Canadian Championships for a spot on the Olympic team, will be skating their new free dance to “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “The Way You Look Tonight,” selections that should fit their elegant style perfectly. They train at the Detroit Skating Club with Angelika Krylova and Pasquale Camerlengo.
2014 Finlandia Trophy Blog: Sad to leave Finland
- Created on Sunday, 12 October 2014 19:30
So, now that the competition is over, I can finally sit back and reflect on the past two days. I apologize for the delay!
As far as the SD is concerned, we were happy to come out strong and skate a better program then we did at Salt Lake. We were of course disappointed in our TES. The worlds qualifying score has evaded us yet again, but we were really happy with our PCS. This is the first time at an international that our second mark has held us up, and that has been such a huge battle for us as a team for the past 6 years of our international career. We finally feel like we are making strides towards becoming a force to be reckoned with. At the end of the day, we sat less than a point away from 3rd, and I was truly okay with that. Stasia and I are fighters, and I knew that we would come to the FD ready to lay it all out on the ice.
2014 Finlandia Trophy Blog: No sign of horses!
- Created on Thursday, 09 October 2014 21:15
Day 2 here in Espoo, and no signs of our horses anywhere.
We had our first practice today, which went well. It’s always good to get that first practice in, and make sure your legs made it with you on the plane! The rink is great, and we hear that the all-event tickets for the competition have completely sold out. So, it should be a great turn out over the next couple of days.
We also had the official draw tonight, which was a whole crazy awesome experience. I don’t even know where to begin…We were not told much of anything about the draw, but the only thing we knew was that it was going to be held in some shopping center. So, at around 6:00PM everyone hopped on the bus, and it took us about 15 minutes to get to the mall. We walked into the front doors, and there was a huge line of girls each holding one ballon. We followed the line, and it lead us around the corner to a stage surrounded by people with a huge screen behind it. There were a group of girls dancing on the stage, there was a girl from the circus who preformed after them, and there were a few TV cameras around. So, we knew right off the bat that this was not your grandmas draw ceremony.
ISU GP - 2014 Hilton HHonors Skate America23 Oct 2014 All Day
October 24-26, 2014
Chicago, IL USA Website
ISU GP - Skate Canada International30 Oct 2014 All Day
October 31-November 2, 2014
Kelowna, B.C. CAN Website - coming soon
25th Volvo Open Cup04 Nov 2014 All Day
November 5-9, 2014
Riga, LAT Website - coming soon
NRW Trophy for Ice Dance06 Nov 2014 All Day
November 7-9, 2014
Dortmund, GER Website - coming soon
ISU GP - Lexus Cup of China06 Nov 2014 All Day
November 7-9, 2014
Shanghai, CHN Website - coming soon