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The Latest from the ISU
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2014 Solo Dance Nationals Blog #2: Day 2
- Created on Friday, 19 September 2014 14:24
Today started early with short dance qualifying rounds for the senior and junior combined events (Jessica won her group in the senior combined). Also contested today were qualification rounds for the novice, intermediate, and juvenile combined events, as well as qualification rounds for international, gold, pre-gold, pre-bronze, and preliminary pattern dance. Chris took second with Jessica close behind in third in the international level. There was strong skating across all levels; everyone looks trained and well prepared for the event. Even skaters who missed qualifying for final round demonstrated beautiful skating and brought their A-game. Judge Ann Greenthal commented that "everyone is skating very well today."
Many competitors already bring strong credentials to the event including champions and medalists from previous solo dance nationals, champions and medalists in partnered dance at the national level, and even skaters who have competed at the international level at Worlds, Four Continents, Junior Worlds and on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. There are also many skaters who have passed multiple USFS gold and senior tests. Looking toward tomorrow, we hope everyone gets a good night's rest in preparation for the remaining qualification rounds, and final rounds ahead.
Good luck to all competitors !
Chris and Jessica
2014 Solo Dance Nationals Blog #1: Day 1
- Created on Wednesday, 17 September 2014 21:33
Greetings from Colorado Springs, CO. We, Christopher Davis and Jessica Williams, are excited to be blogging for the National Solo Dance Series Final!
This series started in 2011 and has grown to over 800 participants with 232 skaters qualifying for this years national final competition. Skaters qualify by placing in the top 6 in their section by competing in at least 3 of 81 possible non-qual competitions throughout the US. Skaters are competing across 8 levels of pattern dances (preliminary-international and across 5 levels of combined events (juvenile-senior).
Today excitement filled the arena for check in and the first official practice ice of the competition. It's always fun to be able to compete in an Olympic arena with stadium seating! Many skaters seemed to be adjusting to the altitude and getting used to a bigger sheet of ice. Competition starts tomorrow and goes through Saturday with the qualifying events on Thursday and Friday and the final events split between Friday and Saturday. We will be keeping you up to date on the dance events and interviewing skaters, coaches, and possibly officials.
We are excited to be here! But in the mean time, we have to catch more practice ice!
- Chris Davis and Jessica Williams
Taking Flight: JGP Japan Blog #5
- Created on Monday, 15 September 2014 19:50
Konnichiwa from Aichi for the last time! We cannot believe that our final event is already over – the time here was simultaneously intense and it flew by faster than expected.
We woke up this morning ready to ruffle some feathers and to bring our Swan Lake story to life for the Free Dance event. Our interpretation involves Alex being the embodiment of evil, although his true nature is initially hidden from Ellie, and she is representative of pure sincerity and beauty. As the program progresses, Ellie comes to realize and almost fear the evil within Alex, but by that time, she is so intrigued by his danger that she ultimately becomes his ally and embraces the evilness too, culminating in our final pose – one that is delicate and beautiful, yet dark and dangerous!
We skated 2nd in the 2nd group, and Alex spent the final minute of the warm-up stalking his prey (Ellie), as he was getting himself into character. The program was exhilarating – the audience felt alive and was easy to build off of, helping us to transform into our characters. We entered the ice as athletes, but we completed the program as actors. At the risk of sounding lame --- it was a transformational experience for us as a team and a complete departure from any program theme that either of us has done before. The audience responded with extremely generous applause, and we cherished our moment at center ice! Our program earned 4th place marks and a new personal best in our FD; our teammates Rachel and Michael ended the event with the bronze medal!
Salt Lake City Blog #4: Last Blog & Thank You
- Created on Sunday, 14 September 2014 11:55
The day is finally coming to a close. Having the chance to finally sit down and rest my feet and tune into the recap of the recent golf championships is really making this night quite nice. Oh and don't forget the room service! I ordered chocolate moose cake to go along with that.
Where to begin, I would like to start by saying thank you. Thank you to all of the support all around the world not only for Alex and I but for then entire incredible team USA we were so lucky to have here. Taking home a gold medal in each category of senior figure skating is quite an achievement and as a fellow athlete and gold medal holder I congratulate all the athletes that made this achievement possible. Let's start with a little recap. Pairs having won all of the medals in this event CONGRATS! You all have worked so hard and it is so early in the season and you should be so proud! Men congratulations, the performances you all were able to skate were incredible. Ladies amazing work on the podium two medals is amazing and finally, DANCE! Great job to all of the athletes and so proud of Anastasia and Colin for pulling up to the podium you both were incredible and really skated your hearts out today. I know from my perspective I am so proud of all of Team USA here at this event. We displayed ourselves as ambassadors of our country and hosted an incredible competition!
On behalf of Team USA, I would like to start off by saying thank you to the incredible organizing committee here in Salt Lake City! Without all of the hardwork you all put in this event would not have flowed so smoothly. Thank you to all of the coaches and parents who continue to support their athletes day in and day out 365 days a year. Thank you officials for all of the time you dedicated to making this event special for each and every one of us, and thank you to anyone else whom I may be missing - the fans, the spectators and the fellow athletes for the support throughout the week without you none of this would have been possible.
Taking Flight: JGP Japan Blog #4
- Created on Saturday, 13 September 2014 22:14
Konnichiwa from Aichi! Saturday, Day #4 of our trip, and most importantly – Short Dance Day – has finally arrived. In a season with Latin rhythms and the Samba for the pattern dance, Short Dance Day becomes synonymous with the appearance of feathers, fringe, ponytails, syncopated drumbeats, and lots of ee-ROH [color].
Our day started by rising with the birds to catch the 5:15 am bus for our 6:40 am warm-up. Even though Adrienne advised Ellie to sleep longer and omit the competition hair and makeup routine for the early morning practice, Ellie couldn’t break her pre-event ritual (she loves the excitement of the routine), and she appeared at the bus stop looking spectacularly glamorous. Alex on the other hand, gladly accepted the extra few minutes of sleep, rubbed a little product through his hair and proclaimed his preparation “done.”
The morning warm-up was marked with a little bit of unwelcomed excitement, due to a collision with the German dance team. We were in the midst of our twizzles while the other team began their no-touch step sequence. Ellie and the other dancer tumbled down in a tangled mess, and while the impact was substantial, Ellie weathered the incident with incredible strength. The fringe, feathers, stones and glamor of this sport often conceal just how tough skaters have to be!
Salt Lake City Blog #3: The Short Dance
- Created on Saturday, 13 September 2014 21:56
I'm here in the hotel lobby sitting with my coach Massimo Scalli and every morning we typically find one another at Starbucks sitting outside enjoying the beautiful weather. I don't think they get bad weather here. Again, there is not a cloud in the sky and the incredible topography is truly one of a kind. Being born in Florida, the closet thing to a mountain we had there was a sand dune leading up to the sandy beaches of Cocoa Beach! I must say the mountains are truly incredible.
After enjoying my coffee, Massimo and I began to chat about the upcoming day. First off I'll update the readers on yesterday's events. Our (Team USA's) pairs dominated the podium taking a gold silver and bronze! Congrats guys, you all looked amazing. Alexa and Chris your twist was through the roof, Maddy and Max your ability to move with the music is truly one of a kind and Jessica and Zach your throw flip is awesome. The amount of compression those knees take makes even a dancer envy your knee bend! Our Team USA men performed really well. Max Aaron took home his third gold medal from this event - he should be so proud. Unfortunately, I was unable to stay for the senior men free skate because I was so exhausted. Sorry guys, but after reading the reports and hearing the updates from Max everyone skated really well and I'm sure you all are so proud of yourselves!
Aldridge and Eaton Ready for Change
- Created on Friday, 12 September 2014 19:04
by Jacquelyn Thayer | Photos by Robin Ritoss (on ice) & Melanie Hoyt (off ice)
After a debut senior outing marked by a top five finish at U.S. Nationals and Four Continents Championships bronze, a first trip to the World Championships as alternates proved eye-opening for two-time World Junior medalists Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton.
“Being at Junior Worlds was great the last two years,” said Eaton, “but when you get to the huge arena and have all of these people like Anna [Cappellini] and Luca [Lanotte], for example, or Kaitlyn [Weaver] and Andrew [Poje], who have been training years for the opportunity to be best in the world—seeing how much dedication is in there and seeing how much they pour into it really just motivated the two of us to try and improve our skating as much as we potentially could.”
That motivation inspired the team’s decision to relocate from the Detroit Skating Club in Bloomfield Hills, home for the first five years of their partnership, to Canton’s Arctic Edge, moving from the tutelage of Pasquale Camerlengo and Angelika Krylova to Marina Zueva, Johnny Johns and Massimo Scali—himself a recent Detroit Skating Club transplant.
2014 Pikes Peak Classic for Pairs and Dance18 Sep 2014 All Day
September 19-22, 2014
Hosted by the Broadmoor Skating Club
Colorado Springs, CO
ISU Junior Grand Prix23 Sep 2014 All Day
September 24-28, 2014
Tallinn, EST Website - coming soon
Nebelhorn Trophy24 Sep 2014 All Day
September 25-27, 2014
Oberstdorf, GER Website - coming soon
ISU Junior Grand Prix30 Sep 2014 All Day
October 1-5, 2014
Pokal der Blauen Schwerter
Dresden, GER Website - coming soon
22nd Ondrej Nepela Trophy30 Sep 2014 All Day
October 1-5, 2014
Bratislava, SVK Website - coming soon