Reports by Karen Frank
JUNIOR ORIGINAL DANCE
The withdrawal of Meryl Davis and Charlie White due to injury took some of the suspense out of the junior event, as only four teams remained in the event. And while the standings did not change throughout the competition, the high level of performances among the top teams generated an excitement of its own.
In fourth place after the CDS, the team of Stephanie Segien and Jay Lilly of the Stars FSC of Texas, started off the original dance competition skating to “Dancing Fool” and “Fever.” In terms of speed, they seemed to be a level below the other three teams. Their OD contained a both a rotational lift and a reverse rotational lift. In terms of timing, they employed series of high free leg kicks to accent the beats.
Skating to music from the musical, “Chicago,” Christina Chitwood and Stephen Chasman, from the Broadmoor SC, were the second competitors in the Original Dance. Their strength seems to be with their clever and intricate lifts, which in the OD included a horizontal rotational lift with kicking position changes and a flipover into a reverse rotational lift. A well-matched pair with nice posture, their lifting and spinning elements were clearly highlights of their programs, though they seemed to have some speed issues with their footwork sequences.
The Christopher Dean choreographed OD of Trina Pratt and Todd Gilles (also representing Broadmoor) displayed non-stop movement packed full of clever character work. Skating to music from “The Boyfriend,” Nat King Cole, and “Burn the Floor,” the first place team was fast, smooth, and fun, always keeping to the mood of the music. With head and hand flips, quick comic stops, and other choreographic touches, this was a seamless dance. Full of continuously changing holds and tricky footwork, Pratt and Gilles made their original dance feel like a complete performance, instead of a series of musically linked required elements.
The final competitors in the Original Dance, Kimmerly Lauten and Augie Hill, displayed a solid ballroom feel in their Quickstep and Foxtrot to “Girls, Girls, Girls” and “Unforgettable.” Though they had a synchronization problem with their twizzles in the straight line step sequence, this otherwise was a strong performance of classical ice dance. Hill’s strength in the lifts was readily apparent, especially in a change of direction lift from a spread eagle position.
After the CDs and the OD, the results were Pratt/Gilles, Lauten/Hill, Chitwood/Chasman, and Segien/Lilly. The random draw for the Freedance had these teams skating in reverse order.