Natalie Feigin & Jason Cusmariu – something French
Natalie & Jason’s free dance is highlighted by a very nice serpentine lift that features her in a tall Bielmann position, standing on Jason’s legs. I thought that this has already begun to improve from Lake Placid, but that the music is too smooth for them. I think that they would benefit from skating to music with a stronger beat that has more energy, like their original dance. The level one step sequences are hurting their marks, but they are faring much better with their lifts, earning levels three and four.

Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein – “West Side Story”
My best friend says it’s a rite of passage – every dance team has to do a “West Side Story” program at some point in their career. I think she’s right, and I also think that “West Side Story” has come at the perfect time for Maddie and Greg. They have great expression, they appear to really enjoy their performance to this music, and their youth gives a great dynamic to the program. I thought their circular footwork looked a bit hesitant, but it’s still so early in the season, so that’s definitely normal at this point. She has a great layback spin that is highlighted in the program, and overall, this performance was very strong and very entertaining.

Helen Ramful & Justin Mohr – something techno, maybe a little Middle Eastern?
There were some definite problems with the elements in this dance – they lacked unison on their twizzles, the footwork looked very deliberate and tentative, and overall, it did not look as prepared as their original dance did. However, they seemed to enjoy performing to this music. I thought it was a good choice to use the most upbeat selection of music at the end of the program – when the tempo picked up, you could tell that it gave them a second wind of energy to push toward the end of the program.

Patricia Stuckey & Christopher Mior – something by Josh Groban
I thought that the smooth, lyrical music worked for them, showing off their maturity, particularly for a junior team. Their steps had good flow, but they did not appear as difficult as Chock & Zuerlein’s. One especially nice lift featured him on one foot and two different inverted positions from her. There were some hesitations, but they gave a good, solid performance overall.