Report by Melanie Hoyt
Alexa Arrotta & Martin Nickel — “Harlem Nocturne” + “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing”
Arrotta & Nickel ran into trouble on the midline step sequence when Nickel stumbled just before a set of twizzles. They earned a level two for that element and received -.50 GOE. Aside from that mistake, however, the elements were fine, and they received level fours on both their spin and their twizzle sequence. They gave good energy and expression to the program, but a lack of speed likely held them back on the components marks. With 38.82 points, they were sixth in this dance.
Elyse Matsumoto & Patrick Mays — ’20s
Coming off of a great showing in the OD and FD at Lake Placid, Matsumoto & Mays rebounded from a rough compulsory dance with an energetic and clean skate in the original dance. Although their midline step sequence was only given a level one, the steps were in the character of the program, and they performed them well for +.75 GOE. They were a bit shaky on the level four twizzles, which resulted in -.33 GOE, but with four level four elements and solid components scores, their score of 44.03 was enough for first place.
Karen Routhier & Eric Saucke-Lacelle — “P.S. I Love You” + “Stuff Like That There”
With a smooth jazzy opening piece, Routhier & Saucke-Lacelle settled into their program easily. The style suited them well, and their first element, level four twizzles, was done with excellent unison, and the first set of twizzles was done with their free legs extended. Their twizzles earned them +.63 in GOE, and no element in their program was given negative GOE. An opportunity for improvement for them is to increase the level of energy and speed in the second half of the program to match the music. Their score in this dance was 42.73, which placed them third.
Alexandra Paul & Jason Cheperdak — “Tea for Two” + tap dancing music
Last year’s Canadian bronze medalists on the novice level, Paul & Cheperdak, had a charming program that worked well for their first competition as juniors. After sitting out the Mariposa Charity Gala the week before, (it had been announced that Paul was injured) it was surprising to see them competing at Thornhill. The program was put together well, but it was apparent that they had missed training time, as they had several small stumbles and never looked completely comfortable. Still, even with an injury, they scored 38.75 points and were seventh.
Marina Staltari & Jonathan Okrainetz — something big band
Staltari & Okrainetz, a new partnership, had some rough patches in their original dance. Okrainetz stumbled twice, and one was a costly error on the twizzle sequence, which was rated a level two and given -1.10 GOE. Additionally, three of their elements were level ones -– the midline step sequence, the spin, and the circular step sequence. However, despite the technical mistakes, they stayed committed to the choreography and pushed through the dance. With 26.51 points, they finished 12th.
Abby Carswell & Jason Cusmariu — sounded like the Brian Setzer Orchestra
Finishing in second place with 43.85 points, Carswell & Cusmariu’s score was over four points higher than their effort at Lake Placid. Skating with a lot of energy, they entered their elements with attack. Their level three twizzles were done with a lot of speed, although with a slight unison break in the middle. They did not receive any negative GOE, and their opening element, a level-two midline step sequence, earned +1.25 GOE. At the end of the energetic dance, they looked thrilled with their performance.
Olivia Martins & Alvin Chau — “Cheek to Cheek”
Unfortunately, Carswell & Cusmariu’s training partners, Martins & Chau, did not have as great of a performance. Although they are capable of an equally high score, their 39.54 put them in fifth place. Martins had a stumble on the level-two circular step sequence, and then Chau made a mistake on the second set of twizzles in the level three twizzle sequence. Their biggest problem came in the spin, when they almost lost it, but they managed to hang on. Even with the mistakes, though, their program had a lot of energy and great choreography, and Martins & Chau will get another chance with this dance soon on the Junior Grand Prix Series.
Nikki Yorgiadis & Graham Hockley — ’20s
Yorgiadis & Hockley were the third team in a row in this event to come from the Scarboro FSC, but Yorgiadis & Hockley will be representing Greece internationally. Aside from a stumble from Hockley on the midline step sequence, they skated this program with confidence, energy, and sharpness. Both of them get into the character of the music well, but this seems to really be Hockley’s strength. With 40.42 points, they were fourth in this dance.
Helene Letourneau & Kevin Boczar
Letourneau & Boczar really got into their characters, going over the top with the expression, but in a way that suited the music well. Their first element, a level one midline step sequence, contained so much mirror footwork that it was difficult to judge the unison. Their level four rotational lift was strong, and on the change of position, they incorporated a choreographed kiss. Although their program had energy, their skating was a bit slow overall. They received a costume deduction because the next team found beads on the ice, but it did not look like the beads were from Letourneau’s costume. However, the one-point deduction did not make a difference in the standings. With 35.45 points, Letourneau & Boczar finished ninth.
Kathryn Leak & David MacKay-Perry
With a lot of facial expressions, Leak & MacKay-Perry performed their program to the very last note of the music. However, the expressions, particularly Leak’s, did not seem to fit the music, and resulted in making her look terrified for the majority of the program. Their elements were all rated level ones, besides a level three twizzle sequence, so they did not have the base value that they needed to place higher. Their score of 31.49 put them in 11th place.
Katelyn Good & Brandon Deslauriers — “Summertime”
The smooth style of the music suited this new pairing. They appeared to be fairly confident on most of the elements, but ran into problems on their rotational lift, when it seemed like Deslauriers nearly lost his footing. He saved it, though, and they were back into the program within seconds. They received a deduction for an extended lift, and their final score of 36.71 ranked them eighth in this dance.
Alissandra Aronow & Aleksandras Pirogovas — “In the Mood”
Skating to a vocal arrangement of “In the Mood,” Lithuania’s Aronow & Pirogovas had good expression and were easily the fastest team in the final group. Unfortunately, they lost a lot of points when Aronow fell on the twizzle sequence, resulting in a level one for that element, negative GOE, and a deduction for the fall. The rest of the program, however, was skated well, but their performance aspect did seem affected by the mistake. With 33.98 points, they finished 10th.