by Michelle Wojdyla

Lesson learned this morning: do not stop to chat on the way to juvenile compulsory dance competition, because with only three teams and a packed schedule all day, you might miss something. 

In my case, it would be Danielle & Alexander Gamelin’s Hickory Hoedown.

They were taking their bow as Monica and I came into the rink, and I had no time to get my camera out. Monica tried to get something with her point and shoot, but their bow was short and we were behind hockey glass, so we struck out.

So here’s a shout out to Team Gamelin: I’m sorry.

From the protocol sheet, they did very well. All their GoEs were either 0 or 1 and their program components averaged around 3.0. Their score for the dance was 15.70.

Local dancers Tori Look & David Botero from the Skating Club of North Carolina were next. While they had all 0s or 1s on the first segment of all three patterns, they were hit with mostly negative GoEs each time on the second segment. The judges rated them low on the timing components score, with five of the six judges not having them above 1.25. Their skating skills, however, were more than a point and a half higher and 12.16 was enough to put them into second behind the Gamelins. 

Zoe Sakas & Christopher Larosa received mostly –1s on their GoEs and finished the Hoedown with a score of 11.41.

The second dance, the Fourteen Step, followed immediately. Even with only three teams, they swapped the skating order. Sakas and Larosa were up first. Their sparkling red costumes fit the jaunty mood of the music. Their program component scores dropped from the first dance, giving them 11.03 for the Fourteen Step and a compulsory total of 22.44.

Look and Botero had a much better outing in this dance, besting their Hickory score by nearly three points. Their 15.04 in the Fourteen Step received only two –1s out of the 24 scores, matched by two +1s. With all other scores getting base value, they wound up with 27.20 heading into the free dance.

The Gamelins snagged only a single –1 and three +1s en route to winning this compulsory, too. Their combined total of 31.10 gives them a nearly four-point lead.