Team IDC would not be possible without the volunteer staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes.

Daphne Backman
Owner & Editor-in-Chief

Since co-founding (IDC) in 1999, Daphne has spent the last 20+ years focusing the spotlight on all things ice dance and overseeing the growth of the website. In addition to taking care of the day-to-day updates, she coordinates IDC’s coverage of 30+ events highlighted by the year’s banner event—the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships (not surprisingly, her favorite skating event).

Daphne’s web design portfolio includes sites for athletes from the U.S., Canada, and all over the world.  In addition, Daphne has volunteered her time and design expertise at Figure Skaters Online. As a journalist and photographer, she has been published in SKATING Magazine and International Figure Skating, as well as on and

In May 2022, Daphne and Gina (from Figure Skaters Online) started the podcast This Week in Skating that features weekly news and event results as well as interviews with athletes, coaches and other figure skating personalities.

Daphne lives in southern Maine with her fiance Chris, cats (Chloe, Freya, Cassidy and Dante) and ferrets (Odin, Clementine and Darby).

Melanie Heaney
Assistant Administrator & Managing Editor

Not wanting to see Canucks short-changed on the ice dance coverage, Chicago native Melanie Hoyt joined the staff of IDC in 2007 to develop and oversee our Canadian beat.

In addition to her regular work at IDC, Melanie has been a columnist for International Figure Skating since late 2010. Her articles and photography have also been published online by Golden Skate, the International Skating Union, U.S. Figure Skating, IceNetwork, Skate Today, and in print media from Long Island to Vancouver. She can often be found boardside in an earflap hat, shooting developing skaters at local rinks.

She has maintained, an archive for skating results and skater profiles, since 2004. Melanie’s “favourite” event to attend is Skate Canada Challenge, although the Canadian Championships are holding her over until Challenge is in a more accessible location once again. She cannot say no to a well-prepared latte, and she is constantly in pursuit of the perfect split jump photograph.

Anne Calder

Anne first learned to skate on the Charles River in Cambridge, MA.  After graduating from Boston College, she taught high school English in California, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. She went to her first U.S. Nationals in 1991 in Minneapolis and has continued to attend events in the US, Canada, and Europe. She wrote for Skate Today for two years prior to joining the IDC staff in 2015.

Anne currently resides in Chandler, AZ with her two cats Katarina and Tatiana.

Matteo Morelli
Matteo’s passion for figure skating started in 2006 when he followed the Olympic Games in Turin on television, starting to cheer for Italy’s Carolina Kostner and discovering a lot more about this discipline that he immediately fell in love with. He attends competitions in Europe whenever he has a chance, with the dream of being able to go to the Winter Olympic Games one day. 
Born in Italy, Matteo moved to Great Britain and has been calling London his home for a almost a third of his life. He proudly works in healthcare management for the national healthcare service, and in his free time he enjoys exercising, going to classical music concerts and theatre plays, and of course following the figure skating! He has been a journalist for for some years, writing previews and recaps of events and interviewing ice dancers and their teams; he also joins Daphne and Gina (from Figure Skaters Online) as a producer and guest on their This Week in Skating podcast.
Morgan Matthews Pennington
Morgan's passion for figure skating began when her grandmother took her to see the local production of The Nutcracker On Ice in Evanston, Illinois. She fell in love with the spins, spirals, and sparkly costumes. She wanted to become an ice princess just like the Sugarplum Fairy in the production. She first stepped on the ice at the age of five and it was off to the races from there. Morgan went on to capture medals at several national and international championships in ice dance, including gold at the 2005 World Junior Championships and silver at the 2006 ISU Four Four Continents Championship. Morgan hung up her skates in 2010 due to several health issues, and in order to pursue her education. She earned a BA in Economics from Wellesley College in 2016. Morgan is now a full time mom and enjoys writing, cooking, gardening, listening to audiobooks and caring for her chickens. 
Robin Ritoss

Robin has been covering figure skating since 2005. She has regularly provided event reports and photos for since 2006. She joined the staff of after getting sucked into the IDC photography vortex at the 2009 Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships. Robin’s work has been published in the International Herald Tribune, multiple skating magazines, and around the Internet.

Currently residing in California, Robin has racked up more miles on airplanes than in her 1990 Acura Integra. She covered 20 international events during the 2014-2015 skating season alone and has no plans of slowing down now. Her favorite event was the 2005 Grand Prix Final where she got to work with Tatiana Flade as part of the ISU media team and tour her favorite city of Tokyo.

Danielle Earl

Danielle started her sports photography journey in 2008.  In early 2012, she started Danielle Earl Photography and by August 2012 things were taking off - all while she was under the age of 20.

Since then, she has photographed many domestic events in Canada, including Canadian National Championships. In late January 2022, Danielle traveled to Beijing, China to photograph her second Winter Olympic Games.  

In addition to figure skating, Danielle also enjoys photographing dance, gymnastics, cheerleading, swimming and equestrian sports.  Her goal is to create picture perfect memories.  

Danielle currently resides in Waterloo, Ontario.

Harumi Akabane

At the Junior Grand Prix in  Colorado Springs 2015, Harumi sat in the arena as an ice dancing fan and a beginner photographer near the media photographers to steal a secret of action photography.  Those photographers were Daphne and Robin. With this event as a start, Harumi joined the staff of  As a Japanese member, it was a big pleasure for Harumi to share photos from Japanese national events starting in 2019.

Harumi’s other passions are Dancesport and para Dancesport, bird watching and photographing, and exposing to art.

Currently residing in Sapporo, Harumi has moved sixteen times and lived in several cities across Japan, including Fukuoka, Osaka, Nagoya, Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba and Sendai. 

Yoriko Suzuki

Yoriko was born in a small town in Aichi, Japan. That area has long produced famous figure skaters, and she grew up being exposed to and watching figure skating.

In 2019, she started watching many European competitions, purchased a Sony Alpha camera and started photography in full swing.

As she toured competitions, she discovered the fun of ice dancing and now lives in Tokyo while traveling to many European competitions to take photos.

She loves to fly and never feels the distress of a 15-hour flight.

Julia Komarova

Julia started covering figure skating in 2007 and started photographing a year later. Julia loves the world and traveling and normally attends 10 events during the season. Her favorite events are Worlds, Russian Nationals and especially Nebelhorn Trophy, which is held in beautiful Obertsdorf.

For Julia, all competitions are enjoyable, whether it’s an adult event, junior, a B competition or a small Russian event. Her photographs have been published in Figure Skating (Russia) magazine and on skater’s websites. In addition to figure skating, she also enjoys attending and photographing tennis and track and field events.

Julia was born and still lives in her home city of Moscow, Russia.

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Abril Ventura
Journalist & Photo Editor

Born and raised in a small town in Mexico, Abril discovered there was such thing as a Winter Olympics in the year 2018, and decided to watch the figure skating event as it was one of the two winter sports she’d heard of before. She was immediately smitten with the sport, appreciating, as a former gymnast, the impressive combination of art and athleticism.

Abril now studies communications and audio visual arts at university, and enjoys taking and editing photographs, especially if they involve figure skating. She hopes to learn how to skate soon.

Photographer & Journalist

Francesca started following figure skating one February evening in 2006 while casually surfing through the TV channels, when she caught a glimpse of the competitions at the Torino Winter Olympics. It was love at first sight, and she never looked back. She travels to attend events whenever she can (the Challenger Series, when new programs are unveiled in small venues, are her favorite). She started taking photos at competitions in 2016. 

Originally from Italy, she is a researcher in biology and moved to Montréal in 2017 to work at the university, after living in a few different countries. You can view Francesca’s photos via Flickr or follow her on Twitter (@FS_Evolution) where she posts up-to-date information on the skating world and competition reports. 


Liz Chastney
Jordan Cowan
Seán Gillis & Hiro Yoshida from Europe on Ice
Katie Pettet
Natasha Ponarina
Irina Tsimfer

Additional Journalists

Alina Ponomaryova


Mombo #9
Emma Abraham
Jay Adeff
Andriana Andreev
Brett Barden
Bash Beard
Alex Benoit
Jamie Blanchard
Sherry Bosley
Tanja Brand
Nick Buckland
Isabella Cannuscio
Elisabeth Carlson
Christina Carreira
Stefano Caruso
Bob Cepican
Penny Coomes
Katie-Katherine Copely
Joi Cowan
Phil Culhane
Monica Cusick
Ashley Deavers
Dianna Deavers
Ryan Devereaux
Damian Dodge
Ashley Duenas
Charissa Ebersole
Dee Eggert
Karen Frank
Marni Gallagher
Barry Gropman

Jonathan Guerrero
Lindsay Higgins
Sherrie Hiner
Payten Howland
Marie Hughes
Frederike Hylla
Joe Johnson
Susanne Kempf
Daniel Klaber
Tanja Kolbe
Anna Kondakova
Adrienne Koob Doddy
Lynn Kriengkrairut
Brenda Lauton
Kevin Leahy
Perry Levine
Chloe Lewis
Howard Mager
Kerstin Maier
Karina Manta
Denise Manzagol
Kate Manzagol
Elyse Matsumoto
Charlotte Maxwell
Casey McManus
Colin McManus
Jim McManus
Tammi McManus
Ashli Meynert
J. Barry Mittan
Holly Moore

Avonley Nguyen
Ben Nykiel
Amy Page
Michele Peltier
Elliana Pogrebinsky
Adelaide Ponte Usdin
Wendy Ponte
Cathy Reed
Amy Salamey
Alexandra Sherman
Alex Shibutani
Maia Shibutani
Isabel Silva
Vicky Smith
Adam Stein
Jacquelyn Thayer
Paul Tortland
Jayar Walker
Wendilee Walpole
Sonja Wendl
Jennifer Wester
Michelle Wojdyla
Jean Wyble
Katie Wyble
Nikki Yorgiadis
K. Yuda
Cara Zanella

A final thanks to those who have visited: the fans, athletes, parents, coaches and officials! Thank you for letting us know of the “gremlins” that need to be fixed within the web site, as well as suggestions you have for new ideas and content. As all skaters know, feedback is crucial, because it makes us improve. When we are buried in photos and html, getting those little notes that say, “thanks, we’re enjoying your site and keep up the good work!” mean so much.