Adrienne Koob-Doddy & Robert Antonelli


int-koobantoKoob-Doddy and Antonelli are ice dancers who train in New Jersey with Naomi Lang and Mark Fitzgerald. They are looking forward to competing as Junior next season.

How did you team up?
Rob: At the time I was taking dance lessons once a week and Adrienne’s mom, the President of the club at the time, was putting together a show. She asked if I would skate with Adrienne to show people ice dancing.

Adrienne: Rob and I did a compulsory dance together for a show since we were the only dancers at the rink. We were both 11 at the time. We skated the Dutch Waltz and the Willow Waltz at our club’s festival which went pretty well considering we practiced probably twice! That fall, Rob went to regionals for Juvenile Boys so we didn’t pursue a partnership until afterward. We started skating together in January of 1999 after Rob turned 12.

How did you feel about your skating and placement at nationals?
Adrienne: I think we were very happy with our compulsory performances but maybe not quite as happy with the freedance. We did have a little stumble in the footwork which obviously hurt us. We didn’t accomplish our placements goals, but we did have so much fun in Atlanta and it has definitely pushed us to work harder for this coming season.

Rob: I was very disappointed with the results from Nationals. We were in 3rd after the compulsories and then dropped to 5th in the freedance. It’s nothing to be ashamed about, but I think we could have been higher.

You have recently changed coaches.  Who are you working with now and how are they different from your previous coaches?
Adrienne: We are actually working with many new people this year! Our head coaches are Mark Fitzgerald and Naomi Lang. Naomi and Peter Tcherynshev are choreographing our OD and FD this year. We are also working with Vladimir Besedin for lifts and Slava Tuchtin for off-ice training. We are having a great time with Mark and Naomi. It’s nice to have a set schedule everyday and not have to move around to different rinks all the time. I think because of this we are more focused on training better. It’s been fun to work with Naomi and Peter together for choreography. It’s great to be able to work with such amazing dancers! It’s been interesting to move from a rink with numerous dance teams to a place where we are the only one. On the plus side, it’s harder to get distracted but yet it’s also a little harder to motivate yourself. However, I think we have gotten passed that and can just concentrate on training now.

Rob: Plus, they were competitors recently so they can demonstrate exactly what we need to do.

Tell us about competing in your first Junior Grand Prix event?  How did you feel when you received the assignment?  What was it like at the event?
Adrienne: I was definitely very surprised to hear that we got our first JGP last summer. I actually didn’t even read it myself! Flo Steed was down in Philadelphia at the time and came over to congratulate me. I had no idea what she was talking about! Of course I had to know right away so I called my Uncle Tim who checked the USFSA site, and there we were scheduled to compete in Slovakia! However, that was later changed to Croatia after we competed at Lake Placid where it was decided that we would do better at a competition with the Paso Doble as the compulsory.

Rob: I was very excited yet nervous to travel outside the country.

Adrienne: We had a great time in Croatia. I think the entire team bonded so well and we really supported each other. It was great to be there with Morgan & Max, our top Junior team, who really did a great job and motivated us for the upcoming season. However, I think my favorite part was the Men’s Long where everyone was really pulling for our guys, especially Evan so he could get through his program. He was so sick that day yet we were so happy that he could skate well and win!

Rob: The event was great, and we made a lot of friends both abroad and from home. It was a great experience. We got to experience open judging again and it’s so different than what we are used to. Everyone was friendly and helpful too. It was an education to be able to travel and meet new people and see their customs.

Adrienne: And we were really excited to get another assignment this season. I can’t wait to see Budapest.

You have been partners for several years now while other teams have split up.  What do you think it is about your partnership that has helped you to remain together?
Adrienne: I think we have been able to stay together because we are such good friends and honestly love to skate with each other. Plus we have two supportive families who talk to each other, to us, and to our coaches. We try to keep the communication lines open so everyone is on the same page.

Rob: Understanding and cooperation. We work things out and compromise. We never stay mad at each other if there is a disagreement. We express our likes and dislikes and take each other’s feelings into consideration.

What has been your favorite competition?
Adrienne: I think that every Lake Placid Dance competition has been my favorite. It’s great to have all the dancers together and be able to show all your programs for the first time. I also loved the Helmut Seibt Memorial in Vienna because Vienna was amazing.

Rob: I have two: first was Nationals in Dallas because it was a great experience to see and meet all the new people and skaters I’ve watched on TV. The second was the Helmut Seibt Memorial like Adrienne said. The country was beautiful and I got to travel to a different country without my parents!

What is your most memorable competition?
Rob: Probably Nationals in Dallas because it was the first time I was at “big” nationals.

Adrienne: Like Rob said, Nationals in Dallas was amazing because it was our first “big” one. We skated great as well and just had so much fun! Plus being able to watch all the events live and getting backstage was cool. Once again, the Helmut Seibt competition is one I will always remember.

What do you think makes ice dancing a fun sport?  What would you say to encourage other young skaters to try it?
Rob: I like it because you get to work with another person so you get to share your ideas and thoughts with each other. I would encourage any young person that has a feel for music and can skate to a beat to try it out.

Adrienne: I think ice dancing is so fun because it is so creative. There are so many lifts, spins, and footwork sequences that you can make up. I would tell kids to give it a try and get through the beginning dances then it becomes more interesting. I would also encourage them to look for a partner because it’s so much fun to have a partner.

How do you spend your off ice time?
Rob: I enjoy playing the guitar, videogames, and cards. I like hanging with my friends, both from Philly and New Jersey and of course girls!

Adrienne: I like to hang out with friends, go shopping, and watch movies. I also make photo albums for every Nationals and International competition we go to so I recently finished the book with Croatia and another with Atlanta Nationals.

Which skaters/people do you look up to as role models?
As a team, we really admire Naomi Lang & Peter Tchernyshev. We really like how polished they were and the attention to detail they had which is being instilled in us now.

Which compulsory dance is your favorite/least favorite?
We both like the Paso Doble. Least favorite, European Waltz! Training it for 3 seasons ruined that dance for us.

Which events are you planning to compete at next season?
We will be competing at the Lake Placid Dance Competition, our NACS in San Jose, our JGP in Budapest, hopefully another JGP, sectionals, and then Nationals if we qualify.

Is there anything you would like to say to your family, friends and fans?
Adrienne: I would like to thank both my family and Rob’s family for their support through all these years. I’d like to thank my closest friends Emily Blynn and Pilar Bosley for always being there for me and helping us with the coaching change this season. Thanks to everyone who supports us, we really appreciate it!

Rob: Thank you for always being there and for the support. Thank you Mom and Dad for the time, support, patience, and money for skating. I love you.