by Anne Calder | Photos by Robin Ritoss
The Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships is a National Qualifying Series (NQS) event for seniors, juniors, novice, intermediate and juvenile.
The Senior Championships Rhythm Dance placement: Emilea Zingas & Vadym Kolesnik, Leia Dozzi & Pietro Papetti, Rafaella Koncius Alexey Shchepetov, Maria Alieva & Mathieu Couyras, Cara Murphy & Joshua LevitT, Cayla Cottrell & Uladzislau Palkhouski, Angela Ling & Caleb Wein Nicole Takahashi & Shiloh Judd, Caroline Depietri & TJ Carey.
In the free Dance and Final Placement, the Rhythm Dance teams one-four remained the same, fifth and sixth switched places and Alieva & Couyras and Ling & Wein withdrew.
Zingas & Kolesnik won gold with a Maxime Rodriguez reworked Philip Glass medley. The dance opened with the new choreographic assisted jump movement, adding +2.08 GOE to the base score and totaling 3.18 for the element. The segment earned 105.93 and totaled 177.47 – a 14 point increase from their Dallas Classic team debut three weeks ago.
Dozzi & Papetti represent Italy and train at I.AM in London, Ontario Canada with Scott Moir, Madison Hubbell and Adrian Diaz. The free dance scored 102.82 points. The 165.66 total earned them the silver medal. Dozzi previously skated for Hungary.
Koncius & Shchepetov, who train in Estero, Florida with Marina Zueva’s International Skating Academy, earned the bronze medal. The music included “Charms” and “Dance For Me Wallace” from the W.E. soundtrack. The segment scored 91.62 and totaled 145.55.
Murphy & Levitt, who train in Pittsburg with Andrejs Sitiks, are working with the MIDA coaches this summer. The fourth place team partnered in 2020. Their Free Dance segment scored 72.49 and totaled 121.22.
(5) Cottrell & Palkhouski, (6) Takahashi & Judd, (7) Depietri & Carey. Alieva & Couyras and Ling & Wein (WD)
The Junior Championships Rhythm Dance placement: Julia Epps & Blake Gilman, Olivia Ilin & Dylan Cain, Zoe Larson & Andrii Kapran, Xinyu Chen & Jack Liu, Emma L’Esperance & Mika Amdour, Anna Sophia O’Brien & Steven Wei, Olivia Dietrich & Eduard Pylpenko, Michela Melillo & Sam Chen, and Anabelle Larson & Jonathan Young.
The Free Dance scores changed the final placements. The top three remained the same but shuffled spots.
Ilin & Cain made their Junior season debut dancing to the familiar tunes of the 1950’s classic musical, Grease. The Greg Zuerlein choreographed program scored 77.33 with a 126.58 total. The gold medalists train with Dima Ilin in Rockville, Maryland.
“Dylan and I are much younger than many of the competitors, and I felt we needed to prove ourselves,” Ilin said. “Earning the gold medal was a real confidence booster. It was very motivating to skate and practice with the experienced junior and senior teams.”
Epps & Gilman chose “Talking to the Moon” and “Runaway Baby” by Bruno Mars for their first Junior season Free Skate music. The 71.14 score placed third, but their first place Rhythm Dance gave them enough points to claim the silver medal. The total score was 120.45.
“I’m happy we skated two clean programs and improved our score from the previous competition, but we still have a lot to work technically on going forward for the rest of the season,” Gilman said.
Zoe Larson & Andrii Kapran earned the bronze medal with their second place Free Dance. The program closed with the new Choreographic Assisted Jump Movement added to this season’s elements and scored 1.11 GOE.
The technical segment scored 72.10; the total was 115.73. Larson, a former pair skater and Kapran represent his home country of Ukraine. They have been assigned to the second JGP Czech Skate in Ostrava, CZE.
Anabelle Larson & Jonathan Young vaulted from ninth after a very disappointing Rhythm Dance to a final fourth place finish. The Estero, Florida based team performed to “Steppin’ Out With My Baby” and “Don’t Mean A Thing”. The Free Dance scored 68.66. The total was 107.48.
(5) Chen & Liu, (6) LEsperance & Amdour, (7) Melillo & Chen, (8) O’Brien & Wei. Dietrich & Pylypenko (WD).
Sylvia Li & Rowan Le Coq (gold) 107.79
“I think we skated really well, but we were really nervous before because we had a lot of pressure especially going last, but we overcame that,” Li said.
“Because we only had one week to prepare all this, it was very stressful for us, but we managed to overcome it and did our best,” Rowan said.
Sylvia and Rowan had COVID after the Chesapeake Open, and it took them a while to get their energy back.
“Getting used to run-throughs of the whole program takes a lot of energy,” Sylvia noted.
Michelle Deych & Wiles Middlekauff (silver) 97.00
“Our pattern dances weren’t as good as Texas (Dallas Classic), but it definitely got better with the Free Dance,” Deych said. “It was a lot more points than Texas, so we’re happy about that.”
Annelise Stapert & Maxim Korotcov (bronze) 95.11
“We’ve been skating together for about 5 years,” Korotcov said. “We’re improving and just enjoying skating together. We’ve had a great time today and yesterday. It’s really been fun. We really see the improvements. We keep trying and we’re enjoying it.”
Stapert agreed. “We’ll get there eventually.”
(4) Emily Renzi & William Lissauer, (5) Ja Yi Kirwan & Luke Witkowski, (6) Jasmine Robertson & Hayden Wood, (7) Zoe Cialella & Alex Spruill, (8) Jocelyn Tan & Drake Tong and (9) Alika Li & Patrick Li.
Sarah Yoo & Nicholas Ying (gold) 90.38
The team was happy for the opportunity to show the judges and audience all they’ve been working on for the past weeks and months. They hope to make the Ice Dance Final in November, which will be held at the SCOB, their home rink in Norwood, Massachusetts. i
“I felt support of lots of people and the other competitors,” Yoo said. “They’re all super nice and supportive of everybody.”
Watch for the upcoming IDC article by Gina Capellazzi about their coach Simon Shnapir, the 2014 Olympic Team Event bronze medalist for pairs.
Grace Fischer & Luke Fischer (silver) 86.63
“It was really fun.” Luke said. “With the audience it gives us someone to perform for because it’s hard when you’re just staring at the glass and boards. Also, with the adrenaline we skated really fast.”
Coach Ben Agosto, “They’re just fun. It’s incredibly special for us to witness that early stage when everything is brand new and there’s such a close connection to the joy of it. As you get higher up, you still love skating but it gets hard, and it becomes your job. It’s a blast to see that stage. They love everything they’re doing. It’s all brand new.”
Hana Maria Aboian & Steven Moore (bronze) 80.51
“On the ice I wanted to do better than I did last time (Dallas Open),” Aboian said.
“At first I thought my stomach felt really bad, and I didn’t want to do this,” Moore said. “Then after I started the program, I thought this is fine. Then I actually felt really good about it, and I wanted it to continue.”
Coach Svetlana Kulikova added, “I’m very proud of them.”
4) Mckenzie Mcintyre & Simon Mintz, (5) Dessie Hoewing-Moxley & Daniel Dehart, (6) Anaelle Kouevi & Yann Homawoo and (7) Annie Huang & Gabe Winawer.
Marian Carhart & Denis Bledsoe (gold) 82.01
“Winning the gold medal was good, but the twizzles, we have to work on them,” Bledsoe said.
“I thought it was pretty good. There’s always more room for improvement,” Carhart added. “We have to work on everything.”
Coach Ilia Tkachenko, “They have only been skating together for two and a half months, and It’s only their second competition. It’s a good start. They performed on the level they could at this moment. A lot of work needs to be done, but I’m happy with the overall direction. I am really happy for them.”
Rylan Lukanin & Patrick O’Brien (silver) 80.35
“This time I was not that nervous because I got the nerves out before I got on the ice,” Rylan said.
“Today I saw a lot more eyes on me,” O’Brien said. “What really motivated me to do good was all the people who were supporting me.”
Sophia Kartashov & Nicholas Kartashov (bronze) 73.86
“It was exciting, and I think we tried our best,” Sophia said.
“Our spin definitely got better than at the Dallas Open,” Nicholas said. “We held it for the three revolutions, same position. “We definitely had more speed.”
(4) Marina Li and Justin Liao, (5) Anna Xu & Sean Kay, (6) Natalie Leitan & Nathan Leitan, (7) Mia Aisin & Ken Chen and (8) Zoe Stone & Jerry Stone.