Anne’s Take: 2023 Dallas Classic

by Anne Calder

Team IDC traveled to Texas for the 2023 Dallas Classic, which served both as a National Qualifying Series (NQS) Dance event and also a participating event in the National Solo Dance Series (SDS).

Scores for the NQS event could determine participation at the U.S. Dance Final, culminating with the U.S. National Championships or the National High Performance Development Team Camp in January. SDS scores will affect an invitation to the Solo Dance Series National Championships in September.


Senior:  Katarina Wolfkostin & Dimitry Tsarevski (gold), Isabella Flores & Ivan Desyatov (silver), Raffaella Koncius & Alexey Shchepetov (bronze) and Zoe Larson & Andri Kapran (pewter).

Juniors: Leah Neset & Artem Markelov (gold), Eliana Peal & Ethan Peal (silver), Jenna Hauer & Ben Staar (bronze) and Anya Lavrova & Jonathan Rogers (pewter)

Rhythm Dance
“The theme selected for both Junior and Senior for the 2023-2024 season is “Music and Feeling” for the Eighties”. Any music is possible provided it was originally released in the decade of the 1980s. The couple should demonstrate through dance the culture and feeling/essence of this decade. The selected music may be remastered. The RD should NOT be skated in the style of the FD. The couple must use the dance movements and dance holds to interpret the chosen music from this decade.”

(ISU Rule 709, paragraph 1)

The 80’s music had many adults from a certain generation singing along in the audience. On the ice, the dancers were having fun, too. While the same singers were used a few times, only three songs were repeated: “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters, “Under Pressure” by Queen and “Bad” by Michael Jackson.

Senior Rhythm Dance
Katerina Wolfkostin & Dimitry Tsarevski (64.90) “The Promise” by When in Rome / “Call Me” by Blondie) The new team trains at the Michigan Ice Dance Academy with Charlie White, Tanith Belbin and Greg Zuerlein.

Isabella Flores & Ivan Desyatov (59.17) “Pour Some Sugar on Me” by Vince Anthony / “When Doves Cry” by Prince). Desyatov has recently been released by Belarus to compete for the U.S.

Angela Ling & Caleb Wein (56.65) “Love All the Hurt Away” / “Come to Me” by Aretha Franklin). The team competed at the 2023 University Games.

Zoe Larson & Andrii Kapran (55.64) “I’m So Excited” by The Pointer Sisters, “Just the Two of US” by Bill Withers and “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls. The team represents Ukraine and trains in Florida.

Junior Rhythm Dance
Leah Neset & Artem Markelov (67.22) “Still Loving You” by Scorpions and “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett. The 2022 U.S. Junior National Champions train in Colorado Springs with Elena Dotstatni.

Elliana Peal & Ethan Peal (61.98) “What Have You Done for Me Lately?” / “Rhythm Nation” by Janet Jackson. The siblings train in Nashville, TN with their father, former National team competitor, Rob Peal.

Jenna Hauer & Benjamin Starr (59.14) “Simply the Best” by Tina Turner. Starr attends Brandeis University in MA while Hauer will be a CT high school senior in the fall.  Svetlana Kulikova (CT) and Dmitri Boundoukin (MA) share the coaching duties.

Anya Lavrova & Jonathan Rogers (57.87) “Bad” by Michael Jackson. The duo became partners only two months ago and train in Novi, Michigan with Igor Shpilband’s group.

Senior Free Dance
Wolfkostin & Tsarevski remained in first place with their dance to “Tanquera” by Diego Schissa Quinteto and “Invierno Porteno” by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica. The gold medalists scored 98.81 and totaled 163.71 in their partnership debut.

Flores & Desyatov won silver with their West Side Story program, which included “I Feel Pretty”, “Maria” and “Tonight”. The dance scored 94.92 and totaled 154.09.

Koncius & Shchepetov vaulted from fifth to third place to win the bronze medal with their 89.52 score and 145.06 total. The MIDA trained team danced to “On Reflection (Black Mirror television series) by Max Richter and “Song for the Little Sparrow (Overture) by Patricia Kaas – Abel Korzeniowski.

Larson & Kapran chose “Dance mon Esmeralda” the final song in Act II of Notre-Dame de Paris for their music. Their 88.43 score and 144.07 total earned the Ukrainian team the pewter medal.

Junior Free Dance
Neset & Markelov topped the leader board with a gold medal performance to Sara Brightman’s “Anytime, Anywhere” and “Cry” by Thomas Bergersen. Both the Kaitlyn Weaver choreographed program (100.78) and total (168.00) were personal best scores.

Elliana Peal & Ethan Peal danced a powerfully choreographed program to Lord of the Rings for an 80.01 score. Unfortunately, a twizzle error and fall deduction slid them down to fourth in the free dance. Their 141.99 total bounced them back up to second and winners of the silver medal.

Jenna Hauer & Ben Starr’s performance to selections from Notre-Dame de Paris put together by Hugo Chouinard scored 79.71. An unfortunate twizzle mistake was costly and dropped them to sixth place in the free dance. Their total 138.85 was enough to guarantee third overall and take home the bronze medal.

Anya Lavrova & Jonathan Rogers earned 79.92 points for their interpretation of Les Miserables. The new partnership scored a total 137.79 and won them the pewter medal.

Yahli Pedersen & Jeffrey Chen chose Phantom of the Opera for their second place free dance program that scored 84.01. The new team made their Junior debut after Chen skated last season on the Senior level with his previous partner. The MIDA trained team finished fifth over all with a total 141.99.

Caroline Mullen & Brendan Mullen found the lyrics to “Survivor” by 2WE1 epitomized their fight back from last year’s injuries that kept them off the ice all season. The 80.33 score was third in the free dance. The siblings finished sixth with a 135.00 total.

IDC spoke with the athletes after their Free Dance. The general consensus was they were happy to have the first skate of the season under their belts. Most of the teams will be heading next up the Adirondack Mountains to compete at the Lake Placid International and Championship events.


  • Six new Junior partnerships competed at the event.
  • Partner dance participation at the Dallas Classic increased from 24 in 2022 to 40 in 2023.
  • Solo dance participation at the Dallas Classic increased from 49 in 2022 to 81 in 2023.
  • Eleven different training centers had dancers at the competition.
  • Novice ice dancers are anxious about the rule change since the teams with the top five total combined novice scores from the U.S. Ice Dance Final will be invited to compete at the U.S. Championships.
  • Adam Esfandiari competed and won gold in both the NQS (Juvenile with Vasilisa Serova) and SDS (Pre-Bronze Solo Pattern).
  • Violet Benton competed in both NQS (Juvenile with Nicolas Grohne) and SDS (Pre-Silver Solo Pattern and Intermediate Solo Combined). 

Shazam and Sound Hound were used for the music identification at the Dallas Classic. Please contact us with any corrections.