SEASONAL PARTNER CHANGES: Last year, the ice dance world was rocked by an unusually high number of partnerships ending. This off-season has brought with it a similar number of splits, as well as the forming of new partnerships.
Who is out?
- Germany’s number two team, Tanja Kolbe & Stefano Caruso, have called it quits as a team.
- Six teams who competed internationally as part of Team USA have ended their partnerships (Charlotte Lichtman & Dean Copely, Isabella Cannuscio & Ian Lorello, Anastasia Olson & Jordan Cowan, Lauri Bonacorsi & Travis Mager, Kaitlin Hawayek & Michael Bramante, and Jessica Mancini & Tyler Brooks).
- Both of Ukraine’s top junior teams broke up in March with Maria Nosulia & Evgeni Kholoniuk and Anastasia Galyeta & Alexei Shumski parting ways. Kholoniuk and Galyeta are both listed on partner search websites.
Who is in?
- Canadian Olympian Vanessa Crone, who sat out last season, has teamed with Nikolaj Sorensen of Denmark. The team will skate for Canada and are currently planning to debut at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships in late July.
- Anastasia Olson has teamed up with Keiffer Hubbell. The duo is training in Detroit.
- Jean-Luc Baker, whose partnership with Joylyn Yang ended when Yang was forced to retire due to injury, has teamed with Kaitlin Hawayek. Like Olson & Hubbell, they will also train in Detroit.
Judging by the number of ice dancers still looking for partners and the fact that the clock is ticking down towards the start of the season, we’ll likely hear of new partnerships relatively soon. We’ll keep you posted.
ICE DANCE COACHES NOMINATED FOR THE PSA’S EDI AWARD: (From the PSA press release) Every year the Professional Skaters Association (PSA) recognizes exceptional coaching achievement through the annual EDI awards. The Education and Dedication International (EDI) Awards are named after the late World and Olympic coach, Edi Scholdan, who died in the 1961 world team plane crash. Scholdan was the first president of the PSA and inspiration for the awards.
Two Michigan coaching teams have been nominated for the Coach of the Year.
Marina Zoueva & Igor Shpilband are no strangers to this award, having won it in 2011. Shpilband also won it in 2005 and in 1998 (with Liz Coates). The Team Canton coaches had a strong season, leading Meryl Davis & Charlie White to their third consecutive Grand Prix Final title and world championship medal, as well as their fourth U.S. title. Zoueva & Shpilband also train Maia & Alex Shibutani, who won their first Grand Prix event this season (NHK Trophy) and qualified for their first Grand Prix Final, where they finished fifth. Though students Madison Chock & Evan Bates got a late start to the season, Zoueva & Shpilband led them to fourth- and fifth-place finishes at their Grand Prix events and a fifth-place showing at Nationals. Also nominated are the Detroit Skating Club’s Pasquale Camerlengo & Anjelika Krylova. The married duo molded the new team of Madison Hubbell & Zach Donohue, who won the bronze medal at the 2012 U.S. Championships and finished 10th at their first World Championships. They led U.S. junior champions Alexandra Aldridge & Daniel Eaton to a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships and were part of the coaching team for the newly-crowned novice champions, Holly Moore & Daniel Klaber. Camerlengo is also up for the Paul McGrath Choreographer of the Year award.
Jason Dungjen & Yuka Sato, John Nicks, Dalilah Sappenfield, and Saga Krantz are also in the running for the Coach of the Year award.
The Wheaton Ice Skating Academy coaching team of Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak and Dmytri Ilin received a well-deserved nomination for Developmental Coaches of the Year. The trio had medalists at four of the five levels, including two national champions. Eliana Gropman & Ian Somerville won the U.S. juvenile title with training mates Gwen Sletten & Elliot Verburg snagging silver. Siblings Gigi & Luca Becker won the U.S. intermediate title. At the novice level, WISA ice dancers Whitney Miller & Kyle MacMillan won silver. Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter took bronze at the junior level, while Rachel & Michael Parsons won the pewter medal.
They are up against Tammy Gambill, Dalilah Sappenfield, Todd Sand & Jenni Meno, and Pam May.
The awards will be presented at the annual PSA Awards Dinner, hosted this year by Paul Wylie and Emily Hughes on May 24, 2012, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, MA.