IDC is highlighting some of the new partnerships that are debuting during the 2019-20 competitive season. Finland’s Arina Klinovitskaya & Jussiville Partanen are the next team we are featuring in this season’s series.  Photos are courtesy of Arina Klinovitskaya & Jussiville Partanen.

Tell us about your individual skating journeys.
AK: I started skating at the age of three and did single skating for 15 years.  I made it even in junior national team for two seasons, then, at the end of 2016, never came back to sport after my third ankle injury in a row. At that moment, I already thought about switching to ice dance, but there were no partners for me in Finland back then. So, my skating career turned for 2.5 years into coaching and choreographing while studying sport studies.

JP: I started skating fairly late at the age of 11. My younger sister used to skate and I had to sit around at the ice rink and one day her coach yelled to me that she’s tired of watching me just sit around and that I should either come on the ice or go home. I went to try and that’s how it started.

After that, I did singles skating until I was 19. Having finished high school and everything, I was given the chance to try ice dance and immediately fell in love with the sport. My first coach and their family had moved to Canada and they asked me if I wanted to go there and see what ice dance training is really like, so I ended up going there and training in Vancouver with Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe for three years.
After my partner there decided to quit, I came back to Finland to train here with Maurizio Margaglio and started skating with Cecilia Törn, with whom we had a successful career. Unfortunately, our roads parted after the summer of 2018 and I still felt like I hadn’t given my all to this sport, so I decided to try and find a new partner.  After almost a year of looking I ended up finding Arina.
Tell us about how your partnership started.
AK: By accident 🙂  I’ve always felt after quitting singles that I didn’t get a chance to show my full potential as a skater. I heard about Jussi’s partner situation and I guess my dreams and hopes about ice dance just woke up again. First, it was a joke between my family and friends, but then a few thoughts (and a couple of kicks and pushes) later I decided to contact him. First, he gave me a negative answer, but then a couple days later we agreed to do a tryout and the rest is history.

JP: Our partnership started kind of accidentally. I had found a new partner and been training with her for about a month when I got a message from Arina, asking if I knew anyone who was looking for a partner. Maybe a week after that, it turned out I couldn’t keep skating with the girl I was skating with, so I told Arina “well actually, turns out I’m looking for a partner now”. We did a few days of tryout and decided to go forward with the partnership.

What do you like most about skating with your partner?
AK: We are always having fun, laughing, improvising, making stupid jokes and stuff together. I’ve also probably never met someone so patient and extremely supportive. I’m new in this sport and there’s so much I’m learning now, so it feels really good when there’s someone who is so understanding, always willing to help and support you and who can read when need to be cheered up.

JP: I like the fact that she is extremely determined and hard-working, and never stops pushing forward. And also the fact that we can make fun about stuff and keep training sessions light and full of humour.

If you could have a lesson from any ice dancer past/present, who would it be? 
AK: Shae-Lynn Bourne. I was lucky to attend a few of her classes during the ISU Olympic Development Project in 2018 and I couldn’t get enough. She’s amazing.

JP: I have to say I would’ve loved to have a session with Tessa and Scott. When I started doing ice dance, they were a huge influence on me. I also have to mention how lucky we are to be coached by Maurizio Margaglio, being a very iconic ice dancer himself.

Can you give us some background on your programs this season?
The rhythm dance being a musical is a big contrast to the free dance, which is kinda bluesy and a bit darker and more intense. Both of the programs were choreographed by Neil Brown and Maurizio Margaglio.

Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you as a team?
As a team, we both enjoy trying to keep things light and humorous while working hard. Training with Arina never stops being fun! also we’re both extremely motivated and want to keep on pushing forward.