While the COVID-19 pandemic has made this skating season much more complicated, Team IDC wanted to continue its tradition of highlighting new teams. Jamie Fournier and Anthony Haddad are a new team that will represent Canada.
Tell us about your individual skating journeys?
JF: I started skating when I was 7. After completing all my levels, I began competing in STAR, followed by 3 years of synchro, while competing solo at the same time. I was triple gold by age 11 and then went into pairs for 2 years and won Canada Games.
AH: After completing all the Learn to Skate classes at our local rink, my first private coach encouraged me to try ice dance. My first (unofficial) partner was my little sister. I also competed in synchro and solo dance in the early years, but once I began competing in ice dance, I decided to give that my full focus.
What drew you to ice dance?
JF: Skate Canada suggested I would be well-suited for ice dance and I was very open to the idea to see where it would take me. I am drawn to the artistic and interpretive aspects of ice dance and like that I am able to showcase my flexibility.
AH: There were a lot of ice dance coaches and skaters at our rink and I was inspired by them. Also, YouTube videos of Torvill and Dean, of course!
What are your earliest skating memories?
JF: Skating with my brother at the arena when we were little. I loved to show up early!!
AH: My first skating “uniform” was a pair of skates my mom ordered from Target and my Championship Football jacket.
Tell us about how your partnership started (tryout, etc.)?
JF: My head coach found out about Anthony and set up the tryout in Montreal. It was a two-day tryout, but it clicked right away.
AH: Our tryout was March 12/13. There was an immediate connection as everything went seamlessly, so we contacted each other on March 14 to officially start our partnership. Then, as we all know, the whole world shut down.
Who are your coaches? Tell us about your training location.
Our Head Coach is Julien Lalonde, our Choreographer is Mylène Girard and rounding out our coaching team is Dominic Barthe. We train in the afternoon at Isatis Sport Chambly in Quebec.
Tell us about your training challenges during the pandemic.
JF: Staying active and motivated as much as possible during the shutdown. I couldn’t get as much physical activity as I was used to.
AH: Our challenges were the same as all our skating cohorts, but everyone seemed to manage to make it work. We had lots Zoom meetings for choreography, off-ice training, team building and planning. The biggest challenge for me is to learn French as quickly as possible! Jamie is an enormous asset, as she is fluent in both French and English and is extremely patient.
How do you approach this season as it is still very unpredictable?
JF: Working as hard as we normally would and building a strong team.
AH: One practice at a time and sticking to the basics.
Can you give us some background on your programs this season (if available)?
Mylène has choreographed a poetic program to a beautiful song that describes a secretive place where a couple can feel truly happy and can express their feelings when times get tough. We had custom orchestration composed by Hugo Chouinard added to the existing song arrangement to add drama and effect.
If you could have a lesson from any ice dancer past/present, who would it be?
JF: Do I have to pick just one? I can’t choose between Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and/or Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier.
AH: How about three teams? I will add Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron to the list. We were very lucky to join them, in addition to Piper and Paul, in two Zoom calls that our coach arranged this Spring!
What is it that you already like about your new partner?
JF: He really works hard and goes for excellence on the ice. He’s very focused and we are on the same page.
AH: We have the same goals and dedication to our sport, so we already have a lot in common.
What do you like most about skating with your partner?
JF: I feel very secure and trust him. We already have a good rapport.
AH: She is very sweet, caring and calm.
Is there anything you would like our readers to know about you as a team?
We are both very excited about the new season, so please watch for us!