by Anne Calder | Photo by Melanie Heaney
Finding a partner who is compatible, dedicated and just all around fun to work with can be difficult in ice dance. However, finding one who also shares your love for the same candy bar happens once in a blue moon.
Sophia Gloskowski, Coyotes SC of Arizona and Chase Rohner, All Year FSC share that rare occurrence, which explains the dubbing of the twosome as Team Kit-Kat.
After only three months together, the duo danced off with the Juvenile pewter medal at the USFS Championship Series event in Alpharetta, GA.
Gloskowski in a bright yellow dress and gloves, Rohner in a white shirt, suspenders, and tie recreated a swing era routine to “The Lemonade Song” and “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”.
Later at The Cooler in the Atlanta suburb, ice-dance.com sat down with the dancers, coaches, and parents to learn more about the new team.
Gloskowski began skating in 2019 at the Chandler Ice Den in Arizona, where Naomi Lang Strong, five-time US National Champion with partner, Peter Tchernyshev is the Ice Dance Manager.
“For Christmas, my sisters gave me a “Learn to Skate” package, and I really loved it,” said the 12 year-old seventh grader. “I started out in freestyle. A year later I began ice dance.”
“Sophia has only been skating for three years and is so talented,” Lang Strong said. “It’s such a blessing to have a student like her.”
Chase Rohner, All Year FSC, began his skating in Simi, California at a very early age.
“I started skating when I was two because my mom was a coach, and she put me on the ice early” Rohner said. “I did freestyle, then we moved to Park City, Utah. I started working with Chris Obzansky and a year ago I decided I wanted to do ice dance.”
Both skated Solo Dance prior to becoming partners. At the 2021 Copper Cup competition in Salt Lake City, Gloskowski finished first and Rohner second in the Juvenile Combined Solo Dance Division.
“Basically what happened is we saw Sophia skate at the event and thought she’d be a great partner for Chase,” Obzansky explained. “I reached out to Naomi, and it worked out well.”
“We then had a tryout and began skating together a month later,” Rohner added.
Since each skater still lives at home in Arizona and Utah, they’re accumulating frequent flyer miles as they travel between the two training sites in Chandler with Naomi Lang-Strong and Park City with Chris Obzansky.
Gloskowski goes to Park City for a week or so every month to skate with Chase and all the coaches there.
“In Chandler, we have male coaches who do the dances with me and help with the partnering stuff,” explained Gloskowski. “That way I don’t get used to skating alone.”
As for Rohner, at home he works on his skating skills with his coach.
“I go through a lot of his program without his partner,” Obzansky said. “We try to strengthen the elements, try to work on his spins and get them stronger, twizzles as well. We try to work the best we can.”
“When I go down to Arizona, I stay with Sophia and her family for two weeks at a time,” the fourteen year old said. “Commuting can be a little tiring being in the airports so much, but it’s still pretty fun.”
The coaches shared their thoughts about working with the new partnership.
“We have to do a lot of coordinating – schedules – times,” Obzansky, a ten-year U.S. ice dance competitor and gold medalist at the 2000 China JGP, said. “It’s a lot of communication. It’s been fun, though, especially working with Naomi and learning from her. She’s a very experienced skater and coach.”
“Sophia and Chase make my job very easy,” Lang Strong added. “They have such great work ethics. They’ve teamed up and become such a great personality together.”
“The fact that they travel back and forth shows their commitment toward what they’re doing and toward each other, so it’s been three months of a wonderful experience and many more ahead.”
“We’re already starting to plan for next season, but ahead of time.”
While waiting for the final placements, Chase’s mother, Lexie Rohner, spoke about the team’s goals for the Championship Series event.
“Here they were trying to make the top nine for the Development Camp. A medal would be great, but that’s not the goal.”
Team Kit-Kat reached their goal and will be attending the National Team Development Camp in Nashville, TN.