Happy Tuesday and welcome back to the Ice Dance Observer!

Last week, the Junior Grand Prix series got off to a great start in Courchevel, France.  This Wednesday, it heads to the United States for event #2.  Anne and I will be heading to Lake Placid, NY tol bring you reports, photos and more!  Lake Placid is one of my favorite places and I enjoy any opportunity to visit it more than once per year.

While we are trying to highlight a performance or two from each JGP event, copyright laws are prohibiting us from sharing some of the videos.  

Our team is growing!  I would like to welcome TJ Carey to our Ice Dance Observer team.  I appreciate all of the response that our help wanted has gathered.  In the coming weeks, you’ll get to learn more about our current team, as well as those who have joined our staff.  It’s an exciting time!




by Anne Calder 

Courchevel, France is in the French Alps at 5232 ft. altitude. It hosted the ski jumping and Nordic events at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympic Games. Park City, Utah USA is its sister city.

Elizaveta Shanaeva & Devid Naryzhnyy of Russia over took the rhythm dance leaders and won gold at the first JGP of the season. The French team of Loicia Demougeot & Theo Le Mercier won silver while skating in their home country. Russia’s Ekaterina Katashinskaia & Alexandr Vaskovich held on to third and won bronze by .29 points over the Canadians Emmy Bronsard & Aissa Bouaraguia, who moved up from fifth to fourth place.

Rhythm Dance – August 23, 2019

  • Lara Luft & Stephano Valentino Schuster (GER) were the first ever to dance the Tea-Time Foxtrot at an ISU Junior Grand Prix competition (August 23, 2019)
  • Russian teammates, Shanaeva & Naryzhnyy and Katashinskaia & Vaskovich were the only ones to earn Level 4 in Section 1 of the Tea-Time Foxtrot.
  • No team earned higher than Level 2 for Section 2 of the Tea-Time Foxtrot. There were no Level 3’s or Level 4’s.
  • Shanaeva & Naryzhnyy (RUS) had the highest technical score (35.56).
  • The music appeared to have the hiccups as it paused briefly during several programs. For Wolfkostin & Chen (USA) it actually stopped in the middle of their RD. After speaking to the referee and music operators the team resumed where they had left off.
  • The technical panel was very generous with the Twizzle levels, considering the number of wobbles and missed grabbed blades – (L4 =18), (L3=12), (L2=5) (L1=1).

Free Dance – August 24, 2019

  • Fifteen teams changed standings after their rhythm dance ranking. Only Terreau & Perron (6), Luft & Schuster (11) and Sidarenka & Yalenich (17) kept their same position.
  • Canadians Bronsard & Bouaraguia missed the podium by only .29 points. The 151.65 score did beat their 135.45 at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International last month.
  • Terreau & Perron was the only team to have both dancers earn L4 for their twizzles.
  • Both Russian teams had the highest Base Values. (39.07).


  • Elizabeth Tkachenko (USA) was the youngest dancer. She was born in Rockville, MD USA on February 21, 2006.
  • Michael Chrastecky (ITA) was the oldest dancer. He was born in the Czech Republic on July 19, 1999.
  • Nine teams made their JGP debut; eight teams returned for the second year; Sidarenka & Yalenich (BLR) competed for their third season.

Again this year, Ice-dance.com will be highlighting programs for each event. This week’s selection is the free dance of Canada’s Emmy Bronsard & Aissa Bouaraguia.

All JGP events are livestreamed via the ISU’s JGP Channel.



by TJ Carey

After a strong season-debut event in Courchevel, France last week, the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) series moves to Lake Placid, New York in the United States for this week’s exciting competition. This will be the seventh time the U.S. has hosted a JGP event, as well as the fourth time the event has been hosted in the former host city of the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games. The other previous hosts of this event are Scottdale, Long Beach, and Colorado Springs.

With a field of 14 couples from 11 different countries, we can expect to see several teams attempt to establish themselves as leading junior couples and aim for a podium finish.

The medal hunt:

  • Avonley Nguyen & Vadym Kolesnik placed fourth at last year’s World Junior Championships and fifth at the most recent Junior Grand Prix Final.
  • Diana Davis & Gleb Smolkin placed third at last year’s JGP Czech Skate and Volvo Open Cup, as well as second in the 2018 Tallinn Trophy.
  • Natalie Tashlerova & Filip Taschler finished fourteenth at the World Junior Championships in March.  

Other items of note:  

  • Canada will be represented by Irina Galiyanova & Grayson Lochhead as well as Miku Makita and Tyler Gunara.
  • Also representing Team USA are Ella Ales & Daniel Tsarik and Anya Lavrova & Maxwell Gart.
  • Harshita Rawtani & Vansh Bhatia will make their international debut representing India.
  • Five of the couples competing in this event also competed at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships earlier this month, with three of them in the international event and two in the combined domestic event.


Good news to North American fans! This event will be held in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The Rhythm Dance begins Friday, August 30, at 11:00 AM local time. The ice dance event will end with the free dance on Saturday, August 31, at 10:00 AM local time. The event will be streamed live by the ISU Youtube Channel.​