Ice Dance Observer – October 8, 2019

Welcome back to the Ice Dance Observer!

Last weekend, we saw the conclusion of the Junior Grand Prix series and Anne has recapped the event below.  This week was shaping up to be a busy one, but several of the international competitions (Nice Metropole Trophy and Budapest Trophy) were cancelled.

The inaugural Denis Ten Memorial Challenge will take place in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  Junior and senior events will be contested in singles as well as senior events in pairs and ice dance.  The ice dance roster includes five teams from four countries and Katharina Müller & Tim Dieck of Germany and France’s Adelina Galyavieva & Louis Thauron are teams of note.

Next week, Team IDC will head to Las Vegas, Nevada for Skate America and will bring you reports and photos from Orleans Arena.

Until next time,

Daphne, Anne and TJ



by Anne Calder 

Egna/Neumarkt, Italy hosted the last Junior Grand Prix event of the season. Eighteen couples from thirteen ISU countries competed. The sixth ice dance team for the JGP Final qualified.

Rhythm Dance:
Russians Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva & Andrey Filatov (65.52) and Angelina Lazareva & Maksim Prokofiev (59.48) were first and third, while Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell (63.25) representing Canada were second. The top two scores were season best performances.

Americans Oona & Gage Brown and Canadians Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell received the only level 4s for the first section of the Tea-Time Foxtrot; there were none for the second section. Seven teams earned level 4 twizzles for both the Lady and the Man. Nine had season best scores.

Free Dance:
Khudaiberdieva & Filatov danced to “Signs of the Times” by Harry Styles and scored 99.40 and a total 164.92. The duo earned level 4s for the rotational lift and twizzles. The other elements received level 2s and 3s. While the base value was ranked eighth, their execution was rewarded with 2s, 3s, and 4s. The Component Score was almost seven points higher than the second place free dance and four points above the other two medal winners. The Moscow-trained duo celebrated their first year of partnership with a gold medal and a ticket to the JGP Final.

Americans Oona Brown and Gage Brown were eighth after a twizzle mishap in the rhythm dance. Their powerful interpretation of Tokio Myers’ “Bloodstream” and Bach’s “Air” performed by Jan Werner propelled them to the top, where they remained until the final couple eclipsed their score. The spins, lifts, and twizzles earned level 4. The siblings finished in fifth place with personal best segment (91.34) and total (146.15) scores.

D’Alessandro & Waddell used Meatloaf’s “I’d Do Anything for Love” to earn an 89.51 score and third place in the free dance – second over all. Waddell’s twizzle and the stationary lift were the only level 4 elements, but the GOE marks put them on the podium. Their personal best total score of 152.76 gave the Canadians their first ever JGP medal.

Lazareva & Prokofiev almost snagged the silver medal, but were short after a fall deduction and the Canadian’s strong rhythm dance score. Their lifts and spin earned level 4s. The Program Component score ranked second in the event. Their fourth place free dance scored 89.23; the total was 148.71. The Russians bronze medal performance was to “O Fortuna” from Carmina Burana and the Pearl Harbor film soundtrack.

Americans Katarina Del Camp & Ian Somerville were fifth in the free dance and finished fourth, just 1.66 points off the podium. The lifts, spin and Somerville’s twizzle earned level 4s.The WISA team danced to “Rewrite the Stars” (The Greatest Showman) by The Piano Guys and “You Are the Reason” by Calum Scott. The RD (58.06), FD (88.99) and Total (147.05) were season best scores.

Japan’s Utana Yoshida & Shingo Nishiyama were sixth with a dramatic presentation of Don Quixote. The combination spin and twizzles earned level 4s. Nishiyama is a singles skater and new to ice dance this season. The program (85.48) and total (140.40) were season best scores.

Highighted Performances:  This week, we highlight the rhythm dance performance by Russia’s Angelina Lazareva & Maksim Prokofiev and the free dance performance of Oona Brown & Gage Brown from the United States.


  • Americans Oona Brown & Gage Brown kept the sibling-participation streak alive for the seventh JGP event.
  • Martina Rossi & Adriano Rossi from Spain share the same last name, but are not siblings.
  • Marina Philippova & Vadym Kravtsov represent Austria. Philippova was born in Moscow (RUS) Kravtsov was born in Kharkiv (UKR). The team trains in Italy with Italian coaches.
  • Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva won bronze at the 2018 JGP Final and silver at the 2019 World Junior Championships with her previous partner, Nikita Nazarov.
  • Francesca Righi & Aleksei Dubrovin (ITA) recently moved to Berlin, Germany to continue training with coach Stefano Caruso.

Endurance Award:
Martina Rossi & Adriano Rossi (ESP) competed in two International events October 3-6.  The team skated at the Egna / Neumarkt at the Junior Grand Prix on Thursday and Friday and the Mezzaluna Cup (Rome) on Saturday and Sunday.  The team traveled almost 400 mile between events.  

What do I do if my laces come untied?
Canadians Olivia McIsaac & Corey Circelli faced that question when Circelli’s bootlaces became loose during their free skate.

Answer: *

  • Forty (40) seconds – the skater stops and tries to fix the problem within the allotted time without contacting the Referee. The music continues to play. (Deduction = -1.0, -2.0, -3.0 depending on length of stop)
  • Three (3) minutes – The skater can’t fix the problem and must go to the Referee, who grants him the additional time. The music is stopped. (Deduction = -5.0)
  • If the problem is fixed, the music and skater resume at the point of interruption.
  • The Referee applies the appropriate Deduction.
  • If the problem can’t be fixed, the skater withdraws.

* For more information, review the ISU’s Special Regulations & Technical Rules for Singles, Pairs Skating and Ice Dance, which was accepted by the 57th Ordinary Congress in June 2018.  Rule 515 details Interruptions, Music Deficiencies and Incomplete Programs (page 90) and Rule 353 references Deductions (pages 17-18).


by TJ Carey

As we all await the start of this season’s Grand Prix series, this week’s Finlandia Trophy looks to be an exciting build up to all that is to come starting next week. This competition has been held since 1995 and has held an ice dancing event for the majority of its installments. This event is distinctive from the other Challenger Series events because along with the traditional singles, pairs, and dance format, they competition has held a short program only event for synchronized skating, and will do so this year for an eighth consecutive year.

The competition will take place in Espoo, about ten miles away from Helsinki. The dance event, being made up of 11 teams from 9 countries, should act as a preview of the talent we’ll see later this fall in the Grand Prix series.

The medal hunt:

  • Madison Chock & Evan Bates (USA) are likely to be on top this week. They were the champions at this year’s US International Classic and they are the only couple this season to receive a level 4 on the Finnstep element at an international event, receiving no more than +3s and +2s.
  • Betina Popova & Sergey Mozgov (RUS) are looking to improve from their showing at this season’s Ondrej Nepala Trophy, where an equipment malfunction from Mozgov in the free dance kept them from performing to their potential and pushing for a podium finish.
  • Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu (CHN) have an entertaining pair of programs that do a great job of displaying their strengths. They finished sixth at this year’s Nebelhorn Trophy.
  • Allison Reed & Saulius Ambruvelvicus (LTU) are starting this season strong with sixth and seventh place finishes at Lombardia Trophy and Nebelhorn Trophy.
  • Anastasia Shpilevaya and Grigory Smirnov (RUS) are capable of memorable and unique performances, but making a name for themselves in the world of Russian ice dancing continues to prove to be quite the challenge. They had a solid fourth place finish at this year’s Lombardia Trophy.

Other items of note:

  • Yuka Orihara & Juho Pirinen (FIN) are on an upward trend in the start of their first season together. They followed up an eleventh place finish at Lombardia Trophy with a fifth place finish at Ondrej Nepala Trophy one week later.
  • The match up between Leia Dozzi & Michael Valdez and Emily Monaghan & Ilias Fourati (both HUN) should be an interesting one, as this will be their first time competing against each other.
  • The presence of couples from the Ice Academy of Montreal is rather low this week. Only three couples from the training group are competing this week, including 2019 World Junior champions Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha.


The rhythm dance will begin on Saturday, October 12 at 12:00pm local time (5:00am Eastern Time). The free dance will be Sunday, October 13 at 1:00pm local time (6:00am EDT).