Welcome back to the Observer!  

Last week, Team IDC was busy collecting and posting results from the numerous international and domestic events.  We’re now catching up and have posted recaps from the U.S. International Classic and U.S. Challenge Skate. While we have a break from the Junior Grand Prix series this week, the schedule is still packed with two ISU Challenger Series events and domestic events in Russia and Canada.

Solo dance in the United States wrapped up its season with the U.S. National Solo Dance Final in Hyannis, MA. Results from all levels of combined, pattern dance, and shadow dance events have been posted at our new Solo.Ice-Dance.com website.

This week, Team IDC’s Robin and Francesca will be on-site in Oakville, Ont., for the Autumn Classic International, while Harumi is headed to Bratislava, Slovakia, for the 26th Ondrej Nepela Trophy. Check back for reports, photos, and more on Friday and Saturday.

Have a good week!

Daphne & Team IDC



by Anne Calder 

When China was unable to host the event, the fourth Junior Grand Prix event was given to Canada. It was held in Richmond, B.C., one of Vancouver’s suburbs. Eleven ice dance teams travelled from seven countries to compete at the Minoru Avenas.

The top three finishers in the rhythm and free dance were the same, except the second- and third-place teams, both from Russia, switched places. The podium included Canadians Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha (gold), plus Russians Polina Ivanenko & Daniil Karpov (silver) and Ksenia Konkina & Alexander Vakhnov (bronze).

Lajoie & Lagha jumped out to a five-point lead in the rhythm dance with “Perro Viejo,” “Otro Puenta Alsina,” and “Essa” performed by Otros Aires. Both earned level 4 for their twizzles; the team also hit three of the four key points in each of their patterns. The program scored a personal best of 65.57.

Konkina & Vakhnov danced into second place with “Asi se baila el Tango” and “Tanguera.” The Russians missed only one key point in each pattern and earned level 4 for the straight-line lift. The total segment for their first JGP together was 60.34

Ivanenko & Karpov were only one point behind their countrymen with their tango dance. They did two successful key points in each of the patterns and the curve lift earned level 4. The team missed the 2017 JGP Series after competing in 2016. The program earned 59.02 points.

In the free dance, Lajoie & Lagha again scored a personal best, earning 100.95 points for a dramatic interpretation of the powerful “Warsaw Concerto.” Their lifts, combination spin, and twizzles received level 4. The two-time Canadian junior champions earned their second trip to the JGP Final by adding gold to their previous silver medal, won at Cup of Austria. Their 166.52-point total was also a personal best.

Ivanenko & Karpov hopped over their fellow Russians with a program to “Cry Me a River” and the Peter Gunn soundtrack. The lifts and combination spin were level 4. Their segment score was 90.37; the total score was 149.39.

Konkina & Vakhnov slipped down to third place with an 87.58 score to Spartacus by Aram Khatchaturian. The new team had all positive GOE’s, but unfortunately had a mishap near the end when Vakhnov’s hand was sliced during their combination lift. The total score was 147.92.

There will be no JGP event this weekend. The Series will resume September 26-29 in Ostrava, Czech Republic.

Again this year, Ice-dance.com will be highlighting programs for each event.  This week’s selections include the free dances skated by Matilda Friend & William Badaoui (AUS) and Miku Makita & Tyler Gunara (CAN).  All JGP events are livestreamed via the ISU’s JGP Channel.

The six competitors with the highest points will participate in the JGP Final. Tiebreakers include scores and placements. After the first three JGP events, the top ten points and scores are:

  1. 28 points 320.31 Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha (CAN) *
  2. 18 points 290.06 Eliana Gropman & Ian Somerville (USA)
  3. 16 points 276.54 Loicia Demougeot & Theo LeMecier (FRA)
  4. 15 points 168.17 Arina Ushakova & Maxim Nekrasov (RUS)
  5. 15 points 159.62 Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva & Nikita Nazarov (RUS)
  6. 15 points 158.70 Sofia Shevchenko & Igor Eremenko (RUS)
  7. 14 points 273.55 Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell (CAN)
  8. 13 points 161.84 Avonley Nguyen & Vadym Kolesnik (USA)
  9. 13 points 152.21 Elizaveta Shanaeva & Devid Naryzhnyy (RUS)
  10. 13 points 149.39 Polina Ivanenko & Daniil Karpov (RUS)
  11. 11 points 147.92 Ksenia Konkina & Alexander Vakhnov (RUS)
  12. 11 points 142.97 Eva Kuts & Dmitri Mikhailov (RUS)
  13. 11 points 142.29 Darya Popova & Volodymyr Byeikov (UKR)

 * Qualified for JGP Final



The ISU Challenger Lombardia Trophy was held in Bergamo, Italy from September 12-16. Twelve ice dance teams from nine countries competed.

Italians Charlene Guignard & Marco Fabbri took home gold for the third straight year with a 193.28 total score. Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons of the USA scored 170.68 total points and added a second 2018 Challenger silver medal to their collection. Sara Hurtado & Kirill Khaviavin of Spain won bronze with 169.47 points.

In the rhythm dance, the Italians took the lead followed by the USA and Spain. Eleven points separated the top three teams. Skating last in the free dance, the reigning champions widened their margin considerably and finished with a 22-point landslide.

Guignard & Fabbri chose “Audition”, “A Lovely Night” and “Epilogue” from the La La Land film soundtrack by Justin Hurwitz. The spin, lifts and twizzles earned level 4. The program scored 117.25.

Hurtado & Khaviavin earned second place and 104.44 points in the free dance to “Great Gig in the Sky” by Pink Floyd and “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles. The spin, two lifts and twizzles were given level 4.

Parson & Parson’s performed “To Build a Home” by The Cinematic Orchestra for third place in the free dance. Level 4 was awarded to the twizzles and two lifts. The program scored 102.48. The siblings held on to second place over all by a slim margin.



Ten teams representing eight countries head to Bratislava, Slovakia, for the 26th Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  Named for three-time world champion and 1972 Olympic champion Ondrej Nepela, the event has been part of the ISU Challenger Series since 2014.    

The medal hunt:  A Russian duel between Victoria Sinitsina & Nikita Katsalapov and Betina Popova & Sergey Mozgov highlights the medal contest. Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter started their season with a win at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International and could also add to their 2018-19 medal collection in Bratislava. 

The event kicks off with the rhythm dance at 1 PM (local time) on Friday, followed by the free dance on Saturday at 4:15 PM (local time). There is a six-hour time difference between Bratislava and Eastern time (EDT), which means 7:05 AM for the rhythm dance on Friday and 10:15 AM for Saturday’s free dance.  



After several years in the Montréal area, the Canada’s Autumn Classic International (ACI) has returned to Ontario, where the event began. This year, the city of Oakville, outside of Toronto, will host for the first time. The event has been contested since 2014 and part of the ISU Challenger Series for four years. The roster includes seven teams from four countries, including the 2018 world bronze medalists, Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje of Canada.  

The medal hunt:  Despite their announcement to take the Grand Prix series off, Weaver & Poje’s names appeared on the roster for the ACI and they are clear favorites for gold. The team finished second at last year’s event. Spain’s Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz as well as training mates Carolane Soucisse & Shane Firus of Canada are also candidates for medals.

Oakville is in the Eastern time zone. The rhythm dance is scheduled for 12:05 PM on Friday and the free dance is on Saturday at 11:10 AM. The event will be livestreamed by Skate Canada and available worldwide.