Welcome to this week’s edition of the Ice Dance Observer!

Anne and I returned from the Junior Grand Prix in Lake Placid and our recap and photos are now available (links are at the right).  It was a fun and exciting week in New York and the series continues this week in Latvia. TJ previews Riga Cup below.  

Also listed at the right are feature stories that we have conducted over the past few weeks, including an in-depth conversation with Hugo Chouinard, the man behind the music creations for many of the top skaters in the world.  

Jordan Cowan from On Ice Perspectives shared a behind the scenes video of a photo shoot in Lake Placid with Molly Cesanek & Yehor Yehorov.  Molly and Yehor came up with and researched the concept and I was the photographer, while Jordan recorded the shoot.  Anne and Gina (from Figure Skaters Online) assisted with traffic control and the entire shoot was a collaborative effort.  While the teaser video is available on On Ice Perspectives Instagram account, you can view the entire video on OIP’s Patreon Page OR wait until he releases the full video on Friday.

In addition to this particular shoot, I will be sharing images from other Summer photo shoots on our Instagram account.  Jordan and I had many sessions in Lake Placid and Melanie was busy with several during the Chicago event.  

Until next week,

Daphne, Anne & TJ (The Ice Dance Observer Team)


Earlier today, and via a Facebook Live press conference, Marie-France Dubreuil, Patrice Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer announced that they are moving forward under the new name – Ice Academy of Montreal.  

“The Ice Academy of Montreal offers a different way of teaching that goes with true team coaching,” Lauzon said (reading from a prepared statement).  “We offer coaching that is both mental and physical and psychology that is what we try to bring to our skaters to help them evolve in every aspect of their own life.  We can help every student be better athletes and have a better life after sports and be all around amazing people.”

The full press conference is available for viewing on the Ice Academy of Montreal Facebook page.




by TJ Carey

With the third Junior Grand Prix event of the season almost upon us in Riga, Latvia, we’re starting to see how the junior couples stack up against each other for qualification for the Final in December. This week’s event will be attended by 19 couples from 17 countries and the competition should be quite open for up-and-coming teams to take advantage of.

The city of Riga is a common host for recent seasons of the JGP. It has been hosted an event every other year since 2011, and past champions include Russia’s Sofia Shevchenko and Igor Eremenko.

The medal hunt:

  • Georgia’s first couple to ever qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final, Maria Kazakova and Georgy Reviya, are coming off of a sixth place finish at last year’s World Junior Championships.
  • Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva, who is the world junior silver medalist with Nikita Nazarov, will be making her international debut with her new partner, Andrey Filatov.
  • Canada’s Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell finished fourth and sixth at their Junior Grand Prix events last season.
  • Maria Golubstova and Kirill Belobrov from Ukraine are competing in their sixth Junior Grand Prix season. They’ve finished as high as fifth place three times in the series out of nine events.

Other items of note:

  • Making their international debut at this event, Molly Cesanek and Yehor Yehorov will be the only American couple competing in Riga.
  • For three couples in this event, it will be their second JGP of the season. Angelina Kudryavtseva and Ilia Karankevich of Cyprus competed at the first JGP event in Courchevel, France. Mariia Nosovitskaya and Mikhail Nosovitskiy from Israel as well as Katica Kedves and Fedor Sharonov will take on the challenging task of competing directly after last week’s event in Lake Placid, New York.
  • Excluding Khudaiberdieva in her former partnership with Nazarov, Only one of these teams (Kazakova and Reviya) has medaled in the JGP series before. That should make this event extra exciting for fans hoping to see who will rise to the occasion and finish on the podium!


The Rhythm Dance will begin on Friday, September 6, at 13:30 local time (GMT) and 6:30 Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The Free Dance will be the final event of the whole competition, starting Saturday, September 7, at 16:30 local time and 9:30 EDT.