by Anne Calder

Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarkenko (USA) captured the gold medal; Ksenia Konkina & Grigory Yakushev (RUS) took silver, and Natacha Lagouge & Corentin Rahier (FRA) won bronze.

Short Dance: Americans Carreira & Ponomarenko earned Level 4 for both patterns, but Carreira’s slip on the twizzle lost them technical points. They secured first place by a slim .56 margin and 57.82 score. Lagouge & Rahier of France placed second with a higher technical mark, but the lower PCS was the difference in the personal best (57.26) segment. Russians Konkina & Yakushev earned Level 4 for the two patterns, twizzles, and lift, but a costly fall at the end of the step sequence received a -3.00 GOE plus a mandatory 2.00 fall deduction. The unfortunate mistake landed them in third place with a personal best 54.63 score.

Free Dance: The 2017 World Junior bronze medalists, Carreira & Ponomarenko elegantly wove the W.E. soundtrack through an emotional journey of obsession and abdication with Level 4 elements that scored an 87.57. The total score of 145.49 earned the 2017 LPIDI winners their first JGP gold medal.

Konkina & Yakushev performed a fast and animated dance to “El Choclo” with Level 4 twizzles that earned a 1.46 GOE. There was only a slim 1.40 between the top two free dances, but they couldn’t overcome their short dance deductions. Their personal best total 139.80 earned a silver medal in their JGP debut as a team.

Russians Evgeniia Lopareva & Alexey Karpushov were third in their spirited and energetic gypsy free dance to music by Emir Kusturica and Goran Bregovic, but took fourth place over all. The total 129.17 score was a personal best.

Lagouge & Rahier’s musical and costume innovative salute to French fashion designer Coco Chanel included a Level 4 spin and lifts. Unfortunately, a loss of balance on the first twizzle earned it Level 1 and the serpentine step sequence was Level 2. Together they proved too costly to overcome. While the free dance 72.64 score was fourth, the total 129.90 narrowly slipped the duo into third place and their first JGP medal – bronze.

Carreira & Ponomarenko interview with ISU commentator, Ted Barton:

On her fall in the short dance, Carreira commented, “Yesterday was a bad day. Now we are focused on what we’ve been doing in training.”

Ponomarenko added his thoughts about their season goals. “We’ve been focusing on being one with the ice – improving our power and strength and connection with each other. I think this shows in the free dance.”

Featured JGP Cup of Austria Video: Emily Rose Brown & James Hernandez’s free dance (via ISU Youtube Channel)


Caroline Green & Gordon Green compete at the 2017 LPIDI. They will debut on the JGP series in Latvia.

The third of seven JGP events will take place this week in Riga, Latvia. The roster is comprised of 15 teams representing 12 countries and includes four couples making their debut on the JGP series. 2017 marks the fourth time Riga, Latvia has hosted a JGP event. For the first time this season, a pairs event will also be contested.

The medal hunt: Anastasia Shpilevaya & Grigory Smirnov of Russia narrowly missed the podium at the 2017 World Junior Championships and are favorites for gold. This is their third and final season of eligibility on the JGP series. They qualified for the Final last year, where they finished sixth.  Shpilevaya & Smirnov are joined by training mates, Sofia Shevchenko & Igor Eremenko who won their first JGP medal (bronze) in 2016 at Cup of Mordovia.  The teams are coached by Alexander Svinin and Irina Zhuk.

The United States is represented by two teams. Caroline Green & Gordon Green are competing in their first JGP event after finishing second in their international debut as juniors at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International. They have already competed internationally in advanced novice for the past two seasons, winning both events. Emma Gunter & Caleb Wein are returning to the JGP series after a seventh place finish last season at JGP Yokohama. Gunter & Wein won the bronze medal at the LPIDI in August. Both teams are coached by Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak and Dmytri Ilin.

Canada’s Alicia Fabbri & Claudio Pietrantonio had a solid debut on the JGP series in 2016, finishing fourth and sixth at their events. They are joined by fellow Canadians Valerie Taillefer and Jason Chan who are returning to the series after a one year absence. Both teams are in their final year of junior eligibility.

The short dance takes place on Friday, September 8 (3:15 AM EST), with the free dance on Saturday, September 9 (10:30 AM EST). You can follow the results live via the JGP Riga Cup starting orders & results page or or watch the JGP live on the ISU’s YouTube Channel.


  • Riga hosts its fourth JGP event – 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017.
  • Soviet-American dancer and choreographer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, was born in Riga.
  • Latvia does not have an ice dance team competing at the Riga Cup.
  • Latvia is bordered on the north by Estonia, on the east by Russia, on the south by Lithuania and on the west by the Baltic Sea.
  • The following teams are making their JGP debut in Riga.
    • Karina Sidarenka / Maksim Yalenich (BLR) Competed together as juniors in 2016
    • Gioia Pucci / Kevin Ojala (EST) Competed together as juniors in 2016
    • Megumi Tsutsumi / Devin Dickey (MEX) – Coached by Krzysztof Tomczyk in Cincinnati, OH USA
    • Caroline Green / Gordon Green USA) – US 2015 & 2016 Novice Champions / second at 2017 LPIDI


The 2017 National Solo Dance Final will take place in Colorado Springs, CO from September 6-9, and is hosted by the Broadmoor Skating Club.

Background: The Solo Dance Competition Series was created in 2011 and is an expansion of the National Solo Dance Championships. It provides an avenue for ice dancers at the Standard Levels to compete at and qualify for the National Solo Dance Final. The mission of this program is to provide a fun series of events to both encourage skaters of all levels to try ice dancing and to give skaters who love ice dancing the opportunity to compete on a regular basis even though they may not have a partner.

Qualification: Skaters participating in at least two competitions within their respective sections had the opportunity to earn points toward Final qualification. Points were accumulated based on placements/results at events designated as part of the Solo Dance Competition Series held between February 1 and August 13.

IDC will be posting results on our Facebook page as they become available during the event.  Good luck to all competitors! 

Until next time,

Team IDC