When did you start skating, and how long have you been ice dancing?
Patrick: I began skating when I was six years old and I began ice dancing when I was nine years old.
Katherine: I started skating in Kansas City at age three, along with classes in ballet, tap, gymnastics and piano. By age five I was competing in gymnastics and freestyle ISI and USFSA. At seven I began ice dance testing and solo competitions. My brother Dean and I grew up having fun at the rink with the shows and competitions. I have been ice dancing for ten years and competing at Nationals for the past two years.
Why did you choose dance over other disciplines?
Patrick: I was never very good at freestyle as I was rather uncoordinated when I was younger. However, I always enjoyed working on choreography. In this sense, dance seemed the most logical and fulfilling choice for me.
Katherine: As a low level skater, I competed in freestyle, solo dance and compulsories. I was a perfectionist about choreography and footwork at an early age. I enjoyed solo dance and compulsory practice and competition over freestyle. The transition away from freestyle occurred over many years. Ice dance was a part of my everyday practice and I skated on sessions with ice dancers at the Skating Club of Wilmington and the University of Delaware from age seven on.
In your own words, tell us how you started skating together?
Patrick: At the time, I had just started to take lessons from Robbie Kaine. I asked him to assist me with my partner search as well. When Katie and her former partner decided to end their partnership, she contacted Robbie about the possibility of a try-out. The try-out went really well and we decided to skate together.
Katherine: My partner search took me all over the country. I ended up right back at home. Robbie Kaine suggested a tryout with Patrick. We have a lot in common, with experience in ballroom, growing up training in Delaware and national competition experience. I felt comfortable skating with him right away. Conveniently, we both live close to the rinks in Delaware and enjoy our “home-town” training experience together. We train along side of Robbie’s Senior team Kendra Goodwin and Brent Bommentre.
Who are your coaches and where are you training?
Patrick: Robbie Kaine is our main coach and Natalia Linichuk is our choreographer. We train at the Philadelphia Figure Skating Club and Humane Society in Ardmore, Pennsylvania, the University of Delaware, and occasionally at The Pond in Newark, Delaware.
Katherine: Robbie Kaine is a new coach for me. I have watched him coach Brent for many years. I knew he would be good to work with. Natalia has coached me in the past, helping me prepare for solo dance competitions. I have trained along side of her teams in Delaware for years. I am looking foreword to an exciting season with such a strong coaching team.
Which events are you planning to compete in this season?
Patrick and Katherine: We plan to compete at Lake Placid as well as any necessary qualifying competition(s) to hopefully make it to Nationals.
What are your goals for this season?
Patrick: I hope to enjoy our first year together and perform as well as we can.
Katherine: My goal for us is to train quickly so we can be a strong team this season and build for the future. We are enjoying our training sessions on and off ice as we approach the competition season. Both of us are excited about competing at Lake Placid, Sectionals, and Nationals.
Which element is your favorite?
Patrick: This is a tough question to answer. As I am learning, dance is so much more than just the lifts, the spins, and the steps. Dancing is fundamentally about relationships: the relationship between a person and the music, the relationship between two people, and the relationship between those two people and the audience. I feel that these relationships are the most fascinating “elements” to observe and experience.
Katherine: While training in Delaware I was exposed to the world pair teams and world dance teams. I took a few pair tests with Jonathan Hunt. Preparing the pair programs with a strong skater gave me the experience similar to freedance. I love to be expressive with creative choreography, speeding through a program with powerful lifts, it’s just fun!
When you are not skating, how do you like to spend your time?
Patrick: I am a full-time student at the University of Delaware. Also, when I did not have a skating partner this past year, I took up ballroom dancing and competed in collegiate and pro-am competition. Whenever I am not busy skating, dancing, or going to school, I like to spend time at home with my family.
Katherine: My main interests in school are science, english and psychology. I am a Laurel high school honor student. Between ice sessions I like to watch my brother Dean practice pairs and freestyle, as he prepares for his competitions. Most of my off ice time is spent on school work. I find time for computer chatting with friends, movies, shopping, cooking, and family. I also enjoy time with my pets, the cats, hamsters, and the dog.
Which skaters or dancers do you look up to?
Patrick: When they were competing, I really enjoyed watching Pasha Grishuk and Evgeny Platov as well as Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov.
Katherine: I look up to Natalia Linichuk for her successful training of so many world class teams and her wonderful choreography. I admire Angelika Krylova and Oleg Ovsyannikov who have been my coaches. I know they have given me an appreciation for elegance, power and strength as well as a positive and encouraging outlook on training.