by Anne Calder | Photos by Liz Chastney, Daphne Backman, Barry Gropman & Katie Weigel
Team IDC welcome’s Anne Calder as a new journalist for ice-dance.com. Previous to joining our staff, Anne served as a reporter for SkateToday.com.
For 80 years, the Skating Club of Lake Placid, New York has hosted one of the nation’s most prestigious ice dance championships. This year two additional competitions were held in conjunction with the standard event.
LAKE PLACID ICE DANCE INTERNATIONAL
The LAKE PLACID ICE DANCE INTERNATIONAL gave fifteen junior and fifteen senior ice dance teams representing Australia, Canada, China, Spain, Great Britain, Israel, Kazakstan, Poland, Russia and USA, another opportunity to earn ISU minimum scores.
“It was a great technical panel and the new teams were exposed to high level international judges,” commented Aaron Lowe, who with his wife, Megan Wing, coaches ice dance in Vancouver, Canada.
Lowe brought four teams to the Lake Placid competition that he noted is the only “B” event for Canadian junior ice dancers.
Isabella Tobias & Ilya Tkachenko (ISR) dominated in their international debut. The new Igor Shpilband coached team used Disney’s old and new Cinderella soundtracks (SD) and “Polovtsian Dances” from the opera Prince Igor (FD) to win the senior event. (146.08) Tobias previously skated for Lithuania and Tkachenko for Russia. The team sat out the 2014-15 season.
Danielle Thomas & Daniel Eaton (USA) also chose Cinderella for the short dance and placed second. They slipped to third in the free skate to a dynamic composition that melded an original piece by violinist Sonia Lee with Vittorio Monti’s “Csardas”. The new team, coached by Massimo Scali in Canton, Michigan finished second over all. (129.96) Eaton and former partner were twice World Junior bronze medalists.
Eaton later tweeted, “To take home an ISU medal at our first competition of the season only after 4 months together is quite an achievement. I am so proud of Danielle Thomas.”
Carolane Soucisse & Simon Tanguay (CAN) coached by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon in Montreal, Quebec Canada placed third in the short dance and second in the free. They were third overall. (128.06)
Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons (USA) chose a waltz from Serge Prokofiev’s ballet, Cinderella, for their first place short dance. The Maryland siblings went in a new direction for the free skate with selections by the Medialuna Tango Project. The Parsons won their first international competition (141.41).
Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko (USA – pictured left) skated an animated Charlie Chaplin program choreographed by Fabian Bourzat to place second in the short dance. The Novi, Michigan team chose selections by Goran Bregovic for their second place free dance and won their first international medal (135.90).
Ksenia Konkina & Georgy Reviya (RUS) placed third in both the short and free dances. (128.80)
YOUTH OLYMPIC GAMES QUALIFIER
The 2015 Championships event was also used as part of the selection process for up to two Ice dance teams to represent the US at the 2016 Youth Olympic Games.
Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye who train in Novi, Michigan with Igor Shpilband, finished first and continued their successful summer competition season. The team will next compete at the 2015 JGP, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 2-6, 2015. (130.22)
Eliana Gropman & Ian Somerville placed first in the free dance at the 2015 Picken Dance Classic. The team was sixth in both their short and free dances groups at the Chesapeake Open. They train in Wheaton, MD with coaches Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak and Dmytri Ilin. (116.96)
Lydia Erdman & Alexey Shchepetov is a new team based in Philadelphia. They placed fourth in their short dance group and sixth in their free dance group at the Chesapeake Open. (112.09)
LAKE PLACID ICE DANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS
The standard Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships were held in between the LPIDI and the 2016 Youth Games selections. Six groups competed.
Junior Short Dance Group A (top three)
Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter earned 60.03 points, the highest short dance score of the entire Championships with their interpretation of Edvard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King”. The reining U.S. Junior Champions train at the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy, Wheaton, Maryland with Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak and Dmytri Ilin.
Katherine Grosul & Cameron Colucci, the 2015 US novice silver medalists, scored a distant 50.95. The team coached by Slava Uchitel in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is not age-eligible to compete on the JGP series this season.
Emily Day & Kevin Leahy skated a snappy short dance to “La Vaise d’amour” and “Milford” by French vocalist, Edith Piaf, and earned a 48.78 score. Christine Fowler-Binder and Vitali Novikov coach the team in La Jolla, California.
Junior Short Dance Group B (top three)
Eliana Pogrevinsky & Alex Benoit earned first place with a mature interpretation of Eugen Doga’s haunting waltz written for the film, My Sweet and Tender Beast and scored 54.50. The 2015 US Junior bronze medalists won their short dance group at the Chesapeake Open.
Julia Biechler & Damian Dodge combined a foxtrot with a waltz to Meghan Trainor’s, “Close Your Eyes” to secure second place with a 50.18 score. The program took third place in their short dance group at the Chesapeake Open. The team trains in Aston, Pennsylvania.
Melinda Meng & Andrew Meng are the 2015 Canadian Junior ice dance bronze medalists. Their short dance earned third place and scored 44.41. The team trains with Shawn Winter and Elise Hamel in Montreal, Quebec Canada.
Junior Free Dance Group A (top three)
Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter’ scored 87.28 with their free skate to Carmen, which showed a more mature look for the team. The program used less of the familiar music cuts and omitted the most popular aria, ‘Habanera’ – the entrance of Carmen. Carpenter assumed the role of Don Jose instead of the toreador. The team next competes at the JGP, Colorado Springs, CO (USA) September 2-6.
Payten Howland & Simon-Pierre Malette-Paquette (CAN – pictured right) were a distant second with a dramatic free skate to The Mask of Zorro.
“I wear a fake moustache,” quipped Malette-Paquette as he pointed to his upper lip. “Actually, I also use it in the short dance to The Addams Family (they placed fourth).
The young Canadian team trains in Novi, Michigan with Igor Shpilband and will compete at the JGP, Colorado Springs, Colo. (USA) September 2-6.
Julia Biechler & Damian Dodge were a close third with 69.67. The team skated to Nocturne/
Bohemian Rhapsody performed by American violinist, Lucia Micarelli. The Aston, Pennsylvania, based skaters next compete at the JGP, Bratislava (SVK) August 19-23.
Junior Free Dance Group B (top three)
Elliana Pogrebinsky & Alex Benoit used Variations on Romeo & Juliet to capture first place with 83.40.
The reigning US junior bronze medalists opened the 2015-16 season with a successful debut at Chesapeake Open winning their short and free dance groups. They continued with two more wins at Lake Placid. The team trains with Igor Shpilband in Novi, Michigan.
Emily Day & Kevin Leahy chose selections from the film, Slumdog Millionaire, and “Cirque du Soleil” for their second place free dance. The young California team placed third in their ice dance group at the Chesapeake Open. They next compete at the JGP, Riga, Latvia, August 26 – 30.
Alexandra Amelkhina & Andrey Filatov earned 68.35 points in the free dance. They placed fifth in the Group B short dance competition.
Senior Short Dance (top three)
Karina Manta & Joseph Johnson (USA – pictured left) won the short dance competition with a 51.45 score. The team was first at the 2015 Chesapeake Open. The dancers train at the World Arena in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Andreanne Poulin & Marc-Andre Servant (CAN) earned 48.43 points for a second place finish skated to a lyrical French vocal. The team trains in Toronto, Canada with Jon and Carol Lane.
The ice dancers shared their thoughts on Facebook. “Overall, we were thrilled with our first outing of the season. Back Home trying to work the key points in the Ravensburger (Waltz). We left lots of points on the table with a score of 48.”
Tina Garabedian & Simon Proulx Senecal is new team and represents Armenia. They earned a short dance score of 47.20.
Senior Free Dance (top three)
Andreanne Poulin & Mark-Andre Servant (CAN) earned first place with 82.86 points. They recently moved from Montreal, Quebec to Toronto, Ontario, and train alongside Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier.
Karina Manta & Joseph Johnson earned second place with 74.75 points. The Colorado based team was second in the Chesapeake Open free dance.
Alexandra Aldridge & Matthew Blackmer earned third place with 68.86 points. The new team trains in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, with Anjelika Krylova. Blackmer was a national and international medalist in pairs prior to debuting as a competitive ice dancer at the Lake Placid Championships.