by Ashli Meynert | Photo by Melanie Hoyt
This week, the Junior Grand Prix (JGP) Series hits Mexico City for its second stop. In the dance event, eight teams from six countries will compete for their chance to make the Junior Grand Prix Final.
Canada has two entries at Mexico Cup. Madeline Edwards & ZhaoKai Pang are one of Megan Wing & Aaron Lowe’s dance teams from the Centre of Excellence in Burnaby, B.C. Last season, Edwards & Pang won the junior title at the Canadian Championships and finished 12th at the World Junior Championships. During last season’s JGP, Edwards & Pang won bronze at both of their events, just missing a spot at the JGP Final. Their short dance is a combination of foxtrot and quickstep. For their free dance, they will skate to a selection from “Les Misérables.” Edwards & Pang began their season with a pair of wins in their groups at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships.
Katie Desveaux & Dmitre Razgulajevs (pictured, right) will also represent Canada. Razgulajevs’ father, Juris, is on their coaching team in Scarborough, Ont. In the 2012-2013 season, Desveaux & Razgulajevs were seventh as juniors at the Canadian Championships. This will be their first JGP event, but they have the longest partnership in the competition at seven years together. For their short program, they will be skating a foxtrot to “Witchcraft” and doing a quickstep to “Let’s Face the Music and Dance.” Their long program is a combination of songs from Mike Hopkins’ album “The Spanish Waiter.”
The United States of America are also sending two teams to this event. The first team listed is Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker, now in their second season together. They train near Detroit with Pasquale Camerlengo and his team of coaches. Last season, they competed at two JGP events, finishing fifth and second. They also finished second on the junior level at the U.S. Championships, earning a berth to the World Junior Championships, where they were seventh. They showed their short dance to “Sing Sing Sing” and “Happy Feet” and their free dance to music from “Amelie” at LPIDC, where they scored very well and won both of their events.
The second American team is Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye. They also train near Detroit, however, they train with Igor Shpilband’s new coaching team. Lewis & Bye were the 2013 U.S. novice champions, and this will be their international début. They are skating to Michael Bublé selections for their short dance and music from the “Schindler’s List” soundtrack for their free dance.
Sofia Evdokimova & Egor Bazin are the only Russian representatives at this JGP event, despite Russia being allowed two entries. Last season, they competed at two JGP events, finishing fifth and seventh. At the 2013 Russian Junior National Championships, Evdokimova & Bazin finished in fifth place. This season, they are skating to blues and swing music in the short dance and their free dance uses music from “Gangs of New York.”
Italy sends Sofia Sforza & Francesco Fioretti, who have won the Italian Junior National Championships two years in a row. Last season, they competed JGP Bosphorus and placed sixth. They also competed at several international competitions in Europe, winning the Bavarian Open at the junior level. Sforza & Fioretti have competed at the World Junior Championships four straight times, placing 13th in 2013. For their short dance, they picked the quickstep and slow foxtrot rhythms. Their free skate will be performed to the “Notre Dame de Paris” soundtrack, which has gained popularity this year after Davis & White won the World Championships with the music. On an interesting note, fellow Mexico Cup competitors Edwards & Pang used this music two seasons ago.
Carina Glastris & Nicholas Lettner are the Greek entry at this event. Last season, they competed at two JGP events, placing 16th and 13th, and then finished 26th at the World Junior Championships. This year’s short dance is to “I Wanna Be Loved By You” and “The Glove.” For their free dance, they have selected a Tarrango Latin Medley.
Great Britain’s team of Mina Zdravkova & Henry Aiken are here competing at their second JGP event. They competed at JGP Sencila Bled Cup last season, placing 17th. At their Junior Nationals, they placed fifth. This year, they are skating to Irving Berlin selections for their short program and they will take on Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” in the free dance.
While the top contenders from this event appear to be the most experienced ones—Edwards & Pang, Hawayek & Baker, Evdokimova & Bazin, and Sforza & Fioretti. However, Desveaux & Razgulajevs and Lewis & Bye could take advantage of the small roster to make a splash in their JGP débuts.
Competition begins Thursday with the short dance. The free dance is scheduled for Saturday afternoon.