Article & Photo by Ashli Meynert
Twelve countries are sending dance teams to Czech Skate 2013 this weekend. The top skaters will fight for medals and hope to score a spot in December’s Junior Grand Prix Final. Most of the teams on the roster have already been out on the JGP circuit—only two teams are making their JGP season début.
Madeline Edwards & ZhaoKai Pang (pictured, right) represent Canada at this event, looking to wrap up their first JGPF qualification. They came second at Mexico Cup with a score of 134.02, one of the highest scores from a silver medalist, so a medal of any color will keep them in the running. For their short dance, they skate to selections from “Anything Goes.” Their free dance is a selection from the musical “Les Misérables.”
Also from Canada, Danielle Wu & Spencer Soo are making their international début. They made a splash at the BC/YK SummerSkate competition in August with their “Singin’ In The Rain” short dance and “West Side Story” free dance. Wu & Soo have the benefit of competing at their first JGP assignment with their training mates, Edwards & Pang.
The United States have sent two teams to compete in the Czech Republic. Rachel Parsons & Michael Parsons have already competed in Kosice, Slovakia, earlier in September, placing second with a strong score of 131.10. For their short dance, they are skating to a selection from “Funny Face,” while their free dance is from the “New Moon” soundtrack. With their silver medal in Kosice, Parsons & Parsons are also well on their way to making it to the JGP Final in December.
Chloe Lewis & Logan Bye, also from the United States, are skating at their second JGP event of the season, after a great start with a fifth-place finish at Mexico Cup. Their short dance is skated to various songs by Michael Bublé. The free dance is a mixture of music from “Schindler’s List” and “W.E.”
Russia also sent two teams to this event. Betina Popova & Yuri Vlasenko, a late substitute for this event, are fresh off a silver medal at their JGP début last week in Minsk. They scored 128.71 last week, and if they medal again here, they could earn a spot at the JGP Final. Their short dance uses “Jumpin’ Jack” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy for the quickstep, and their free dance is set to “Spartacus.”
Sofia Evodkimova & Egor Bazin won the bronze medal at Mexico Cup, scoring 112.78. Their short dance is to “Hava Nagila” and “Sixteen Tons.” For their free dance, they are skating to “Malaguena” by Ernesto Lecuona. They still have a shot at qualifying for the Final, but will likely need at least a silver medal. In this field, that may be out of their reach.
Representing Hungary are Carolina Moscheni & Adam Lukacs. They were a surprising sixth at their first JGP in Slovakia with a score of 119.49. Their short dance is to “Tu Vuo Fa l’Americano” and their free dance is an upbeat Michael Jackson medley. Moscheni & Lukacs have spent time training in Novi, Mich., this year with Igor Shpilband, along with fellow competitors Lewis & Bye.
Ukraine has sent Daria Korotitskaia & Maxsim Spodirev, who placed sixth at Riga Cup. Their short dance is to “Jumpin’ Jack” and “Fever” by Michael Bublé. For their free dance, they are skating to “Rotting Romance.”
Great Britain has sent Olivia Smart & Joseph Buckland. Smart & Buckland placed seventh at Baltic Cup with a score of 116.70. Irving Berlin composed the music for their short dance, and their free dance is to Once Upon A Time In Mexico.
From Germany, Ria Schiffner & Julian Salatzki are looking at improving on their 8th-place finish in Slovakia. For their short dance, they are skating to “It’s De-Lovely.” Their free dance is set to the soundtrack from “Anna Karenina.”
With three JGP silver medalists fighting for medals at this event, the race for the podium could be quite close. Keep an eye on Edwards & Pang (CAN), Parsons & Parsons (USA), and Popova & Vlasenko (RUS), however, as always, anything could happen.
Dancers will kick off the competition in Ostrava with the short dance on Thursday afternoon. The free dance will be held on Friday evening.