by Anne Calder | Photo by Daphne Backman

Fourteen junior ice dance teams will compete for medals at the U.S. Championships next week in Greensboro, NC. The roster includes all but one of the Dance Final teams – withdrawal due to injury – plus the team who qualified and placed second at the Junior Grand Prix Final.

A major shuffle has occurred on the junior ice dance level since the 2019 Nationals. Only four of the 13 teams from the Detroit championships are in the same partnership. Several are no longer skating, two moved up to seniors with new partners, and some just formed new teams.

In addition, eight junior teams who competed at 2019 summer events have split.

The 2020 Nationals junior ice dancers are an assorted group. It includes seven new teams, a pair of siblings, three couples who moved up from Novice, including the gold medalists, a team member with a 2018 Olympian sister, and a former U.S. pair skater with a former Canadian ice dancer in a new partnership. Seven athletes were born in other countries – Belarus, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, and Ukraine (2).

Former U.S. competitive ice dancers who will be coaching junior teams at Nationals include: Joel Dear, Michelle Poley Marvin and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt.

Preview
Ella Ales & Daniel Tsarik train with Igor Shpilband in Novi, MI. The team competed at the 2019 JGP USA (5), JGP Poland (6) and the Ice Dance Final (8). The team won the bronze medal at the 2019 Lake Placid Junior Ice Dance Championships. They were seventh at the 2019 US Nationals.

Hilary Asher & Kyle Pearson* teamed up in 2019 and train with Logan Giulietti-Schmitt in Dallas, TX. Hilary skated pairs for eight years and Kyle previously competed for four years in ice dance in Canada. They competed at the Ice Dance Final (12).

Oona Brown & Gage Brown train with Inese Bucevica and Joel Dear in Hackensack, NJ. The team placed fourth at the 2019 Lake Placid Ice Dance International. They also competed at the 2019 JGP Russia (7), JGP Italy (5), and the Dance Final (4). The siblings were 4th at the 2019 US Nationals.

Molly Cesanek & Yehor Yehorov train at Wheaton Ice Skating Academy (WISA) in Rockville, MD with Alexei Kiliakov, Elena Novak, Dimi Ilin, Ramil Sarkulov. The team won the bronze medal at the 2019 Lake Placid Ice Dance International. They competed at the 2019 JGP Latvia (6), JGP Croatia (6) and the Ice Dance Final (2). They were fifth at the 2019 US Championships.

Katarina DelCamp & Ian Somerville* teamed up in 2019 and train at WISA in Rockville, MD. The new team won the 2019 Lake Placid Junior Ice Dance Championships. They competed at the 2019 JGP Croatia (10), JGP Italy (4) and the Ice Dance Final (3).

Isabella Flores & Adam Bouaziz* paired up in 2019 and train with Elena Dostatni and Erik Schulz in Colorado Springs, CO. They were 13th at the Ice Dance Final.

Layla Karnes & Kenan Slevira* are coached by Oleg Epstein and Collin Brubaker in Glen Ellyn, IL. One month after forming their partnership in September 2019, they won the Midwestern Dance Sectionals and competed at the Ice Dance Final (5)

Angela Ling & Caleb Wein* teamed up in 2019 and train at WISA in Rockville, MD. The team placed eighth at the Lake Placid Ice Dance International. They earned the second highest score of the three Dance Sectionals and competed at the Ice Dance Final (6).

Avonley Nguyen & Vadym Kolesnik (pictured, left) train with Igor Shpilband in Novi, MI. The team was first at the Cannon Texas Open, and then won gold at the USA and Poland JGPs followed by silver at the JGP Final. The team won the silver medal at the 2019 Championships.

Cordelia Pride & Benjamin Lawless train with Michelle Poley Marvin in Ardmore, PA. The team placed tenth at the Lake Placid Junior Ice Dance Championships. They also competed at the Ice Dance Final (9). They were ninth as a novice team at the 2019 US Nationals.

Samantha Ritter & Jim Wang* teamed up in 2019 and train with Igor Shpilband in Novi, MI. They won the Novice & Junior Challenge Skate and competed at the Ice Dance Final (10).

Breelie Taylor & Tyler Vollmer train with Graham Payne in Alpharetta, GA. The team was fourth at the 2019 Chesapeake Open They competed at the Ice Dance Final (14). They were 10th at the 2019 US Championships in novice.

Elizabeth Tkachenko & Alexei Kiliakov train at WISA in Rockville, MD. The team competed at the JGP France (12) and at the Ice Dance Final (7). They were the Novice gold medalists at the 2019 US Championships.

Katarina Wolfkostin & Jeffrey Chen* partnered in 2019 and train with Igor Shpilband in Novi, MI. The team competed at the JGP France (5), JGP Russia (4) and the Ice Dance Final (1). They were the bronze medalists at the recent 2020 Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne, Switzerland.^ New team in 2019

* New team.

Update on the Juvenile, Intermediate, Novice Ice Dance Teams
Juvenile, intermediate and novice athletes from all four disciplines will be attending a two-day team camp in lieu of competing at the 2020 US Figure Skating Championships. The attendees qualified at their Singles Sectional (Eastern, Midwestern, Pacific) or the Pairs and Dance Finals.

The National High-Performance Development Team Camp (HPDC) will be held in Charlotte, NC following the US Championships. Nine teams from each dance level qualified in November 2019 at the Ice Dance Final in Hyannis, MA.