14JGPJPN-EllieAlex-8Konnichiwa from Aichi!  Saturday, Day #4 of our trip, and most importantly – Short Dance Day – has finally arrived.  In a season with Latin rhythms and the Samba for the pattern dance, Short Dance Day becomes synonymous with the appearance of feathers, fringe, ponytails, syncopated drumbeats, and lots of ee-ROH [color].   

Our day started by rising with the birds to catch the 5:15 am bus for our 6:40 am warm-up.  Even though Adrienne advised Ellie to sleep longer and omit the competition hair and makeup routine for the early morning practice, Ellie couldn’t break her pre-event ritual (she loves the excitement of the routine), and she appeared at the bus stop looking spectacularly glamorous.  Alex on the other hand, gladly accepted the extra few minutes of sleep, rubbed a little product through his hair and proclaimed his preparation “done.”

The morning warm-up was marked with a little bit of unwelcomed excitement, due to a collision with the German dance team.  We were in the midst of our twizzles while the other team began their no-touch step sequence.  Ellie and the other dancer tumbled down in a tangled mess, and while the impact was substantial, Ellie weathered the incident with incredible strength.  The fringe, feathers, stones and glamor of this sport often conceal just how tough skaters have to be! 

Our afternoon event had an extremely supportive crowd.  There were many American flags being waved not just by our Team USA contingent, but also by the Japanese spectators.  It was thrilling to be introduced for our first time together, as representing the United States of America.  We took the ice, Ellie resplendent in PINK-oo [pink] with a fringe skirt, while Alex was more subdued in koo-ROH [black].  Our music started, and we put it all out there.  The goal for our first JGP event ever was to connect with the audience, skate with attack, and have fun — mission accomplished!  We left a few technical points on the table from our step sequence and our second pattern dance, but the overall skate was one that we are proud of and it put us in 5th place going into the Free Dance.

Our teammates Rachel and Michael Parsons, the only team today that was dressed in matching color (OW [blue]), also distinguished themselves as the team with the most impressive and flawless unison, and they lead going into tomorrow’s event.

Tomorrow is the free dance event, and while we have discovered that the crystallized Swan Lake sculptures by Tokujin Yoshioka have not been on display to the public since last winter, we did find out a little more information about the exhibit. The crystals were grown over the course of 6 months, by exposure to the pulsating tones of Tchaikovsky’s orchestral piece.  The sculptures appear simultaneously delicate and dangerous. Ironically, we formed our partnership 6 months ago and we hope to showcase a delicate, yet dangerous program tomorrow that resonates with the audience!

 

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Off to bed — here’s to hoping that Ellie’s morning collision won’t leave her koo-ROH and OW for tomorrow!

~ Elliana & Alex