Team IDC Blog #1: We’re Here!
Created on Tuesday, 30 July 2013 20:17

We’re here!

Most of Team IDC arrived in Lake Placid last night, and we’re already having great Lake Placid times. Our off-ice photo shoots are already underway, and we have a couple of busy days planned with all of those. We are all really motivated to get some different shots this year, and we’re excited that we have the opportunity to work with 20 teams this year.

Right now, I’m sitting with Daphne in the top row of Section 9, and we’ve been watching the dancers from BC practice. They have a ton of junior teams that look very strong, as well as one senior team, Nicole Orford & Thomas Williams. I believe that Nicole & Thomas are skating to music from “Love Never Dies,” which is the less popular sequel to “Phantom of the Opera.” “Phantom” might be my least favourite musical, but I was pleasantly surprised by some of the “Love Never Dies” music. We’ve also seen our first “Les Mis” (Edwards & Pang), our first “West Side Story” (Wu & Soo), and our first “Singin’ in the Rain” (also Wu & Soo) of the week, but no “Sing Sing Sing” yet.

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After a few photo shoots this evening, IDC’s resident chef, photographer Liz Chastney, will be dazzling our tastebuds with a multi-course meal back at the house that we’ve rented for the week. I don’t think I remembered to eat lunch today (or was it breakfast that I forgot?), which makes me even more excited about eating excellent food. There’s something about tiramisu. Maybe I’ll take photos and food-blog it!

A lot of teams are in transit to Lake Placid today, and the arena staff is still getting things set up in the 1980 Arena, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow, when things start feeling more real. Although some of the teams have already competed this year, nothing says the start of the season to me quite like LPIDC.

~ Mel for Team IDC


 
Team IDC Blog #2: A Retrospective
Created on Tuesday, 31 July 2013 21:16

reeds03Ten years ago, ice-dance.com began its love affair with the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships (LPIDC) when Daphne, Michelle, and Karen made the trek to the Adirondack village to immerse themselves in nothing but ice dancing. So much has changed since that first trip in 2003, and with IDC entering its second decade of coverage of this wonderful event, we thought it was perfect timing to reflect back.

Karen had attended the 2002 LPIDC and wanted to return the following year. Daphne and Michelle heard from Karen that there were “people like us” who find it not only normal, but also exciting to spend day after day watching nothing but ice dance. In late July, 2003, the trio converged and made their home in the 1980 rink.

Michelle had just gotten her first digital SLR (“big girl camera with detachable lenses”) and thought it would be a great way to test it out. No pressure, no assignments due, just endless opportunities to get used to this new-fangled photography. Professional sports photographers were just starting to leave behind film and go all digital, but the technology was still somewhat rough.

Michelle’s camera in 2003: 3 focus points, ISO (“film speed”) topped at 1000, 6.3 MP, 3 frames per second with a max burst of 8 shots (meaning how many photos you could take until you had to stop while it was buffering and moving the images to the memory card), fastest download option USB 1.1. Memory cards used: 256 MB. Yes, that’s MB, not GB.

In comparison, ice-dance.com’s photographers at the 2013 LPIDC will use cameras like this: 19+ focus points, ISO 6400, 18 MP, 8 frames per second with a max burst of 110 shots, download USB 2 (or faster). Memory cards used: 16GB.

When it came time to download the photos back in 2003, it took a long time. With no giant hard drive on her laptop and no passport-sized portable hard drive, Michelle filled up her laptop faster than she could have imagined. Fortunately, she was able to buy some blank CDs for $1 each. Yes, that’s CDs, not DVDs.

Our lodging of choice that year was the Northwoods Inn on Main Street. It was pretty much a two-room suite. Karen and Daphne slept in the bedroom and Michelle camped out in the other room, napping on the floor in between memory card downloads. Downloading one card took at least an hour, and then burning to CD (at probably 2x or maybe 4x rate) took another half hour, if it didn’t crash during the burn. Trying to simultaneously download and burn slowed everything to a crawl. Those were very, very long nights.

Perhaps the best part about staying at the Northwoods Inn was having Bazzi’s downstairs for pizza. Cell phone coverage was spotty, at best, so messages between the roommates were left on the hotel room door, usually saying something along the lines of “down @ Bazzi’s. Meet us there.” Not the most varied diet, but definitely convenient. And delicious. And open until like 3 a.m.

In 2003, compulsory dances took the bulk of the competitions, with teams skating four or more compulsories each! While the dancers probably do not miss that, from a photographer’s standpoint, all those beautiful dresses were a blast to shoot.

taylor03Although Michelle may not have shot every competitor that year, from the photos in ice-dance.com’s archive, it looks like only two teams who competed together in 2003 are still competing together in 2013. One of these teams is scheduled to compete this year: Cathy Reed & Chris Reed (pictured above). Novice dancers 10 years ago, now 5-time Japanese national champions and 2010 Olympians.

Although many of the competitors from 2003 will be coaching instead of competing, some are on the roster in 2013 with new partners: Nicholas Taylor (juvenile in ’03 with Kirsten Seagers; pictured left), Isabella Cannuscio (intermediate in ’03 with Kyle Herring), Brock Jacobs (intermediate in ’03 with Alexandra Cook), and Isabella Tobias (novice in ’03 with James Warren).

Other veterans of the 2003 LPIDC who are still very much part of the ice dance competition scene today include Anastasia Olson (juvenile in ’03 with Greg Zuerlein), Piper Gilles (juvenile in ’03 with Tim McKernan), Madison Hubbell (intermediate in ’03 with Keiffer Hubbell), Kaitlyn Weaver (novice in ’03 with Charles Clavey), and 2010 Olympian Evan Bates (novice in ’03 with Emily Samuelson).

Oh, and that other team who is still together (although not competing at LPIDC this year)? The 2-time and reigning world champions and Olympic silver medalists, Meryl Davis & Charlie White.

What a difference a decade makes!

Team IDC