by Anne Calder | Photo by Daphne Backman

The junior short dance competition at the 2016 U.S. National Championships was held on Wednesday, January 19, at the Xcel Energy Centre. Two sets of siblings competed as part of the thirteen team roster, which represented thirteen skating clubs from across the country.


The top four teams placed in the same order at the 2015 US Nationals SD event in Greensboro, NC. Their hard work and dedication to improvement produced increased scores in St. Paul. The numerous international competitions challenged the dancers to a higher level. All four medaled at Junior Grand Prix events.  Two stood on the podium at the Final.

Lorraine McNamara & Quinn Carpenter (pictured) danced into first place with an animated interpretation of selections from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg. The reigning Grand Prix Final champions earned five level four marks and scored 73.42 points. (2015 – 64.16)

Rachel Parsons and Michael Parsons chose “Cinderella’s Departure for the Ball” by Sergei Prokofiev and earned level 4 marks for all five elements. The JGPF bronze medalists received 70.29 points. (2015 – 60.61)

Elliana Pogrebinsky & Alex Banoit used Eugen Doga’s waltz from the film My Sweet and Tender Beast to earn level 4 in the first pattern dance, the twizzle and the straight-line lift. The score was 65.98.  (2015 – 58.92)

Christiana Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko performed an enthusiastic dance choreographed by Fabian Bourzat to the Charlie Chaplin City Lights soundtrack. The straight-line lift, twizzles and both patterns received level 4. The score earned 64.81 points. (2015 – 55.32)


Those loud shouts heard from the rafters during the last fleet of skaters were the Parsons siblings cheering on their mates from the Washington FSC.

“We all grew up together,” Rachel explained.  “We are friends.” 

Michael disclosed he often watches his competitive rivals during practice sessions. However, in the end, he flashed a smile and added, “ We are family!”