by Anne Calder | Photo by Robin Ritoss
Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje won the Autumn Classic International, their only competition in the 2018 fall season. They then skipped the Grand Prix Series to perform in a Canadian skating tour.
“It took some time for us to decide to do The Thank You Canada Tour, but it was absolutely the right decision for us,” Weaver said. “We performed both of our competitive numbers every day and even had daily tips and short lessons from Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir.”
“Our 30 or 40 minute afternoon practices were intense and efficient,” Weaver said. “A normal day-to-day training routine doesn’t have that immediacy. It gave us a different level of confidence. No matter what, we know we can do these programs.”
“When you compete constantly, you tend to get stuck in the technicalities of the sport,” Poje said. “In a show, your main goal is to perform for the audience – to bring a story across. We felt like we needed the new challenges. It helped us to perform and shine on a daily basis.”
New Jersey is still home base to Weaver & Poje, and Nikolai Morozov continues as their main coach.
“With our programs being choreographed by Igor Shpilband (rhythm dance) and Pasquale Camerlengo (free dance) we do spend time in Michigan as well,” Poje noted. “The two training environments are a stark contrast with each other, but it creates a nice balance.”
Weaver & Poje chose their free dance, “S.O.S. d’un terrien en détresse“, after hearing it live during Denis Ten’s performance at his show in Kazakhstan in June 2018.
“For a week we had that song stuck in our heads, so we considered it for our free dance,” Weaver said. “We really loved it. Denis introduced us to this music. When we heard about his tragic passing, we considered not doing it; it was very emotional for us. We trained with him, and he was a very dear friend. It didn’t take long for us to decide [that] this program is our way of honoring him.”
“S.O.S. d’un terrien en détresse“ is from the French rock opera, Starmania. The performance of the song on tour was always very emotional, but one moment was extra special for Weaver & Poje.
“We performed our free dance in Quebec City. Just to have the French audience listening to that song was a magical moment for us.”
“We came home from the tour knowing we still had an intense competitive drive within us. We had an invigorated motivation to return to competition. Skating has been going very well, and training is great. We are excited for next weekend in St. John.”