World Champions Set the Tone in Short Dance at Skate America

SDrecapThe short dance wrapped up the first night of competition at the 2011 Skate America. Reigning world champions Meryl Davis & Charlie White of the U.S. earned the first +3 GOE of the Grand Prix series ice dance competition, snagging a trio for their level 4 curve lift. Their opening twizzles were also given level 4, while their step sequence and both parts of the rhumba were 3s. Their total element score was tops at 34.14, as was their program component score of 36.19. The combined total of 70.33 gives them a 10-point lead going into Saturday’s free dance.

France’s Nathalie Pechalat & Fabian Bourzat stand in second after a fall by Bourzat and some messy twizzles couldn’t overcome the gap in PCS. Davis & White earned an average of about 9 on their components. The French team’s only 8+ component was their choreography; the other four were in the upper 7s for a PCS total of 31.56. Combined with their TES of 29.51 (level 4 curve lift, everything else level 3), the duo’s total is 60.07 after the one-point deduction for the fall.

Nelli Zhiganshina & Alexander Gazsi from Germany are third with 55.66 (29.14 TES + 26.52 PCS). Out of the 45 marks, only one GOE was negative. Both segments of their rhumba were called only level 2, but they did get a level 3 on the footwork and 4s on both the twizzles and lift.

The two Canadian teams had very different short dance experiences. Kharis Ralph & Asher Hill made the final free dance flight with their 52.68 (27.79+24.89) putting them in fourth. Alexandra Paul & Mitch Islam had a disastrous night. Paul fell twice. They also received a deduction for “interruption in excess” because she took too long to get back into the dance. A score of 37.50 left them in last place.

American Ian Lorello tweeted “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down!” after a splat on the twizzle gave him and partner Isabella Cannuscio no credit for that element. They stand in seventh with a score of 42.05.

Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue were the first team to take the ice and wound up in sixth (49.71) after having their rhumba patterns called levels 2 and 1. The team did place fourth in PCS (25.06) and should pull up as their strength is their sexy free dance.

Isabella Tobias & Deividas Stagniunas from Lithuania round out the field. They placed fifth with a total of 51.83.