Japanese figure skating 2020-21 season news & updates

nimi

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Yoshida / Nishiyama have split. :(


ETA: Shingo's post says he intends to continue in ice dance.
Shingo has announced his new partnership on IG:
"We would like to inform you all with a very exciting news! Ayumi Takanami and I have decided to start our journey together as a new Japanese ice dance team. We will strive and work hard towards the goal of 2026 Milano Olympic, as well as other international competition. We can't wait to see what's ahead of us!"

Ayumi used to skate with Yoshimitsu Ikeda (video)
 

Sylvia

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Article about Shingo Nishiyama's new ice dance partnership with Ayumi Takanami (their nickname is "Ayushin"):

The photo Shingo Nishiyama shared on his Instagram account was taken at the WASEDA ON ICE show on March 13 and he performed a solo to "That's Life" starting at this point: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0BigVL30ak&t=3414s
Tomoe Kawabata followed him with her "Blue Danube" SP.
Koshiro Shimada made an appearance from the Champery rink in Switzerland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0BigVL30ak&t=4770s

For @Jeschke - Yuka Nagai's farewell performance to "East of Eden" begins here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q0BigVL30ak&t=6465s
Tomoe Kawabata' sweet message & photo with Yuka: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMYPpHZFSOi/

Article about Nagai's retirement:
Machine translated excerpt:
From April, I will get a job at a non-life insurance company. "I haven't decided what to do, but I would like to contribute to the safety and security of everyone," she said with a shy smile. "I've had a lot of support so far, so I'd like to contribute to the world as a supporter of someone," she continued with a serious look.
 
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Sylvia

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Rika Kihira recently attended a training camp at the World arena in Colorado Springs (pictured with choreographer Catarina Lindgren) and shared clips of her landing 3A+3T and 3A+1Eu+3S combo there: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMGKScuHJyH/
This article mentions Kihira spent the month of February working on her jumps in Colorado Springs and also includes her planned FS jump layout (upgraded from Nationals):

Nationals planned FS layout:
4S 9.70
3A 8.00 (6.40 reduced base value due to < call)
3F+1Eu+3S 10.10
3Lo 4.90
2A+3T* 8.25
3F+3T* 10.45
2A* 3.63
Total = 55.03

Worlds FS planned/possible jump layout:
4S 9.70
3A+2T 9.30
3F+1Eu+3S 10.10
3Lo 4.90
3A* 8.80
3F+3T* 10.45
3Lz* 6.49
Total = 59.74
 
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Marco

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This article mentions Kihira spent the month of February working on her jumps in Colorado Springs and also includes her planned FS jump layout (upgraded from Nationals):

Nationals planned FS layout:
4S 9.70
3A 8.00 (6.40 reduced base value due to < call)
3F+1Eu+3S 10.10
3Lo 4.90
2A+3T* 8.25
3F+3T* 10.45
2A* 3.63
Total = 55.03

Worlds FS planned/possible jump layout:
4S 9.70
3A+2T 9.30
3F+1Eu+3S 10.10
3Lo 4.90
3A* 8.80
3F+3T* 10.45
3Lz* 6.49
Total = 59.74
Lutz is back!
 

Sylvia

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Initial list of Japanese skaters announced today (March 17) for Stars on Ice shows in Japan that are currently scheduled to be held at the Yokohama Arena, April 22-25, 2021: https://figureskate-soi.com/skaters.html
Here's the link to the Stars on Ice Japan 2021 thread in GSD: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/stars-on-ice-japan-2021.108212/

2021 Worlds results (Japan keeps 3 Olympic men's spots & adds a 3rd ladies' spot for 2022):
SILVER Yuma Kagiyama - he shared 3 photos afterwards: https://www.instagram.com/p/CM-dK-8pE9Z/
BRONZE Yuzuru Hanyu
4th Shoma Uno
6th Kaori Sakamoto
7th Rika Kihira
10th Riku Miura & Ryuichi Kihara (Worlds debut; earned an Olympic pairs spot for themselves & opportunity for a 2nd team - if there is one - to compete at Nebelhorn Trophy)
19th Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto (earned an Olympic ice dance spot)
19th Satoko Miyahara (eta link to her 3/29 blog post): https://ameblo.jp/satoko-miyahara/entry-12665280149.html
Machine translated excerpt:
It was a tough tournament for me, and I realized the difficulty of adjustment and the importance of the environment. I think there was a harvest(?) in terms of facing myself. I will think about what I need to do and do my best.

Team Japan won the bronze medal at the 2021 World Team Trophy in Osaka - team captain Ryuichi Kihara's photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNz4DkgJSqR/ & https://www.instagram.com/p/CNr5iwWJXOU/
Rika Kihira tweeted 4 photos (she competed with a back injury at WTT): https://twitter.com/rika_kihira/status/1383794413437001728

---

Wakaba Higuchi article (April 19) summarized in 2 tweets: https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1384364666894254083
Yomiuri News published an interview with Wakaba Higuchi. A few highlights: She plans to get new programs for next season. The short will be choreographed by Jeff Buttle and the free by Shae-Lynn Bourne (both remotely). She plans for both programs to open with 3A, and ...if possible, she’d like to add a second 3A to the free. She doesn’t want to get injured, and so will probably not try any quads in her programs next season. She might practice one. (Full article can be viewed at link and Google translated for more.)
 
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Sylvia

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During 20-21 season, perhaps due to cancellation of other sports, Fuji TV Network covered Japanese Domestic Skating events much better than previous seasons. They (mainly carried by their cable channels) covered Japan Novices, Juniors, and Seniors, Sectionals (such as Tokyo Championships), East and West Japan Regionals. They also covered Domestic B Competitions such as Junior High, Senior High and Collegiate Championships. Most coverage did not have any commentary or TES Box, just the skating and total scores. Of all these events, the one that surprised me most was Japan Novice Championships (Oct 24-25).
"Novice" are skaters whose "skating age" is below 13. The skaters at this age group seemed to have unlimited energy, but I remembered from 15 years ago, they were doing double jumps and if they were to land that pesky 2A, that would get standing ovation from me.
Fuji showed complete skates of only the top four finishers of Novice A (11 and over) Ladies. Perhaps due to nerves, two of the top skaters fell on the initial jump, that pesky 2A. However, once they got into their programs they were all landing 3Lz/3T or 3flip/3T, 3loops, 2A/3T...all top four were simply amazing. Then it dawned on me (remember no commetary nor TES Box), I went back to those initial "2A" and I started to shake, since they were trying the 3A! Perhaps "q" or "UR", but they were really close to being landed. Kudos to Mao Shimada (Gold) and Ami Nakai (Bronze: Nakai actually landed her first competitive 3A at Niigata Prefectural Championships in December).
"Advance novice skater Mao Shimada successfully landed 4T at a local competition in Kyoto today [March 28, 2021].
She won the free-skate-only advance novice event with a program that also included a clean 3Lz+3T+2T." Scroll down for a clip: https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1376180244336373768

Shimada will turn 13 in October so will not be ISU Junior age-eligible until the 2022-23 season:
Google translation:

A new history was carved in a local competition with no spectators.

Mao Shimada (12 = Kinoshita Academy), a promising sixth grader, succeeded in a quadruple toe loop for the first time among Japanese girls, although it was not officially recognized by the International Skating Union (ISU). A good jump that challenges at the beginning and leads to the addition of 2.61 points. Won with 117.74 points.

Miki Ando and Rika Kihira are the only Japanese women who have succeeded in quadruple jumps, including unofficial ISU competitions. Both were quadruple salchow. The 12-year-old, who can compete in the Milan Cortina d'Ampezzo Olympics for 26 years at the earliest, showed the possibility.

In November 2008, Shimada participated in the All Japan Junior Championships, which is the highest peak tournament in Japan in the next higher category. Rino Matsuike (16), a first-year student at Chukyo University, Aichi, and Hanna Yoshida (15 = Kinoshita Academy), [Mao Shimada] a third-year student at Uji, Kyoto, came in third. It was the first time in 20 years since Miki Ando that a Novice A player (aged 11-12 as of June 30) stood on the podium.

Ayumu's mother was a big fan of Mao Asada and started the competition at the age of five. In February 2008, she moved her base from Tokyo to Kyoto and received guidance from coach Mie Hamada and others.

◆ Mao Shimada Born in Tokyo on October 30, 2008 (Heisei 20). I started playing at the age of five. Winner of the All Japan Novice Championship in 19 (Novice B = 9-10 years old as of June 30), and Novice A in the same championship in 20. My hobbies are bowling and dancing. 138 cm.


ETA link to a Mao Shimada interview article (April 20):
Machine translated excerpt:
Shimada: My longing is Mao Asada. When I first saw the recording of the Sochi Olympics at home, I thought it was a performance that I was so absorbed in watching that I couldn't move anywhere.
Ayumu's mother was a big fan of Asada and was named "Mao", and she met skating at the age of five. The 2014 Sochi Olympics were held around that time. She says she has no real-time memory.
Shimada I have met Mao Asada only once. When I happened to slip at Saitama Ice Arena, Ms. Asada came to practice. Get an autograph ... It was a kind sister.
 
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Sylvia

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Series of 3 tweets: https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1384465878205419521
TV Tokyo Sports posted a video on Tatsuki Machida working with Keiji Tanaka on his “succession project.” At the upcoming Prince Ice World shows, Keiji will perform an exhibition program to “Je te veux” that Machida choreographed for himself for PIW in 2014.
Machida explains that in figure skating, each skater normally gets a custom program, and once that skater retires, the program is never performed again. Machida feels this is a waste, so in his project, he is experimenting with granting “performance rights” to other skaters who’d like to perform programs he previously choreographed.
He wants Keiji to skate the program like it’s his own.
Link to watch the 10-minute video:
Info on Machida's “Je te veux” show program: http://tatsuki-machida.com/skating/14_jeteveux.html

Prince Ice World's show scheduled from May 1st (Sat.) to 5th (Wednesday) - 10 performances for 5 days in Yokohama: https://www.princeiceworld.com/posts/iceshow/qzvdgf
Guest skaters: Shizuka Arakawa, Takeshi Honda, Miyu Honda, Shoma Uno, Yuma Kagiyama, Marin Honda, Wakaba Higuchi, Keiji Tanaka, Kazuki Tomono, Yoshio Miura
 
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karmena

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Series of 3 tweets: https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1384465878205419521

Link to watch the 10-minute video:
Info on Machida's “Je te veux” show program: http://tatsuki-machida.com/skating/14_jeteveux.html

Prince Ice World's show scheduled from May 1st (Sat.) to 5th (Wednesday) - 10 performances for 5 days in Yokohama: https://www.princeiceworld.com/posts/iceshow/qzvdgf
Guest skaters: Shizuka Arakawa, Takeshi Honda, Miyu Honda, Shoma Uno, Yuma Kagiyama, Marin Honda, Wakaba Higuchi, Keiji Tanaka, Kazuki Tomono, Yoshio Miura
Thank you, Sylvia! Soooo grateful to hear about my beloved skater Tatsuki Machida and his extraordinary projects.
 

Sylvia

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The initial 2021-22 national team document ("Reiwa 3rd year strengthening player") was published today (April 22, 2021) on the JSF website: https://www.skatingjapan.or.jp/whatsnew/detail.php?id=88
Direct link: https://www.skatingjapan.or.jp/common/img/info/2021FS210422.pdf

(I've added nationals placements, Senior and/or Junior, for the singles skaters below.)

"Special" level:

Yuzuru Hanyu S1, Shoma Uno S2, Yuma Kagiyama S3

Rika Kihira S1, Kaori Sakamoto S2, Satoko Miyahara S3

Level A:

Keiji Tanaka S4, Shun Sato S5, Kazuki Tomono S6, Kao Miura S7/J2, Koshiro Shimada S8, Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda J1/S13, Sena Miyake J3/S10

Rino Matsuike S4/J1, Mai Mihara S5, Mana Kawabe S6, Wakaba Higuchi S7, Yuhana Yokoi S8, Han[n]a Yoshida J2/S16, Mao Shimada J3

Riku Miura & Ryuichi Kihara

Misato Komatsubara & Takeru Komatsubara (Tim Koleto) S1

Level B:

Sota Yamamoto S9, Sumitada Moriguchi S12, Yuto Kishina J4/S14, Kosho Oshima J5/S18, Shunsuke Nakamura J6/S17, Tatsuya Tsuboi J7, Keisuke Kadowaki J8

Yuna Shiraiwa S9, Rin Nitaya S10, Tomoe Kawabata S11, Rion Sumiyoshi J5/S12, Ayumi Shibayama J4, Ami Nakai J6, Natsu Suzuki J7, Mone Chiba J8

Kana Muramoto & Daisuke Takahashi S2

Jingu Ice Messengers (synchro champs)
 
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ostile17

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Japanfan

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Sort of... :yikes:


Indeed. I watched the start of the program, and wasn't inclined to finish watching it. Did not like the version of the music, also.
 

Sylvia

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Kinoshita Academy's "Bloom on Ice" shows in Kyoto (live audience on April 24; no audience permitted tomorrow due to the state of emergency in Kyoto Prefecture) - event info as originally announced on March 12: https://www.kinoshita-group.co.jp/news/event-campaign/2021/03/12_1200326179.html
Ladies: Satoko Miyahara, Mana Kawabe, Hana Yoshida, Mao Shimada, Ayumi Shibayama, Sakurako Daimon, Azusa Tanaka, Haruna Murakami, Hanano Suzuki, Sumika Kanazawa
Men: Koshiro Shimada, Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda, Shunsuke Nakamura, Shuntaro Asaga, Ryoga Morimoto, Yuki Yoshioka
Pairs: Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara, Ikura Kushida/Sumitada Moriguchi
Ice dance: Nao Kida/Masaya Morita
Synchro: Kansai Synchro Lovers

At the show today, Satoko debuted her 2021-22 short program to "Lyra Angelica" by William Alwyn, choreographed by Jeff Buttle. I've posted her quotes about the program in her fan thread: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...t-in-the-true-sense.95279/page-9#post-5995521
She is keeping Tosca as her FS for next season.
 
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Sylvia

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He is on the national team for singles:
The initial 2021-22 national team

Level B:

Sota Yamamoto S9, Sumitada Moriguchi S12, Yuto Kishina J4/S14, Kosho Oshima J5/S18, Shunsuke Nakamura J6/S17, Tatsuya Tsuboi J7, Keisuke Kadowaki J8
ETA that Ikura KUSHIDA was 4th in Novice A Nationals and placed 12th at Junior Nationals this season. We'll see if they show up at Nebelhorn Trophy... ETA that she's too young for ISU Senior (see @cohkaix' post below).
 
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Sylvia

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Kinoshita Academy's "Bloom on Ice" shows in Kyoto
...
At the show today, Satoko debuted her 2021-22 short program to "Lyra Angelica" by William Alwyn, choreographed by Jeff Buttle.
In this Twitter thread about "Bloom on Ice" (includes program music & screen cap photos), the Kushida/Sumitada pair team was not mentioned as having performed: https://twitter.com/figureskatingm1/status/1385805757321408514
Excerpts:
Most impressed by Ayumi Shibayama in the first half of the Bloom on Ice show. Very clean! She should be ISU junior age eligible next season.
Kida/Morita had stumbles, but definitely lots of potential in ice dance. If there’s a junior grand prix next season, maybe we’ll see them. [...]
With the exception of a fall on the opening 4T attempt, novice skater Mao Shimada’s (free?) program was clean. Hana Yoshida and Mana Kawabe also looked very strong.
Music identified included:
Haruna Murakami (novice)—Instrumental Beatles medley
Shunsuke Nakamura (jr)—Eye (Coba)
Nao Kida/Masaya Morita (novice dance)—Rolling Stones medley
Ayumi Shibayama (novice)—Hot N Cold
Lucas Tsuyoshi Honda—Katchi
Mao Shimada (nov)—music from The Queen’s Gambit
Sumitada Moriguchi—I’m Still Standing (Rocketman)
Hana Yoshida (jr)—Shake It Off
Koshiro Shimada—Giving Up [eta: performed by Donny Hathaway, choreo. by Stephane Lambiel - new SP]
Mana Kawabe—Flower (Yoon Mi Rae)
Riku Miura/Ryuichi Kihara—Hallelujah [this season's SP]

ETA link to a Koshiro Shimada article from the show: https://hochi.news/articles/20210424-OHT1T50247.html
Koshiro Shimada (19) ... new short program (SP) "Giving Up" next season. The choreography is by coach Stephane Lambiel. "It's a song of broken heart, so I want to express it as ephemeral, sad, and mature love."
Free is also a Chaplin song choreographed by Mr. Lambiel. "The title is very long. It's packed with songs like 'Limelight' and 'Smile', and it's a really good song," he explained. It will be an important off for next season of the Beijing Olympics season. "We are in an era where three quads are not enough. The success rate in practice is gradually increasing. I want to fight the Olympic season with a strong feeling," he said.
 
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cohkaix

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He is on the national team for singles:

ETA that Ikura KUSHIDA was 4th in Novice A Nationals and placed 12th at Junior Nationals this season. We'll see if they show up at Nebelhorn Trophy...
Here's the news report about K/M from BOI: https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202104240000944.html
Kushida is 13 and Moriguchi 19. Perhaps they'll go for JGP first?
It seems that Kinoshita Academy is drawing skaters to try out for pairs recently so hopefully more couples will emerge soon.
 

mikeko

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Here's the news report about K/M from BOI: https://www.nikkansports.com/sports/news/202104240000944.html
Kushida is 13 and Moriguchi 19. Perhaps they'll go for JGP first?
It seems that Kinoshita Academy is drawing skaters to try out for pairs recently so hopefully more couples will emerge soon.
They didn't perform their program at BIO, but joined a group performance as seen in the article's picture. They showed 4Li, which is one of the requirements in SP 2021-2022, and FiDs.
 

Sylvia

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Utana Yoshida, age 17 (she & Shingo Nishiyama announced their split in January) has revealed her new ice dance partner: https://www.instagram.com/p/COrtB-GpPen/

He is Seiji Urano (who last competed in the U.S. in the 2019-20 season, placing 9th in Novice with Anna Lewis at the Final in November 2019): https://ijs.usfigureskating.org/leaderboard/results/2020/28837/CAT003SEG009.html

Yoshida/Urano's joint IG account: https://www.instagram.com/_anatuijies_seijiutana_/

Article on the new partnership that says Urano is 19 years old:

Posted on March 14 in this thread:
Shingo has announced his new partnership on IG:
"We would like to inform you all with a very exciting news! Ayumi Takanami and I have decided to start our journey together as a new Japanese ice dance team. We will strive and work hard towards the goal of 2026 Milano Olympic, as well as other international competition. We can't wait to see what's ahead of us!"

Ayumi used to skate with Yoshimitsu Ikeda (video)
ETA that as of early April, Takanami (now 20) & Nishiyama (19) were training in Novi, Michigan, according to her IG post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CNaDDW2pLKa/
 
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Sylvia

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I believe this May 24th article Ice dance Ayumi Takanami, Shingo Nishiyama Waseda couple is "excited" to participate in seniors says they have returned to Japan to train:
Nishiyama's reply re. his favorite ice dance team(s):
2018 Pyeongchang Olympic bronze medal Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani (USA). Being the first Asian couple to be an Olympic medalist, she has a natural expressiveness and has an appeal not found in Western couples. It is a reference and target couple as an Asian couple. I also refer to Natalie D'Alessandro and Bruce Waddell (Canada), who were with me at the Cricket Club in Canada. Looking at their practice, I felt that I had to speed up like this.

Wheaton Ice Skating Academy's latest post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CPQqr1oLxKZ/
We are Nicole Takahashi and Shiloh Judd. We are a new Senior team that just teamed up this April.
Training together at WISA has by far surpassed our expectations. The coaches, teams, and training environment has welcomed us with warm arms and we are excited to grow as a team. Our goal is to compete for Japan for many seasons to come.
When we are not working hard pursuing our skating goals, we keep busy expanding our knowledge in other avenues. Nicole balances a professional career in the telecommunications and marketing industries and Shiloh is a passionate coach.
Takahashi previously competed with Oleg Altukhov in 2018-19 (10th at 2019 U.S. Nationals) and with Toshihiko Okuda in 2016-17 (5th at Japan Nationals).
Judd competed at 2019 U.S. Nationals (11th in Senior Dance): https://www.ice-dance.com/site/profile-alannah-binotto-shiloh-judd/
 

Sylvia

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There will be 4 Dreams on Ice shows in Yokohama from July 9-11, 2021: http://onice.jp/index.html

Men (as of May 26): http://onice.jp/men.html
Yuzuru HANYU
Yuma KAGIYAMA
Keiji TANAKA
Shun SATO
Kazuki TOMONO
Lucas Tsuyoshi HONDA
Kao MIURA
Sena MIYAKE

Ladies (as of May 26): http://onice.jp/ladies.html
Rika KIHIRA
Kaori SAKAMOTO
Satoko MIYAHARA
Mai MIHARA
Mana KAWABE
Wakaba HIGUCHI
Yuhana YOKOI
Rino MATSUIKE
Hana YOSHIDA
Ayumi SHIBAYAMA
 

Sylvia

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Here's Kana Muramoto's Instagram post from 2 days ago when she and Takahashi simulteaneously announced their RD & FD programs ("SEASON 21/22 FD La Bayadere to be continued ... Choreographer: Marina Zoueva, Massimo Scali, Ilia Tkachenko"): https://www.instagram.com/p/CQFPXOXM-O6/
Links to/comments about their RD to "Soran Bushi" by Maia Barouh & "Koto" by CloZee are posted in the Dance Hall 8 thread: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/th...skerade-2020-2021.107408/page-23#post-6010902

Misato Komatsubara & Tim Koleto were interviewed yesterday on the Cafecito con Masha YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7I_Zt3quOc
They are currently training in Colorado Springs and being coached virtually by their team in Montreal. They announced their 2021-22 program music after the 22-minute mark:
Rhythm Dance: "Le Freak" by CHIC; choreo. by Romain Haguenauer
ETA Koleto's tweet - "Funk and blues medley" with 2 more songs "What You Won't Do For Love" by Bobby Caldwell & "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)" by Sylvester): https://twitter.com/Timkoleto/status/1405322074223267840
Free Dance: Memoirs of a Geisha by John Williams, performed by Yo-Yo Ma; choreo. by Marie-France Dubreuil (with input from specialists in Japan)
"Sayuri" [Sayuri's Theme]: https://twitter.com/Timkoleto/status/1405327294315438081
 
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Sylvia

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Article about Rika Hongo's retirement today ("Let's move on to the next path and do our best"):
She will make a live TV appearance tomorrow morning: https://twitter.com/nagoyaTVsports/status/1405027378984755203

Satoko Miyahara article from June 11th in which she talked about her university life and future goals, plus her appearance in the "Bloom on Ice" show in Uji City, Kyoto Prefecture in April (where she debuted her "Lyra Angelica" SP - refer to post #285 above) on the 2nd page:
Machine translated excerpts:
She entered Kansai University Faculty of Letters in 2016 and majored in English and American Literature. Even in the life of flying around overseas in games and training camps, I worked on the tasks while traveling and practicing, and completed my graduation thesis. "I read three novels, mainly British literature, and wrote a treatise about the viewpoints in the novels and the influence of those viewpoints.
[...]Partly due to the influence of the parents of medical professionals, she is interested in sports medicine.
She has a strong desire to participate in the Beijing Olympics, and positions herself as the "last spurt." "I want to keep in mind the games, practice, and how to spend the day, and spend the days without regrets until I can't do it anymore. Do what I can do each day, and then I want to take the plunge and work hard to be a strong self who can be confident that I will only win the right to participate in all Japan. The Olympic season is about to begin. A 23-year-old veteran skater heads for the culmination.
 

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