U.S. Ice Dance 2018-19 season news & updates

Dobre

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5,218
As the Greens just won Junior Nationals and both of their international events this season, I think the "reputation" bit is rather unmeasurable between G&G and Nguyen & Kolesnik. Looking forward to seeing how that battle goes at Junior Worlds. (Could easily split dances again. N&K had the mistake in the footwork at Junior Nationals, but the Greens have really excelled at getting the pattern over the past two seasons. Should be interesting).
 

aftershocks

Well-Known Member
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Watching Zagitova’s last few competitions—is she really doing THAT much better than Medvedeva? Zagitova is getting worse, Medvedeva has shown improvement. If Zagitova was given correct PCS she would not have placed as high in Europeans. She really is a mess.
They are from DC area, Maryland and Virginia. On the other note, I watched Russian Junior Nationals today and I think it will be a tough uphill battle for US Junior teams to compete in the coming seasons. I am very impressed with skills level in Russian juniors and other ''softer'' qualities that are so valuable in ice dance.
Hmmm, then I guess it makes more sense there's no local coverage if they don't actually have local origins. But doesn't Avonley Nguyen hail from Cleveland originally?
 

layman

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161
Parsons Freedance 2019 US Nationals:
https://youtu.be/RpX6dkmldoo

I really love this dance and this team. Michael's fall was heartbreaking but I really love the modern music and modern dance movements on the Parsons. It's a real improvement over the usual elevator music. I really love this couple too. Some couples have been criticized for holding back and playing it safe but these two never do that. They always push their dancing as hard as they can. I love their passion and attack.
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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4,414
CONGRATS TO USA DANCE... ALL 3 teams got Seasons Best for the RD.....

USA in 1st and 2nd after RD!!!!!!

H&D and C&B are so close to each other. Both at 81 and change!!

SO cool that C&B are getting great scores and having missed most of season!!!!
 

feraina

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2,129
So happy for C/B!
I’m not even that into ice dance (though a few of my all time favorite programs are from ID), but I just can’t believe how much crap has been leveled at C/B over the years, especially Chock. No hard-working, self-funded team deserves so much negativism. I just have to root for them out of a sense of injustice.

I’m really thrilled for them! I hope this means they’re heading back to worlds podium as well!
 
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barbk

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Messages
6,896
So happy for C/B!
I’m not even that into ice dance (though a few of my all time favorite programs are from ID), but I just can’t believe how much crap has been leveled at C/B over the years, especially Chock. No hard-working, self-funded team deserves so much negatism. I just have to root for them out of a sense of justice.

I’m really thrilled for them! I hope this means they’re heading back to worlds podium as well!
The only thing that would have made it better was if someone had given Chock a big bag of chips to tear into on the couch.
 

mtnskater

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1,838
I was expecting a score around 128-130 for Hubbell & Donahue. What a shock. I only saw a couple of small errors on Madison’s part....the twizzle and a little slight stumble on a step. Still I thought for sure they would win and deserved to. I just recently saw them live at Nationals. Their power, speed and depth of edge were way ahead of all others there. I like this free dance just fine unlike a lot of posters here. Maddie and Zach could probably skate the phone book for me and I’d still be in awe of their skating. I really hate it when seasoned skating fans are left scratching their heads when a score so deviates from the skaters norm without an obvious error. When the marks were taking so long though I got worried because that is never good. Anyway it’s just 4 Continents and not Worlds. With five weeks of training I’m sure they can leave this one in the rear view mirror.

Despite the strange results, I’m super happy for Chock and Bates. I agree they have been inexplicably hated on for a long time. I’ve been a fan for ages and glad to see them improving so quickly after going to Montreal. I really love their short dance this year in particular. The cool vibe of the free is also great on them.

Love Weaver and Poje too. I’ve rooted for them for years. They looked great here. Happy they medaled. Really liked both programs.

Also happy for Gilles & Poirier’s medal. Their free dance is creative and lovely. Very trained and precise. I have a hard time getting past Gilles weaker skating skills and lack of line and stretch, but I always enjoy their performances.

Hawayek and Baker skated the best I’ve seen this year. Also really Love F&B flamenco free dance. Amazing ability to translate flamenco to the ice.

Dance has become one of my favorite events in skating. I like so many teams. The number of teams really worth watching is amazing. I just wish NBC Sports would embrace it too.
 
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Jammers

Well-Known Member
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6,447
I was expecting a score around 128-130 for Hubbell & Donahue. What a shock. I only saw a couple of small errors on Madison’s part....the twizzle and a little slight stumble on a step. Still I thought for sure they would win and deserved to. I just recently saw them live at Nationals. Their power, speed and depth of edge were way ahead of all others there. I like this free dance just fine unlike a lot of posters here. Maddie and Zach could probably skate the phone book for me and I’d still be in awe of their skating. I really hate it when seasoned skating fans are left scratching their heads when a score so deviates from the skaters norm without an obvious error. When the marks were taking so long though I got worried because that is never good. Anyway it’s just 4 Continents and not Worlds. With five weeks of training I’m sure they can leave this one in the rear view mirror.

Despite the strange results, I’m super happy for Chock and Bates. I agree they have been inexplicably hated on for a long time. I’ve been a fan for ages and glad to see them improving so quickly after going to Montreal. I really love their short dance this year in particular. The cool vibe of the free is also great on them.

Love Weaver and Poje too. I’ve rooted for them for years. They looked great here. Happy they medaled. Really liked both programs.

Also happy for Gilles & Poirier’s medal. Their free dance is creative and lovely. Very trained and precise. I have a hard time getting past Gilles weaker skating skills and lack of line and stretch, but I always enjoy their performances.

Hawayek and Baker skated the best I’ve seen this year. Also really Love F&B flamenco free dance. Amazing ability to translate flamenco to the ice.

Dance has become one of my favorite events in skating. I like so many teams. The number of teams really worth watching is amazing. I just wish NBC Sports would embrace it too.
Some competitions for some skaters just seem to be ones where they just don't skate well no matter where they are held. Last three times now at 4CC they've finished 4th though to be honest this was the first year they were expected to medal and also win. Some competitions just seem to not be meant to be won like Yagudin at Russian Nationals for instance.
 

Dobre

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5,218
The Peals finished 2nd in their FD in advanced novices at the Bavarian Open (6th overall). I wish them the best in developing those compulsories because they are special performers.

Ales & Tsarik finished 5th in the junior event at the Bavarian Open and earned their Junior World minimums. (They were 7th at Junior Nationals and selected as third alternates).
 

Spiralgraph

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1,696
I was surprised but not entirely shocked by the results at 4CC. C/B were close enough after the RD so that if H/D had a mistake, they would probably fall from first place. And nowadays errors are not that uncommon, just because dance has so many requirements for levels. Let's see what happens at Worlds. The top three positions (well maybe second and third) are not guaranteed to anybody IMO.
 

layman

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Messages
161
I was surprised but not entirely shocked by the results at 4CC. C/B were close enough after the RD so that if H/D had a mistake, they would probably fall from first place. And nowadays errors are not that uncommon, just because dance has so many requirements for levels. Let's see what happens at Worlds. The top three positions (well maybe second and third) are not guaranteed to anybody IMO.
I am a little concerned that some of the Gadbois teams have been missing levels all season. I hope they focus on levels, really drill the key points, before Worlds.
 

Dobre

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5,218
Seem to be missing the keypoints more, though; don't they?

I mean you would think by now that Hubbell & Donohue and Hawayek & Baker would have made the list below. (Oh, just realized that Smart & Diaz made it at Europeans, which is good for them). Soucisse & Firus haven't been around that long so hard to know what to expect there. Komatsubara & Koleto either. Fear & Gibson have always struggled with the pattern so it's no surprise that they are one of the teams struggling now. The Bulgarians and second Polish teams are in the early development stages so not surprising there. On the plus side, Wang & Liu, Chen & Sun, Papadakis & Cizeron, and Chock & Bates have made the list. The Chinese teams, I think, still train with other coaches also, which would mean they have technical input from elsewhere; and Fournier-Beaudry & Sorensen have only had the one chance so the fact that they haven't made the list yet makes sense.

Teams that have earned a YY on the rocker portion of the pattern:
Guignard & Fabbri at Skate America, Lombardia, the Helsinki GP, the GPF, and Europeans.
The Parsons at the Asian Open, Lake Placid International, NHK, and Internationaux de France.
McNamara & Carpenter at Skate America, Nepela, Lake Placid International, and the Helsinki GP.
Turkkila & Versluis at Nepela, Minsk-Arena Ice Star, and Europeans.
Tessari & Fioretti at Nepela, Minsk-Arena Ice Star, and Egna.
Muller & Dieck at Nepela.
Wang & Liu at Autumn Classic and NHK.
Carreira & Ponomarenko at Nebelhorn and Tallinn.
Gilles & Poirier at Nebelhorn and 4CCs.
Kaliszek & Spodyriev at Skate America, Tallinn, Mentor Torun, and Europeans.
Koch & Nuchtern at the International Halloween Cup, Golden Spin, and Europeans.
Moscheni & Fabbri at the Volvo Open and Egna.
Stepanova & Bukin at the Helsinki GP and Europeans.
Zagorski & Guerreiro at NHK.
Skoptcova & Aleshin at NHK and Tallinn.
Evdokimova & Bazin at Rostelecom.
Kerry & Dodds at the Warsaw Cup and 4CCs.
Sinitsina & Katsalapov at the GPF and Europeans.
Yanovskaya & Lukacs at Golden Spin.
Kublikova & Hulitski at Mentor Torun and Europeans.
Papadakis & Cizeron at Europeans.
Smart & Diaz at Europeans.
Tweedale & Buckland at Europeans.
Ichilov & Davidovich at Europeans.
Chock & Bates at 4CCs.
Weaver & Poje at 4CCs.
Chen & Sun at 4CCs.
Urban & Steffan at the Bavarian Open.

Teams that have earned a Level 4 (YYYY) on the pattern:
McNamara & Carpenter (On both parts at Skate America. Also on the second part at Inge Solar).
Zagorski & Guerreiro (On both parts, the second part at Skate America, Warsaw Cup, and the GPF, the first part at NHK)
Kaliszek & Spodyriev (On both parts at Europeans. Also on the first part at Tallinn and Mentor Torun, the second part at the Warsaw Cup).
Koch & Nuchtern (On both parts at Golden Spin). Also on the first part at the Halloween Cup and Europeans.
Yanovskaya & Lukacs (On both parts at Golden Spin).
Guignard & Fabbri (On both parts, the first part at the Helsinki GP and the GPF, the second part at Europeans).
Tweedale & Buckland (On both parts, the second part at Golden Spin, the first part at Europeans).
Wang & Liu (On the first part at the Autumn Classic).
Carreira & Ponomarenko (On the first part at Nebelhorn).
Turkkila & Versluis (On the first part at Minsk-Arena Ice Star).
Tessari & Fioretti (On the first part at Minsk-Arena Ice Star and Egna).
Papadakis & Cizeron (On the second part at Internationaux de France and Europeans).
Skoptcova & Aleshin (On the second part at Tallinn).
Sinitsina & Katsalapov (On the first part at the GPF and Europeans).
Popova & Mozgov (On the second part at Golden Spin).
Muller & Dieck (On the second part at Golden Spin).
Kublikova & Hulitski (on the first part at Mentor Torun).
Stepanova & Bukin (on the second part at Europeans).
Reed & Ambrulevicius (on the second part at Europeans).
Chock & Bates (on the first part at 4CCs).
Weaver & Poje (on the first part at 4CCs).
Chen & Sun (on the first part at 4CCs).
Urban & Steffan (on the second part at the Bavarian Open).
 
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Lacey

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10,928
I am a little concerned that some of the Gadbois teams have been missing levels all season. I hope they focus on levels, really drill the key points, before Worlds.
Yes, someone there (and with all dance teams) needs to be specializing in levels.
 

The Observer

Active Member
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849
For a counter-example, there's Gilles/Poirier. They missed the Olympics in 2014 and then went to 4C's, where they earned a bucket of WS points, which put them skating in the second half for Worlds 2014, while their main rivals, Paul/Islam, who went to the Olympics, skated in the first half, just like in the Olympics, drawing 16/32 teams in the SD. G/P drew 30/32. G/P put over a point between them in the SD to land in the penultimate group for the FD, while P/I skated in the group before the ice cut. G/P beat P/I by over 5 points in total, and that established the internal and international hierarchy, Gadbois or no Gadbois.
Yes, I agree with you that the skate order at 2014 Worlds benefited G&P. They won a silver medal at 2014 Four Continents the month before, which helped their points going into Worlds.

But it wasn't *that* surprising that G&P finished ahead of P&I at 2014 Worlds. People forget that 2014 Nationals was a bit of a fluke. G&P had beaten P&I in almost every event over the prior years (eg. 2011, 2012, 2013).

The main reason that P&I finished ahead of G&P at 2014 Nationals was because Paul broke his ankle in the Summer of 2013, and he & Piper lost several months of training time while he recovered from surgery and was in a cast. So G&P were not in their usual peak condition at 2014 Nationals. By the time of 2014 Worlds, the standings between G&P and P&I returned to where they had been before.
 

YukiNieve

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909
I went to Skate from the Heart to see WISA (Wheaton Ice Skating Academy) skaters on Saturday.
Even though this was a show, most skaters skated their competitive programs.
Green/Green and Gropman/Sommerville looked good! :)
I really hope that they all have a great time in Zagreb!

BTW, Rachel was not there, so Michael Parsons did a solo dance, which was nice!
And he even did a jump during the finale. :D
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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31,462
The main reason that P&I finished ahead of G&P at 2014 Nationals was because Paul broke his ankle in the Summer of 2013, and he & Piper lost several months of training time while he recovered from surgery and was in a cast. So G&P were not in their usual peak condition at 2014 Nationals. By the time of 2014 Worlds, the standings between G&P and P&I returned to where they had been before
They rarely competed head-to-head internationally as seniors: the first one I can find was Autumn International 2014, which was the Fall after the Olympics. (I'm on my phone, so I may have missed one.) International judges don't necessarily agree with Skate Canada's judges. Plus, P&I were usually the ones to shoot themselves in their own feet.

Gilles & Poirier had a wonderfully telegenic FD in 2013-14, but they were very slow, and her skating skills dragged. They did not become speedsters in the few months between Canadian Nationals and Worlds.

P&I had great edges and flow in 2013-14, and because they weren't hurting themselves, they were markedly improved. Going to the Olympics was a double-edged sword for them. Score-wise, internationally, G/P's Fall 2012 scores were lower than P/I's Fall 2013 scores, to compare scores when Poirier wasn't injured.
 

YukiNieve

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909
At this 2019 USNats, Jr Ice Dancers, Ella Ales & Daniel Tsarik's beautiful performance for free dance strongly impressed me. They got a big applause after their FD, and some of us wondered where they had been before. No wonder, this is Ella's 1st year and Daniel's 3rd year (therefore 1st year together) to compete as ice dancers, according to the interviews done by Edges of Glory:

Meet Ella Ales https://www.edgesofglory.com/post/meet-ella-ales
Meet Daniel Tsarik https://www.edgesofglory.com/post/meet-daniel-tsarik

And they now belong to Team USA and are 2019 World Junior Championships alternate.

I tweeted some photos of their FD from the US Nats:
https://twitter.com/YukiNieve/status/1099593504307757057
 

aftershocks

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15,050
Well for those wondering about fans previously not particularly liking Chock/Bates, allow me to refresh memories. :p A lot of the dislike was unfair re the ire over Evan's split with his former partner and the subsequent hating on Maddie. But there were other reasons C/B weren't fan favorites, having to do with the fact that some fans felt they didn't match that well. Evan often appeared a bit dorky, but he was the better skater. Maddie was the better performer and she really sold the partnership.

I found C/B somewhat more interesting when Rohene Ward choreographed some of their programs. And over time, Maddie's skating skills improved. They were always a good, competitive team and well-liked by judges for the most part. But frankly, IMHO, I didn't generally find them very compelling. They were never my favorite team. And sometimes their programs weren't especially good. I remember the season they kept retooling and then completely switched programs to find something more workable.

So it's really a thrill to see C/B come out at the tail-end of this season guns blazing with a completely new look and flaunting programs that truly match their personalities and enhance their partnership. Their comeback performances after Maddie's injury layoff have been fantastic and amazing. It goes to show what can happen with the right music, coaches, programs, costumes, concept, and collaborative, creative team approach. Straightening and slightly darkening Evan's curly locks has worked wonders too. He's a lot less dorky-looking, and they just fit together so much better. It works.
 

Spiralgraph

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1,696
Chock and Bates definitely needed to reboot their career after their fall at the Olympics. To me in the past they typified the old fashioned notion of the lady is the star and the man is there only to support and present her. Even Christopher Dean's choreography fell into the trap of highlighting Chock and pushing Bates way into the background. This was a disservice to Evan. This year's program has more flair and personality for both skaters. They're still not my favorite team but I like their program much better than H/D's uninspired Romeo & Juliet.
 

TanithandBenFan

Author of the Ice and Edge Series
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And sometimes their programs weren't especially good. I remember the season they kept retooling and then completely switched programs to find something more workable.
Are you referring to their Dark Eyes short dance that they scrapped after Nebelhorn in 2015? That's the only program they've ever changed during a competitive season.
 

VIETgrlTerifa

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29,421
Are you referring to their Dark Eyes short dance that they scrapped after Nebelhorn in 2015? That's the only program they've ever changed during a competitive season.
Maybe aftershocks is referring to when they kept having to retool their Rachmaninoff FD. I don't think the music changed but I remember they went on record having to keep working on that FD and retooling it to the point where Igor demanded they go on a break and vacation before 2016 Nationals because they put in so much overtime retooling it.
 

Peepsquick

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Maybe aftershocks is referring to when they kept having to retool their Rachmaninoff FD. I don't think the music changed but I remember they went on record having to keep working on that FD and retooling it to the point where Igor demanded they go on a break and vacation before 2016 Nationals because they put in so much overtime retooling it.
And they pulled it, finished 3 at worlds that year.
 

Rafter

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11,239
Are you referring to their Dark Eyes short dance that they scrapped after Nebelhorn in 2015? That's the only program they've ever changed during a competitive season.
And weren’t they originally skating to La La Land last season and switched it very late to Imagine?

Chock could sell anything and she’s gorgeous but her edges are still not great. I do love their RD this year though.
 

Dobre

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5,218
Howard Zhao is on icepartnersearch
Oh dear. There are like a crazy number of talented young U.S. guys without a partner and/or maybe without a partner right now: Jeffrey Chen, Logan Bye (maybe), Benjamin Starr, Howard Zhao, Kenan Slevira (maybe), Caleb Wein (maybe). All medalists at some level at U.S. nationals.
 

Debbie S

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10,989
And weren’t they originally skating to La La Land last season and switched it very late to Imagine?
IIRC, they said they decided on Imagine in May, so only a month or so after they started on LLL. I wouldn't consider that "very late". It's not unusual for skaters/teams to start on one program, decide it doesn't work for whatever reason, and start on another over the spring/summer.

Given that they've gotten L4 on pattern dance segments and step sequences (and Madison has earned L4 for her portion of the 1-foot step) this season as well as in previous seasons, I don't think her edges are as bad as some posters here suggest.
 

aftershocks

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15,050
Right @Peepsquick @VIETgrlTerifa @TanithandBenFan. I don't remember the program or the specific season. I think all of you are right. There were problems with both programs you guys have cited. Doing a quick WIKI check, it was the 2015-2016 season during which C/B struggled a bit with both programs. They ended up dropping the Dark Eyes SD program for a medley: More by Andrea Bocelli and Unchained Melody covered by Il Divo. Plus, they endured a lot of work retooling their FD by Rachmaninoff. Then it was the following season (the Hip Hop SD season) where they worked with Rohene Ward on the very good SD, Bad to the Bone, and with Christopher Dean on the competent and interesting, but less successful FD to Under Pressure.

During the 2017-2018 season, they may have worked with Rohene again, but that's not listed in the WIKI bio. It may have been Shpilband who choreographed their somewhat cheesy but entertaining Rhumba SD that season. It wasn't a particularly compelling SD. And Christopher Dean returned to choreograph their lovely Imagine FD.

It looked like C/B and Shpilband had run out of energy and ideas. Maddie suffered the foot injury, which may in some ways have been a blessing in disguise. The forced layoff gave them time to rest and retool, as they geared up to join Gadbois. MF Dubreuil and team have worked their magic, and the rest is history, I guess. ;)

I think it's interesting that sometimes injuries (while unfortunate) can give athletes a chance to slow down and get in better touch with their minds, emotions and bodies, as well as refocus their drive and intentions. Adam Rippon comes to mind -- he has indicated how much it helped him to have that time off rehabbing his foot injury and preparing for his final Olympic season. More recently, Ashley Cain mentioned how she and Timothy LeDuc worked through their forced time off as she dealt with the physical effects of her concussion. It wasn't easy for them because they didn't have a great deal of time between the injury and U.S. Nationals. But in the end, they supported each other and gained a chance to develop new tools and strategies which ended up helping them to be calm under the ultimate competition pressure: skating last with a chance to win it all. Not that anyone would likely recommend being injured. It's just about learning how to embrace what happens and make it work for you.

And weren’t they originally skating to La La Land last season and switched it very late to Imagine?
La La Land is not listed on their WIKI, but that's probably because they never competed it, or may never have even completed the choreo. As always, WIKI is not a definitive reference source.

ETA: ITA with @Debbie S though that C/B did not switch to LLL 'late.' They obviously saw it wasn't working and made the fortuitous switch to Imagine very early in the off-season. That would be why LLL is not listed on their WIKI program chart.
 
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