U.S. Ice Dance 2021-22 season news & updates

Karen-W

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I thought he had two years?
Oh, you're right... Gage turns 20 this fall, Jeffrey turns 20 in July. Realistically, I think both teams aren't fighting for a spot on the 2026 Olympic team, but rather the 2030 team, but maybe Chock/Bates will retire mid-cycle.
 

miffy

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10,891
Oh, you're right... Gage turns 20 this fall, Jeffrey turns 20 in July. Realistically, I think both teams aren't fighting for a spot on the 2026 Olympic team, but rather the 2030 team, but maybe Chock/Bates will retire mid-cycle.
I don’t know the younger teams as well as you do (I have only seen some of them once or twice) - do you think H/B and G/P are so good that they couldn’t get overtaken by a top junior team in the next 4 years? Or are there other teams you think are more likely to move up?
 

Trillian

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502
Oh, you're right... Gage turns 20 this fall, Jeffrey turns 20 in July. Realistically, I think both teams aren't fighting for a spot on the 2026 Olympic team, but rather the 2030 team, but maybe Chock/Bates will retire mid-cycle.

I guess I’ve been assuming Chock & Bates will retire at some point, just given their ages, but who knows. I think one of the younger teams could have a shot at 2026, but there are so many promising younger teams that no one wants to get lost in the shuffle.

I don’t know the younger teams as well as you do (I have only seen some of them once or twice) - do you think H/B and G/P are so good that they couldn’t get overtaken by a top junior team in the next 4 years? Or are there other teams you think are more likely to move up?

Movement in dance is slow and teams take a long time to develop, and I don’t see any of our younger teams being the kind of rare talent that can rocket up much faster than usual. Green & Parsons are clearly on an upward trajectory, so it’s hard to imagine them being overtaken. I would have said Hawayek & Baker were vulnerable, but the way they nailed the second half of this season, I’m cautiously optimistic that they might finally have some real USFS enthusiasm.

A lot might depend on whether Chock & Bates stick around. If there’s a third spot open for 2026, I’d consider both Wolofkostin & Chen and the Browns to be contenders, but they’re not the only ones. Nationals next year is going to be interesting in terms of seeing how all those teams position themselves.
 

Karen-W

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I don’t know the younger teams as well as you do (I have only seen some of them once or twice) - do you think H/B and G/P are so good that they couldn’t get overtaken by a top junior team in the next 4 years? Or are there other teams you think are more likely to move up?
I have the same view as @Trillian - none of the teams we have coming up from juniors are on a PapCiz, V/M or D/W sort of trajectory where they will barrel their way not only onto their country's Worlds team but onto the Worlds podium within a season or two of their senior debut.

Don't get me wrong, they're all talented and will certainly contend for Worlds Top 10 once they DO make the Worlds team, but look how long it's taken HawBak since they won their Jr Worlds title - a full quad before they made it onto the USA's Worlds team, 8 years to make the Olympic team.

Right now, the hierarchy is pretty clear (especially after 4CCs) - Chock/Bates, Hawayek/Baker, Green/Parsons, Carreira/Ponomarenko - these are the top 4 and the fight is for 5th between teams like Bratti/Somerville, Wolfkostin/Chen and the Browns; add in Pate/Bye, McNamara/Spiridonov, Cesanek/Yehorov, Nguyen/Smirnov (do we know if they're still together?), and Ling/Wein aging out of juniors... US ice dance is crazy deep. And that's not even taking into consideration some of those Russian teams who have citizenship and might be looking at a country switch (Davis/Smolkin, Morozov/Naryzhnyy).
 

clairecloutier

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13,233
Right now, the hierarchy is pretty clear (especially after 4CCs) - Chock/Bates, Hawayek/Baker, Green/Parsons, Carreira/Ponomarenko - these are the top 4 and the fight is for 5th between teams like Bratti/Somerville, Wolfkostin/Chen and the Browns.


I personally don’t feel that Carreira/Ponomarenko are a solid 4th. They were beaten at Nationals by both B/S and W/C and although they did rebound with the bronze at 4CCs, I felt they got a bit fortunate there. I could easily see them being passed again by one of the younger teams if they don’t show a lot of improvement next season. Just my opinion though. U.S. ice dance is going to be crazy (and exciting) this next quad!
 

Karen-W

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I personally don’t feel that Carreira/Ponomarenko are a solid 4th. They were beaten at Nationals by both B/S and W/C and although they did rebound with the bronze at 4CCs, I felt they got a bit fortunate there. I could easily see them being passed again by one of the younger teams if they don’t show a lot of improvement next season. Just my opinion though. U.S. ice dance is going to be crazy (and exciting) this next quad!
Yes, but don't forget Anthony has been injured this season and finally had surgery to address whatever was going on. We'll see how they look next season, but for now, I think they're ahead of both B/S and W/C.
 

Ena Grins

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It's discussions like this that make me wish there could be more movement among Ice Dance placements depending on the competition. I think some of the younger teams should be able to challenge G/P, H/B (and those two should be able to challenge C/B) if the latter have an off day, same as other disciplines, but that doesn't really happen...except if you fall right on your first set of twizzles and lose the element :(
 

sap5

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It's discussions like this that make me wish there could be more movement among Ice Dance placements depending on the competition. I think some of the younger teams should be able to challenge G/P, H/B (and those two should be able to challenge C/B) if the latter have an off day, same as other disciplines, but that doesn't really happen...except if you fall right on your first set of twizzles and lose the element :(
Junior ice dance is very different from senior ice dance— the way VM, DW, and PC moved up so fast isn’t the norm.
 

Trillian

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502
It's discussions like this that make me wish there could be more movement among Ice Dance placements depending on the competition. I think some of the younger teams should be able to challenge G/P, H/B (and those two should be able to challenge C/B) if the latter have an off day, same as other disciplines, but that doesn't really happen...except if you fall right on your first set of twizzles and lose the element :(

The problem is that the younger teams really don’t have the same level of quality across all the elements. Teams like G/P and H/B might make errors and it will certainly make a difference in how they place relative to one another (that rivalry will be interesting to watch over the next few years). But without really major mistakes, they are just that much better than most of the other American teams. There’s a lot more movement in dance now than there was 20 years ago, but fundamentally, the scores are less volatile because the performances are less volatile. A singles skater might land 4 quads in one event, and blow them all in the next one. There just isn’t that level of inconsistency in dance - so if the standings were shifting a lot from one event to another, I’d question the judging more, not less.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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4,779
I don’t know the younger teams as well as you do (I have only seen some of them once or twice) - do you think H/B and G/P are so good that they couldn’t get overtaken by a top junior team in the next 4 years? Or are there other teams you think are more likely to move up?

I don’t think Car/Pom or C/Y should lose hope. I agree we are up for a big reshuffle.

I think this is a make it or break it year for H/B. What can they do with the support of being USFS #2? If they can't push past the weaker technical teams that have been beating them internationally these past few seasons, then I don't see much hope for them. They're never going to have the "look" that is preferred in ice dance--so can they win on technique and fed support or not? If they can't rise, then I think they might drop to US #3 as a stable team to help with spots, but not the team that's going to eventually challenge for world medals.

For the rest of the American teams, I think their material will matter a great deal and how they compete internationally, e.g., if they medal, wobble, pick up some noticeable support from the judges, etc..

G/P have momentum and are coming off a truly amazing year with innovative ideas. How do they follow that up? Their Martha FD helped camouflage their lack of speed--have they addressed this in their new programs? Will they keep masking that? Or if they add speed, will their dreaded inconsistency return?

C/P had awful material last season. What will they do now?

B/S had a phenomenal debut. What will they do now that there are expectations? Somerville is one of the best American male dancers. Can Bratti keep up? If so, I see no reason that they can't pass C/P permanently (slippery ice notwithstanding).

Ces/Yeh, Mc/Sp, and Pate/Bye would need a great deal of improvement to get into the dance battle. Either one partner is much weaker technically or artistically, or they're evenly matched, but outclassed. I think the rising juniors Wolfkostin/Chen and Browns can certainly pass these teams quickly--W/C already did at nationals--but it remains to be seen what they can do going after the truly elite teams. Should be fun to watch.
 

GarrAargHrumph

I can kill you with my brain
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I'm not sure how US ice dance will shake out for the coming quad, because I wouldn't be surprised if the US gains some additional junior (or even senior?) Russian male ice dancers, to partner with US women.
 

TanithandBenFan

Author of the Ice and Edge Series
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I think this is a make it or break it year for H/B. What can they do with the support of being USFS #2? If they can't push past the weaker technical teams that have been beating them internationally these past few seasons, then I don't see much hope for them. They're never going to have the "look" that is preferred in ice dance--so can they win on technique and fed support or not? If they can't rise, then I think they might drop to US #3 as a stable team to help with spots, but not the team that's going to eventually challenge for world medals.

For the rest of the American teams, I think their material will matter a great deal and how they compete internationally, e.g., if they medal, wobble, pick up some noticeable support from the judges, etc..

G/P have momentum and are coming off a truly amazing year with innovative ideas. How do they follow that up? Their Martha FD helped camouflage their lack of speed--have they addressed this in their new programs? Will they keep masking that? Or if they add speed, will their dreaded inconsistency return?

C/P had awful material last season. What will they do now?

B/S had a phenomenal debut. What will they do now that there are expectations? Somerville is one of the best American male dancers. Can Bratti keep up? If so, I see no reason that they can't pass C/P permanently (slippery ice notwithstanding).

Ces/Yeh, Mc/Sp, and Pate/Bye would need a great deal of improvement to get into the dance battle. Either one partner is much weaker technically or artistically, or they're evenly matched, but outclassed. I think the rising juniors Wolfkostin/Chen and Browns can certainly pass these teams quickly--W/C already did at nationals--but it remains to be seen what they can do going after the truly elite teams. Should be fun to watch.
I think speed is actually one of G/P’s strengths. Since the moment they teamed up I’ve been amazed at how fast they were skating together for a new team. I think their biggest weakness is making flukey mistakes sometimes.
 

her grace

standing with Mariah
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4,779
I think speed is actually one of G/P’s strengths. Since the moment they teamed up I’ve been amazed at how fast they were skating together for a new team. I think their biggest weakness is making flukey mistakes sometimes.

I think they were much faster in some of their earlier programs. Their FD this season is very much slowed down in comparison. For example, check out how slowly they are skating during their twizzles in the FD compared to about any other team.
 

clairecloutier

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13,233
I've seen Green/Parsons live a number of times now and have not noticed any general lack of speed from them. Personally I don't see this as a problem. The pacing, choreography, and style of this past year's free dance simply wasn't designed to show off speed. The Martha Graham approach is arguably incompatible with speed, as it's all about slow, gathered, elongated movement.

Carreira/Ponomarenko's issues, OTOH, to me go beyond their programs last season. Although if Anthony was not healthy and feeling up to par most of the season, as @Karen-W suggested, it could explain a lot.

I also would not count out Cesanek/Yehorov quite yet. I feel there's a lot of potential with this team and I'm very interested to see how they develop with the new coaching situation.
 

Lara111

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472
I have the same view as @Trillian - none of the teams we have coming up from juniors are on a PapCiz, V/M or D/W sort of trajectory where they will barrel their way not only onto their country's Worlds team but onto the Worlds podium within a season or two of their senior debut.

Don't get me wrong, they're all talented and will certainly contend for Worlds Top 10 once they DO make the Worlds team, but look how long it's taken HawBak since they won their Jr Worlds title - a full quad before they made it onto the USA's Worlds team, 8 years to make the Olympic team.

Right now, the hierarchy is pretty clear (especially after 4CCs) - Chock/Bates, Hawayek/Baker, Green/Parsons, Carreira/Ponomarenko - these are the top 4 and the fight is for 5th between teams like Bratti/Somerville, Wolfkostin/Chen and the Browns; add in Pate/Bye, McNamara/Spiridonov, Cesanek/Yehorov, Nguyen/Smirnov (do we know if they're still together?), and Ling/Wein aging out of juniors... US ice dance is crazy deep. And that's not even taking into consideration some of those Russian teams who have citizenship and might be looking at a country switch (Davis/Smolkin, Morozov/Naryzhnyy).
Morozov/Naryzhny could be great. They may skate for Ukraine though
 

litenkyckling

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401
I don't think we'll know where any of these teams stand until they compete again later in the year - so much can change during the off-season. Some teams will get better, some won't.

I think H/B can hold their own against G/P if they go down a similar FD path. They've experimented since 2018 but ultimately I find that going classical works so well for them. This year felt like an extension or more mature/elevated version of Liebesträume. Had they not had the injuries last season, I don't think we'd be questioning their position.

G/P would be wise to keep choosing music that is different but also suits them - I think they're less limited in music choice/themes now that Caroline is y'know - an adult. I do wonder where they go next though (like trying to avoid a difficult second album perhaps?). I think the rumoured Latin RD theme will be good for them though.

C/P are a wildcard next season I think - this year they were up against: new coaching, bad programmes, no citizenship in an Olympic season and his injury (rumoured to be an ankle/foot fracture). I think they're in a coaching environment that appears to be a supportive and encouraging one to get through a tough season in, which may help them going forward. They have the potential to come out of the gates strong (because they are starting at such a low bar for a lot of people). Despite a bad season for them, I did appreciate that they had new elements for the first time in a long time (new lifts, new spin positions) and on the whole slightly less unpredictable twizzles. Latin could also be a good choice for them.

As far as the rest go, who knows? B/S had a great season, but I'll hold off getting invested for another couple of years with his history. They definitely need some more refinement and time - they felt like 2 people skating side by side for me this year. C/Y - a coaching change was a good idea I think, especially now that G/P are guaranteed no.1 at their old coaching. I didn't like their programmes this year - the FD felt like a copy and paste P/C to me. P/B - such cool ideas with music, but I think I'd like to see them at MIDA.

In juniors, who knows? The leap up is big and the field is so crowded.
 

Sylvia

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Congrats to Oona & Gage on winning the GOLD at Junior Worlds today with 3 ISU personal best scores! :cheer2:

1 Oona BROWN / Gage BROWN USA 170.25 1 1 (66.98 RD, 103.27 FD) - coaches Inese Bucevica & Joel Dear (he was with them in Tallinn)
4 Katarina WOLFKOSTIN / Jeffrey CHEN USA 157.27 9 2 (57.05 RD, 100.22) - small ISU silver medal for FD; only 0.37 from 3rd
7 Angela LING / Caleb WEIN USA 153.98 6 6 (61.43 RD, 100.22 FD)

ETA:

The Brown's FD starts here in the replay video (medal ceremony afterwards): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqanSypdpwg&t=11130s

Wolfkostin/Chen's FD (#12 of the 20 teams) starts here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqanSypdpwg&t=7262s
 
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Colonel Green

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11,704
Wolfkostin & Chen seemed to have one foot in seniors already this season, so I tend to think they will move up next year (if their hope is to go to the Olympics in 2026, maybe they feel it's best to get going in senior as soon as possible), this disappointing result notwithstanding.
 

Karen-W

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17,587
Would Wolfkostin/Chen and the Browns both be guaranteed two Grand Prix spots next season?
No. I haven't looked at the final WS since the Jr Worlds FS ended, but since neither finished Top 10 at Worlds, they aren't guaranteed two GP assignments.
 

layman

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I loved the Browns (Gold medalists) at Junior Worlds. I love the speed and attack in their skating. I love the innovative lifts and choreography. I love their amazing use of edges, the way that they skate low in the knee...their glide and flow...it's just amazing. As neither of them is tall however, the one thing that I think that they really need to work on to look more like a senior team, is their line and extension.

The Browns remind me of Davis and White when they made the transition from Junior to Senior. Davis and White are not tall either but they worked super hard year after year to extend their lines and perfect their positions. When that was added to their natural fearlessness, speed and attack, no one could touch them. I think the Browns have the potential for the same kind of success!
 

Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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71,009
Katarina Wolfkostin's post today: https://www.instagram.com/p/CciW-JlLpUU/
Junior Worlds and I fell right at the start! Ouch. So we put up a fight and the free dance was better but we couldn’t get the scores we wanted by the end. What a rollercoaster. I tell myself welp it was a learning experience. we get up, these things can happen.That’s all true but rn I just want to get out there and get even better. I know there’s a bigger picture and it’s already a huge honor just to be able to do this. I’m really happy and grateful to be here for the US and what that means. 🇺🇸💪 Thank you to my family and my team, @usfigureskating, and everyone who cheers and goes through it with us. Also thank you Estonia and the organizers for running a great competition 🇪🇪⛸ I gave it my all but for now have to settle for silver in the FD and fourth overall. Next time.
ETA that Jeffrey Chen posted this later on Tuesday: https://www.instagram.com/p/CcjFZQJKC2L/
Words can’t properly describe the raw emotions we experienced throughout this event. It was crushing to go from the feeling uncontainable excitement to the feeling of disappointment that resulted from our performances. Regardless, I’m still grateful that we were given the opportunity to come here to Tallinn and fight with all we had.
In this marathon of a sport, we’ve just stumbled and talked a few steps behind and we are going to work even harder to surpass where we were meant to be. So, to everyone that has supported us this far, please stay with us as we look towards next season and begin the next part of our journey ♥️

Both the Browns and Wolfkostin/Chen have 2 more seasons of ISU Junior age-eligibility because all 4 of their birthdays are after July 1 (Oona & Katarina were born in 2004 & Gage/Jeffrey in 2002).

Caleb Wein turns 21 in April (today! :)) so he and Angela Ling will age out of ISU Junior next season.
 
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Sylvia

Rooting for underdogs!
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71,009
The other 6 Junior teams currently listed in USFS' ISP are:

2022 U.S. Junior champs Leah Neset and Artem Markelov (born Dec. 7, 2005/July 10, 2003): https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/...oster/-nbsp-leah-neset-and-artem-markelov/570
They competed in 2 JGPs this season: http://www.isuresults.com/bios/isufs00111528.htm

2022 U.S. Junior bronze medalists Elliana Peal and Ethan Peal (May 11, 2007/Feb. 3, 2004): https://usfigureskatingfanzone.com/.../roster/-nbsp-elliana-peal-and-ethan-peal/490
They've competed internationally in Adv. Novice 3 times (2019-20) and twice in Junior (7th at 2022 Bavarian Open, 5th at 2021 Lake Placid Ice Dance International).

2022 U.S. Junior pewter medalists Vanessa Pham and Jonathan Rogers (Nov. 5, 2003/Nov. 8, 2002) - IDC's March 22, 2022 article: https://www.ice-dance.com/site/getting-to-know-vanessa-pham-jonathan-rogers/
Roman Zaretsky is their head coach. They also train with other specialists. Roger’s previous coach, Val Prudsky does spins and lifts, and Evgeny Nemirovskiy works on artistry and ballet. Igor Shpilband and Pasquale Camerlengo choreographed their Moonlight Sonata free dance and assisted Zaretsky with the rhythm dance.
Pham and Rogers share the same goal for the 2022-2023 season. They want to officially make Team USA and get an international Junior Grand Prix assignment.
“I also want to improve as a skater and team overall,” Pham said. “I want to walk into every competition with the goal of skating as best I know that I can while enjoying the moment.”
Rogers added, “Although this might seem silly to mention, I would like to have a Level 4 spin at every competition this season, as there has always been something that has kept us from achieving it.”

Helena Carhart and Volodymyr Horovyi (April 14, 2005/July 28, 2002) - 5th in Junior at 2022 Nationals, coached by Zoueva's group in Florida (4th at 2021 Lake Placid Ice Dance International)

Jenna Hauer and Benjamin Starr (Dec. 1, 2005/Nov. 10, 2004) - 6th in Junior at 2022 Nationals, coached by Svetlana Kulikova in CT

Caroline Mullen and Brendan Mullen (Dec. 4, 2005/Dec. 19, 2003) - 7th in Junior at 2022 Nationals, coached by WISA group (7th at 2021 Lake Placid Ice Dance International)
 

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