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

Sylvia

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Fan Zone article on 2022 World Junior champs Oona & Gage Brown by @clairecloutier (May 25):
Soon, the Browns must decide whether to remain as juniors next season, or move up to the senior level. It's a choice they've been contemplating for several months.
"Moving up makes a lot of sense, having just won Junior Worlds," Gage said. "We're leaning toward seniors right now, and our coaches' stance is the same."
"But we're not 100% sure," Oona cautioned.
"If we do juniors again, it puts pressure on," Gage noted as being the reigning Junior World champions would mean high expectations for them. "I'm confident that we could do well. But, it would be nice to get a couple of senior years under our belt. I feel like now is the right time. And I'm actually pretty excited."
ETA link to Gage's photos with Torvill & Dean (also Kseniya Ponomaryova/Collin Brubker) earlier this month at ITNY's gala: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdd454srx_L/
 
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layman

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Fan Zone article on 2022 World Junior champs Oona & Gage Brown by @clairecloutier (May 25):
I agree with Gage...they have already achieved everything that they can at the junior level. Furthermore, senior experience is really valuable. It usually takes teams (moving from the junior to senior level) several seasons to make an impact. I would like to see the Browns begin their senior journey as soon as they are able.
 

Dobre

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It makes it interesting, in that the Browns, Bratti & Somerville, and Wolfkostin & Chen are in a quite comparable competitive zone and plausibly all trying to move onto the GP for the first time during this season. (We don't usually see that, but it's also a post-Olympic season--likely to have lots of GP opportunities compared to a regular year, due to retirements, partner switches, and any teams taking time off. On top of which, maybe no Russian teams (and that's a whole lot of GP spots).
 

Karen-W

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It makes it interesting, in that the Browns, Bratti & Somerville, and Wolfkostin & Chen are in a quite comparable competitive zone and plausibly all trying to move onto the GP for the first time during this season. (We don't usually see that, but it's also a post-Olympic season--likely to have lots of GP opportunities compared to a regular year, due to retirements, partner switches, and any teams taking time off. On top of which, maybe no Russian teams (and that's a whole lot of GP spots).
Apart from Hubbell/Donohue, it doesn't seem like any of the US teams ahead of them (C/B, H/B, G/P, and C/P) are retiring or switching partners, so it might be difficult for all three of those teams to get 2 GP assignments. My guess is the USFS will give a push for the Browns and W/C to get two during the initial assignments, but I'm rather doubtful that B/S will manage that also. My guess is they'll get one, and maybe Pate/Bye will also get one, and they'll be competing with each other for the SkAm host spot that the USFS will hold off assigning until the US Classic.
 

Dobre

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Apart from Hubbell/Donohue, it doesn't seem like any of the US teams ahead of them (C/B, H/B, G/P, and C/P) are retiring or switching partners, so it might be difficult for all three of those teams to get 2 GP assignments. My guess is the USFS will give a push for the Browns and W/C to get two during the initial assignments, but I'm rather doubtful that B/S will manage that also.
7 teams are doable. If not, I think Bratti & Somerville are in a better position than Wolfkostin & Chen. They are higher on the SB list (33rd place), which is used, and finished higher at Nationals. (It seems to me like at least the top 40 teams on the SB list tend to get in during a post Olympic year). Had W&C defeated B&S at Nationals, then I might have said the reverse, but Bratti & Somerville pulled out the higher finish by 0.71. (I'd have no problem with a head-to-head at Lake Placid used to rank those two teams domestically heading into next season if there is a fight for the SA host berth). I'd have no problem with it being used to rank the Browns with those two teams also, but historically the Parsons were selected over McNamara & Carpenter despite M&C's win at Lake Placid, due to the Parsons' Junior World win the previous season so I think the Browns would have the edge domestically due to the Junior World win. I initially figured Igor's politics would probably get W&C in during the initial selection (before their lower SB ranking mattered), but they switched coaches so now we wait & see. As far as USFS goes, though, I don't see how they could rank W&C above B&S unless they use a summer head-to-head. B&S defeated W&C in their only international head-to-head this season also.
 
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Karen-W

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7 teams are doable. If not, I think Bratti & Somerville are in a better position than Wolfkostin & Chen. They are higher on the SB list, which is used, and finished higher at Nationals. Had W&C won Nationals, then I might have said the reverse, but Bratti & Somerville pulled out the higher finish. (I'd have no problem with a head-to-head at Lake Placid used to rank those two teams domestically heading into next season. I'd have no problem with it being used to rank the Browns with those two teams also, but historically the Parsons were selected over McNamara & Carpenter despite M&C's win at Lake Placid, due to the Parson's Junior World win the previous season so I think the Browns would have the edge domestically due the Junior World win. I figured Igor's politics would probably get W&C in during the initial selection, but they switched coaches so now we wait & see. As far as USFS goes, though, I don't see how they could rank W&C above B&S unless they use a summer head-to-head.
You could be right about Bratti/Somerville having an edge over Wolfkostin/Chen due to their standing on the SB list. That same logic would put Pate/Bye and Cesanek/Yehorov ahead of W/C for two GP spots.

I'm not sure I think the comparison between the Browns & W/C to the Parsons & M/C is correct - mostly because W/C had that very visible, clear error in their RD at JWC which certainly cost them the title. I do think, of the 4-5 teams potentially in the mix for GP assignments, the Browns have the edge over the rest of the teams due to their win at JWC, and of course the USFS will do their best to get as many teams two assignments as they can. I fully expect some interesting horse-trading to happen - like the USFS extends a SkAm invitation to Demougeot/Le Mercier of France, one of the lower-ranked Canadian teams, Komatsubara/Koleto (who aren't even guaranteed one assignment), and/or Orihara/Pirinen (presuming Finland gets one of the two open GP hosting duties) in order to ensure that as many of our teams gets a 2nd assignment as possible..
 

Dobre

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I'm not sure I think the comparison between the Browns & W/C to the Parsons & M/C is correct - mostly because W/C had that very visible, clear error in their RD at JWC which certainly cost them the title.
They lost the free to the Browns anyway. It certainly cost W&C a medal, but not certainly the title.
 

Karen-W

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They lost the free to the Browns anyway. It certainly cost W&C a medal, but not certainly the title.
Maybe. Hard to say how the competition would have played out had they been in the lead after the RD. Nothing about the Browns' scores from the JGP indicated, to me, that they were contending for anything other than bronze along with Bashynska/Beaumont.
It's going to be interesting to see whether W/C decide to move up or spend another season in juniors. I don't think there's much point in them remaining at the junior level (and certainly no point in the Browns remaining in juniors either), but it would take a near miracle for the USFS to get 15-16 GP dance slots let alone a full 18. The international dance field hasn't thinned out THAT much YET, lol.
 

Dobre

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Maybe. Hard to say how the competition would have played out had they been in the lead after the RD. Nothing about the Browns' scores from the JGP indicated, to me, that they were contending for anything other than bronze along with Bashynska/Beaumont.
The Browns had a fall at Cup of Austria on the regular JGP and defeated Bashynska & Beaumont anyway.

The Browns and Wolkostin & Chen split domestic results during the season. They didn't go head-to-head at Nationals. They only had one international head-to-head. It was the biggest event of the season, and one team won. The Browns are higher on the WS and the SB list than W&C.


Once again, though, we've seen 7 U.S. teams get on the GP more than once. And that was without 14 or so spots which the Russian teams may not be able to fill. (In part because a bunch of them have split).

Wolfkostin & Chen are ranked quite far down the SB list (47th). These junior teams definitely face an unfair obstacle in the huge disparity right now between the senior & junior base scores because of all the choreographic elements that have been added to the senior FD. But W&C had end-of-the-season head-to-heads with both the Browns and Bratti & Somerville so there are real results to look at there.
 

Jammers

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The depth in US Ice Dance is why i want to see C/B call it a career hopefully if they win the World championship next season they can go out as champions and let a new era of US Ice Dance begin. They've had their time and how many Olympics does someone like Evan Bates need to go to anyways?
 

Trillian

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They've had their time and how many Olympics does someone like Evan Bates need to go to anyways?

I’m holding out for Bates to be the Oksana Chusovitina of ice dancing, personally.

I’d be shocked if Chock & Bates go all the way to 2026, but I don’t blame them if they go another year or two. They really started to develop a distinctive style over the past couple of seasons, but they didn’t get a chance to build on that momentum in 2020. A world title next year would be a nice way to go out, if they can pull it off.
 

layman

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It makes it interesting, in that the Browns, Bratti & Somerville, and Wolfkostin & Chen are in a quite comparable competitive zone and plausibly all trying to move onto the GP for the first time during this season. (We don't usually see that, but it's also a post-Olympic season--likely to have lots of GP opportunities compared to a regular year, due to retirements, partner switches, and any teams taking time off. On top of which, maybe no Russian teams (and that's a whole lot of GP spots).
I expect Wolkstokin & Chen will be in a rebuilding phase next season after switching coaches a few weeks ago. As we have seen from Carreira and Ponamerenko, it takes time for the new coach/team partnership to gel. Given that Wolkstokin & Chen will need that time, I think it may benefit them to stay on the junior circuit next season.
 

Belsornia

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Are Wolfkostin/Chen even allowed to compete as juniors domestically after skating in seniors at Nationals? The latest ISU rules really disincentivise split seasons in dance so I tend to think they’ll move up.
 

kwanfan1818

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Is it against the new rules for a Senior team to use an actual pattern in the Rhythm Dance? ETA: Does an actual pattern meet the requirements of the Senior replacement element?
 
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Sylvia

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@kwanfan1818, you can check the relevant ISU Communication that's linked in this thread:
Are Wolfkostin/Chen even allowed to compete as juniors domestically after skating in seniors at Nationals?
No.
 

kwanfan1818

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Hmm, I wonder if there is any overlap between the rhythms of the Jr. and Sr. RD's, where they could keep the steps from one program to the next and just change the musical cut. It's not like the judges appear to be looking for stylistic fidelity from the neck down.
 

Dobre

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I think Wolfkostin & Chen probably will have a transition period, and it's much too early to know how the coaching team at Canton will do. (I mean, basically any team moving up to seniors would have a transition period anyway, should W&C move up). That said, W&C won't necessarily be learning new technique moving from Igor to Greg any more that Carreira & Ponomarenko had to learn new technique in order to move from Greg to Igor, which they did when they were at Novi. If the Russians aren't on the GP, there are only about 27 teams above W&C on the SB list that seem particularly likely to compete. A bigger problem would be if Pate & Bye and Cesanek & Yehorov got the nod over W&C based on SB scores. W&C have a higher WS ranking and had a higher finish at Nationals so USFS could support them more, but other host countries could also go straight down the list so who knows? It wouldn't hurt W&C to gain more experience in Juniors--learning how to compete when all the pressure is on you. (They had some of that this season, but no one expected the Russian teams to be out for Junior Worlds). It seems clear Wolfkostin & Chen were planning to transition up, as they competed at both levels this season; but they've only been together 2 years if you don't count the season that was largely nixed by covid. Experience at either level would be good.
 

peibeck

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I’d be shocked if Chock & Bates go all the way to 2026, but I don’t blame them if they go another year or two. They really started to develop a distinctive style over the past couple of seasons, but they didn’t get a chance to build on that momentum in 2020. A world title next year would be a nice way to go out, if they can pull it off.

Worlds will be in Montreal in 2024. I'm guessing that might be where Chock/Bates choose to do their final competition. 🤷‍♂️
 

Cayuse

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Saw Hawayek and Baker perform in Stars on Ice in Portland, OR last night. Both were dressed in matching tuxedos - a really good look for them! Maybe they should try to do a routine like "One" from Chorus Line. I wanted the Parsons to do this routine because they had such terrific unison, but I think Kaitlin and Jean-Luc could pull it off.
 

Karen-W

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"She better learn to speak English!" --Christine Brennan, probably

Joking aside, I don't see them making a Worlds team any time soon. Not with C/B staying in, H/B in their prime, and Gre/Par coming on strong.
Agreed, not to mention CarPon hopefully coming back better next season. As it is, I'll be curious as to who is granting the release... is it the Russian fed or the ISU Council?

My expectation is we might see them at Challenge Cup next year since they should still have to sit out a full year from their last competition.
 

Trillian

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"She better learn to speak English!" --Christine Brennan, probably

Joking aside, I don't see them making a Worlds team any time soon. Not with C/B staying in, H/B in their prime, and Gre/Par coming on strong.

Agreed, and I can’t see any motivation for USFS to do them any political favors when there’s so much depth in dance. I also assume Davis & Smolkin are smart enough to know they’re going to have a tough road here. But they’re a good team and they seem like decent people, so I hope they don’t have to deal with too many people like Brennan along the way.
 

Rukia

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I don't blame Davis for wanting to switch and honestly kind of admire that they're taking that leap. I'm sure they know it won't be easy. But I'd probably do the same if I was in her shoes. They're not an awful pair, but I'm not sure if they can compete with our top teams. Seems worth a try if they can get releases.

Can I just start a prayer circle now for Cpom's programs this season like please don't make me try to enjoy another random dance party.
 

litenkyckling

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I’m honestly quite disgusted. I know you can’t choose your parents - but the thing is that she is used as a pawn by her mother. The same mother who is to blame for the entire sport being tarnished on the global stage. The same mother who clearly has no regard for the health of other children, who hilariously made nasty comments about people changing feds. The same mother who is the reason Team USA are still without their Olympic medals. Why would USFS go for this? It’s a terrible look for them and honestly pretty terrible for the teams who had to deal with D/S’ blatant favouritism from judges for lower quality skating.

I’ll be interested to see what the US judges choose to do with them. They have plenty of quality and dedicated to team USA teams already - totally unnecessary.
 

Evgeniafan

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I’m honestly quite disgusted. I know you can’t choose your parents - but the thing is that she is used as a pawn by her mother. The same mother who is to blame for the entire sport being tarnished on the global stage. The same mother who clearly has no regard for the health of other children, who hilariously made nasty comments about people changing feds. The same mother who is the reason Team USA are still without their Olympic medals. Why would USFS go for this? It’s a terrible look for them and honestly pretty terrible for the teams who had to deal with D/S’ blatant favouritism from judges for lower quality skating.

I’ll be interested to see what the US judges choose to do with them. They have plenty of quality and dedicated to team USA teams already - totally unnecessary.
Plus the hate that Evgenia received for training in Canada, she didn't change federations and she still represented Sambo70. But its a different story when it's Eteri's daughter. I'm very upset.
 

clairecloutier

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The thing is, Diana is a U.S. citizen, right? She was born here. As such, I think USFS has to offer the same support or opportunities, at least publicly, that they would to other U.S. citizen skaters. Yes the whole situation is very complicated, especially in regard to Eteri, but … Diana is a citizen. They can’t refuse her. I don’t think.
 

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