U.S. Pairs 2018-19 season - News & Updates, Part IX

aftershocks

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Erika Choi Smith announced on Facebook that she & AJ Reiss are moving to Montreal to join Cirque du Soleil.
Awww, I'm happy for them and sad at the same time that apparently they won't be coming back to compete. This lovely pair (who are partners on and off-the-ice) are so fast and so brilliant, but injuries and misfortune further hampered the too limited window of opportunity this sport often slams shut for a slew of talented skaters. :(

Good luck with Cirque, Erika & A.J.!!! :cheer2:
 

Sylvia

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In the Programs/Choreog thread for next season, someone came up with yet another song by the same name, which sounds good for skating and for Cain/LeDuc, as expressed by @RoseRed who found it on Youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cU4J17q8lsg Tommee Profitt A Storm is Comin' (feat. Liv Ash) :)
Kudos to @RoseRed! This IS Cain/LeDuc's SP music, as just confirmed on their website today: http://figureskatersonline.com/cain-leduc/competitive-history/
Short Program: “A Storm is Comin” (featuring Liv Ash) produced by Tommee Profitt from Cinematic Songs, Vol. 5.
Written by Bryan Fowler, Liv Ash, Mike Ash & Tommee Profitt
Choreography by Misha Ge
 

Sylvia

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This lovely pair (who are partners on and off-the-ice) are so fast and so brilliant, but injuries and misfortune further hampered the too limited window of opportunity this sport often slams shut for a slew of talented skaters. :(

Good luck with Cirque, Erika & A.J.!!! :cheer2:
Erika and AJ got engaged back in February :) ... I'm happy Smith/Reiss will continue skating together in this upcoming, exciting-sounding professional opportunity! (same project as Karina Manta/Joe Johnson's, I assume)
 

AngieNikodinovLove

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5Ali3

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Audrey posted this IG of 3 clips back in March of throw 3Lz (or flip?)
Throw flip and throw Lutz are considered the same throw because the physics/biomechanics of the throw require the girl to be on an essentially flat edge at takeoff in order to be centered relative to the boy. The well-balanced program requirements allow the execution of only one of throw flip/throw Lutz because they're the same throw.

Whether a throw is called a throw flip or a throw Lutz is up to the Technical Specialist. If you look through protocols, you'll notice that all of the throw flip/Lutzes in a given event tend to all be called throw flip or all be called throw Lutz depending on which word the TS prefers. (I have seen TS, especially newer ones, call throws with a three turn or mohawk entry a "throw flip" and ones with a straight line entry a "throw Lutz," but that's considered a little persnickety.)
 

BrightSkates

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Does anyone know why Jeremy Barrett moved from Wesley Chapel, FL? He doesn't seem to be part of John Z and Silvia F's team anymore.
 

Cleo1782

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Does anyone know why Jeremy Barrett moved from Wesley Chapel, FL? He doesn't seem to be part of John Z and Silvia F's team anymore.
He is not part of the Zimmerman/Fontana team any longer. He will be doing shows in Sun Valley this summer.
 

chachacha

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Does anyone know why Jeremy Barrett moved from Wesley Chapel, FL? He doesn't seem to be part of John Z and Silvia F's team anymore.
Where did you hear this? If it’s true that’s to bad, but it would not surprise me since John Zimmerman seems to not have a good track record to coach with other people. John Kerr didn’t last very long as part of the coaching team, Ingo Steur and now Jeremy?
 

feraina

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Where did you hear this? If it’s true that’s to bad, but it would not surprise me since John Zimmerman seems to not have a good track record to coach with other people. John Kerr didn’t last very long as part of the coaching team, Ingo Steur and now Jeremy?
Wait. John Kerr is not there anymore?!
 

Sylvia

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John Kerr was coaching younger skaters with Aaron Gillespie at 2019 U.S. Nationals. He's still based in Florida (Pines Ice Arena near Miami) with his wife and young son. He previously choreographed for James/Cipres but I don't believe he was part of their coaching team?
Is that Alex Wellman doing a death spiral at the very beginning of the third clip Dalilah posted of K/O?
Sappenfield's IG post today introduced the new pair of Sydney Flaum and Alex Wellman (sbs 3Lo clip): https://www.instagram.com/p/BxivfEtHbCO/
Wellman placed 9th in Junior Men at 2019 Nationals, turned 19 in January and is new to pairs.
Flaum competed at the Intermediate level in singles last season. She won the Juvenile Pairs title in 2017 with Chase Finster (Kate's older brother) and the 2018 U.S. Intermediate Pairs pewter medal with Cayden McKenzie-Cook (ETA: she did not compete pairs this past season). I believe she is 13 now.
 
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ilovepaydays

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Doesn’t Alex look a bit short for pairs? I wish them the best of luck. Assuming they start off working well, would they start at junior level?
 

BrightSkates

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Where did you hear this? If it’s true that’s to bad, but it would not surprise me since John Zimmerman seems to not have a good track record to coach with other people. John Kerr didn’t last very long as part of the coaching team, Ingo Steur and now Jeremy?
Jeremy's house w/ wife Lucy is listed for sale by real estate agent Stanimir Todorov- a former bulgarian skater, now coach at AdventHealth Center Ice and co-owner(?) of ES Performance sportswear.
https://www.facebook.com/Icesk8man84/posts/10157390723100337
Today(?) he posted a photo to his facebook story that said "moving boxes".
He's been also tagged in photos with John Kerr in east coast FL.
One of his main students also posted a farewell post dedicated to him.
 

insideedgeua

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Sappenfield's IG post today introduced the new pair of Sydney Flaum and Alex Wellman (sbs 3Lo clip): https://www.instagram.com/p/BxivfEtHbCO/
Wellman placed 9th in Junior Men at 2019 Nationals, turned 19 in January and is new to pairs.
Flaum competed at the Intermediate level in singles last season. She won the Juvenile Pairs title in 2017 with Chase Finster (Kate's older brother) and the 2018 U.S. Intermediate Pairs pewter medal with Cayden McKenzie-Cook (ETA: she did not compete pairs this past season). I believe she is 13 now.
Dalilah’s Facebook also shows them doing SBS 3T and 3sal too.

Sydney is 13 and unlikely to grow too tall, based on her mom’s height.

I hope we’ll see them as juniors later this year but I have no idea what their plans are with competing.
 

aftershocks

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Where did you hear this? If it’s true that’s to bad, but it would not surprise me since John Zimmerman seems to not have a good track record to coach with other people. John Kerr didn’t last very long as part of the coaching team, Ingo Steur and now Jeremy?
:huh: Is there something you know that most fans of U.S. pairs don't know? Are you in that rink? Do you have verifiable insider knowledge? Lacking any of that, if you are just guessing, anybody can guess and speculate. Uninformed guesses and speculation are a dime a dozen.

Factually, John Zimmerman to my knowledge is one of the first pairs coaches to have the creative idea of trying to put together a team of coaches with a vision and a mission. We all know the consulting relationship between Ingo Steuer and John Z did not work out. AFAIK, Ingo never made a full commitment to move to the U.S. and officially collaborate with John Z, due to Ingo's personal ties to living in Germany. In fact, Ingo himself has a reputation of not being easy to work with. :COP:

We also know that it was Denney/Frazier who, for whatever reason, decided they wanted to train exclusively with Ingo. Sadly, Haven suffered a devastating knee injury before they were even able to figure out the logistics of training with Ingo. We all know what happened after that to D/F with Haven facing physical and career-ending jeopardy. D/F had a hard time battling back after the year off necessitated by surgery and rehab on Haven's knee. And the three seasons since then have been difficult rebuilding seasons. D/F finally began to make promising strides last season when they re-joined with John Z and got some well-choreographed programs from Charlie White.

AFAIK, John Kerr was never an official member of John Z's coaching crew, and Kerr was never located at the same rink as John Z's team. [ETA: Thanks to @BrightSkates for pointing out that Kerr was part of the John Z coaching team for awhile, and for explaining why Kerr did not move to John Z and crew's current rink].

According to James/Cipres, they utilized different choreographers last season, because they were looking for fresh input, not because they weren't happy and satisfied with their working relationship with Kerr. I think it's a good idea to work with more than one talented choreographer in one's career. Of course, there's also something to be said for sticking with what is working. Still, making a change in order to continue meeting new challenges is not a bad idea. It worked well for James/Cipres. They have now built an excellent body of work over the past several seasons with three different choreographers, along with additional choreographic input by Silvia Fontana and Jeremy Barrett.

Jeremy Barrett was an important part of John Z's coaching team. He provided coaching input and support for both James/Cipres and Denney/Frazier. Barrett should certainly receive collaborative credit for the success achieved by J/C these past three seasons. Vanessa James has always acknowledged Barrett's supportive input on her Instagram. Unless anyone has solid evidence as to why Barrett has left John Z's camp, I certainly hope gossip, speculation, and 'throwing people under the bus,' doesn't take hold.
 
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BrightSkates

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:huh: Is there something you know that most fans of U.S. pairs don't know? Are you in that rink? Do you have verifiable insider knowledge? Lacking any of that, if you are just guessing, anybody can guess and speculate. Guesses and speculation are a dime a dozen.

AFAIK, John Kerr was never an official member of John Z's coaching crew, and Kerr was never located at the same rink as John Z's team. Apparently, Kerr was and has always been an independent contractor as a choreographer. According to James/Cipres, they utilized different choreographers last season, because they were looking for fresh input, not because they weren't happy and satisfied with their working relationship with Kerr. I think it's a good idea to work with more than one talented choreographer in one's career. Of course, there's also something to be said for sticking with what is working. Still, making a change in order to continue meeting new challenges is not a bad idea. It worked well for James/Cipres. They have now built an excellent body of work over the past several seasons with three different choreographers, along with additional choreographic input by Silvia Fontana and Jeremy Barrett.

Jeremy Barrett was an important part of John Z's coaching team. He provided coaching input and support for both James/Cipres and Denney/Frazier. Barrett should certainly receive collaborative credit for the success achieved by J/C these past three seasons. Vanessa James has always acknowledged Barrett's supportive input on her Instagram. Unless anyone has solid evidence as to why Barrett has left John Z's camp, I certainly hope gossip, speculation, and 'throwing people under the bus,' doesn't take hold.
False, John Kerr was VERY much part of the JZ, SF, JB team. He teamed up with them in Coral Springs, FL at around the beginning of 2015 where they all taught at Panthers Ice Den. Then it continued at Pines Arena, in Pembroke Pines, FL where the whole team relocated their training location to for a year. Kerr had a stroking class for all of JZ/SF/JB's students almost every day and worked with J&C every day on skating skills & their programs. As well as J&C, Kerr worked with a majority of JZ/SF/JB's students. J&C as well as Kerr all lived in Miami and made the drive from Miami to Coral Springs every day (50 min). Their relocation to Pines was easier on J&C and Kerr as it was 20 min. less. When they moved to Tampa, Kerr could not move as his wife works in a hospital in Miami. Kerr stayed at Pines Arena and now teaches with Aaron Gillespie.
 

aftershocks

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^^ Thanks @BrightSkates! It's always good to hear the true skinny from someone who is actually in-the-know. I didn't know the details of how John Kerr's relationship with John Z and James/Cipres began, but I had heard that Kerr wasn't working out of the same rink. @Sylvia had also asked about Kerr's involvement with James/Cipres, so thanks for breaking it down. Any other factual details you can help with clearing up are appreciated.
 

angi

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I honestly don't get why teams are not using John Kerr as a choreographer more. His programs for James/Cipres and Savchenko/Massot for the 2016/17 season was such a highlight and were a big part of what made both teams shine and James/Cipres to have their big breakthrough (obviously it's not the only reason, but a good packaging and programs are always a big advantage).
 

aftershocks

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I honestly don't get why teams are not using John Kerr as a choreographer more.
Feng//Nyman worked with John Kerr on their Elvis fp this past season, as I recall. And there are likely some other skaters Kerr has been working with that we may be unaware of.
 

BrightSkates

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I honestly don't get why teams are not using John Kerr as a choreographer more. His programs for James/Cipres and Savchenko/Massot for the 2016/17 season was such a highlight and were a big part of what made both teams shine and James/Cipres to have their big breakthrough (obviously it's not the only reason, but a good packaging and programs are always a big advantage).
Hes also done programs for Duhamel/Radford , Monica/Guarise, & Seguin/Bilodeu. I do agree he should be utilized more! He is fantastic.
 

Spiralgraph

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About the new team of Flaum and Wellman, I wish them success but I'm a little wary of pairs where the lady is so young and the guy is much older. It doesn't matter so much when they're both adults, but 13 and 19 is quite a difference. Perhaps I'll concentrate on the present with this team and just follow their progress with interest without expectations.
 

aftershocks

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… 13 and 19 is quite a difference.
Well, at this point, they are just skating partners. Many partnerships are all business and focused on goals in skating, which is a tough sport to excel at and succeed in. The main issue I see is whether or not he will age out of juniors before she becomes age-eligible for seniors. But depending upon their birth dates, that might not be a factor at all. The point is whether or not they will manage to maintain and grow their partnership. At 13, it's always possible for one's interests to take a different direction over time.

ETA:
Interesting pairs partner switches (as already noted here and in Canadian pairs thread):

Francis Boudret-Audet of Canada split with Sumire Suto of Japan (rumored personality and cultural differences). B-A and Suto trained in Canada with Gauthier/Marcotte. Also training in that group was Nadine Wang/ Spencer Howe of the U.S. And now Wang has teamed up with Boudret-Audet, while Howe has teamed with Emily Chan of the U.S., training in Texas with Lu/Mitrofanov. Chan was formerly partnered with Mitrofanov. It's beneficial for these two young teams to be trainippng together.

B-A/Wang are skating for Canada. It will be interesting to find out whether B-A/Wang will be remaining in Montreal with Gauthier, or relocating to Oakville, Ontario with Meagan & Bruno Marcotte. Both new teams seem to be evenly matched, and similar in physicality. Once Wang paired with B-A last December, it's nice that Howe was able to return to the U.S. and find a new partner who appears compatible and well-matched. I will look forward to seeing both of these new pairs in competition.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxkbwp_pHKV/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxNPfp0lm_S/?igshid=bl658fmip2yk

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxSaFTblC3d/
 
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Tony Wheeler

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Not sure where to put this, but I’m sure it’ll interest some people.

Ashley Cain’s wedding is coming up and she replied to a comment on Instagram that she will change her name (adding his to the end) and compete as Cain-Gribble.
 

aftershocks

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Ummm, my first reaction was 'Whaaat?' :p However, I suppose Ashley can compete under whatever name she chooses, and we'll eventually get used to it, albeit some announcers might stumble over all those syllables. ;) Still, I suppose wanting to use her married name at the start of the new season is because Ashley is very stoked and happy about getting married, and also very proud to take on her partner's name.

This marriage name adjustment reminds me of Stellato-Dudek/ Bartholomay -- a mouthful. Also Scimeca-Knierim/ Knierim, another tongue-twister. Cain-Gribble/Le Duc sounds like a law firm, but what the hey! Hopefully, C-G/L-D will lay down the law in the U.S. pairs division next season. :kickass: :cheer2: :watch:
 

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