Sylvia

TBD
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I recall Ashley Wagner mentioning in The Runthrough podcast last month that she would be attending Mr. Nicks’ 95th birthday celebration.

Article on the 3 Hilbelink skating sisters (at 13 Keira is the youngest one):

Clip of Keira attempting 3Lz 3 years ago to landing 3Lz+3T now: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C6FXWWzvdVW/
 
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Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Fwiw, Jessi's coach isn't listed as Tom Z. It's Alena Lunin.
Yes, in her ISU bio (Alena coached Jurka in her 2 internationals so far - when she won Adv. Novice gold at Challenge Cup in NED in late Feb. 2023 & Cranberry Cup International last season as a junior).

The 2024 U.S. Nationals program book listed her coaches as Alena Lunin, Alexander Lunin [Fort Wayne, IN], Stephanie Kuban, Tom Zakrajsek [CO Springs].

Her latest 3A clip 3 days ago: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C6ZoQXdPusa/
"Practice makes progress!!! Followed by coach @coachtomz axel… he promised if I landed a triple axel again he would do a single one!" [Erik Schulz is the harness coach for TZ in the clip].
 
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ice coverage

Well-Known Member
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556
Sasha Cohen went to see John Nicks for his 95th birthday: https://www.instagram.com/p/C6XZnnYPqru/?igsh=MW1oNHd4a2cwMDV0
Sasha and Mr. Nicks were always my favorite K&C duo! The man must have the patience of a saint for all he put up with from her through the years!
Fun fact. Ever polite and not one to name drop, in conversation Mr Nicks referred to Sasha as “‘my pupil” or “my student.” He looks amazing!
Aw. Still remember volunteering at 1999 Nationals during practice sessions and having Mr Nicks very politely asking me to ask Sasha to come out of the locker room. A gentleman!
I recall Ashley Wagner mentioning in The Runthrough podcast last month that she would be attending Mr. Nicks’ 95th birthday celebration. ...

Another update for fans of Mr. Nicks 🥳:

2024 winner of PSA's Legends Award is John A. W. Nicks, per yesterday's announcement of EDI Awards.​
"This award is presented to a skater or coach who has brought recognition to the sport in a positive and favorable manner. The winner exemplifies a level of distinction like the legendary figures who have come before."​

https://skatepsa.com/ (home page at present has this year's full-blown announcement of EDI winners)​
 

Willin

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I don't understand why Tom Z is still influential, considering his horrible reputation.
Because he still coaches in CS and is still frequently rubbing shoulders with USFS big wigs.

And while his reputation is bad with fans, I wouldn't say he has a bad rap with skaters or other coaches beyond usual levels of rink drama AFAIK. Say what you will about his coaching or his skaters underperforming, but he does seem to produce pretty technically proficient jumpers - and in this day and age that could be a draw. IMO he'd make a great jump specialist coach.
 

coppertop1

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1,970
Because he still coaches in CS and is still frequently rubbing shoulders with USFS big wigs.

And while his reputation is bad with fans, I wouldn't say he has a bad rap with skaters or other coaches beyond usual levels of rink drama AFAIK. Say what you will about his coaching or his skaters underperforming, but he does seem to produce pretty technically proficient jumpers - and in this day and age that could be a draw. IMO he'd make a great jump specialist coach.
His skaters have often had issues with under rotation. He isn't a great jump coach
 

Jarrett

Go Mirai!
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3,404
His skaters have often had issues with under rotation. He isn't a great jump coach
Just because Vincent underrotated jumps doesn't make Tom a bad jump coach. Mirai had underrotated issues before Tom and she improved under him. Max, Jeremy, Rachel, Agnes, Ryan who exactly are you talking about? I think all of them pretty much maxed their potential jump wise.
 

Jammers

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7,586
The problem with Tom Z is besides the jumps he was not good at anything else as a coach his skaters often had terrible programs and they tended to be slow with weak skating skills. Perfect example was Mirai she did get the 3axel with him and made another Olympic team and got a team Bronze medal at the Olympics but every other part of her skating declined when she was with him.
 

Wyliefan

Ubering juniors against my will
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44,338
If you read your last sentence again, I'm not sure it conveys exactly what you meant it to convey. :)

I know what you're getting at, though. But I expect Mirai would say it was worth it -- that 3A took her pretty far.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Bradie’s back on the ice! :) (and on social media):
ETA: :lol: after reading her hashtags!
 
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Frau Muller

From Puerto Rico…With Love! Not LatinX!
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22,283
Bradie’s back on the ice! :) (and on social media):
Bradie was so impressive at the Shanghai Trophy last fall. So sad that she had her injury soon after.
 

Sylvia

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81,173
Cleo Park, who will turn 15 on August 5, is featured today (May 5) in this Golden Skate article by Paula Slater:

Cleo has had her last season's "Dans La Nuit" SP reworked and is using the music again this season. Here's a 30-second clip from her new "Jungle Cruise" FS, choreographed by Jamie Isley, that she debuted at her club's competition last month (previous info on this comp. is below): https://twitter.com/jrskating/status/1785881954547556627
... Cleo Park, Annika Chao and Alayna Coats (these 3 are in the Women's current ISP) and Hannah Kim (P-N2/J11 at Nationals) competed in the Glacier Falls Spring Spectacular club competition last weekend (April 20-21) and I shared screenshots of the top 3 protocol sheets in my X post yesterday (SP and FS are separate events/scores are not combined) because these are good scores for so early in the season: https://twitter.com/SylviaUnseen/status/1783137285006934392
Junior SP top 3:
Cleo Park, Glacier Falls FSC 65.98 (her older sister Nicole is currently in France for the Nations Cup with LA Ice Theater's Junior team)
Annika Chao, Glacier Falls FSC 63.13 (competed SP only)
Hannah Kim, Glacier Falls FSC 63.06
Junior FS top 3:
Alayna Coats, All Year FSC 108.37 - I came across her FS video is on YT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQVgwUhUPZY (coached by Naomi Nari Nam)
Hannah Kim, Glacier Falls FSC 106.88
Cleo Park, Glacier Falls FSC 102.77
 
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A.H.Black

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Messages
3,210
Bradie’s back on the ice! :) (and on social media):
ETA: :lol: after reading her hashtags!
Having had that type of ankle injury, I'd say she is doing great. Of course, she is a lot younger than I was. I wonder if she had her hardware removed (none of my business).
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
Congratulations to Alexe Gilles (2008 U.S. Junior champion) who has graduated from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' College of Business and Adminstration at the age of 32!
A covid goal finished! I wanted to say a massive thank you to my family and friends for the love, support and encouragement throughout my school journey! Thankful covid opened up more online school classes so I could still skate, perform, work and finish a huge milestone moment! Thank you for believing in me and pushing me to achieve my dreams.
I’m looking forward to new challenges and opportunities that come my way, eager to embrace each one with enthusiasm and determination. Whether it’s still in pursuing shows, coaching or different world or work, I’m ready to seize every moment!
Here’s to the memories we’ve had, lessons learned and adventures still to come! Cheers to class of 2024 and to all the amazing adventures that awaits! 🎓🌟
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
^^^ Sherry Zhang also shared an Instagram story clip of her 3Lz+3T (new combo she’s preparing for competition this year) at USFS' "Emerging Athletes" camp that was this week in Colorado Springs - it can be viewed here: https://x.com/jrskating/status/1791858933675479446

Junior pewter medalist Emilia Nemirovsky also attempted 3A at the camp: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7HnaWgrNTc/

Silly clip posted by a young skater at this week's camp showing Isabeau & Josephine Lee dancing (joined by Jacob Sanchez): https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7HXkB5L2yy/

I also saw Skylar Lautowa-Peguero (her 3Lz+3T clip: https://www.instagram.com/reel/C7Di8uXOnnT/) and Ela Cui in group pics.

Kaitlyn Weaver has an Instagram story photo of her with Amber and Josephine (Weaver recently choreographed Lee's SP in NYC) at the World Arena.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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I believe Alysa was a demonstrator at the camp - here are 7 photos shared by Jacob Sanchez (will cross-post link in the U.S. Men’s news thread) of the “emerging athletes” group and the athlete coaches/demonstrators at USFS’ “Access To Excellence” camp in CO Springs for skaters, coaches, officials & parents (in the 2nd pic Jacob is kneeling on the ice in the front row, next to: Josephine, Isabeau, Elyce, Polina E., Alysa & Alena Budko): https://www.instagram.com/p/C7ImQsZL7E2/

I forgot to mention earlier that Sarah Everhardt made a trip to SoCal and worked with Shae-Lynn Bourne and Nadia Kanaeva on, presumably, new programs (she shared her original Insta story photo re-posted via a fan's account).
 
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Sylvia

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81,173
Re-posting here from the U.S. Men's news thread - Sean coached Soho Lee (11th in her Senior debut at 2024 Nationals) and Keira Hilbelink (won her second consecutive Junior national silver medal) this year in Columbus, Ohio:
Congrats to Sean Rabbitt and the Ten80 team of coaches - Junichi and Kelly Takemura & Garnet Fiordalisi - for being awarded one of the PSA's 2024 "President's Awards of Excellence" on May 15 at USFS’ Access to Excellence reception in CO Springs - clip from when their names were announced:
 

mtnskater

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3,213
If I were a young skater I would love to have Sean Rabbit as my coach. Seeing him at Nationals with his students the last couple of years he is so supportive and happy. He appears to create a very positive, fun environment. And teaches good technique too.
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
I forgot to mention earlier that Sarah Everhardt made a trip to SoCal and worked with Shae-Lynn Bourne and Nadia Kanaeva on, presumably, new programs (she shared her original Insta story photo re-posted via a fan's account).
Sarah Everhardt revealed her music today (will cross-post in the Programs/Choreographers thread):

SP Music: “Reel Around the Sun” by Bill Whelan (from Riverdance)
Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne
Includes 2 clips of them working together: https://www.instagram.com/p/C7MQQDeLXzH/
These last two weeks I was given the opportunity to create a program with @shae_lynnbourne. I loved experimenting with movements and trying new ideas with her. Tapping into my Irish heritage and inspired by Shae-Lynn and Jason Brown, I decided to select a special piece of music.
FS Music: The Firebird by Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer: Nadezda (Nadia) Kanaeva
Includes 2 clips: https://www.instagram.com/p/C7MQmNILCqt/
 
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Marco

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15,276
Sarah Everhardt revealed her music today (will cross-post in the Programs/Choreographers thread):

SP Music: “Reel Around the Sun” by Bill Whelan (from Riverdance)
Choreographer: Shae-Lynn Bourne

Oh wow. Interesting. I do hope that this time the famous skater choreographing his/her masterpiece music for someone else works better than when Chris Dean choreographed Bolero for Michelle :p
 

Sylvia

TBD
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81,173
I believe Alysa was a demonstrator at the camp - here are 7 photos shared by Jacob Sanchez (will cross-post link in the U.S. Men’s news thread) of the “emerging athletes” group and the athlete coaches/demonstrators at USFS’ “Access To Excellence” camp in CO Springs for skaters, coaches, officials & parents (in the 2nd pic Jacob is kneeling on the ice in the front row, next to: Josephine, Isabeau, Elyce, Polina E., Alysa & Alena Budko): https://www.instagram.com/p/C7ImQsZL7E2/
Sonja Hilmer’s post today about her participation as an athlete assistant/demonstrator in last week’s camp:
Re. her 3 clips:
Video highlights featuring energy transfer interp exercise with @icegirlash [Ashley Cain], @polinaedmunds and her flamingo spin, and the iconic dance by @randistrong performed by the unstoppable early morning dance class demo duo [Sonja & Isabeau]
 
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Jonas

Active Member
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76
Oh wow. Interesting. I do hope that this time the famous skater choreographing his/her masterpiece music for someone else works better than when Chris Dean choreographed Bolero for Michelle :p
Sorry not sorry, but Bolero, IMO, was a complete mismatch for Michelle. No matter -- and if my memory still serves me well, Chris Dean's choreography had been almost completely stripped by the time the '05 Worlds in Moscow came around that even Chris Dean didn't recognize his work!
 

Willin

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Bolero doesn't match anyone really - or at least doesn't match a majority of the field.

What's so good about Trovill and Dean and Carolina's Boleros was that they were old enough to pull off interesting choreography and a calm quiet confidence. Bolero works best when it's done as a march. In that sense it's just better for ice dance. But as Carolina did, you can pull it off in singles - you just really have to know what you're doing.

But I feel that most choreographers don't have a clue what they're doing with it. It builds - but they don't let the choreography build. It has repetitions of the same phrases over and over - but they don't do anything with that opportunity to create parallels in the program. It is powerful and sharp, but the movements are often repeated from softer programs or too flaily and imprecise to match.

The first point in particular is one of the huge reasons I hate it in singles - it's THE perfect piece to do a Zagitova-style backloaded program. Start with a step sequence or spin. Maybe a choreographic movement. Maybe put the easy jumping passes in there - then reflect that in the second half. Open the first with a 3Lz? Mirror that bigger and better with a 3Lz-3T in the second half on the same phrasing. Start with a choreo sequence? Finish with a great, strong step sequence that takes bits from the choreo sequence and makes them bigger.

Unfortunately that requires insane athleticism and as such it won't happen. I think another option to make Bolero fresh would be to use a remix of it instead of the same old standard interpretation. For instance, the Legion SciFi bolero could make for a really interesting program choreographically. Start standard and take it somewhere new - but perhaps it's better suited to Synchro or dance than ladies.
 

gkelly

Well-Known Member
Messages
16,505
Bolero doesn't match anyone really - or at least doesn't match a majority of the field.

What's so good about Trovill and Dean and Carolina's Boleros was that they were old enough to pull off interesting choreography and a calm quiet confidence. Bolero works best when it's done as a march. In that sense it's just better for ice dance. But as Carolina did, you can pull it off in singles - you just really have to know what you're doing.

But I feel that most choreographers don't have a clue what they're doing with it. It builds - but they don't let the choreography build. It has repetitions of the same phrases over and over - but they don't do anything with that opportunity to create parallels in the program. It is powerful and sharp, but the movements are often repeated from softer programs or too flaily and imprecise to match.

The first point in particular is one of the huge reasons I hate it in singles - it's THE perfect piece to do a Zagitova-style backloaded program. Start with a step sequence or spin. Maybe a choreographic movement. Maybe put the easy jumping passes in there - then reflect that in the second half. Open the first with a 3Lz? Mirror that bigger and better with a 3Lz-3T in the second half on the same phrasing. Start with a choreo sequence? Finish with a great, strong step sequence that takes bits from the choreo sequence and makes them bigger.

Unfortunately that requires insane athleticism and as such it won't happen. I think another option to make Bolero fresh would be to use a remix of it instead of the same old standard interpretation. For instance, the Legion SciFi bolero could make for a really interesting program choreographically. Start standard and take it somewhere new - but perhaps it's better suited to Synchro or dance than ladies.
Interesting analysis.

Back in the 1990s, I mentally choreographed a short program to this music that was designed as a retrograde of what we might have seen at the time from a senior man who didn't have a triple axel. I think the elements were, more or less in order:

Back-to-front combination spin
Step sequence
Double axel
Flying spin
Step sequence
Change-foot spin
Triple flip out of steps
Triple lutz-triple toe right on the end of the music

Maybe a senior woman would like to try something like that today. Although they'll only get a second-half bonus for the last(?) jump element. And of course they would only have one step sequence.
 

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