Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Soloviev

TAHbKA

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Elena Vaytsekhovskaya's interview with Dmitrii Soloviev for ria.ru

EV: When we spoke about the interview you wrote me `I rested, rethought things and really want to come back'. Let's elucidate: who do you want to come back with, when and what for?
DS: When Katia (Bobrova) and I decided to retire I started skating in Tatiana Navka's show with Elena Ilinykh and was thinking what else can I do. What business should I start, in which field to develop. There were a lot of thoughts and it's still stuck in my head. For example I learned am pretty good with the new beginnings. I like taking photos, creating videos, producing, deciding on the right angle for the shots. I might pursue it professionally. For now, however, it's just a hobby. I bought a lot of equipment. The cameras, the lenses, the copters and so on.

EV: The hobbies are great when you also have a paycheck.
DS: That's exactly what I talk about. Figure skating with it's various shows and events will always be part of my life. But it's so interesting to develop somewhere else, try out, dare. Just that everything had changed once we paired up with Elena Ilinykh. We were skating just after two days of practicing.

EV: I.e you understood it just might work out?
DS: Not might, it worked and so fast and so good I was quite lost. I wasn't even thinking about the sports. It was in the past for me. I realized Katia will not come back after giving birth and was not thinking of any other option. And then people were approaching me, and I don't mean casual fans, but the known athletes and say `guys, why haven't you tried before?'

EV: And?
DS: We started filming our practices. We started coming up with some new transactions and even came to some practices with Dmitrii Ionov and worked on some lifts. We came up with a lot of interesting stuff, new spins, we even had a music in mind which we could skate to. We came up with the style. And we wanted it so badly.

EV: In my opinion when Elena Ilinykh paired up with Ruslan Zhiganshin she was the moving force in that pair and it was thanks to her they became the national champions. And then she had enough. Are you sure she will want to go through all that again?
DS: Athletes are different. Some are so deep in their sports then have no chance to get out. I once spoke to Alexandr Legkov, who is still dragging that case with his Olympic medals. He told me he would just go out and run at night when things became too heavy. For 20-30km.
It's the same for me - at some point I realized the practiced made me feel much better. Figure skating still haven't released me. I can do something completely unrelated, but once I see a photo, a video, something figure skating related there is a bulb lighting in my head - `I want to be there!'. I miss it a lot now. Am ready to do all it takes to come back. I know a gym coach who can get the athlete in the right shape. He used to work in the american football and has a really cool preparation technique, which is so simple yet so well balanced, so you get into the top shape without too much stress.

EV: It's not exactly what I asked.
DS: My vision of figure skating - it changed so much, I burn with passion to put it all on the ice, and think my passion would be enough for both. Alexandr Zhulin said in January he would be interested working with us as a pair.

EV: Have you discussed it with Elena?
DS: Yes. She said she was not ready. We planned talking again after the new years, but there were so many shows, it was hard, especially since she was ill, I was ill and we were doing tree shows a day. The first one was in Khodynka, then on another rink and then back to Khodynka and then remained for a practice. We slept for 2-3 hours a day and it was exhausting. Think that's when Lena started doubting. I can understand her: she and Julia Lipnitskaya have their champions academy that she travels with a lot, a project together with Sergey Polunin, i.e. she has some certainty in life. That certainty is out of figure skating. There are other reasons as well.

EV: I have a feeling Zhulin must be dreading your come back. It would create a tension in the group which might not disappear.
DS: The example of White/Moir was already given - they were representing different countries and the competition within the group was high. It was quite similar for me and Nikita Katsalapov. But we were always quite open about it.

EV: I think you were open about it when you and Bobrova were Russia n. 1 while Katsalapov and Sinitsina were struggling to make it to the team. Now the situation is reverse: Viktoria and Nikita have a world silver medal and am not sure they are willing to leave their comfort zone seeing the main rivals so close. What I mean is that the constant competition is usually good for the n.2, it's not necessarily so good for n.2
DS: And now imagine our state with Katia, when just before the Olympic season we suddenly learned Viktoria and Nikita will be practicing in our group. Frankly, it was a blow. First we didn't even understand what will be going on. We knew Zhulin was also scared. But in the end it worked out great. I.e. we were not minding a thing and just worked. It was then when I learned I can just work no matter what goes on around. I just ignore everything.

EV: You have to agree getting used to a sudden competition is a tough process
DS: Of course. On the other hand - why do I have to think of someone else? It might sound very egoistic, but I don't have to be considerate to my rival. I need to think how my decision will influence the comfort of me, my family and my beloved ones.

EV: I understand it Lena had not yet answered `yes'?
DS: She said `I want'. But immediately added she is not sure. There was no certain `No' either.

EV: Hence you keep hoping?
DS: I don't hope. I just understand am now stronger and better than I was in all previous years.

EV: And Elena? Are you sure she is better? Are you ready to face the fact she once lost to Nikita Katsalapov and she might lose again?
DS: Am not sure about anything. I don't know how things will turn out. I know there are a lot of not sports related causes that might bother us. But I never pressed on anyone to make a decision and am not going to now. I am willing, however, to guarantee I will be the moving force taking the state am currently in and the will I have to go on.

EV: Are you afraid to be a person who had a chance and threw it away?
DS: I just realize so well in 3 years from now I will be sitting in front of the TV screen and will be kicking myself that I haven't even tried. Especially as there is a potential and a possibility to participate my favourite sports. Why not?

EV: Tell me how is Ilinykh as a partner
DS: I like it that she does not only listen, but hear and does. It's very important which many who skate in a pair don't use.

EV: Explain?
DS: I will. It's like a relationship. You can shout, convince, beat your head on the wall, but if the partner does not hear you everything will be in vain. Katia and I always listened to each other. Even if there was a big misundertanding we would go to a different direction, do several rounds on the rink and go back hand in hand. I could make a remark and I knew Katia would take it not as a critique, but as an advice. At least she will try to understand. It's the same understanding we found with Elena.

EV: How complicated was pairing up?
DS: First it was weird. I had no plans skating with her. For many years we were rivals and were not in touch. And then I got a phone call from Tatiana Navka and she said `I have an amazing partner - Elena Ilinykh. And said that when Elena learned I would be the partner to skate with she agreed immediately.
It was a boost. I know how women are, but the thing is that I needed no convincing or bribing to begin with - I didn't mind. And then we came to the practice. Katia joined to show Lena the steps we needed to do. I remember well the first phrase Navka said `Dima, I had no idea you were skating that well?!'. We needed more ice space, we were unable to do the right pattern, both of us. The sync was immediate and it was very comfortable for me.
I in no way compare Elena and Katia. Katia and I went through so much together, we are great friends. It's a special person for me, a different story. Katia has her great quality, but about the ice dance - I'd say we both are not that talented, but worked very hard. We both could work so much and thanks to that we were one of the top teams.

EV: You had just voiced what the top athletes usually refrain from saying.
DS: Am a sane person. If I understood we had no chance I wouldn't even consider coming back. But I don't think so. More than that, I think we have a lot of interesting things to do in the sports. I even have a nice piece of music in mind for the FD. Even two FDs.

EV: I.e. if Katia decides she never wants to skate again you will not remain partnerless for good?
DS: I never even thought about it.

EV: I recall the 3 times Olympic champion Aleksandr Karelin when he was a politician decided to get ready for his 4th Olympics. When he was asked why he replied he can be a politician when he is 50, but he can't be a national champion when he is 50.
DS: It's true. There isn't much time left for me in the sports. 3 years. And the clock is ticking.

EV: Do you have any kind of an agreement with Ilinykh for now?
DS: Elena is now busy with her academy and I agreed to participate Ilia Averbukh's show in Cremea.

EV: With whom?
DS: Katia.

EV: Well, that's sudden. Imagine you are doing the shows with Katia, coming back and her telling you `Dima, let's try again'
DS: I considered that. But Katia already said a certain `no'.

EV: When a woman says a certain `no' it does not mean next second it will not become a certain `yes'
DS: I agree things happen in life. I try to predict various situations, but I doubt Katia will change her mind.

EV: Have you considered working with Ilinykh but not with Zhulin?
DS: I thought about it. Just that Zhulin has a unique team: Durnev, Petukhov, Ionov. Alexey Sitnikov who is really improving as a coach had just joined. It's a team who are so professional and I like them so much I'd like to have a working relationship with them not just now as an athlete but in the future - for work, business etc.

EV: After the Olympics 1992 the ISU allowed the retired skaters to come back. Those who did in 1994 and lost bitterly - Boitano, Witt, Petrenko - later said they were not sorry for doing it. Because by just one year of practiced they prolonged their show business careers in years.
DS: It's true. Elena and I risk nothing and have nothing to lose. No matter what the result will be it won't a negative PR for us. Not every athlete is willing to come back and work. And it is something to admire. It is interesting for me because I did try something completely new and came up with the new strength.

EV: What is your and Ilinykh;s point of no return?
DS: It's a point of no return for me. The beginning of the season. After that it will be late.

EV: What do you think should happen? Do you plan choreographing the competitive programmes? Showing the programmes? Do you think it's possible?
DS: The more time passes the harder it is to answer that question. Had we started working now it would be easy to get ready for the season.

EV: I.e you reckon within the summer you would be on the level the contemporary ice dancing demands?
DS: We were not planning coming back and being `like everyone else'. What fun would it be. Hence we did very complicated and interesting things on the floor, learned new lifts. I.e. we both understood if we came back it must be a burst, we must get the attention at once. There is no other way. Some things were a sheer magic - for example the music that I found and offered Zhulin - it lasts exactly 4 minutes, no need to cut or arrange. I imagined the choreographer Radu Polikartu working us, wrote him and received his agreement. I know Radu would integrate a lot of interesting things in this programme. Then it would be Petukhov's work to add his special expression...

EV: I can't get rid of a feeling you are telling me all that so Lena Ilinykh would read it, cancel all her plans and run to the practice.
DS: I guess in a way it's true. Perhaps it's the cry of my soul. I don't know how else should I shout how badly do I want to skate. I recently watched a movie `Creed' - about a boxer who lived through some downs in his career. When he was unable to hold the emotions within he would dive and shout under the water letting go of all that was filling him. I even had a dream I was a singles skater, was getting ready for my first Nationals, landing two quads in the SP, the 3A and winning... I never dreamed about figure skating before. Now, I guess things start emerging from within. Even Anna, my girlfriend is sometimes unable to understand my mood swings, despite being an athlete herself - the head of the Russian national curling team. We are not arguing or fighting, just that sometimes I'm in `leg' - go somewhere deep inside myself. That's it. And it takes a while to dig me out of there.

EV: Perhaps you just need some time to overcome it?
DS: Perhaps...
 

Bigbird

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Unfortunate that they hadn't met earlier. I highly doubt Lena will want to go back to that sort of tense environment. I hope they do many shows in the future, they work very well together, Lena and Dima. Life goes on. :)
 

Katha

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I admit, I'd really like to see I/S in a competitive environment. They're both phenomenal talents. It's also clear that he's super motivated and wants to try. But if she's not sure or if she were to do it as a favor to him, that wouldn't work at all. Both need to be super committed to accomplish such a huge task.

It doesn't look very likely at the moment, unfortunately....
 

Kasey

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I like him so much; I just think that this is not going to work out for him with Illinykh, and he's going to end his career without whatever final outcome he's seeking.
 

Coco

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It's freakin' Russia, there's female skaters everywhere, especially if you include the former Soviet Republics. Surely there is someone who is driven enough and talented enough to skate with him. They have 3 years to make top 3 in Russia. I don't get this situation.
 

Bigbird

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Talented enough no. Driven enough maybe. Nobody was more driven than Sinitsina and it took them five years, I think Lena is being much more sensible and practical and looking to a future outside of ice dance. Dima is just having a severe bout with retirement blues. He needs to find a way to deal with that and soon. But in Dima's defence Lena has had a much longer time to make her own mistakes (Shibnev and to an extent Zhiganshin) and has found a new interesting path for herself.
 

feraina

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I really would like to see Elena compete again. It’s such a shame. She and Zhiganshin had so much desire and momentum the first year. And then it just petered out. I guess she’s really burned out at this point. I can’t really see her coming back unless she and her guy break up or something. Funny, V/M and Ilynikh are the only ice dancers I have ever fallen in love with. They showed such genuine passion on ice.
 

starrynight

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Dmitri linked to this interview on his instagram account.

lol It's definitely a public advertisement and probably a public declaration to Ilinykh that he's ready when she is.

It's hard to believe that a few years ago Elena was with Shibnev and now Soloviev is beating down her door.

But training at an elite level is no game and it's brutal. It's probably for the best that if Elena knows she is not prepared to do it that she is honest with Dmitri from the outset.

Sometimes in pairs and dance it is a shame that partnerships have to be made from the same nationalities.
 

Japanfan

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Did I get that right - Soloviev and Ilinykh are partnering and going to compete?

If so, that's just bizarre!
 

hanca

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Talented enough no. Driven enough maybe. Nobody was more driven than Sinitsina and it took them five years, I think Lena is being much more sensible and practical and looking to a future outside of ice dance. Dima is just having a severe bout with retirement blues. He needs to find a way to deal with that and soon. But in Dima's defence Lena has had a much longer time to make her own mistakes (Shibnev and to an extent Zhiganshin) and has found a new interesting path for herself.
I think your comparison with Sinitsina is quite unfair though. It took Sinitsina/Katsalapov five years not because that’s the time that is necessarily needed, but because Katsalapov can’t twizzle to save his life. He is so ‘accident prone’ that it took him five years to manage to skate two clean programs in one competition. The international judges would have been willing to give them the marks. They did give decent marks to Ilynikh/Zhiganshin in their first season together. It was unfortunate that in I/Z’s second season their programs were not that judge friendly.
If Sinitsina/Katsalapov did not have such disastrous debut at their both GP in their first season, their marks internationally would have been higher and it wouldn’t have taken five years.
 

Dobre

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It's freakin' Russia, there's female skaters everywhere, especially if you include the former Soviet Republics. Surely there is someone who is driven enough and talented enough to skate with him. They have 3 years to make top 3 in Russia. I don't get this situation.
Someone talented enough to become top 3 in Russia but that only wants to skate for 4 more years. Or to start all over again then.

Who do you have in mind?

I thought Riazanova was a plausible option when people were throwing her name around earlier. She hasn't competed since 2014-15 though.

Yanovskaya would probably take the 4 years and be happy at this point. Her current international results aren't too encouraging; but she's been at the top of the junior scene.

Ditto for Alla Loboda, whom I happen to love & think is quite good at the same type of storytelling as Soloviev; but whom apparently no one else on FSU mourns.

Among the current young athletes, Skoptcova is a bit underpartnered, IMO, if she wants to forfeit the 4 following years. (She is 11 years younger than him so imagine the complaining over that one).

In an ideal, politic-free world, I would say call Kana Muramoto and give yourself a heck of a shot. (I don't know why on earth Japan would let her go, however).

They did give decent marks to Ilynikh/Zhiganshin in their first season together.
Right. Well, I&Z had a bit of a honeymoon period riding on her former status and their apparent #1 Russian status that season. Which they effectively forfeited--kerthunk--by mucking up at Europeans and then mucking up their FD at Worlds (finishing too low to help earn the three Russian berths for the following season), and then by splatting at Rostelecom, etc.

It's not easy to be a new team. Most teams go through that adjustment period quite a bit further off the radar.
 
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starrynight

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It's a shame there aren't the pro-championships there used to be.

Then we could get some international mix teams formed.

However, I think Soloviev could do well to take stock of everything he has achieved so far. While the partnership with Ilinykh probably seemed like roses for the initial period, what's to say that would have lasted when the actual pressure started?

Whereas he and Bobrova had a solid reputation for being a very professional and amicable team. I've read a lot of interviews where the coaches praised them for their good work ethic and approach to each other.

And they went through some ridiculously hard times together. Remember the melodonium issue? The injuries? I think they were a very special team. And while Soloviev says he felt the same thing with Elena ... well.... you don't know that until you've had to go through hardships with a person. And Elena's track record doesn't indicate that she would be as a loyal and steady partner as Bobrova was.

Ice dance isn't a sprint, it's a marathon. And I think one of the most important things is to have a partner who is willing to get down into the engine room with you.
 
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Bigbird

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I think your comparison with Sinitsina is quite unfair though. It took Sinitsina/Katsalapov five years not because that’s the time that is necessarily needed, but because Katsalapov can’t twizzle to save his life. He is so ‘accident prone’ that it took him five years to manage to skate two clean programs in one competition. The international judges would have been willing to give them the marks. They did give decent marks to Ilynikh/Zhiganshin in their first season together. It was unfortunate that in I/Z’s second season their programs were not that judge friendly.
If Sinitsina/Katsalapov did not have such disastrous debut at their both GP in their first season, their marks internationally would have been higher and it wouldn’t have taken five years.
I take your point about Sinitsina, but I don't agree fully. S/K are a pair and a pair is only as strong as it's weakest link. For four years Sinitsina struggled with technique in terms of matching Katsalapov and for four years he was psychologically not able to cope hence their struggles as a team. When Katsalapov is not quite pleased with his partner, or he has to manage challenges, he can be quite a handful in practices. Due to this discord they were just one edge from a disaster for four full years, not only botched twizzles, but steps and lifts etc, etc. If he had her temperament, for sure they would have succeeded earlier but it is what it is.

Also, as per Zhulin's interview, he is not prepared to do anything to make Katsalapov uncomfortable. So I find Soloviev's interview disappointing. It's akin to him not understanding the situation right in front of him. I hope he comes to his senses soon. He should have tried out with Lena years ago, because they could have been a very interesting couple but I think Lena has moved on.
 

hanca

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I take your point about Sinitsina, but I don't agree fully. S/K are a pair and a pair is only as strong as it's weakest link. For four years Sinitsina struggled with technique in terms of matching Katsalapov and for four years he was psychologically not able to cope hence their struggles as a team. When Katsalapov is not quite pleased with his partner, or he has to manage challenges, he can be quite a handful in practices. Due to this discord they were just one edge from a disaster for four full years, not only botched twizzles, but steps and lifts etc, etc. If he had her temperament, for sure they would have succeeded earlier but it is what it is.

Also, as per Zhulin's interview, he is not prepared to do anything to make Katsalapov uncomfortable. So I find Soloviev's interview disappointing. It's akin to him not understanding the situation right in front of him. I hope he comes to his senses soon. He should have tried out with Lena years ago, because they could have been a very interesting couple but I think Lena has moved on.
That’s fine, but then you can look at another couple for how long it takes. Besides, what would you consider as success for Ilynikh/Soloviev? Considering that Bobrova/Soloviev’s best placement at the Olympics was fifth (if we don’t count the team event), any placement better than that would be already success for Soloviev. (And of course they will very likely get team event medal too). So it doesn’t necessarily means a medal in ice dance, fourth place would do it. I think it would be doable, if they start from this coming season. Ilynikh would probably want better than third place, but even the team event medal wouldn’t hurt.
 

Bigbird

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That’s fine, but then you can look at another couple for how long it takes. Besides, what would you consider as success for Ilynikh/Soloviev? Considering that Bobrova/Soloviev’s best placement at the Olympics was fifth (if we don’t count the team event), any placement better than that would be already success for Soloviev. (And of course they will very likely get team event medal too). So it doesn’t necessarily means a medal in ice dance, fourth place would do it. I think it would be doable, if they start from this coming season. Ilynikh would probably want better than third place, but even the team event medal wouldn’t hurt.
I just think she's moved on to much more important things in life.
 

kittysk8ts

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Interesting interview....and good comments from you all on the likelihood of this happening and their potential. I would actually welcome this, but the field is pretty deep in Russia with S/K, S/B and Z/G all getting better and better (IMHO). But, he seems to acknowledge the challenge and what would be required.

What if they committed for just 1 season to see what could transpire? Or would that be silly?
 

TAHbKA

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I can't see Ilinykh skating to Soloviev's choice of music/choreographer.
 

Bigbird

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Soloviev is a lot more interesting than people give him credit for. Zhulin's images aren't the only sole reflection of him. He was absolutely brilliant in Chess, Anna Karenina and Crazy. But alas he should have pursued these ideas years ago.

Four programs in an Olympic year? :scream::yikes: That was a major red flag.
 

Katesk8sgr8s

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I loved S/B in Where I Want to Be and Crazy. Brilliant, and Soloviev was mesmerizing. But with Ilinykh she is quite passionate and dynamics would be different. I always appreciated Bobrova’s cool steadiness combined with Soloviev’s passion.
 

Bigbird

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If we looked at their training videos on instagram and the work they did with shows we'd realize she's grown up much since then. And they actually know how to work with each other. But hopefully we'll see more in shows.
 

Tinami Amori

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It's freakin' Russia, there's female skaters everywhere, especially if you include the former Soviet Republics. Surely there is someone who is driven enough and talented enough to skate with him. They have 3 years to make top 3 in Russia. I don't get this situation.
I think Soloviev wants/needs a partner of the same rank and fame, not less, not a "newbie". It's ice dance and "reputation" matters. Elena is the only available female dancer in that regard, Olympic Bronze medalist and they both have Team Gold.

I also think that Elena maybe(?) making a mistake not taking this opportunity. She seems to be setting skating aside to purse relationship with Polunin, and thinks she can now be a ballet dancer with him. If their relationship come to an end, she is not likely to become a ballerina on her own without him. Yet without him she can be an ice dancer still... I hope she rethinks, and skates with Soloviev, there is nothing to lose, only to gain. No reason to put aside her life-long career as an ice dancer for a relationship with a guy.
 

Bigbird

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I think Soloviev wants/needs a partner of the same rank and fame, not less, not a "newbie". It's ice dance and "reputation" matters. Elena is the only available female dancer in that regard, Olympic Bronze medalist and they both have Team Gold.

I also think that Elena maybe(?) making a mistake not taking this opportunity. She seems to be setting skating aside to purse relationship with Polunin, and thinks she can now be a ballet dancer with him. If their relationship come to an end, she is not likely to become a ballerina on her own without him. Yet without him she can be an ice dancer still... I hope she rethinks, and skates with Soloviev, there is nothing to lose, only to gain. No reason to put aside her life-long career as an ice dancer for a relationship with a guy.

She only met Polunin in March after striking up an Instagram friendship earlier in the year. She doesn't have any interest in being a ballerina I think she just has many interesting projects on tap that we know nothing about, she's moved on. They can do interesting shows. Why would she ever leave her Academy, new projects and Polunin if Zhulin wasn't even committed to training them, their Federation has no interest in the pair and they've already placed their bets on S/K and S/B? Zhulin was only telling Dima what he wanted to hear. All Zhulin's public comments have been tepid and indifferent at best. If she goes backward she may miss out on a number of interesting projects she may not have first dibs on three years from now, she's being smart.
 

zebraswan

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I also think that Elena maybe(?) making a mistake not taking this opportunity. She seems to be setting skating aside to purse relationship with Polunin, and thinks she can now be a ballet dancer with him. If their relationship come to an end, she is not likely to become a ballerina on her own without him. Yet without him she can be an ice dancer still... I hope she rethinks, and skates with Soloviev, there is nothing to lose, only to gain. No reason to put aside her life-long career as an ice dancer for a relationship with a guy.
Aren't you always the one trying to say skaters should retire around 18 or 20 years old and do something else with their life? Isn't she way past her prime in your eyes? :rofl: Never mind Dima...

If she wanted this, she would have shown some sign of commitment already. Now she wants to be with her man and live the jetset life. She's not coming back. Why would she want to?
 

Bigbird

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Aren't you always the one trying to say skaters should retire around 18 or 20 years old and do something else with their life? Isn't she way past her prime in your eyes? :rofl: Never mind Dima...

If she wanted this, she would have shown some sign of commitment already. Now she wants to be with her man and live the jetset life. She's not coming back. Why would she want to?
Dima is the athlete who stuck with Zhulin after he gave him two half baked programs in their Olympic season. He'll come to his senses soon enough.....
 

Tinami Amori

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She doesn't have any interest in being a ballerina I think she just has many interesting projects on tap that we know nothing about, she's moved on.
She does for now. They both are "madly in love". Polunin talks about Elena-ballerina in his interviews, praises her work in "Rasputin", plans to design a ballet just for her. She follows him, attends all his ballet galas and events, and he follows her, they travel all the time, he gives ballet lessons to her Academy students... They do "dancing on the street and ballet poses" where ever they go...
Here is one interview:
rus: "А вообще, у меня на Лену большие планы (смеется). Хочу сделать большой проект на тему Болливуда. Лена хорошо танцует."

eng: "In general, I have big plans for Lena (laughs). I want to create a grand project on the Bollywood theme. Lena is a good dancer (dances well)."


She is in love, and "ballet" comes as a lucrative package deal (not in a pragmatic but rather "artistic" sense).. ;)

Aren't you always the one trying to say skaters should retire around 18 or 20 years old and do something else with their life? Isn't she way past her prime in your eyes? :rofl: Never mind Dima...
Do you know the difference between "attending at the age of 18-20 a good university to have an interesting and financial rewarding career, while skating if and when times allows", and "a 25-year old skater, with no plans for education, switching from her life-long successful career of an ice dancer to ballet-dancer, just because she fell in love with a rather flighty dude with interesting romance history"?

Education, or career..... always come first, "lovers" 2nd..
 

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