Category: Feature

Canadian Nationals a Coming of Age for Mariposa Dancers

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by Jacquelyn Thayer This week, senior dance at the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships will include a pair of training mates with a history of their own. In 2012, Mariposa School of Skating’s Lauren Collins and Danny Seymour became Canada’s novice ice dance champions. Four years later, the skaters will make their national senior debuts…

TFTI’s Top 10 of 2015

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In recognition of the Year That Was, Two for the Ice highlights ten of its favorite 2015-16 programs from the U.S. and Canada’s senior dance and pairs couples — and we invite our readers to share their own favorites by tweeting us at @twofortheice or commenting below. ICE DANCE 1. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker,…

Achievement Comes at a Cost for Pfund and Santillan

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Even quick on-ice successes for a new U.S. pair can come with a struggle increasingly common — and increasingly public — for athletes in Olympic sport. Jessica Pfund and Joshua Santillan, based at the rising pairs camp in Ellenton, Florida, have seen limited funds make an impact at the most fundamental level…

What Price Skating Glory, Part 1: Prize Money

Photo by Lintao Zhang, ISU/Getty.

by Jacquelyn Thayer While this project has been in the works for a period, the topic of funding in figure skating has recently come to popular attention, with PJ Kwong and pair Hayleigh Bell and Rudi Swiegers highlighting specific costs of training; others relying on crowdfunding have also taken care to note the financial effort…

Bell and Swiegers Forge Connections Within, Without

Photo by Dave Holland.

by Jacquelyn Thayer After competing at the 2014 Olympics and World Championships, four-time Canadian pairs bronze medalist Rudi Swiegers parted ways with Paige Lawrence, his partner of nine years, and took a step back from the realm of competitive skating, making some time for daily life. “I really took my year off for myself,” he…

Together, Hawayek and Baker Shaping Their Vision

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by Jacquelyn Thayer If American ice dancers Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker know their stylistic strengths, they know even better how they aim to expand them — beginning with a season’s debut at this week’s Finlandia Trophy. Their new short dance, featuring “Waltz of the Flowers” and “Dance of the Parents” from The Nutcracker, came…

Behind the Program, Ep. 4: Paul and Islam, 2015-16 Short Dance

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Taking on a Ravensburger Waltz with a classical ballet twist was a task Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam were loath to take lightly. “Any time you tackle a new program, there are countless hours that go into researching, choreographing and perfecting the style of movement,” said Islam. “With a world-renowned style like…

For Orford and Hill, Happy Accidents Tell the Tale

Orford and Hill perform their free dance at Scarboro's "So You Think You Can Judge" show. Photo by Sean McKinnon.

by Jacquelyn Thayer A planned West Coast vacation for Canadian ice dancer Asher Hill — journeying from Vegas to L.A. up through Vancouver to meet with skating friends — prompted an unexpected invitation from British Columbia-based Nicole Orford, recently split from a five-year partnership with Thomas Williams. “Nicole was like, ‘Oh, since you have your…

The Pre-Season Primer: Skate Canada COS Summer Skate

by Jacquelyn Thayer Note: On-site impressions, supplemental to coverage afforded by livestream, were provided by two sources who wish to remain anonymous. Additional teams were contacted for comment, and the article will be updated to reflect their quotes if provided. Senior Short Dance Protocols Senior Free Dance Protocols Senior dance at the Skate Canada Central…