Category: Feature

What Price Skating Glory, Part 1: Prize Money

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

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

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

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

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…

2015 Quebec Summer Championships: The Dancers

by Jacquelyn Thayer Though also well-represented in junior dance (discussed later), the senior dance event at the 2015 Quebec Summer Championships (Championnats québécois d’été 2015) in Pierrefonds was overwhelmed with entries from the Gadbois Centre — five of seven couples in each segment hailed from the school led by Dubreuil, Lauzon and Romain Haguenauer, and…