Category: Feature

Moore-Towers and Marinaro Find New Motivation in Montreal

by Jacquelyn Thayer When Canadian pair Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro made the call to relocate from the Kitchener-Waterloo Skating Club to Bruno Marcotte and Richard Gauthier’s Montreal camp in March, the first step upon arrival was one of demolition. “Basically when we got here, all of our elements were ripped apart,” said Moore-Towers. “So…

Dancing Between Worlds: From Pointe to Blade

by Jacquelyn Thayer Elegant and agile, few images in skating are more celebrated than that of the ballerina on ice, the dancer on blades. It’s away from the spotlight that the magic is born — through nine hour training days, frequent commutes or specialized injury. A childhood in the studio cedes to sessions in skates;…

With Time, Castelli and Tran Forging New Road

by Jacquelyn Thayer What could be considered a disadvantage — a pending federation release that curtailed their chance to compete on the international circuit in 2014-15 — was, for Marissa Castelli and Mervin Tran, a distinct benefit. “I would say that is the best thing that could have happened to us, because unlike the other…

Donlan and Bartholomay Begin Again

by Jacquelyn Thayer Gretchen Donlan and Nate Bartholomay, matched in July, kicked off their competitive career together under less than auspicious circumstances. After an initial assignment to November’s Ice Challenge, the team had to decline in favor of ankle surgery for Bartholomay in late October to repair a disc and remove bone spurs, forced by…

Calalang and Sidhu Make Most of Opportunity

by Jacquelyn Thayer With a quiet entry to the senior ranks in 2013, marked by a silver at their single international assignment at Cup of Nice and an eleventh-place finish at the 2014 U.S. Championships, American pair Jessica Calalang and Zack Sidhu anticipated a similarly modest schedule for 2014-15. And then, in summer, came the…

Behind the Program, Ep. 1: Paul and Islam, 2015 Free Dance

by Jacquelyn Thayer After disappointing results on the Grand Prix circuit, 2015 Canadian bronze medalists Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam made a bold move to regroup before those national championships: swapping out a jazzy Frank Sinatra free dance, choreographed by Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon, for a turn to the contemporary — an adaptation of…

2014: The Year in Elements

As 2015 approaches, a last look back at 14 of our favorite dance and pairs elements offered up in 2014, presented in (rough) order of debut. (Note: In interest of inclusiveness, no team or specific element was repeated.) Ice Dance Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir: 2013-14 short dance, no-touch midline step sequence A virtuoso display…

Yankowskas and Gaman Take an International Path

by Jacquelyn Thayer Though they skate this week for British national gold, North America has proven a home for Caitlin Yankowskas and Hamish Gaman. After the American Yankowskas and British Gaman kicked off their international partnership at the dance-centered Arctic Edge in Canton in 2013, the two relocated in April 2014 to the more freestyle-oriented…

Poulin and Servant Embrace the Bright Side

by Jacquelyn Thayer In the first four years together, ice dancers Andréanne Poulin and Marc-André Servant took a sober-minded view towards their work–an “intense, super-serious” mentality, in their words, that accompanied a 2012 Canadian junior national title and two Junior Grand Prix medals. But after those initial successes, which also included a decent sixth-place showing…