Category: Feature

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

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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

Photo by Marc Carle

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…

A Guide to the Off-Season: The Rules

In our second guide for the perplexed this off-season, a review of the major rule changes and revisions impacting your favorite sport and ours. 1. New Junior Age Limits Revoked A measure passed at the 2012 ISU Congress called for the upper age limits for junior pairs and dance men to be lowered from 21…

For Edwards and Pang, Experience is the Teacher

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by Jacquelyn Thayer Entry to the senior ranks proved a trial by fire for Canadian ice dancers and 2014 World Junior bronze medalists Madeline Edwards and ZhaoKai Pang. While still competing as juniors internationally, their 2013 national title meant a move up to the elite ranks for this year’s Olympic-qualifier Canadian championships. And for the…

Lifted by Success, Paul and Islam Hold to Foundations

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by Jacquelyn Thayer After dreaming of the Olympic Opening Ceremony as newly-minted members of Team Canada, the real thing proved no disappointment for ice dancers Alexandra Paul and Mitch Islam. “It was the most unbelievable feeling, walking into that stadium, having everybody cheering, just looking up into the stands,” says Paul. “It was butterflies in…

A Guide to the Off-Season: Departures

Lawrence and Swiegers in the free skate at the 2014 Canadian Championships. Photo by Danielle Earl.

With the conclusion of another Olympic season come changing dynamics, from retirements, breakups, and new formations to the rise of younger couples and shifting fortunes for more established duos. For our first quick take on The Off-Season That Is, a review of the major American and Canadian teams who’ve taken their last bows — at…

A Fresh Look for Ralph and Hill

Kharis Ralph and Asher Hill perform their free dance at the 2013 Skate Canada COS (Thornhill) Summer Skate (Photo by Danielle Earl)

(Updated 9/26/13) by Jacquelyn Thayer; photo by Danielle Earl Though maintaining a busy schedule as competitor and student, Kharis Ralph has recently added another title to her resume: Athlete Representative to the Skate Canada Central Ontario Section. “It entails me sitting in on board meetings and trying to provide the athlete’s perspective for the Central…

Purdy and Marinaro Ready for Senior Stage

Photo by Danielle Earl

by Jacquelyn Thayer; photos by Danielle Earl Canadian pair Margaret Purdy & Michael Marinaro capped off their junior international career with their best season to date. After taking gold at both JGP Lake Placid and JGP Croatia Cup, qualifying them for the Junior Grand Prix Final in Sochi, the team concluded their third trip to…