Category: Feature

Donlan and Bartholomay Begin Again

DB Getty

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

Calalang Sidhu resize 1

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

10494375_10155214527435160_4322524862494393778_o

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

YG 1

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

EP 1

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

APMI-9

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…