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2021 Skate Canada Dance

by Klaus-Reinhold Kany



The Ice dance competition of Skate Canada 2021 had a good level. Like at Skate America, the Technical Panel was very strict with the levels of the step sequences. Nobody had a level 3 or 4 in the midline step sequence of the Rhythm Dance.

World bronze medal winners Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier from Canada won the gold medal with 210.97 points. In their Rhythm Dance, they danced to “I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues” and “Still Standing”, both by Elton John and were seven points ahead the rest of the field. Three of the five elements had a level 4, including the Midnight Blues Pattern. The step sequences were lower, as in all other competitions at the beginning of a season. They gave two very fluid performances. The components in the Rhythm Dance reached an average of 9.4 and their bright orange dresses reflected Elton John’s style. Poirier commented: “Piper and I are so proud of our performance today. This is a program we've made a lot of changes to since the last competition, Autumn Classic. It's been a scramble in a few weeks really trying to nail everything down and get it as ready as possible for this Grand Prix. We knew this was going to be our first performance in front of a crowd in almost two years and so we really fought to be able to manage our energy with the energy of the crowd behind us. It was so nice to be able to entertain people.”

For their free dance, the student of Carol Lane used Paul McCartney’s “The Long and Winding Road” in a specially arranged version. With this music, they wanted to illustrate their eleven year long way through the ice dance. All elements were excellent and had mainly GOEs of +3 and +4, five of them even were awarded a few +5. Gilles explained: “We are very proud of what we did today. It wasn't our best skate, but again we were trying to work on our nerves. We are not used to skating last in the Free Dance and being first after the short program. It is kind of nice that we are not skating perfect right now in the beginning of the season. It definitely gives us room to grow.”

Charlčne Guignard & Marco Fabbri from Italy won the silver medal with 200.05 points. In the Rhythm Dance the students of Barbara Fusar Poli danced in high speed to Funk, Hip Hip and Disco songs from Michael Jackson. Their levels were not too high, but they had mainly GOEs of +3 and their style was dynamic. Fabbri said: “We are proud of our performance and we see a big improvement from the first competition a few weeks ago, The program still needs a lot of work, it is not 100 percent ready yet. I don’t know yet why we lost levels basically everywhere, but we are happy with the performance.”

They kept their free dance from last season to the soundtrack of “Atonement“ and to the “Song For the Little Sparrow“ by Abel Korzeniowsky because they had only few chances to show it to the public last season. Their footwork was very smooth and difficult, all elements were very well presented and had mainly GOEs of +3 and +4. Therefore they were astonished that their levels for the steps were relatively low. Fabbri remarked: “We are very proud of what we did. It was not super easy with the jet lag for us. But it was better than yesterday and the scores were more rewarding,”

Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz from Spain won the bronze medal, scoring 192.93 points, one week after being fourth at Skate America. They train at the Montreal Ice Academy. In the Rhythm Dance in Vancouver to “Proud Mary“ by Tina Turner, they had good levels except for the midline step sequence. GOEs of +2 and +3 dominated and their components were around 8.5. “It was a good, smooth performance,” Diaz explained. “This is our fourth competition and we feel the program gets smoother and easier to perform.” In their dynamic Spanish free dance to “The Mask of Zorro“, their levels were mixed, all elements very good and the components reached an average of 8.6. Smart said: “We are very happy to take our first Grand Prix medal and keep the ball rolling, It was a good performance, but we left a few points on the table technically.”

U.S. dancers Caroline Green & Michael Parsons from the school of Alexei Kiliakov in Leesburg, Virginia, came fourth with 186.51 points after performing two flawless programs in high quality. In the Rhythm Dance to Hip Hop by Janet Jackson, their GOEs were mainly +2. In their very modern expression free dance to “Eso concerto“ and “The Mind on the (Re)Wind“ by Ezio Bosso, all elements were very good. The Choreo steps were their best element and got seven GOEs of +4, but GOEs of +3 dominated overall.

Diana Davis (daughter of the Moscow star coach Eteri Tutberidze) & Gleb Smolkin gave a successful senior Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada. They finished on fifth position with 180.57 points. In their speedy Rhythm Dance to “Boom, Boom, Pow“ and to “Bom, Didi, Bom“, their GOEs were around +2. In their “Moulin Rouge“ free dance, they had several small surprise show effects and moved up from seventh to fifth place. Highlight was their combination lift which had eight GOEs of +4. Canadians Marjorie Lajoie & Zachary Lagha from Montreal finished in sixth place, winning 179.07 points. In the Rhythm, the former junior World Champions had relatively good levels, but in the free, the levels were lower.

Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson from Britain who also train in Montreal, were only seventh with 178.08 points. They did not look as strong as in the passed two seasons. Fear stumbled a bit on the twizzles in both programs and in their Choreo steps of the free dance to the soundtrack of “Lion King“ they also had a mistake.

Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko finished eighth with 168.76 points, lower than expected because they lacked of speed. They had moved to Scott Moir who is head coach in London, Ontario at the branch of the Montreal Ice Academy. Their levels in the Rhythm Dance to the “Batdance“ by Prince were not high, they lacked of energy and the components were relatively low. In their free dance to “Wicked Game“ by Chris Isaak, the levels were low again although they did not make a real mistake.

Elizaveta Shanaeva & David Naryzhnyy from Russia came ninth with 160.66 points. The students of Irina Zhuk and Alexander Svinin also lacked speed and their elements were only moderately good. Their twizzles in the Rhythm Dance were a bit out of sync and Naryzhnyy fell at the end of the spin in the very modern free dance. Haley Sales & Nikolas Wamsteeker from Canada are new students of Scott Moir and came from Aaron Lowe. They ended up tenth and last with 156.56 points after getting low GOEs, but they made no serious mistakes.