2011 Skate Canada

Dance Event


Alexandra Stevenson

Place Couple Country SD FD
1 Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir CAN 1 1
2 Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje CAN 2 3
3 Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte ITA 3 2
4 Madison Chock & Evan Bates USA 6 4
5 Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko RUS 4 5
6 Ekaterina Pushkash & Jonathan Guerreiro RUS 5 6
7 Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon CAN 7 7

Short Dance

Planned Program Content

Starting Order - Short Dance

Warmup Group 1

1. Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon, CAN
2. Madison Chock & Evan Bates, USA
3. Ekaterina Pushkash & Jonathan Guerreiro, RUS

Warmup Group 2

4. Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko, RUS
5. Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte, ITA
6. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, CAN
7. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, CAN

Start Time: 21:10


Short Dance Placements
Place Couple Country
1 Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir CAN
2 Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje CAN
3 Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte ITA
4 Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko RUS
5 Ekaterina Pushkash & Jonathan Guerreiro RUS
6 Madison Chock & Evan Bates USA
7 Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon CAN

European champions, Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat from France, who now train in Detroit, withdrew after earning the silver in Skate America despite his very obvious bronchitis. The ISU does not require a replacement to be invited to a Grand Prix event if the withdrawal occurs within the last two weeks, which was a shame for Charlotte Lichtman and Dean Copely, the American world junior bronze medalists, who train in Canton and were next in line and train not that far away.

1.Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir 71.61 (35.25+36.36), skating last of the seven couples from four countries, x showed their obvious advancement from their debut this season in the Finlandia Trophy. Performing with Virtue, 22, in a royal blue, sleeveless creation with silver neckline with Moir, 24, all in an intense black with a V-neckline, began with their "second" Rhumba sequence, so called because it is executed opposite the judging panel, and received a "Yes" for all three key-point which gave them the top Level 4.

Their music was a reworking of last yearís Free starting with Hip Hip Chin Chin (by Club des Belugas), a Rhumba to Temptation by Diana Krall and a Samba (Mujer Latina by Thalia). That was followed by their Level 4 twizzles and the "first" sequence of the Rhumba, which is done on the judgesí side. Though the steps in both sequences are identical, the three key-points are different. In Mississauga, the three time but not current Canadian champions got a "No" on the middle key-point, which dropped them to Level 3.

Their curve lift has been completely changed since the Finlandia Trophy, where they received only Level 2. This time, they were rewarded with a Level 4 and eight +2s Grades of Execution and a +1. Their concluding element, the non-touching steps were Level 3, with unanimous +2s. Almost all the judges gave +2 for their GoEs. On their opening element, the "second" sequence of the rhumba, one judge punched in +1 and another +3. For the twizzles, they were presented with one +3 and the rest +2s. For the "first" rhumba sequence, they gained one +3, three +2s and four +1s.

Virtue gushed "We are so excited about our skate. After last season when we watched Skate Canada International from the stands, it is much better to be out there on the ice. We're coming off probably one of the best summers we ever had, training a 100 percent. Obviously there is still a lot of work to do with the program, but that's the good news. It's October and we have a full season ahead of us. Virtue explained, "Weíre coming off one of the best summers weíve ever had Ė injury free. I donít think people outside of skating realize how hard it is to do Latin on the ice."

"We reworked last seasonís Free Dance music but none of the moves are the same. Itís a little bit nerve wracking to skate in front of all your friends and families. But, itís always great to skate in your own country. (The Grand Prix Final will be in Quebec City in December and the 2013 Worlds are in London, Ontario.)

2.Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje 63.31 (32.42+30.89) were delighted to be lying second. Weaver, who was born in Houston, went to Canada to team up with Poje in August 2006, when she was 17 and he 19. They were second in last seasonís Canadian championships to Vanessa Crone and Paul Poirier, who have dissolved their partnership.

Weaver said, "We've been training very hard over the summer. Our fifth at Worlds in Moscow only fueled us more and we are excited to have skated a strong short dance with strong levels. We are looking forward to the free dance." They train at the Detroit Skating Club with Pasquale Camerlengo and his wife, two-time world ice dance champion Anjelika Krylova. They also worked on their moves for this section with Dancing with the Stars professional, Anna Trebunskaya.

Both Rhumba sections were given Level 3 with a "No" for the middle key-points. Both their their straight line lift and three-part twizzles gained Level 4. The concluding non-touching steps were Level 3. None of their GoEs were negative. Weaver said, "We started working on the ballroom floor and looked for music even before worlds. Today, the routine came to life and we got energy from the crowd."

3.Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte 61.92 (30.50+31.42) of Italy, who were eighth in their fifth world championship earlier this year, got Level 3s for both sequences of the Rhumba and for their rotational lift. Their twizzles got Level 4 but their non-touching steps were only Level 2. The 24-year old Cappellini said, "For us it was really exciting to skate Latin because we feel this dance belongs to us. It's really our character. It was the first major competition of the season and it was a very important step. We were very happy that with the way we skated." Their Rhumba was set to Volveras, sung by Gloria Estefan, and their Samba is to El Chupacapra.

Lanotte, 26, said, "We had a very difficult year last year. We changed coaches and I had an injury (which meant they missed their 2011 nationals and the European Championship). But this is a new season and we felt very good today on the ice." Only their twizzles were Level 4. Their non-touching steps were Level 2 and the three other required elements were Level 3.

4.Ekaterina Riazanova, 20 & Ilia Tkachenko, who turns 25 on December 26, gained 54.94 points (27.50+27.44), skating to a Rhumba to Bonga and salsa to a piece called Cuba. They are from Moscow, although he is originally from Perm. They were runners-up in the Russian championship this past season and were sixth in their debut at the European Championships. They received Level 4 for their final element, the twizzles. Both sequences of the Rhumba were Level 3. Their curve lift and the non-touching steps were Level 2.

5.Ekaterina Pushkash,19, & Jonathan Guerreiro, 20, who was born in Sydney and raised in Australia (where his mother had been appearing with the Torvill and Dean Show, before returning to his motherís native Russia, scored 51.24 (26.18+25.06). They train with Natalia Linichuk in Aston, PA. Guerreiro suffered a stress fracture in his left ankle this summer and they said this left them somewhat behind time getting ready for his season. They hope to be more prepared for their next Grand Prix which is the last of the series of six, and will be held in Russia. They opened with their Twizzles and closed with their rotational lift and earned Level 4 for both these elements. Their non-touching steps were Level 2 as was their "first" sequence of the Rhumba. The "second" sequence was Level 3. They skated to a Samba, Rhumba and a Samba but didnít release the actual music.

6.Madison Chock, 19, & Evan Bates, 22, earned 50.43 (25.74+26.69 -2). They teamed up only in August and won bronze in the recent Finlandia Trophy. They performed reasonably well in Mississauga but then, in their closing pose, Bates explained, "I got a little excited and instead of stopping, I just kept going. I enjoyed the performance and I guess I was so pleased to get to the end that my mind was floating along to the applause. And then I was on the ice. It was a total learning experience." His partner added, "There was nowhere for my feet to go and I so I fell on top of him." They performed a Samba to Chick Chicka Boom Chick and a Rhumba to Doom Diggy Diggy. Had they not lost the two points for their collective fall, they would have been lying one slot above their present place. They got Level 4 for their lift, Level 3 for their twizzles, and Level 2 for their other three required elements.

7.Tarrah Harvey, who will turn 22 on December 20, & Keith Gagnon, who will be 24 on New Yearís Eve, are from Vancouver, Canada, 49.65 (27.42+22.23). They were eighth in the Nebelhorn Trophy and have competed together since the 2006 season. They performed to a Mambo, Straight to Number One by Touch and Go, and to a Samba, Locamente Enamorado. This seasonís rules allow you to do the Rhumba pattern dance to music that is not necessarily classified as a Rhumba, since the actual skating Rhumba is a very fast version and not the usual ballroom slow Rhumba. They gained Level 3 for both Rhumba patterns, Level 4 for the twizzles and rotational lift, and Level 2 for the non-touching circular steps.


Free Dance

Planned Program Content

Starting Order - Free Dance

Warmup Group 1

1. Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon, CAN
2. Madison Chock & Evan Bates, USA
3. Ekaterina Pushkash & Jonathan Guerreiro, RUS

Warmup Group 2

4. Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko, RUS
5. Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte, ITA
6. Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje, CAN
7. Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, CAN

Start Time: 12:30


Free Dance Placements
Place Couple Country
1 Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir CAN
2 Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte ITA
3 Kaitlyn Weaver & Andrew Poje CAN
4 Madison Chock & Evan Bates USA
5 Ekaterina Riazanova & Ilia Tkachenko RUS
6 Ekaterina Pushkash & Jonathan Guerreiro RUS
7 Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon CAN

1.Overall 178.34; 1.FD 106.73 (50.90+55.83) Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir, one of Canadaís most delightful national treasures, presented their Free routine to music from to one of the worldís most popular Hollywood classics, with a section in which Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn actually sing Funny Face. Skating last of the seven couples from five countries before 3,426 mostly older women who were ecstatic to see their idols live, Virtue & Moir showed very discernible progress since making their seasonís debut in Finland three weeks ago.

Moir admitted, "I think everyone could tell I was pretty excited at the end. Everything we wanted to improve on we did. We covered every single angle. Itís fun to do that program. Weíre excited to show it off. Itís been a great day and a great week."

Virtue said, "We have got to the stage where we had moments of almost improvisation, of spontaneity. Once the technical base is there, then the music offers opportunities. We wanted to be very uplifting and we checked out many different story lines. Under the new rules, some of the best stories, the great tragedies, would be illegal, but we want to follow the ISUís instruction. We donít want to get a deduction like the Russians received today."

Moir said, "The rules can be frustrating. There have been days when weíve pulled our hair out trying to meet the challenge. But today, we were in the moment. Today, there was fresh energy communicating with the crowd."

Their main rivals, world champions, Meryl Davis & Charlie White, won Skate America last week posting a better score in the Free Dance but not in the Short Dance. Asked if they compared themselves, Moir shrugged. "Itís a different judging panel. You canít really read any significance into that. We donít do that. All we can control is how we approach events and how we train. We want to give 100% which I think we did today and keep improving."

Their starting diagonal steps were Level 3 with two of the highest possible +3s Grades of Execution and the rest +2 from the panel of eight judges. The following curve lift was the maximum Level 4 with three +3s, one +1 and the rest +2.

Their Level 4 twizzles received two +3s and the rest +2s. Their Level 4 combination spin got only one +3, two +1s and the rest +2s. The circular steps also received one +3, but only one +1 and the rest +2s.

They brought the four minute ten second routine to a close with two lifts, a short rotational creation and a long straight to rotational. Both earned very impressive scores with five +3s and three +2s. They banked 10.23 points with that closing lift! They will compete again in the Grand Prix in Paris and are expected to earn a place in the Grand Prix Final which is in Quebec City. "Weíre really looking forward to that," said a smiling Moir.

2.Overall 155.99; 3.FD 92.68.FD (45.09+47.59) Kaitlyn Weaver wore an intense burgundy colored dress and Andrew Poje was in a light grey, open-necked shirt with a small red scarf, and darker grey trousers. They presented a routine to I am Love Sick by Serge Lama and Karl Hugo. Weaver explained, "An anonymous fan sent us this music by e-mail. We didnít even know whether we should open it. But I did and we loved the music, I am Love Sick. We still donít know who it was but we would like to tell him/her, ĎThank you very much.í We were a little concerned because our storyline is not uplifting but it is romantic and passionate, even if we donít end with smiles on our faces. We tap into something pretty powerful emotions." Poje explained we had our music man, Karl Hugo, change a bit of the music around to make it more positive.

They were third in the FS, just 0.21 behind the Italians but held on to gain the silver by 1.12. Couples now have the choice of doing two short and one long lift, or four short lifts. Weaver and Poje are strong in the lifts and received Level 4 for all four lifts. On three of these highlights, they also got a +3. They also earned +4 for their combination spin. Poje was upset about his slight error in the twizzles which resulted in a Level 3 instead of 4. They also were given a Level 3 for their circular steps and Level 2 for the diagonal steps.

Since they were fifth in the world, they can choose to do three Grand Prix events, and they have. They will next compete in Japan and in Russia. Weaver added, "and hopefully get into the Final."

3.Overall 154.87; 2.FD 92.95(46.01+46.94) Anna Cappellini & Luca Lanotte perform to La Strada, music used so well by the Finns, Susanna Rakhamo & Petri Kokko, for their 1994 season. (Update: The Finns retired after winning the European title and world silver medal in 1995. They married and have two children. She became mayor of the capital city Helsinki and is now head of the Finnish skating federation.)

Cappellini said they had seen the Finns version but that skating has changed a lot since then, "We enjoyed the program because it has such emotions and with our skating skills, we feel that we were able to show that intense story." Her partner added, "We tried to do everything on the ice with a personal touch. We wanted everyone to see that we are back. But we want to show even more confidence." They now train in Milan with Paola Mezzadri. She was dressed in a horizontally stripped black and white top with a short black skirt with red trim. The back of his outfit proved a little distracting since half of the jacket from the waist down is missing while the remaining half flaps continuously as his moves in a very annoyingly eye-catching way.

They earned Level 4 for their opening twizzles, for all three of their four lifts and the spin. Their straight line lift and the circular steps were Level 3 and the diagonal steps Level 2. Of their 64 GoEs (eight judges each giving a GoE for each of the eight required elements), they received seven +3s.

4.Overall 135.10; 4.FD 84.67 (43.51+41.16) Madison Chock & Evan Bates performed to a version of Chopinís immortal Prelude in E Minor. The second half included a very upbeat and interesting arrangement. His costume was a royal blue long sleeved top and black trousers. She was in a backless, sleeveless dress with a black skirt and matching deep blue upper front.

Today, there were no problems as in the SD when their final pose ended with them both sprawled on the ice. At the end, he was so relieved he kissed her. "I just remember being so happy. It wasnít a thought about move. There is no romance between us," he said. "My girl friend (skater Becky Beresford) was in the audience, but I was just flooded with emotion at that moment. We had skated so well, particular in contrast to the initial round when I fell and brought Maddy down with me at the end."

They climbed from sixth to fourth overall and were blindsided to realize that not only were they expected to give an exhibition just hours after their event ended, and ISU regulations require it to be different from their competitive routines. They had not expected that. "I donít have a dress," said Chock open mouthed when she learned about this added responsibility. "I have to go find Igor now and see what I can do."

"We were very happy with our performance," said Bates. "We got Level 4 for three of our lifts and the twizzles. Thatís a sign we are improving. I think we donít feel like a totally new couple now after the Finlandia Trophy (where they earned bronze) and now this year. Itís still only four months since we got together and Maddy has to make a major change because of my height, and I had to adjust to a new coaching system. I feel like this is a totally new chapter in my life."

Now their goal is to make the US world team. He said, "We know we have to work on our first lift (a curve which received only Level 2." Their three other lifts, the combination spin and their twizzles earned Level 4. Their opening element, the circular steps, was Level 3 and the diagonal steps Level 2.

5.Overall 132.36; 5.FD 77.42 (37.42+42.00 -2) Elena Riazano & Ilia Tkachenko dance to Georgi Smirnovís Romance from the movie, The Snowstorm. She is in a knee-length white dress with black and silver belt. He is in black with a little silver. This is obviously a troubled love affair. In their opening pose they have their backs turned on each other and are several feet apart, with her kneeling and looking sad. Her black hair is left down and flaps around in a distracting way throughout the program. They are trained by Alexei Gorchkov who was annoyed they received a two point deduction for non-uplifting music.

Even if they had NOT received the deduction they would have dropped a place. They received five Level 4s but no Level 3s. One lift was Level 2 as were their diagonal steps. Their circular steps were Level 1.

6.Overall 126.63; 6.FD 75.39 (37.52+37.87) Ekaterina Pushkash was his muse & Jonathan Guerreiro played Paganini conducting his Capriccio Rhapsody. He is fully covered in an elaborate black outfit with one red glove which looks like a hat when they both touch their heads during their opening element, the twizzles. Later, during their spin when she is in a camel position, it looks like a garter. Though this is interesting as a focal point, but it does get distracting.

They received Level 4 for their opening twizzles, their spin, their straight line and both parts of their long but their curve lift, circular steps and diagonal steps were Level 2.

7.Overall 122.80; 7.FD 73.15 (38.75+34.40) Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon opened the Free Dance, performing to three pieces made famous by the Rolling Stones, Miss You, Angie and Paint it Black. He was dressed in an elbow-length light green unstructured flapping jacket of light material over black with a small amount of silver. She was in an old-gold creation with a little black and a split, asymmetric skirt.

The couple, who are taught by Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe, wowed the crowd with a reverse lift in which she leans backward while his body goes up to a near horizontal position some feet off the ice. Asked whether she has been taking weight lifting instruction to hike up her partner, who says his weight is between 165 and 170 pounds, Harvey said, "It works because our height is similar. I donít need really need that much strength because he pushes (with both hands) off my body so the force is more sort of 50-50." Their circular and diagonal steps were Level 2 and all the other elements Level 4.


2011 Skate Canada Dance Medalists

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