2004 Skate Long Beach: Ice Dance Highlights
USA’s Morgan Matthews and Maxim Zavozin won their second consecutive JGP event – their first was in Courchevel, France last month. Siobhan Karam and Joshua McGrath of Canada won the silver, while Russia’s Anastasia Gorshkova and Ilia Tkachenko won the bronze.
The Compulsory Dance (CD) for this event was the Argentine Tango. It was invented by Reginald J. Wilkie and Daphne B. Wallis and first performed in 1934 at the Westminster Ice Rink in London, England.
Matthews and Zavozin were ahead after the CD with a TSS of 37.15. Canada’s Mylène Lamoureux and Michael Mee had the second spot with 32.55 points. Close behind in third were Karam and McGrath with 32.26 points and in fourth, while Gorshkova and Tkachenko were in fourth with 31.99.
The event continued with the Original Dance (OD), where the couples can choose any two or three of the following rhythms: Slow Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Charleston.
Matthews and Zavozin opened their dance with a Charleston rhythm which had lots of one foot skating in during the midline (not touching) step sequence. Zavozin had a slight slip about a third of the way through this, but they quickly recovered. The 2004 Junior World bronze medalists proceeded with the the Slow Foxtrot, displaying a nice combination dance spin and reverse rotational lift. During the Quickstep rhythm they skated close together, displaying a diagonal step sequence with lots of position changes, and appeared as if they were truly dancing. Unfortunately, their was a loss of control during their last rotational lift in which Matthews had a uncharacteristic fall with her partner stepping over her in what was an awkward moment. Despite the one point deduction for the fall, the team still placed first in the OD with a TSS of 48.03 and they maintained first place overall.
Donned in Tanith Belbin’s (and part of Benjamin Agosto’s) OD costumes from last season, Karam and McGrath began their OD with the Slow Foxtrot, impressing with a nice serpentine lift, a diagonal step sequence, and a combination spin. The young Ottawans then broke into the Charleston rhythm with a midline (not touching) step sequence, a lot of which was on one foot, and then executed a nice rotational lift. The team, who is coached by Marina Zueva and Igor Shpilband, earned a total of 47.02 points for a second place finish in the OD, advancing them up one spot to second overall.
Gorshkova and Tkachenko, who were in fourth after the CD, began their routine with a Slow Foxtrot rhythm, displaying a fast and centered combination spin followed by a fast rotational lift, straight line lift, and diagonal step sequence with good holds. The team moved into the Charleston rhythm with a midline (not touching) step sequence which was fast and and contained lots of turns and twizzles throughout. Ending with a rotational lift, they earned a TSS of 44.11 for a third place finish after the OD and moving them into podium contention with an overall third placement.
Lamoureux and Mee, who were in second after the CD, placed fourth in the OD, dropping the team to fourth overall. Russia’s Kristina Gorshkova and Vitali Butikov, who were sixth after the CD, placed fifth in the OD and progressed to fifth overall.
Performing to music from the soundtrack of Lord of the Dance, overnight leaders Matthews and Zavozin opened their Free Dance (FD) with a nice combination spin. The two-time junior national champions impressed with a nice curve and rotational lift followed by a serpentine step sequence, and another curve lift. While the synchronized twizzles were a bit out of unison, the diagonal step sequence showed complex footwork. With the crowd clapping, they concluded their routine with a nice rotational lift and earned a TSS of 73.28 for a first place finish in the FD and overall.
“We’ve made a lot of changes,” explained Matthews, of their program since Courchevel. “We learned a lot about the new judging system and the difficulty we need for the (Junior) Grand Prix Final.” With two wins Matthews and Zavozin have secured a spot for the Junior Grand Prix Final.
Karam and McGrath opened their routine to music from the soundtrack of One Upon a Time in Mexico with a nice combination spin followed by a fast reverse rotational lift. The serpentine step sequence showed good difficulty with lots of one-foot work, but the synchronized twizzles, albeit a level 4 difficulty, were a bit out of unison. The team also impressed with a nice curve lift, straight line lift, and diagonal step sequence and were awarded a TSS of 68.73 for a second place finish in the FD and overall.
Karam and McGrath’s next scoring event will be in Chemnitz, Germany next month.
Performing to the music from the soundtrack of Kill Bill, Gorshkova and Tkachenko exhibited what appeared to be the best set of synchronized twizzles of the free dance, followed by a circular step sequence with good holds, a rotational lift, and combination spin. After displaying a nice straight line lift, they proceeded into a fast diagonal step sequence and concluded with a curve lift and rotation lift. With a TSS of 62.50, the team maintained their overall third place to win the bronze.
The next scoring event for Gorshkova and Tkachenko is the Belgrade Sparrow in Serbia & Montenegro which is scheduled for later this month.