Golden Skate

2006 Skate Canada: Ice Dance Highlights

Canada’s Marie-France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon won their second consecutive Skate Canada title, while teammates Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir took the silver in their first senior Grand Prix event. Federica Faiella and Massimo Scali of Italy settled for the bronze in their third appearance at this event.

Compulsory Dance (CD)

The Compulsory Dance (CD) for the event was the Golden Waltz. The dance was invented by Natalia Dubova, Marina Klimova, and Sergei Ponomarenko and was first performed at the 1987 Moscow Cup.

Dubreuil and Lauzon showed good speed and flow in their dance, taking first place in the CD with 38.83 points.

“It was pretty exciting to skate the compulsory with so many people in the stands,” said Dubreuil, who didn’t expect many people to show up. Her partner Lauzon added: “This was our first competition since Worlds, and it’s quite exciting to be back on the ice, especially in Canada. We like compulsories, and I think we did pretty good today.”

Faiella and Scali appeared to lose speed during some of the more difficult sections of their dance, but otherwise did well, earning 33.19 points for a second place finish in the CD.

“We felt really good on the ice and I think we did a good job today,” said Scali, adding that it was a clean performance. “We enjoyed the dance, and we heard some positive comments. Now we can’t wait to compete in the Original and Free Dance. We’re very happy with our programs this season.” His partner, Faiella added: “We did the Golden Waltz two years ago and we just worked on the choreography – the knees and the legs.”

Virtue and Moir displayed good matching lines in their routine, however, Virtue had a slip during the fourth segment of the second pattern. The team placed third overall in the CD with 29.51 points.

Russia’s Anastasia Platonova and Andrei Maximishin were fourth (27.87), while teammates Natalia Mikhailova and Arkadi Sergeev finished close behind with 27.16 points.

Original Dance (OD)

The event continued with the OD in which the dance for the 2006-2007 season is the “Tango”. Couples can choose one to three tango rhythms. If two rhythms are used, one can be repeated. Vocals are permitted.

Dubreuil and Lauzon had a rough start when Dubreuil slipped on a twizzle during their opening midline step sequence. Despite the mistake, the 2006 World silver medalists produced two more good step sequences, a level four rotational and curve lift, and a good dance spin in their routine to La Voz de Buenos Aires by Eladia Blazquez. The team placed first in the OD with a score of 59.04 and maintained first place overall with 97.87 points.

The Canadians were happy with their performance. “It’s not perfect yet,” said Dubreuil, “but it’s still early in the season. Last week we had to change a couple of elements to make everything a level four, so it was still pretty new and needs a little bit of mileage.”

Teammates Virtue and Moir delivered two good lifts and a level three diagonal step sequence, but Moir stepped down on a twizzle during a midline step sequence that was graded a level two. The 2006 Junior World Champions earned a score of 54.12 for their Association Tango routine, placing second in the OD and moving up to second place overall with 83.63 points.

The team was happy with their performance and felt that competing at Campbell’s earlier last month was beneficial. “The feedback on our OD was helpful heading into the this competition,” said Virtue.

USA’s Meryl Davis and Charlie White, newcomers to the senior circuit, produced a clean dance which featured a good spin, two level four lifts, good synchronized twizzles, and two good level three step sequences. The 2006 Junior World bronze medalists earned 52.30 points for a third place finish in the OD – enough to move into fourth place overall (77.83).

Faiella and Scali didn’t fare as well. The team slipped to third overall (82.34) after placing fifth (49.15) in the OD. While the two-time Olympians produced two difficult lifts, Faiella fell during the latter part of the diagonal step sequence and had problems with the second twizzle during a midline step sequence.

“We started very good and skated with passion,” said Faiella. “The fall was unexpected. I lost my balance.” Her partner Scali added: “It was a very stupid mistake, but I think the feeling for the rest of the Tango was good. We need to check what happened.”

Platonova and Maximishin placed fourth in the OD and stood in fifth overall (77.47), followed by USA’s Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre, who finished sixth in the OD and overall (74.73).

Free Dance (FD)

Dubreuil and Lauzon performed their FD to Etta James’ At Last, opening with an excellent straight line lift, followed by a beautiful reverse rotational lift and a good dance spin. The four-time and reigning Canadian champions continued with a circular step sequence, synchronized twizzles, and a midline step sequence – all of which were very good, followed by two more good lifts. The Olympians received a score of 98.81, placing first in the FD and overall (196.68).

“Our program today went really well for us,” said Dubreuil. “It was a thrill to skate that program right after Tessa and Scott, because they warmed up the ambiance and they got people on their feet right away, so when we stepped on the ice, we got all that energy that the fans were giving us, and we just took that energy and turned into good skating.

Performing to Pantera en Liberta by Monica Naranjo, Faiella and Scali opened with rotational lift followed by an expressive midline step sequence, a combination dance spin, and a very good straight line lift. The Italian champions went on to produce level four synchronized twizzles, a very good straight line-curve combination lift, a serpentine lift, and a circular step sequence. The team earned 88.39 points for a second place finish in the FD and third overall (170.73).

Virtue and Moir, who stood in third overall after the OD, set the mood right away in their Valse Triste routine, opening with a very good straight line lift followed by a nice curve-rotational combination lift, and a complex circular step sequence. The 2006 Four Continents bronze medalists also produced a level four diagonal step sequence, a good rotational lift, synchronized twizzles, and a serpentine lift. With a score of 88.29, the current Junior Grand Prix Final Champions finished third in the FD and overall (171.920) to win the bronze – their first Grand Prix medal.

“We came into this competition without any expectations,” said Virtue. “We just wanted to make a splash on the senior scene. We’re just pleased to be here and second place is an extra bonus for us. We learned a lot from being on the ice with such amazing teams, and we’re going to take that home and build on what we’ve learned.

Davis and White also performed well, delivering five level four lifts (one in combination), along with level four synchronized twizzles and a circular step sequence. The US Junior Champions earned 84.83 points for a fourth place finish in the FD and overall (162.66).

Dubreuil and Lauzon (15 points) will compete later this month at NHK Trophy, while Faiella and Scali (13 points) and Virtue and Moir (11 points) will compete on the same ice in two weeks at Trophee Eric Bompard.

Russia’s Platonova and Maximishin and USA’s Navarro and Bommentre placed fifth and sixth (respectively) in the FD and overall.

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