Golden Skate

Aldridge and Eaton make switch to Zoueva

Daniel Eaton and Alexandra Aldridge

From left to right: Daniel Eaton, Johnny Johns, Massimo Scali, Marina Zoueva, Oleg Epstein, and Alexandra Aldridge

USA’s Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton recently decided they needed to make a coaching change, and switched from their family at the Detroit Skating Club to the Arctic Edge in Canton, Mich., where they will train with Marina Zoueva and Massimo Scali.

“It was very hard to say goodbye,” said Aldridge, “but we knew this was what we needed. We thank Anjelika (Krylova) and Pasquale (Camerlengo) for all they have done for us these past years.”

“They have taught us a lot about being an elite ice dance team and we respect them so much for that,” added Eaton.

The team, which was welcomed with open arms, will also be working with Johnny Johns and Oleg Epstein. Both Zoueva and Scali are choreographing the team’s new programs this season.

“They have come up with two great programs that really show this new maturity that we have,” said Eaton. “We really enjoy working with Marina. She is so organized and focused and knows what is best for her students.”

Aldridge, 20, agreed: “They brought a new mature flair to the programs that we need to have for two strong programs.”

Their short dance, which took some serious thinking, will be to Carmen, while the free dance will be to music from The Godfather.

“We really enjoy portraying the role of Carmen and the toreador,” said Aldridge. “We’ve worked hard this year to improve the overall emotional attachment to the characters we portray. Daniel and I are really working to make this program as mature and detailed as we can.”

“The free dance music was a faster decision,” said 22-year-old Eaton. “We knew we wanted something mature to show how we have grown as a team.”

The two-time US Junior champions, who received two Grand Prix assignments this year, are excited for the season to begin.

“Our first official stop this season will be at Team USA Champs Camp,” said Eaton. “This is our second year going and we are really looking forward to all the feedback we will receive there.”

“We are really excited to have the opportunity to put our programs out there twice on the Grand Prix circuit this season,” said Aldridge.

The ice dancers, who are slated to compete at Skate Canada and Cup of Russia later this fall, want to perform consistently and reach a higher overall score in both programs this season. They also want to do well at nationals and make the world team again.

“Being selected for the world team last season was a huge eye opener for Alex and I,” said Eaton. “Making the top five at U.S. Nationals was exactly what we had worked so hard for as well.”

The two-time World Junior bronze medalists are currently working on new lifts, creating new spins, and perfecting their twizzles.

“We have been working a lot with acrobats to help do more difficult and interesting lifts,” said Eaton. “We are also incorporating a lot of new ideas for our spins and using different patterns for our twizzles.”

“We are really training to have precise programs, and are hoping to really improve our technical and program component score,” he continued.

It’s difficult to get a level 4 in footwork in ice dance, but that is exactly what the 2014 Four Continents bronze medalists are striving for.

“Last year, our twizzles received a huge GOE (Grade of Execution) score at U.S Nationals,” noted Eaton. “Alex and I twizzle really fast and in great unison, so we are hoping to receive all plus threes on those this year.”

The summer has been a busy one for the ice dancers, with little time off.

“We have been working a lot on the ice and really improving all of our skills,” said Eaton. “We both enjoy our rounds of golf and try to get together at the end of the week to play with friends. Other than that, we are on the ice or hanging around home with our friends.”