Golden Skate

Chartrand readies for Grand Prix debut

Alaine Chartrand

Alaine Chartrand of Canada performs her new short program at COS Summer Skate 2014.

Alaine Chartrand of Canada had a good international senior debut last year, placing seventh at the Four Continents at the end of the season, and is looking forward to competing at the senior level this year.

“I’ll be making my Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada, and I would like to place in the top eight,” said the 2013 Canadian bronze medalist, who is also competing at Rostelecom Cup in Moscow, Russia. “I’m also aiming to get back on the national podium (at the senior level) and go to Worlds.”

Chartrand is also scheduled to compete next month at the 2014 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The skater competed last month at Skate Detroit where she placed fourth in the short and second in the long, and was the top Canadian ladies skater. She followed up with a competition at the Minto Summer Skate where she placed first overall despite several falls.

“I didn’t have my best short at Skate Detroit, but I had fun performing for the first time,” said Chartrand. “I came back with a strong free program.”

The skater was much happier with her short program at the Minto Summer Skate.

“I was more successful with my jumps, achieved higher levels on my elements, and the performance was much better,” said Chartrand. “The long program wasn’t as good as in Detroit. My goal this season is to improve my consistency and put two strong programs together in a competition.”

The Canadian is coached by Michelle Leigh and Leonid Birinberg, and is also working with Brian Orser several times a month.

“Alaine has also been working on developing styles and special ‘moments’ within her programs that are unique to her,” said Leigh. “She is focusing on the smallest of details and it’s making such an impact.”

The skater had success with last year’s long program to music from Doctor Zhivago, and will be using it again this year. Her new short program is to La Leyenda del Beso—a Spanish zarzuela composed by Reveriano Soutullo and Juan Vert. Both routines were choreographed by David Wilson.

Chartrand actually has two short programs prepared, and used “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc at both Skate Detroit and the Minto Summer Skate. She debuted  the newest short to “La Leyenda” last week at the Thornhill Summer Skate.

“The judges at Thornhill really liked the sophistication and intricacy of the new short program,” she said, “but it still has room for growth.”

“‘La Leyenda’ shows another side of her performance capabilities as well as her maturity,” added Leigh. “She has also taken her free program to a new level of sophistication and is looking forward to showing both programs on the senior Grand Prix circuit.”

The 18-year-old has a total of eight triple jumps, including the triple Axel, planned for the long, and has moved all her combination jumps to the second half of the program. She is also debuting a new spin position in both programs this season. All elements have been planned for level 4.

“Last season, I achieved level 4 on all of my spins and both footwork sequences,” she noted. “I hope to be able to do this again consistently under the new rule changes. I worked really hard on my presentation and non-jump elements.”

The skater from Prescott, Ont., also gets help from Gary Beacom on her footwork.

“He is always so fun to work with!” said Chartrand. “He is so creative and helps me with unique moves. Most of the time I have no idea how he does the things he does or how he comes up with his ideas, but I love the challenge!”

Chartrand, who placed eighth and fifth (respectively) at the last two World Junior Championships, spends approximately 18 hours on the ice each week and is training between Ottawa and Toronto, and Barrie.

“Throughout the year, I train everywhere and anywhere that has ice!” she said. “I mostly train at the Nepean Skating Club (my home club) all year round with Leonid. I work with Michelle regularly throughout the year at the Oakville Skating Club, Mariposa, or Canadian Ice Academy.”

In the winter, the new high school graduate works with Mary Jayne Rashotte (who has coached her since she was 4) at the Prescott Figure Skating Club near her home.

“There are many other smaller clubs that allow me to skate with them throughout the year,” said Chartrand. “It’s a lot of travel, but we make it work.”

Before competing at the senior B event in Utah, the skater will first attend Skate Canada’s High Performance Camp early next month.