"Rafael is very interesting and he's pushing me real hard but encouraging me," Kwan said. "It's perfect. It's what I need right now."
Kwan will perform "The Feeling Begins" short program she used last season and the "Tosca" long program she skated twice this season. She has practiced a triple flip-triple toe loop combination and triple salchow-triple toe, as well as an easier triple toe-triple toe combination. Choreographer Nikolai Morozov recently helped her polish the programs and made minor changes, mostly on entrances to jumps and spins, to enhance the flow of her skating.
"The last few years she did some stuff, and in my opinion she should develop and improve more," Arutunian said. "She is at a level everybody wants to reach …. I think she gets more aggressive and knows what she wants."