JGP Latvia Dance Preview

The Russians dominated the dance events on the JGP last season and I expect them to do just as well this season.  Their dance field is very deep and some of the top contenders from last season will be returning.  Kosigina and Moroshkin finished 6th at Junior Worlds after claiming two medals on the JGP.  With some of their competition moving up to seniors, they’ll have their eyes on the podium at all of their events this season.  There will likely be three teams fighting for the remaining podium slots.  Poulin/Servant of Canada impressed at their lone event last season and just missed the podium.  Prochazkova and Ceska from the Czech Republic scored well in their two events but didn’t make the medal stand.  Aldridge and Eaton from the United States finished off the podium in both their events but have done very well in summer competitions.  
 
One of the advantages the older competitors will have this season is that the short dance is a combination of Latin patterns.  The rhythm, feel and performance quality of Latin dances will be easier to understand and execute by the older skaters as they’ll be able to grasp more of the nuances of the movement and show the sexy side that is essential to Latin styles.  One team to watch for is the young team of Tkachenka/Gulitski from Belarus.  At just 13 and 15, they have 5-6 more seasons of JGP eligibility and really have a chance to develop their skating and earn world ranking points.
 
My podium predictions:
Gold: Kosigina/Moroshkin
Silver: Poulin/Servant
Bronze: Aldridge/Eaton
 
Bios of the competitors are below.
 
Tkachenka/Gulitski, BLR: This is their international debut.  She is 13 and he is 15.  
Poulin/Servant, CAN: They finished 4th at JGP Germany last season.  Their personal best is 118.00.  She is 16 and he is 20.
Prochazkova/Ceska, CZE: They finished 9th at JGP Germany and 6th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 116.32.  She is 17 and he is 18.  
Gassoumi/Le Molaire, FRA: They finished 9th at JGP Japan.  Their personal best is 96.89.  She is 17 and he is 16.

Leininger/Caurel, FRA: They finished 12th at JGP France last season.  Their personal best is 80.98.  She is 16 and he is 16.  
Muller/Gerke, GER: This is their JGP debut.  She is 15 and he is 20.  
Bagnall/Shanahan, GBR: This is their JGP debut.  She is 16 and he is 17.  
Bugrov/Rogov, ISR: They finished 15th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  They placed 18th at JGP Czech Republic last season.  Their personal best is 68.99.  She is 15 and he is 19.  
Uzurova/Ali, KAZ: They finished 17th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 11th at JGP Romania and 12th at JGP Japan last season.  Their personal best is 101.98.  She is 14 and he is 16.  
Jakusina/Grishins TBC, LAT: This is their international debut.  She is 14 and he is 17. 
Pecherkina/Jakushin, LAT: They finished 17th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  They placed 13th at JGP Austria and 17th at JGP Germany last season.  Their personal best is 86.93.  She is 18 and he is 20.
Carroll/Gerber, POL: They finished 22nd at Junior Worlds.  They placed 10th at JGP Romania last season.  Their personal best is 90.74.  She is 17 and he is 19.
Kosigina/Moroshkin, RUS: They finished 6th at Junior Worlds.  They won bronze at JGP France and gold at JGP Germany last season to qualify for the JGPF where they finished 6th.  Their personal best is 126.92.  She is 16 and he is 17.  
Morozova/Zhirnov, RUS: This is their JGP debut.  She is 14 and he is 16.
Demirsal/Akalin, TUR: They finished 16th in the preliminary round at Junior Worlds.  This is their JGP debut.  She is 16 and he is 16.
Nosulia/Kholoniuk, UKR: They finished 19th at Junior Worlds.  They placed 5th at JGP Austria and 10th at JGP Germany last season.  Their personal best is 109.17.  She is 16 and he is 21.  
Aldridge/Eaton, USA: They placed 6th at JGP France and 4th at JGP Great Britain last season.  Their personal best is 110.00.  She is 17 and he is 19.
Gamelin/Gamelin, USA: They finished 16th at JGP Germany last season.  Their personal best is 83.94.  They are twins and both 18.