2016 US Nationals Senior Dance Preview

Ice Dance is by far the United States’ most competitive event.  Three teams qualified for the Grand Prix Final for the first time, and these same three teams all placed in the top 10 at Worlds last season.  This is the one discipline where the US is consistently a medal threat and there is the potential of walking away from Worlds with two medals.  As a group, they have 22 national medals (although 11 of them belong to the Shibutanis).  They won seven Grand Prix medals this season and seven Challenger Series/Senior B medals. The entire podium from last season, along with the 5th, 9th, 11th, 12th, 14th and 16th place finishers will be competing here.  Only the 10th place finisher from last year’s junior event moved up to compete here.  The short dance will be held on Friday, January 22nd with the free dance on Saturday, January 23rd.

Chock and Bates are the favorites going into St. Paul to defend their title, even if they did have a bit of a rocky start to their season.  They won a silver at Cup of China, behind Cappellini and Lanotte, who they placed above at Worlds last season.  Their levels were also not what you would expect of a team contending for a World title.  They received better Levels at Skate America, earning Level 4 on their twizzles and lift with a Level 3 on their step sequence and one pattern of their Waltz.  They earned all positive GOEs, earning them seven points.  Their program components ranged from 8.92-9.25.  They had better free dance levels also at Skate America, earning Level 4 on their lifts, twizzles and spin with Level 3 on one of their step sequences.  They earned all positive GOEs at both events, netting 11 points at Cup of China.  Their better program components were also at Cup of China, ranging from 9.04-9.21.

Shibutani and Shibutani have actually scored better than Chock and Bates at some of their events, but have yet to beat them in direct competition.  They are known for their technical levels and lightning fast twizzles.  After struggling for several seasons to find the right type of programs for them they have struck gold this year with their Fix You free dance, which seems to be a personal story for them.  Their short dance had better levels at NHK Trophy, earning Level 4 on one pattern of the waltz, twizzles and the lift with Level 3 on the other section of the waltz and step sequence.  They earned all positive GOEs at both events, netting 6 points at NHK Trophy.  Their best program components also came at NHK where they earned 8.32-8.71. Their free dance received the same levels at both events, earning Level 4 for their lifts, spin and twizzles and a Level 3 on their step sequences.  They again earned all positive GOEs at both events, netting 13 points at NHK Trophy.  Their best program components came at NHK where they earned 8.79-9.18.

Hubbell and Donohue have solidified their place as the number 3 US team this season, earning their first Grand Prix gold medal and their first trip to the Grand Prix Final.  Their short dance to Hallelujah has personal meaning for them as it is a song he used to sing to her to calm her nerves when they first started competing together.  Because of the cancelation of Trophee Eric Bompard, they only had one full Grand Prix event before the Final.  They earned Level 4 on their waltz, twizzles and lift at NHK Trophy with Level 3 on their step sequence.  They earned all positive GOEs, netting 5 points.  Their program components ranged from 8.04-8.36.  Their free dance earned Level 4 on the twizzles, lifts and spin with Level 3 on their step sequences.  Again, they earned all positive GOEs, earning 10 points.  Their program components ranged from 8.21-8.68.

Hawayek and Baker put a lot of work into their free dance this year, inspired by The Theory of Everything, hoping it would help them climb the ranks in the US.  However, they had to withdraw from their second Grand Prix event, Cup of China, after the short dance.  Their short dance earned Level 4 on their twizzles, one section of the waltz and the lift at Skate America.  Their program components ranged from 7.13-7.54.  For their free dance, they earned Level 4 on their twizzles, two lifts, and the spin with Level 3 on their other lift and the step sequences.  They earned all positive GOEs, netting 7 points.  Their program components ranged 7.42-7.92.

Cannuscio and McManus have been slowly climbing the senior ranks, finishing a career best 5th last year.  They earned Level 4 on their twizzles and lift in the short dance at NHK Trophy with Level 3 on one section of the waltz and the step sequence.  Their best program components came at NHK where they earned 6.46-6.86.  For the free dance, they earned Level 4 on their lifts, spin and twizzles at Skate America with Level 3 on their step sequences.  They earned all positive GOEs at that event, netting 6 points.  Their program components ranged from 7.08-7.50.

Manta and Johnson are the only team to move up from juniors this season.  They had a good showing at Pacific Coast Sectionals, where they won gold.  They earned Level 4 on their twizzles and lift in the short dance with Level 3 on the step sequence.  They earned program components ranging from 6.00-6.25.  For the free dance, they earned Level 4 on the lifts and spin with Level 3 on their step sequences.  They netted 5 points from GOE with program components ranging from 5.92-6.67.

Thomas and Eaton have made big strides in their first season together.  She competed as a novice in 2014 and a junior last season and made the jump to senior this year.  Their progress earned them three international assignments this fall.  At Midwestern Sectionals, they earned Level 4 on the twizzles and lift in their short dance with all positive GOEs.  They earned program components ranging from 6.63-6.88.  Their free dance received Level 4 on the lifts and spin with Level 3 on one step sequence.  They netted 5 points from GOE and received program components ranging from 6.69-6.88.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Chock/Bates

Silver: Shibutani/Shibutani

Bronze: Hubbell/Donohue

Pewter: Hawayek/Baker

 

Bios of the competitors:

Aldridge/Blackmer: She is 21 and he is 24 and they represent the Detroit Skating Club.  They won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Aronow/Brubaker: She is 24 and represents the Arctic Figure Skating Club and he is 26 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  They finished 9th in 2014 and 8th in 2013.  They won silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Cannuscio/McManus: She is 23 and represents the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club and he is 25 and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  They placed 5th at Skate America and 6th at NHK Trophy.  They won bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy and finished 4th at Tallinn Trophy.  They finished 5th last season, 7th in 2014, 6th in 2013, 6th in 2012, are the 2011 Junior Bronze Medalists, finished 7th in juniors in 2010 and 10th in juniors in 2009.

Chock/Bates: She is 23 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club and he is 26 and represents the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club.  They are the reigning World Silver Medalists and Four Continents Silver Medalists.  They won gold at Skate America and silver at Cup of China to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they won silver.  They won gold at Nebelhorn Trophy.  They are the 2013 Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They are the reigning Champions, 2014 Silver Medalists, 2013 Silver Medalists and finished 5th in 2012.  Internationally, the have the 2nd best short dance, 5th best free dance and 2nd best total scores.

Hawayek/Baker: She is 19 and represents the Detroit Skating Club and he is 22 and represents the Seattle Skating Club.  They placed 5th at Four Continents last season.  They finished 4th at Skate America.  They finished 4th at Finlandia Trophy and won silver at Golden Spin of Zagreb.  They are the 2014 World Junior Champions.  They are the reigning Pewter Medalists, 2014 Junior Champions and 2013 Junior Silver Medalists.

Hubbell/Donohue: She is 24 and he is 25 and they represent the Lansing Skating Club.  They placed 10th at Worlds last season.  They won gold at Trophee Eric Bompard and bronze at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 6th.  They won gold at the US International Classic.  They are the 2014 Four Continents Champions.  They are the reigning Bronze Medalists, 2014 Pewter Medalists, 2013 Pewter Medalists and 2012 Bronze Medalists.  Internationally, they have the 7th best short dance, 9th best free dance and 8th best total scores.

Manta/Johnson: She is 19 and represents the Coyotes Skating Club of Arizona and he is 21 and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  They won bronze at the Autumn Classic International.  They finished 10th as juniors last season.  They won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Maxwell/Devereaux: She is 26 and represents the Arctic Figure Skating Club and he is 26 and represents the Pittsburgh Figure Skating Club.  They finished 9th last season.  They won gold at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Morell Zucker/Sitiks: She is 19 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club and he is 26 and represents the University of Delaware Figure Skating Club.  They finished 16th last season and 17th in 2014.  They won bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Patsis/Fast: She is 20 and represents the Skokie Valley Skating Club and he is 24 and represents the University Ice Skating Club of San Jose.  They finished 14th last season.  They won pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Ponomaryova/Altukhov: She is 27 and represents the Skokie Valley Skating Club and he is 32 and represents the North County Figure Skating Club.  They placed 12th last season, 16th in 2014 and 14th in 2013.  They won bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Reynolds/Reynolds: She is 25 and he is 22 and they represent the IceWorks Skating Club.  They finished 11th last season, 14th in 2014.  They won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Shibutani/Shibutani: She is 21 and he is 24 and they represent the Skating Club of New York.  They placed 5th at Worlds and are the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalists.  They won silver at Skate Canada and gold at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where they placed 4th.  They won bronze at Ondrej Nepela Trophy.  They are the 2011 World Bronze Medalists, 2011 Four Continents Silver Medalists and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalists.  They are the reigning Silver Medalists, 2014 Bronze Medalists, 2013 Bronze Medalists, 2012 Silver Medalists, 2011 Silver Medalists, 2010 Junior Champions, 2009 Junior Silver Medalists, 2008 Junior Pewter Medalists, 2007 Novice Champions, 2006 Intermediate Champions and 2005 Juvenile Silver Medalists.  Internationally, they have the 5th best short dance, 4th best free dance and 5th best total scores.

Thomas/Eaton: She is 16 and represents the Detroit Skating Club and he is 23 and represents the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club.  They placed 5th at the US International Classic, 4th at the Autumn Classic International and won gold at Ice Challenge.  They won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Midwestern Sectionals Senior Dance Results

Place Start Name Short Dance Free Dance Total Score
Place Score Place Score
1 2 Danielle Thomas, Detroit SC
Daniel Eaton, Ann Arbor FSC
1 52.80 1 81.07 133.87
2 1 Alexandra Aldridge, Detroit SC
Matthew Blackmer, Detroit SC
2 44.35 2 72.70 117.05

2015 Ice Challenge Dance Results

Short Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Deduction
StN.
1 Danielle THOMAS / Daniel EATON USA 52.34 26.22 26.12 6.60 6.30 6.50 6.75 6.50 0.00 #3
2 Misato KOMATSUBARA / Andrea FABBRI ITA 51.76 27.16 24.60 6.20 6.00 6.30 6.25 6.00 0.00 #7
3 Barbora SILNA / Juri KURAKIN AUT 51.08 28.36 22.72 5.75 5.45 5.70 5.75 5.75 0.00 #2
4 Olesia KARMI / Max LINDHOLM FIN 49.32 25.80 23.52 5.95 5.75 5.85 6.10 5.75 0.00 #6
5 Jasmine TESSARI / Francesco FIORETTI ITA 41.12 22.24 19.88 5.00 4.85 4.95 5.30 4.75 1.00 #4
6 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 40.48 21.20 19.28 4.80 4.55 5.00 4.90 4.85 0.00 #1
7 Tina GARABEDIAN / Simon PROULX-SENECAL ARM 39.90 23.62 18.28 4.80 4.45 4.85 4.70 4.05 2.00 #5

Free Dance

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CC IT Deduction
StN.
1 Danielle THOMAS / Daniel EATON USA 80.10 38.94 41.16 6.65 6.70 6.95 7.10 6.90 0.00 #7
2 Misato KOMATSUBARA / Andrea FABBRI ITA 75.90 38.64 37.26 6.25 5.90 6.30 6.40 6.20 0.00 #6
3 Olesia KARMI / Max LINDHOLM FIN 74.94 39.70 36.24 6.10 5.80 6.00 6.25 6.05 1.00 #4
4 Barbora SILNA / Juri KURAKIN AUT 72.52 37.36 35.16 5.90 5.80 5.80 6.05 5.75 0.00 #5
5 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 67.28 37.64 29.64 5.15 4.60 5.10 5.00 4.85 0.00 #2
6 Tina GARABEDIAN / Simon PROULX-SENECAL ARM 62.64 36.76 26.88 4.70 4.30 4.50 4.60 4.30 1.00 #1
7 Jasmine TESSARI / Francesco FIORETTI ITA 56.04 29.80 27.24 4.55 4.30 4.55 4.75 4.55 1.00 #3

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SD FD
1 Danielle THOMAS / Daniel EATON USA 132.44 1 1
2 Misato KOMATSUBARA / Andrea FABBRI ITA 127.66 2 2
3 Olesia KARMI / Max LINDHOLM FIN 124.26 4 3
4 Barbora SILNA / Juri KURAKIN AUT 123.60 3 4
5 Yura MIN / Alexander GAMELIN KOR 107.76 6 5
6 Tina GARABEDIAN / Simon PROULX-SENECAL ARM 102.54 7 6
7 Jasmine TESSARI / Francesco FIORETTI ITA 97.16 5 7