LAKE PLACID - For more than 80 years, Lake Placid has hosted the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships, which is one of the premier ice dance competitions in the country. This year's competition included a variety of ice dance events, including traditional ice dance team short and free dance, solo dance and open compulsory dance categories.
There was truly "something for everyone" at this event, which is no doubt part of it's continued status as an important stop for ice dancers of all ages and levels.
"The Lake Placid Ice Dance Championshipsis special because it offers teams an opportunity to receive constructive feedback early enough in the season to be able to make the modifications necessary prior to international events," said Daphne Backman, owner, publisher and editor-in-chief ot Ice-Dance.com. "With the Junior Grand Prix series and the Senior B events starting in late August, early September, coaches and ice dancers need this feedback as part of their preparation process."
Competing in the Ice Dance Championships are future and current contenders for the national, international and Olympic teams. In an Olympic year, there were some elite skaters who were hoping to "test out" their programs before the season officially starts.
"LPIDC became even more crucial with this being the Olympic year, as teams who are heading to Nebelhorn (Nebelhorn Trophy, an international Senior figure skating competition held in Oberstdorf, Germany) at the end of September have time to adjust their programs to maximize scoring potential in hopes of qualifying for one of the remaining Olympic slots," said Backman. "It was wonderful to see so many international teams taking advantage of this opportunity, and I hope this trend will continue in future years."
Ice dance has evolved in the past decade. There used to be three components of ice dance competition: the compulsory dance, the original dance and the free dance.
The compulsory dance requires the skaters to skate the same steps, to the same tempo prescribed by each dance. The original dance required skaters to perform to a certain style of music (such as folk or swing music), or a rhythm or set of rhythms that is set by the International Skating Union each season. However, the skaters could perform their own choreography and choose their own music as long as it fit within the parameters set forth by the ISU. Lastly, the free dance was the least restricted. Competitors could choose whatever music or choreography, while also including required elements such as dance lifts, footwork sequences and dance spins.
However, ice dance competition segments have been overhauled recently, in favor of the short dance. The short dance combines facets of the original dance and compulsory dance, and skaters must perform a prescribed compulsory dance pattern for approximately half of the program, while the other half is made up of choreography and required elements that must fit the prescribed theme or rhythm chosen by the ISU for that season.
Spectators could see the relatively new ice dance format at this year's Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships. There were quite a few Junior teams from throughout the world (three groups) while there were two groups of both domestic and international Senior teams present, competing in the short dance and the free dance. Senior is the highest level of skating achievement in which a skater can qualify for the Olympics and world championships.
In the Senior A Free Dance event, first place was earned by Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton (Detroit Skating Club) with 78.03 points. Cathy Reed and Chris Reed, representing Kinoshita Club in Japan, placed second with 77.50 points. Angelina Telegina and Otar Japaridze of the Georgian Figure Skating Federation took bronze with 76.04 points.
Placing eighth in the same group was the U.S. team of Isabella Cannuscio (University of Delaware Figure Skating Club) and Michael Bramante (SC Of Boston). Guest skaters in the Lake Placid Saturday Night Ice Show a few weeks ago, they returned to Lake Placid to compete and earned 70.94 points in the free dance.
In the Senior B group, the gold medal was won by US skaters Lynn Kriengkrairut (All Year FSC) and Logan Giulietti-Schmitt (Ann Arbor FSC) with a point total of 79.41. Second place went to Canadians Melissande Dumas (Laval) and Simon Proulx-Senecal (St-Hubert), who earned 75.55. The Swiss team of Ramona Elsener (Bulacher Eislaufclub) and Florian Roost (Eissportclub Frauenfeld) took third with a 73.35-point total. Placing fifth in the same group was the US team of Anastasia Cannuscio (University of Delaware FSC) and Colin McManus (SC Of Boston), earning 69.97 points.
Like her sister Isabella, Anastasia Cannuscio and Colin McManus also performed in the Lake Placid Saturday Night Ice Show this summer, and came back to compete at the Ice Dance Championships.
For complete results of the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships, go to www.lakeplacidskating.com/events/icedance.php.