Friday, October 21, 2011

Skate America Friday Practice

Today's practices started with the men, who all looked a little shaky again. Still hoping they're getting it out of their system before the competition tonight! I appreciated that many of the guys wore their costumes, which made for better photos.

The ice dancers followed the men again, and the Latin SD rhythm proves to be much more entertaining than the waltzes done last year. The costumes are also much more entertaining. The Canadian teams put away their basic black and came decked out in their costumes. Nathalie and Fabian always provide an interesting look, today in lime green.

Most of the dance teams had an authentic flavor to their programs, and I think the crowd will be dancing along with them tonight. Madison and Zach impressed me a lot with their program, looking very strong and tuned in to the rhythm. Meryl and Charlie performed their run-through last and showed they've learned well from ballroom dancer Elena Grinenko.

Pairs practice was entertaining, and all the American pairs looked sharp and ready to compete. Caydee Denney and John Coughlin look like they've been skating together much longer than a few months. They have a great connection and lovely flow across the ice. Rockne Brubaker and Mary Beth Marley have made noticeable improvement since last season. I found their speed to be impressive and their elements solid. Tiffany Vise and Don Baldwin also had a good practice, performing their free skate with power and emotion.

In the second group of pairs, Aliona Savchenko and Robin Solkowy skated their free skate without the elements, but they still enthralled us with their intricate and unique choreography. I'm excited to see the full program!

Here are my photos from today's practices:

2011 Skate America Friday Practice

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