Saturday, September 15, 2012

U.S. International FS Classic-Friday Events

There was a little bit of everything to enjoy on Friday - Senior Ice Dance, Junior Pairs, Senior Ladies, and Senior Pairs. I started off the day at the Sr. Dance practice at 7:30am, which was nothing compared to the 6:00am practices I've attended at Nationals! I caught the second group, and the teams all did partial run-throughs of their free dances. LOVED what I saw of Lynn Kriengkrairut/Logan Giulietti-Schmitt and Madison Chock/Evan Bates' free dances. They both have some very cool lifts and highlight moves. I also loved Alexandra Paul/Mitch Islam's program. I'm so excited they're using the score from The Legend of 1900.

After practice it was time for a little breakfast and then back to the rink for the Junior Pairs Short Program. I really enjoyed the sophisticated choreography of Alexandria Shaughnessy/Jimmy Morgan's program, and I thought Caitlin Fields/Jason Pacini were a lot of fun to watch. They did a great job selling their high-energy program.

The 2002 Olympic cauldron and Rice-Eccles Stadium (site of the Opening and Closing Ceremonies) are in walking distance from the Salt Lake Sports Complex, so I checked that out during my next break. Since the 2002 Olympics were featured in my book Life on the Edge, I had to see the spot where my characters walked into the Opening Ceremony!

Back at the rink, I got to see a bit of the Senior Ladies Short Program, where we were treated to some old standards like Requiem For a Dream and "The Feeling Begins." Agnes Zawadzki skated the best program I've ever seen from her, and Gracie Gold impressed me with her speed across the ice. I think she's definitely maturing artistically. 

Senior Pairs was the final event for me, and my fandom of Paige Lawrence/Rudi Swiegers continues to grow. I saw them skate live for the first time at Four Continents this year, and I immediately became a fan. They're so smooth and lyrical.
Lindsay Davis/Mark Ladwig had a good showing for their first international event. I think their styles have meshed well together and they have tons of potential. And I could listen to their short program music all day long (Beethoven's Five Secrets by The Piano Guys). Their training mates Felicia Zhang/Nate Bartholomay keep improving every time I see them, and I think there's lots of potential for them, also.

Tomorrow brings another packed morning and afternoon at the rink! First up will be Senior Free Dance warm-up and the Novice Free Dance followed by the Senior Free Dance and Men's Free Skate. I've updated my album with my photos from Friday's events:

2012 U.S. International Figure Skating Classic

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