Friday started off with an AMAZING junior free dance event. The depth at the junior level in dance in the U.S. is astounding, and this event showed off just how diverse and strong our teams are. The tiny teams of Katherine Grosul/Cameron Colucci and Eliana Gropman/Ian Somerville were adorable and so impressive for their ages. Chloe Lewis/Logan Bye gave a passionate tango performance, and I hope they can continue to move up the ladder because they are one of my favorite teams to watch. The whole last group of top five teams were ridiculously good. Julia Biechler/Damian Dodge were the last to skate and their performance was the most emotionally-charged for me. They really blew me away with their commitment to the program and how much they've improved.
The short dance was another exciting event with outstanding performances from the top five. I was so happy for Anastasia Cannuscio/Colin McManus breaking through to the top four! It's going to be an intense battle for first on Saturday between Madison Chock/Evan Bates and Maia & Alex Shibutani, and I hope everyone brings their A game!
The men ended the evening, and overall I thought it was a well-skated competition with some big highlights - Ross Miner flying across the ice with pure joy in his Billy Joel program and Max Aaron throwing down a quad-triple and showing his new softer side in his Nessun Dorma program. Tim Dolensky's performance was another highlight - he has gorgeous flow and connection to the music. I was also thrilled to see Curran Oi back, who was one of my favorites when he skated as a teenager.
Here are all my photos from Friday's events! => PHOTOS