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Anne’s Take: 2022 Dallas Traditional

by Anne Calder | Photographs by Daphne Backman

The Dallas Traditional opened the 2022 U.S. Nationwide Qualifying Sequence (NQS) from July 8-10 in Allen, Texas with ice dance competitions. For the second straight season IDC was there to {photograph} and report on the group occasion.

Daphne, Robin and I arrived on the Credit score Union of Texas Occasion Middle on Friday afternoon in time to look at the junior and senior groups follow. There have been a number of new faces on the ice who I didn’t acknowledge.  At first of a brand new Olympic Quad, there’s normally a whole lot of shuffling round. Groups retire, transfer up a stage, change companions, and infrequently select new coaches and coaching places.

I spent Saturday afternoon renewing outdated acquaintances and assembly new groups. At 5:05 the Mixed Rhythm and Sample Dances started their competitors. There have been 24 groups representing the USA, POL, MEX and GBR. This included juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior and senior ranges.

The juniors danced first. The season rhythm is Tango plus one of many following dance kinds: Paso Doble, Flamenco, Spanish Waltz, Fandango, Bolero, Jota, Sevillanas, Milonga. The Sample Dance Component contains two sections of the Argentine Tango, skated in any order to the Tango rhythm.

The completed order: Leah Neset & Artem Markelov, Vanessa Pham & Jonathan Rogers, Jenna Hauer & Benjamin Starr, Elliana Peal & Ethan Peal, Kristina Bland & Matthew Sperry, Julia Epps & Blake Gilman, Harlow Stanley & Nikita Sosnenko, Anabelle Larson & Jonathan Younger, and Emily Phillips and Luke Anderson.

The juvenile, intermediate and novice (JIN) groups every skated two patterns (juvenile: Foxtrot and ChaCha, intermediate: Tango and Fourteenstep, and novice: Westminster Waltz and Argentine Tango).

The seniors closed the night competitions. The Latin dance kinds embrace at the least two completely different dance kinds/rhythms chosen from Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Mambo, Cha Cha, Rhumba, Samba. The Sample Dance Kind Step Sequence and Step Sequence should be skated to a unique Latin Fashion/Rhythm.

The completed order: Lorraine McNamara & Anton Spiridonov, Emilea Zingas & Vadym Kolesnik, Raffaella Koncius & Alexey Shchepetov and Jenna Hertenstein & Damian Binkowski.

The Free Dances started Sunday at 8:30 a.m. After every efficiency, the ice dancers shared their ideas about their program, adjusting to new ranges, and their music, and many others. Quotes are in end order.


Rylen Lukanin & Patrick O’Brien: “I get nerves on a regular basis, however Patrick says to focus and that makes me really feel higher. Then we skate good,” mentioned Rylen. The group is coached by Kristin Frazier and Igor Lukanin in New Jersey. They topped their Chesapeake Open Rating with a 77.58 whole.

Sophia Kartashov & Nicholas Kartashov practice with Kristin Frazier and Igor Lukanin in New Jersey. The twins additionally do ballroom dancing. Nicholas demonstrated how the body and the maintain are related, which helps with each disciplines. Sophia shared how a lot enjoyable she had skating along with her brother. Nicholas added,”Skating with my sister, I’ve somebody to assist me. In singles you don’t have anybody.” The full rating was 68.44.

Maria Sidorova & Jackson Hill practice in Oklahoma Metropolis, Oklahoma. Coach Jackie Brenner mentioned they’re the state champions as a result of they’re the one ice dancers in Oklahoma. Maria & Jackson have been ice dancing for 2 years. Additionally they do singles, however they love to return collectively and be artistic and imaginative. Their whole rating was 45.02.


Celine Chen & Nathan Chen have skilled with Pierre Panayi in Dallas since March 2022. Their whole 87.58 topped their Chesapeake rating by a large margin. Requested about having a well-known skating title, Nathan shared that they beforehand skilled on the similar California rink because the reigning Olympic Champion. It was enjoyable to see him there. Their former coach all the time launched the ice dancer Nathan Chen, with a particular emphasis on his title.

Cianin Rudedenman & Brysin Rudedenman (61.25)

Bryndolin Rudedenman & Ryedin Rudedenman (54.19)
The siblings are coached by their older sister, Caylin in Riverside, California. Cianin & Brysin are of their second yr as a group whereas Bryndolin & Ryedin started 4 months in the past. Cianin mentioned that she started ice dancing as a result of she didn’t wish to soar anymore. Ryedin additionally skates Novice Males. Whereas Brysin thought their applications had been nowhere pretty much as good as they may very well be, Coach Caylin defined their goal. “It was sort of a follow occasion. It was the primary of the season. We went into it with out nice expectations,
simply making an attempt to get used to the brand new applications.”

Violet Yan & Dylan Logsdon competed in simply the sample dances, for which they earned the very best rating – 41.19. The group had solely partnered for one week previous to this occasion. On the 2022 Broadmoor Open, Violet gained the Intermediate Ladies’s Solo Mixed and Dylan competed with a earlier companion. The group trains in Colorado Springs with Elena Dostatni and Logan Giuletti-Schmitt. 


Michelle Deych & Wiles Middlekauff have returned to the Novi Ice Enviornment to coach with Igor Shpilband’s group. Their 99.05 rating was greater than the earlier outing, which in response to Michelle, “It was a lot better than Chesapeake. Hopefully we bought all the degrees.” As for challenges, “Most likely our footwork, our edges. We have to get them clear,” Michelle added. 

Emily Renzi & William Lissauer, who partnered solely 4 months in the past, totaled 91.13 and beat their Chesapeake rating. It’s additionally Emily’s first season in ice dance, whereas William has skated the self-discipline for six years. The duo is coached by Kristin Frazier and Igor Lukanin in New Jersey.

Jasmine Robertson & Hayden Wooden, who practice in Nashville, Tennessee, scored a complete 83.04. The group moved up a stage this season after successful the 2022 Championship Sequence (Intermediate) in Alpharetta, Georgia final November. Jasmine described the transition as, “Difficult in a great way. I like a problem.” Hayden added, ”Final yr we had been typically ten factors extra forward on the decrease stage. It’s been a little bit of adjustment making an attempt to determine what we have to do to get extra factors. However it’s enjoyable.”

Samhita Jonnalagadda & Vedanth Jonnalagadda practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The siblings earned a complete 63.84. Vedanth mentioned it was higher than their final yr’s skate earlier than Samhita bought sick, and so they didn’t skate for a while. Vedanth then added, “Subsequent time we hope to enhance the lifts and presentation.”


Leah Neset & Artem Markelov who practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado with Elena Dostatni danced to Pirates of the Caribbean. The 160.13 whole scored greater than their gold medal efficiency on the 2022 US Nationals. Artem commented on this system, “We have now some work to do, however we’re glad with the general efficiency.” Leah added that they might be engaged on the step sequences and patterns earlier than the Silicon Valley Open in San Jose, California (August 5-6).

Vanessa Pham & Jonathan Rogers had been third within the Free dance to Scheherazade and silver medalists over all. Each applications totaled 140.77. Angela needs to enhance her endurance all through the competitors. Jonathan spoke concerning the group’s presentation goals., “We’re attending to the purpose now the place we don’t should grind down the weather so arduous. We will focus extra on efficiency and connecting with the viewers.” Subsequent cease is their first competitors journey to Lake Placid, New York.

Jenna Hauer & Benjamin Starr vaulted from fifth place within the Rhythm Dance to the bronze medal after ending second with their Free Dance to alternatives from the Pina Soundtrack. “It was higher than our final competitors,” Jenna mentioned. “It was one of the best we’ve accomplished it to this point.I don’t know the protocols; I simply know the way it feels.” They’ve added a brand new exit to their carry and in addition the Choreographic twizzle, which they’ve by no means accomplished earlier than of their careers. “Hopefully, all of it works out,” Ben added. “There’s no room left however up!”

Elliana Peal & Ethan Peal had been disillusioned with their program,“We clearly didn’t skate clear, and I didn’t come via personally of the group” Ethan mentioned. “It’s a group effort, however you may’t assist take the only real duty in your mistake.” Elliana countered. “Truly our scores improved because the final competitors, even with a mistake within the Free Dance.” Coach Rob Peal defined the music. “It’s Halo, a 25-year working online game created by Microsoft.” The full rating was 135.55.

Kristina Bland & Matthew Sperry claimed fifth place with their dance to “Wishful Pondering” and “The Feeling Begins”. Noting the twizzle mishap, Kristina and Matthew mentioned collectively, “It was not our greatest program, however we made it via.” They’ll return to Novi, Michigan to work on endurance and consistency earlier than heading to Lake Placid in two weeks. The applications totaled 130.86.

Julia Epps & Blake Gilman are adjusting to the transfer to Juniors. “It’s undoubtedly extra enjoyable to maneuver as much as a brand new stage,”  Julia mentioned. “It’s additionally an enormous problem. We’re not the most important group in Juniors. Different groups have extra expertise and are bigger.” The group trains on the Philadelphia Skating Membership and Humane Society with Slava Uchitel. Their music is “Speaking to the Moon” and “Runaway Child” by Bruno Mars.

Anna Sophia O’Brien & Steven Wei have additionally moved as much as Juniors. Anna shared her new experiences. “It’s been tough. We had been fairly profitable in Novice. Now we’re studying much more tough issues like doing each a Rhythm and Free Dance. It looks like two Free Dances for us versus doing simply two patterns and a Free Dance.” Anna additionally mentioned their skate. “I feel we skated effectively, besides Steven fell on a three-turn. It’s higher with the sooner competitors than a extra necessary one on the finish.” The group trains in New Jersey with Kristin Frazier and Igor Lukanin. The music is from a James Bond soundtrack.

Harlow Stanley & Nikita Sosnenko, who skate for the Mexican Federation have skilled in Leesburg, Virginia with Elena Novak and Alexei Kiliakov for over eight months. The group waltzed throughout the ice to the acquainted strains of Masquerade and earned a 62.30 rating and 103.12 whole.

Anabelle Larson & Jonathan Younger started skating collectively in November 2021. Each got here from earlier partnerships. Jonathan has ice danced for 5 years, whereas Anabelle was a solo dancer earlier than she started dancing a yr and a half in the past. The group trains with Marina Zoueva on the Worldwide Skating Academy in Estero, Florida. Their Free Dance music is “Steppin’ Out With my Child” and “Don’t Imply A Factor”.

Emily Phillips & Luke Anderson symbolize the Nationwide Ice Skating Affiliation of UK. They had been in Texas working with Pierre Panayi, who coached Emily’s mom when she skated as Lucine Chakmajian for Nice Britain. After the Dallas Traditional, the group headed north to Scarborough, Ontario Canada for a two week session with Carol Lane earlier than heading again to Cardiff, Wales to coach along with her mother and father, Lucine and David Phillips.

Lorraine McNamara & Anton Spiridonov gained the gold medal with their efficiency to “Rain in your Black Eyes”. “It was our first competitors with each our applications,” Lorraine mentioned. “We went out and confirmed how a lot we beloved them and to see what works and what doesn’t.” Anton added, “Sadly at the moment errors occur. We had been excited, so after our spin, we fully reversed – mirrored our program. It was a problem making an attempt to get again on monitor. We weren’t going to vary the place we had been going, so we simply continued the entire program in reverse. I’m certain that affected our (102.54) rating. The full was 171.31.

Emilea Zingas & Vadym Kolesnik debuted their program. ”It wasn’t prepared for Chesapeake,” Vadym famous. “We had been nonetheless switching music many instances. For the primary time, it wasn’t unhealthy, however there’s a whole lot of work with a purpose to enhance.” Emilea continued, “It is a entire new expertise for me. It’s the primary time I’ve accomplished a free dance in competitors. Lack of follow and the start of the season. It’s an thrilling begin, however now we have a whole lot of work on for certain.” Like many coming off the ice in July, the 2020 World Junior Champion struggled along with his endurance. “I used to be dying,” he laughed.

Raffaella Koncius & Alexey Shchepetov scored 83.47 for his or her bronze medal efficiency to alternatives from the W.E. soundtrack. “I completely love our program,” Raffaella mentioned. “It makes me actually pleased going on the market. We undoubtedly improved from Chesapeake.” The group trains with Marina Zoueva’s group in Estero, Florida. “We have now the Japanese group of Kana & Daisuke with us,” Alexey mentioned. “They’re such an inspiration to see them skate on daily basis. I didn’t know his age. He’s superb.” The full rating was 139.56.

 Jenna Hertenstein & Damian Binkowski symbolize Poland, however practice in Leesburg, Virginia. “I used to be happy with our (Arabian themed) efficiency for the primary competitors of the season,”  Jenna mentioned. “It’s early. We had been skating good, making an attempt to get these parts.” Damian added, “The season in Poland begins a lot later, so we’re grateful they allow us to compete right here.” The group will likely be engaged on the spin, Rhythm Dance carry and the overall pace of parts as they put together for the Lake Placid competitors. The full was 124.84.

Congratulations to all of the skaters, coaches, officers, volunteers and fogeys for a profitable Dallas Traditional.

Remaining NQS Competitions:
July 26-29 – Lake Placid ID Championships (Lake Placid, NY)
August 05-06 – Silicon Valley (San Jose, CA)
August 19-21 – Onyx Problem (Rochester Hills, MI)
September 22-25 – Problem Cup (Ardmore, PA)
November 08-12 – Ice Dance Last (Norwood, MA)



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