Welcome back to the Ice Dance Observer!

October is here and after several busy weeks, the season shows no signs of slowing down.  This week, the first two U.S. sectional events for ice dance will be held as the Eastern and Midwestern events will be held in conjuction with two regional singles competitions.  The final Junior Grand Prix series competition will be held in Egna, Italy, and there are several non-Challenger Series events taking place (Shanghai Trophy and Mezzaluna Cup).  Info on all of the events are linked in the sidebar.  Good luck to all competitors this week!

Update on the World Champions:  Last week, Gabriella Papadakis & Guillaume Cizeron of France debuted their programs at the Masters de Patinage.  Selections for their rhythm dance include “I Can Do Anything Better than You Can” by The Kids from Fame and “Fame” by Irene Cara.  Their free dance is a spoken word piece “Fine Me” by Forest Blakk with music by Olafur Arnalds.

New Team in Japan:  Kana Muramoto & Daisuke Takahashi announced via social media that they have formed a new ice dance partnership and will train with Marina Zoueva in Florida starting in January.  Takahashi is a three-time Olympian in singles and won the bronze medal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.  He is also a three-time World medalist and the 2010 World Champion.  For a glimpse of the new team, view this video report (in Japanese).

Daphne, Anne & TJ



by Anne Calder 

Zagreb, Croatia hosted their tenth event in the Junior Grand Prix Series September 25-28. Seventeen ice dance teams from fourteen countries competed.

Rhythm Dance:

Maria Kazakova & Georgy Reviya (65.97), Sofya Tyutyunina & Alexander Shustitskiy (64.34), and Emmy Bronsard & Aissa Bouaragui (59.63) were the high scorers in the Rhythm Dance. The three teams representing Georgia, Russia, and Canada beat their previous 2019 JGP RD scores.

  • Two teams, both Russians, earned Level 4 for the First Section of the Tea Time Foxtrot; there was no Level 4 for the Second Section.
  • The Ukrainians received Level 3 for each of the Tea Time Foxtrot Sections.
  • The top three teams plus Villo Marton & Danyil Semko (HUN) received Level 4 for both the Lady and Man’s twizzles.
  • In addition to the top three, Bratti & Couyras (FRA), Jeon & Choi (KOR), and Golubtsova & Belobrov (UKR) also had season best rhythm dance scores.

Free Dance:

Georgians, Kazakova & Reviya, beat their closest free dance competitors by 13 points and won gold. The duo used the hypnotic music “In the End” by Tommee Profitt featuring Fleuri & Junge Youth to present the elements and highlight the uniqueness of the program. The segment scored a season best 103.25; the total was 169.22.

Bronsard & Bouaraguia were second in the free dance to a David Bowie medley that scored 90.34, but it wasn’t enough to pass the Russians. The Canadians claimed the bronze with a total 149.97.

Silver went to the Russians Tyutyunina & Shustitskiy, who danced an incredibly raw and emotional interpretation of “Turning Page” by musician Sleeping at Last. The 90.05 score was .29 behind the Canadians and third in the free dance. Their total was 154.39.

Molly Cesanek & Yegor Yehorov placed fourth in the free dance with a dramatic performance to “Make It Rain” and “Take Me to Church” performed by Matt McAndrew. The Americans vaulted from eighth in the rhythm dance to a final sixth place finish with their program. The segment scored 88.96.

In the RD and FD, Nadia Bashynska & Peter Beaumont (CAN) were fifth and Natalie Taschlerova & Filip Taschler (CZE) were sixth. In the final rankings, they placed fourth and fifth respectively. Both teams won bronze medals in earlier JPGs.

Emily Rose Brown & James Hernandez (GBR) and Carolina Portesi Peroni & Michael Chrastecky (ITA) had free dance season best scores.


  • Maria Kazakova & Georgy Reviya punched a ticket to the JGP Final. They are the first Georgian ice dancer team to win a JGP gold medal.
  • Ekaterina Kuznetsova & Daniel Brykalov (AZE), Sofia Val & Linus Colmor Jepsen (ESP), Maria Kazakova & Georgy Reviya (GEO), and Molly Cesanek & Yegor Yehorov (USA) earned season best scores for their rhythm dance, free dance, and total.
  • Siblings competed for the sixth straight JGP competition. Natalie Taschlerova & Filip Taschler from the Czech Republic kept the record intact.

Highighted Performances:  This week, we highlight the rhythm dance performance by Svetlana Lizunova & Alexander Vakhnov (RUS) and the free dance performance of Emily Rose Brown & James Hernandez (GBR).


by Anne Calder 

Canada’s Laurence Fournier Beaudry & Nikolaj Sorensen won their first ever Challenger Series gold medal after finishing first in both the rhythm and free dances. The Americans were second and third. Kaitlin Hawayek & Jean-Luc Baker vaulted from fourth to second to claim silver, while Christina Carreira & Anthony Ponomarenko slipped from second to fourth in the free dance, but held on to take home the bronze.

The British team of Lilah Fear & Lewis Gibson moved from sixth place in the rhythm dance to third in the free and secured a fourth place finish, while Olivia Smart & Adrian Diaz went from third down to a fifth place free dance and ended fifth over all. Shiyue Wang & Xinyu Liu from China sixth after a fifth place rhythm dance.

  • Fournier Beaudry & Sorensen received the highest rhythm dance score of the five Challenger Series events competed to date – 81.16.
  • Fournier Beaudry & Sorensen’s Nebelhorn score was12 points higher than at their season debut at the Lombardia Trophy in Italy.
  • Six teams made their 2019-2020-season debut.
  • Five teams had season-best scores for their rhythm dance + free dance + total.
  • Five of the six top teams train at the Gadbois Centre in Montreal, Canada.



by TJ Carey

The final week of the Junior Grand Prix Series is here! This week, we close out the series with JGP Egna-Neumarkt. With five out of the six spots for the final already taken (by Nguyen & Kolesnik, Shanaeva & Naryzhnyy, Kazakova & Reviya, Demougeot & Le Mercier, and Davis & Smolkin), the field is almost completely determined. Although there are not many teams with a realistic shot at qualifying for December’s final, there should be plenty of room for many of this week’s up-and-coming teams to fight for the podium.

This week marks the sixth time the JGP has come to Italy and only the second time it has been hosted in Egna. Champions of this event from previous years include Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin (RUS) and Madison Chock & Greg Zuerlein (USA).

The medal hunt:

  • Elizaveta Khudaiberdieva & Andrei Filatov (RUS) at JGP Riga Cup. A medal of any color will qualify them for the final.
  • Natalie D’Alessandro & Bruce Waddell were fourth in Riga. Their only hope for the final would be if they win and Khudaiberdieva and Filatov place off the podium.
  • Utana Yoshida & Shingo Nishiyama placed sixth at JGP Lake Placid.
  • Oona Brown & Gage Brown (USA) placed seventh at JGP Chelyabinsk.
  • Francesca Righi & Aleksei Dubrovin (ITA) were seventh at JGP Baltic Cup.

Other items of note:

  • Katarina DelCamp & Ian Somerville will also represent Team USA.
  • Four of these couples are competing in their first JGP of the season.

Only Khudaiberdieva & Filatov and D’Alessandro & Waddell are the only couples here with any hope of making the JGP Final. If Khudaiberdieva & Filatov finish fourth and D’Alessandro & Waddell win, qualification will come down to a tiebreaker. Any place lower than fifth from the Russians will give the final spot to the Canadians, given that they win. If they do not win, the spot goes to Sofya Tyutyunina & Alexander Shustitskiy (RUS).


The rhythm dance on Thursday, October 3, begins at 15:15 local time (9:15 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time). The Free Dance will be Friday, October 4, at 19:20 local time (1:20 p.m. EDT).