Monday, January 21, 2013

Miller and MacMillan aiming for a personal best, future international assignments at nationals

Whtiney Miller and Kyle MacMillan represent the Washington Figure Skating Club and train at the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy.  In their first season together they claimed the novice silver medal in San Jose.  That earned them a trip to Junior Grand Prix Austria where they finished 10th.  After winning the pewter medal at Eastern Sectionals, they are set to make their Junior debut in Omaha.  They talked to me about becoming a team, performing hip hop for the first time and being a member of Team USA.

Tell me about yourselves outside of skating.
Kyle MacMillan: I love going to school and I like reading as well as playing video games and computer programming. I recently built my own computer. My favorite classes are physics, math, and economics.

Whitney Miller: When I am not skating, I like to draw, read and write.  Recently, I was inducted into the National Juniors Honor Society for school.  Someday I hope to pursue a career in law.

You both had success with previous partners.  How did you decide to team up and how did you find success so quickly? 
KM: My training in WISA with the same coaches since I started ensured that I had the technical skills to work with a new partner.

WM: Utilizing the services of Ice Partner Search, Kyle and I teamed up in April of 2011.  Through a combination of hard work, wonderful coaches and the Wheaton Ice Skating Academy's teamwork philosophy we were able to enjoy a successful Novice season.

What did it mean to you to win the silver medal as novices last season? 
KM: We were happy.  Our previous experiences and training had prepared us for this.  
WM: I think we both were very excited.  All of our hard work that season paid off! 

What is it like to train at WISA with some of the top junior dance teams in the US? 
KM: I’ve trained with the same group of kids since I started ice dancing.  No matter what level we are, we all train the same way.

WM: The Wheaton Ice Skating Academy provides a wonderful team atmosphere that promotes hard work and excellence.

You placed 10th at your JGP debut in Austria. What was that experience like? What did you take away from that competition?
KM: It was a great international experience.  We learned how things work. We really look forward to the next international assignment.

WM: Austria was a fantastic learning experience.  We were extremely proud to represent the United States on the international circuit.  We hope to do it again this season.

From your carriage on the ice it's clear you've had ballet training. Can you tell me about your off-ice training? 

KM: We have daily off ice training that includes ballet, strength training and cardio work.

WM: In addition to cardio, endurance and interval training, we attend ballet and ballroom classes twice a week. 

Hip Hop is a new rhythm for the ISU this year. What has it been like to include hip hop in your programs? 

KM: We worked with Hip Hop dancers early in the season to understand the rhythm and to learn how to incorporate these moves into ice dance.

WM: Hip Hop has been an enjoyable learning experience.  It gives us a chance to move and dance in a different style.

How did you decide to pursue ice dancing? 

KM:  I started skating at age 4.  At age 7 I switched to a new coach who happened to be an ice dancer. My grandfather did ice dancing when he was young (although not competitively), worked on building an ice rink and started a USFSA club in New Mexico - so this continues a tradition.

WM: I originally started ice skating as a freestyler but was presented with the option to skate with my previous partner in ice dance.  I decided to do it and have loved ice dance ever since.

This is only your second year together as a team and your first year as juniors. How do you think you've grown in the last year and what should we expect to be seeing different about you as a team?  

KM:  I’ve literally grown 5 inches in the last year and I’m stronger.  We gained a lot from our international experience.

WM: Over the course of the past two years we have grown as a team.   Working together on a daily basis has helped us develop our skating skills together.

What are your goals for nationals?  

KM: We’re hoping for a personal best and staying on Team USA.  

WM: Our goals for the 2013 Nationals include clean, solid programs and to qualify for the ISP selection pool.

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