Saturday, January 12, 2013

Washington Figure Skating Club Nationals Send-Off

The Washington Figure Skating Club held their nationals send-off in conjunction with the Wheaton Ice Arena Winter Ice Show.  The show opened up with Intermediate Dance competitors Gwen Sletten and Elliot Verburg.  They skated their Paso Doble themed free dance with good speed and edges, nice twizzles and an excellent straight line and rotational lift.  They both have great expression and she's a real firecracker on the ice.

McNamara and Carpenter have gorgeous transitions in their free dance and a nice combination lift with two one foot sectionals.  What you really appreciate about them when you see them perform live is that his facial expressions continue even in the lifts.  They performed their zombie themed short dance later in the show and had the audience laughing from the opening note.  They had excellent twizzles, ice coverage and nice matching leg lines in the blues section.

Gamelin and Gamelin will be competing in senior dance at nationals.  In their short dance they had nice positions in their lift and solid twizzles.  The twizzles were slightly off in their free dance but the straight line lift into a curve lift was nice.

Miller and MacMillan had nice expression throughout their short dance and a clean straight line lift.  They had good ice coverage on their blues section and a good feel for the hip hop rhythm.  Their twizzles were a little wobby in their free dance but they had a great upside down one hand hold lift.  She is very facially expressive and he has excellent carriage throughout his upper body.

Pogrebinsky and Gudis had a nice one foot straight line lift in their free dance and she had a good Biellman position in their dance spin.  They had a very nice non touching step sequence with lots of arm details in their short dance along with nice lines in the blues section.  Their music flows well between sections and there's a cool illusion spin step near the end fo rthe program.

Oleksiy Melnyk got one of the largest crowd reactions of the night for his solid free skate.  He landed a triple loop, triple salchow and triple toe + triple toe combination.  His only mistake was a popped lutz at the beginning of the program.

Eliana Gropman and Ian Somerville are the reigning Juvenile Champions and are competing as Intermediates this season.  They had a clean lift and a dance spin with a good change of direction.  They also had nice speed on their twizzles.  Their music is very catchy and they really play to the crowd during the program.

Caroline and Gordon Green will be competing as Juveniles at nationals in Omaha.  They showed nice speed and flexibility in their dance spin, good twizzles and good expression.  The comraderie of the ice dancers was evident when Ian Somerville cheered them on from the audience throughout the entire program.

Brianna Laxson skated her free skate in a gorgeous red lace dress.  She stepped out of a few of her triples early in the program.  She had good speed going into the jumps but seemed a little hesitant.  She still landed a triple lutz and a triple loop along with a three jump combination.  She had nice speed in her spins and a beautiful Ina Bauer.

Maria Yang started off her program with a triple lutz + double loop + double loop with great height throughout the combination.  She also landed a solo triple lutz, a spiral into a double axel and a spread eagle into a double axel + double toe.  There are lots of details in her program from the transitions to arm movements which give the whole program a polished feel.

A few of the young skaters left an impression and will be ones to watch in the coming years.  Morgan Sletten and Jordan Lin had good stroking and good ice coverage and he is the younger brother of Gwen Sleten.  Kaitlyn Chuang has good speed in her spins and attacks her jumps.  Maria Soldoatova and Fadey Solatov were some of the youngest performers at the show and had good matching lines.  She in particular had beautiful balletic arms.

Gigi and Luca Becker and Madison Vinci were scheduled to perform but did not.  The Parson siblings were also in attendance even though they had to withdraw from nationals due to his injury.

Overall, all the skaters looked prepared for nationals and ready to contend for the podium.  Nothing was perfect, but the skaters are on the pace to peak at nationals.  It was a great show and the skaters are ready to make a splash in Omaha.

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