2011 Grand Prix Final
Junior Dance Event
Planned Program Content
Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin
1.SD 60.47 (32.43+29.04 -1) Victoria Sinitsina, 16, & Ruslan Zhigalin, 19, who were both born in Moscow, are in their third season competing in the Junior Grand Prix Series. They won silver last year in the Final so it was anticipated that, after winning their qualifiers in Gdansk and Innsbruck this season with the Series’ top score, that they would be the leaders.
They established an over-four point lead after this section. He is the 5-year younger brother of Nelli Zhiganshina, who competes in ice dance representing Germany. He and his partner earned Level 4 for both sequences of the Cha Cha Congelado (which, unsurprisingly, translates as ‘Cha Cha with ice’.) It is a former compulsory dance invented by former British 4-time world champion, Bernie Ford, and his pupils in Canada.
They also received the maximum level for their solid twizzles and rotational lift. However, their final element, the non-touching midline steps, was awarded only Level 2 by the Technical Panel, which comprised Controller Gilles Vanderbroeck, Specialist Ayako Higashino, and Assistant Galit Chait-Moracci.
They skated to Blah Blah Blah, Cha Cha Cha by Petty Booka and a Samba, Manha de Carnival by Elizete Cardosa. Sinitsina explained that the two sequences of the Pattern Dance selected for all Juniors this season is, "very difficult to skate with difficult elements. However, the audience likes the Latin rhythm."
She also said that despite their lead, she felt this was only their second-best showing of this routine because of their showing on the steps. "And we were penalized a point for holding the lift too long."
Her partner added, "It is not up to us to make the rules and it is necessary to pick something which will entertain the audience. Overall, there is a good atmosphere here. It’s very easy to skate. The ice is very good and the audience is very supportive. We also did have a small problem on the lift."
2.SD 56.22 (29.36+26.86) Anna Yanovskaia, who turned 15 on November 23 and was born in Dubai, & Sergei Mozgov, 16, born in Moscow, only teamed up this year. He explained, "Basically we could have skated better and this performance wasn't our best. But, overall, we are pleased. Probably our other skates this season were better, but regarding our world ranking this so far is our best standing."
They opened with their twizzles, which gained Level 4 as did the second sequence of their Cha Cha Congelato and their rotational lift. But their first sequence was Level 3 and the steps Level 2.
3.SD 53.95 (28.92+25.03) Maria Nosulia & Evgen Kholoniuk, who turned 21 on July 12 and so was young enough by 12 days to take part in Junior events this season, were both born and live in Kiev, Ukraine. They qualified by winning the JGP in Latvia and taking bronze in Innsbruck. They performed their Cha Cha to Bust Your Windows by Jasmin Sullivan and a Samba to Christine Aguilera’s Show Me How You Burlesque.
She admitted, "Of course we can skate better. There is never a limit to perfection and we would never say that we were perfect. Tomorrow is my birthday (she turned 17) and we’ll go out there ready to fight."
4.SD 52.48 (25.43+28.05 -1) Alexandra Stepanova, 16, born in St. Petersburg, & Ivan Bukin, 18, born in Moscow, qualified by winning both the Roumanian and Italian JGP events. He is the son of Andrei, the 1988 Olympic ice dancer, and ice dancer Elena Vasiuk. It was quite a shock to find them lying only 4th, the result of his falling flat during their twizzles and gaining no points at all for this element, which, executed at Level 4, earns a base value of 6 full points.
Since there are only five required elements in the Short Dance, it was a credit to this team that they didn’t drop to last. The other four elements all received positive GoEs. They opened with both sequences of the Cha Cha which received Level 4s with significant GoEs of +0.57 and +0.43. After their fall, when, no doubt, they were still shaken, their Midline steps gained only Level 2 but with +0.86. By the end they had recovered and their rotation lift was Level 4 with +0.57.
5.SD 51.59 (26.93+24.66) Alexandra Alridge, 17, from Birmingham, Mich., & Daniel Eaton, 19, from Bloomfield, Mich., train at the Detroit SC. They were 5th in the US championships at Junior level earlier this year and will be eligible for another season for the JGP Series. They performed their Cha Cha to I Need to Know by Marc Anthony. That was combined with Mambo No. 8 performed by The Mambo Kings Orchestra.
Aldridge confessed, "It was not our best performance - THAT’s for sure. We started off really strong. The lift was great and the first of pattern of cha cha was pretty good. Then we had a stumble, recovered well and finished the cha cha. The twizzles were very good. Our choreography got a little sloppy, but we finished as strong as we could. We’re looking forward to tomorrow. The free dance is definitely our stronger program. We love doing the Irish dance. The audiences love it."
He agreed, "We’re going to reset our minds and get ready for the free dance. We want to do what we are good at doing." Their opening straight line lift received Level 4 with +0.43. Their twizzles also got Level 4, with +0.21. Both sequences of the Cha Cha earned Level 3, but the first sequence had half a point deducted, and the second sequence lost -0.21 from the element’s base value of 6.0 points.
6.SD 50.13 (25.28+24.85) Anastasia Galyeta, who turned 19 on November 10, & Alexei Shumski, who was 21 on October 3, were born and train in Odessa, Ukraine. They Cha Cha-d to R. Mitchell’s Sway, They also used Salsa music, Mujer Latina by Thalia. They are an experienced couple who teamed up in 2008 after competing with other partners in the Junior Grand Prix Series.
Planned Program Content
Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhiganshin
1.Overall 147.53; 1.FD 77.42 (38.86+38.56 -1) Victoria Sinitsina & Ruslan Zhigalin, Russia, walked away with gold, dominating both sections with a total margin of 10.92. Five of their elements earned Level 4 while the two step sequences were Level 3. Though two of the nine judges punched in zero for Sinitsina & Zhigalin’s Diagonal steps, all the other individual GoE votes were +1 (37) and +2s (24).
She said, "We are very, very, very happy. We wanted to win. This means a lot to us. It is a very nice feeling. I don’t know what else to say. Last year we didn’t expect anything in the Final and we were second. Nothing has really happened since last year’s Final, just the country (the event was in Beijing last season) and the Short Dance is different. But, we ourselves grew."
Zhiganshin said, "The win is a motivation for us to go on and not stop where we are now. This season we have the Russian Junior Nationals and Junior Worlds. We must work on getting better techniques for the program. We want all Level 4s, of course. We want to skate well. That is our main goal."
2.Overall 136.61; 3 FD 80.39 (38.36+42.03) Anna Yanovskaia & Sergei Mozgov, Russia, skated to Mala Luna by a Canadian-Italian, Gino Vanneli. The duo, who teamed together earlier this year, seemed a little awestruck to be second. He said, "We skated brilliantly today. We are very happy with our second place here. We weren’t expecting to place high. We are very happy with ourselves. We will now work on the programs to get ready for Russian nationals, and the Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck (in January). We know there is no limit to how much we can improve. We will work on our technique, and towards gelling as a team."
She said, "We have only been together since spring, so we credit our coaches (Svetlana Alexeeva, Elena Kustarova & Olga Riabinina) for their excellent work and preparation. We can’t think of anyone else who made that much progress in that short a time." They earned five Level 4s. The step sequences were both Level 2.
3.Overall 135.17; 2.FD 82.69 (38.14+44.55). Alexandra Stepanova & Ivan Bukin, Russia, repeated as bronze medalists in this event but she revealed, "We are happy but we wanted to place much higher. We did not do good with the short dance but did much better with the free dance. Last year we hoped, but did not expect, to get to the grand prix finals, so we didn’t have any goals. This year we were expecting it so we were worrying a little more about qualifying and then about doing well here."
They performed very dramatically to Paul McCartney’s version of music from the James Bond movie, Live and Let Die with her in an orange outfit with one side longer than the other and he in black with a plunging neck line. If he hadn’t fallen in the SD, they definitely would have been silver medalists since the gap was only 1.44. However, they finished 12.36 points behind the gold medalists. At 16 and 18 and both born after July 1, they still have plenty of time to come back for the other medals.
4.Overall 129.01; 4.FD 77.42 (38.86+38.56). Alexandra Alridge & Daniel Eaton, USA, performed to Ronan Hardiman’s Lord of the Dance, with her in a green dress, of course. They advanced a place, earning a substantial total of 13.84 points ahead of the fifth-placed couple.
Aldridge explained, "The free dance went well. We went into it thinking that placement doesn’t matter. We just want to skate the way we know we can skate and show people why we love this sport. This program really portrays that. We just had fun with it."
Eaton added, "Our goal this season with our twizzles was to pull off ‘Charlie and Meryl’ twizzles. We try to push it to the max every single time and get as close as possible and get in unison. The whole environment of the Grand Prix Final is something we haven’t experienced before and it definitely gives us something to bounce back on going into U.S. Championships. This is such a big competition with the top competitors in the world here. Our intention, our goal, at the start of the season was to express what we want out of the program and get the crowd really involved in our program. I think we accomplished it really well. Everybody seems to really enjoy the program. It went great."
All of their elements gained positive GoEs. They received all Level 4s except for the two step sequences which earned Level 3, with the circular steps getting an extra +0.57 and the diagonal steps 0.29.
5.Overall 115.17; 5.FD 65.04 (28.58+36.46). Anastasia Galyeta & Alexei Shumski, Ukraine, skated to music by Tchaikovsky. They received only one Level 4, which was given for their final element, a rotational lift which scored only a small +0.14 positive GoE. Both their step sequences were Level 1 with the circular steps just making the base value and the diagonal steps losing -0.07 from the base value.
He tried to put a positive outlook on the situation. "We did well today, considering we did NOT have good practices here. We were afraid we would do worse than we did. Our goal for the season was to make the Final and we lucked out when another team (-) had to withdraw. Our goal now is to make the Junior World championship team."
They finished 7th in the Final last season when eight junior couples were allowed. (The invitees were reduced to six for this season.) The red-headed Galyeta said the situation was very simple. "We need to work more on our technique and skating skills, so we can get higher levels!"
6.Overall 113.79; 6. FD 59.84 (24.15+36.69 -1). Maria Nosulia & Evgen Kholoniuk, Ukraine, were understandably upset at dropping from third to last, although they finished only 1.38 points behind their teammates, who were fifth. She tripped and he held her up during their third required element, the circular steps which were given only Level 1 with a full point deducted from the base value. Then he fell during their next element, which was their twizzles and they gained no points for this element.
Their free, set to music conducted by Henry Mancini from Peter Sellers’ classic movie series, The Pink Panther, had started well with a very good +0.86 Level 4 straight line lift and their spin and rotational lift were also Level 4 with +0.21 and +0.29, but their concluding diagonal steps gained only the base value for the basic Level 1.
Nosulia said, "Today’s performance is disappointing, maybe because we are both really sick (with colds). Yesterday was my birthday and we didn’t do much because of that. This is our first Grand Prix Final (although they first competed in the Series in the 2008-9 season and finished 19th in the world junior championships earlier this year), so this is a good learning experience."
Prix Final Junior Dance Medalists
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