Hello and welcome back to our blog! This blog will be co-written by both of us. It’s been awhile since we’ve blogged and I know we have a lot of catching up to do.
A big chunk of our offseason has come and passed this year, and just like every year, it seems to blow right by us. From the moment we arrived back at our training base after nationals, we started discussing music choices. After many hours of listening, we found a free skate choice that we fell in love with, music from the soundtrack to Interstellar. After seeing Alison Purkiss’ work with her students when she came down to visit our training base last year, we thought she would be the perfect choice to choreograph our free program. While it is still a work in progress, we are really looking forward to showing off how it fits our strengths.
After we got our free skate choreographed, we went back to Ilona Melnichenko, whom we used last year, to create our short program. This year we have chosen Never Tear Us Apart by INXS. We have been training the choreography for just over a month, but we continue to make adjustments to improve and enhance the feeling behind the music. We really like the challenge the music provides for us as well as the number of musical cues that spell out our program for us.
One of the biggest challenges so far this offseason has been dealing with all of the new rule changes. After we had designed our lifts for the new season, keeping in mind the upcoming rule changes, we ended up needing to spend a great deal of time redesigning each lift to maximize our point values once the rule changes were actually released. We have a new pair spin for this season, and each lift we do is different in some way than the lifts we performed last year.
As we are writing this blog we are actually on our way back from Montreal, where we have spent the last week training; learning from Richard Gauthier, Sylvie Fullum, and many others. We took this last week to not only re-work our twist and back outside death spiral completely, but to also feel the wonderful environment of being surrounded by so many incredible teams. There were many challenges we have faced so far trying to make the adjustments Richard and Sylvie pushed on us, but we are confident that it will make us stronger. The success of our week in Montreal leaves us hopeful for coming back for more training (and more poutine) in the near future.
As for the summer, we have a few events that we are looking forward to. This upcoming weekend we will receive a critique from a local judging panel in the Tampa area, while we have Skate Detroit after that. Of course, the goal with these summer competitions is never to win, nobody remembers the Skate Detroit champion; rather, we hope to go out and get valuable feedback from the judging panel that will help us reach the top later in the season. Skate Detroit provides the perfect opportunity for that, along with the short camp for skaters in the international selection pool that we will be attending afterwards. We’re not sure if all of our new changes will be ready for Skate Detroit, but we will receive the invaluable feedback we’re looking for nonetheless.
Outside of skating, we have some exciting things going on as well. Jessica has increased her hours of coaching and number of students and is thriving as a young coach. On another front, Josh’s educational career comes to a conclusion at the end of August as he will be graduating with a major in business administration and a minor in information systems management.
Overall, we have had another busy and productive offseason. Improvement for us has been a long climb and we hope to continue climbing until we reach the peak on this wonderful journey together; thank you for sharing this journey with us and for reading our blog 🙂