Adelina Galyavieva and Louis Thauron are a new French Ice Dance team that have been skating together only since last February and they will debut at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating this week in Grenoble at the Internationaux de France.
“We just want to give two good performances. We have nothing to lose. This is the toughest of all the Grand Prix events in ice dance,” said Thauron. “We want the French audience to discover us, to present ourselves well and skate without pressure, just enjoy,” he continued. While Thauron competed last year at this Grand Prix with his previous partner Angelique Abachkina, Galyavieva will contest the first Grand Prix of her career. “I can’t wait for our first Grand Prix,” she said.
In Ice Dance and Pair Skating, the key to success is to find the right partner and both dancers had to leave home in order pursue their careers. Adelina,22, was born in Kazan and later moved to Moscow, but she relocated to France a few years ago and trained in Lyon. She has competed internationally for France since 2014 and has received French citizenship. French-born Louis, 23, on the other hand, started his career at home in France, but then moved to the USA with Angelique Abachkina.
Angelique Abachkina and Louis Thauron (FRA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating in Beijing (CHN) 2017©International Skating Union (ISU)
When Abachkina ended their partnership following the European Championships 2018 in Moscow, Thauron was ready to quit the sport. He returned from the USA and wanted to focus on his engineering studies. However, there was a little thought at the back of his mind that he could give it one more shot with Adelina, who also just had become partner-less and had went back home to Moscow for her studies.
On February 14, 2018, Valentines Day, Galyavieva and Thauron tried out in Lyon. “I felt right away that there was something special about it,” Louis recalled. “She is so motivated and through her, I found my love for skating again.”
So the skaters decided to team up, but they had to decide where to train. When they heard that 1998 Olympic silver medalist Anjelika Krylova returned to her home country to build a dance school in Moscow, the French dancers didn’t hesitate and asked to join. Now they are training in the Russian capital alongside Betina Popova/Sergey Mozgov (RUS) and other teams under Krylova and Oleg Volkov. Galyavieva was happy to return to her hometown and Thauron fell in love with Moscow. “I love Moscow. I’m learning Russian and I’m already understanding it quite well and I can read it. I’ve been surrounded by Russian culture a lot before – my former partner was Russian-born as well and in Detroit we trained with Igor Shpilband,” he pointed out.
For the Rhythm Dance the French dancers selected a Flamenco and a Tango. “We wanted to do something that we hadn’t done before and neither of us had skated to a Flamenco before. We went for more traditional choices. Adelina has a lot of character, so this style suits her well,” Louis explained. The Free Dance to the “Amelie” soundtrack by Yann Tiersen was mainly Adelina’s idea. “We didn’t want something super serious. This program is light-hearted, it is not a love story, just about two young people that get to know each other, as we had to get to know each other when we teamed up,” Thauron shared.
The French are looking forward very much to the Grand Prix. “In fact, all my friends are here like Rachel and Michael Parsons, Betina and Sergey of course and also Gabriella Papadakis/Guillaume Cizeron,” Thauron noted. “I actually don’t really feel like I’m at a competition.”
Three things Louis would take if sent to an isolated island:
“Music and a huge bag of food. I’m all about music and food, I don’t need anything else.”