Two-time ISU World Figure Skating Ice Dance medalists Madison Hubbell/Zachary Donohue (USA) shone in the Rhythm Dance to take the lead at Guaranteed Rate Skate America in Las Vegas (USA) on Friday. Kaitlyn Hawayek/Jean-Luc Baker (USA) are currently ranked second ahead of Christina Carreira/Anthony Ponomarenko (USA).
Hubbell/Donohue debuted a new program to “Burlesque”, executing level-four twizzles, a level-four Finnstep pattern dance and a level-four rotational lift. The two-time US Champions looked sharp throughout the routine and scored 85.30 points.
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 ©International Skating Union (ISU)
“We missed competing and tonight certainly was a nice way to get back into the swing of things. Although there was no live audience we did feel some of this familiar adrenaline,” Hubbell told the press. “We certainly took a long time during the summer to make the final decision about what we wanted to do (for the Rhythm Dance). Zach and I really love the challenge of a new project and we felt like as we loved Marilyn, we didn't feel there wasn't so much left to squeeze out of the program. We wanted to take all of the things that we learned from that character and apply it to something that is a little bit more modern, sexy, powerful,” she explained.
Hawayek/Baker had kept their popular and entertaining “Saturday Night Fever” program. The 2018 ISU Four Continents Figure Skating Champions collected a level four for the Finnstep, the Pattern Dance Step Sequence and their straight line lift. The twizzles were rated a level four for Hawayek and a level three for Baker. They earned 81.15 points.
Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
“Honestly, this program is such a joy and so much fun to not only perform but also to train. It doesn't feel like work when you're going in, have the run-throughs, get the mileage. It was really easy for us to choose to keep it because we love it so much,” Hawayek said.
Carreira/Ponomarenko looked very precise in their routine to “Too Darn Hot” from “Kiss Me Kate” and also notched three level-four elements to post 78.63 points. The two-time World Junior medalists had decided to keep the program from last season as well.
Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko (USA) at the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating (USA) 2020 © International Skating Union (ISU)
“After quarantine, when we got back on to the ice, we felt that this program still has room to grow. We wanted to improve our Finnstep. I think we felt this was our weaker element last season,” Carreira commented. “Skating this Rhythm Dance the second year, we really want to show confidence in our skating. We made a big improvement last year in Vegas so we wanted to keep pushing this program to the limit and hopefully do our best at Nationals,” Ponomarenko added.
Guaranteed Rate Skate America concludes with the Ladies, Pairs, Men’s Free Skating and the Free Dance Saturday. For full results, entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series please visit: https://isu.org/GrandPrix.
For full results, entry lists and further information regarding the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series please visit: https://isu.org/GrandPrix.
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ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating 2020
- 2020 Guaranteed Rate Skate America, Las Vegas (USA) – October 22-24
- SHISEIDO Cup of China, Chongqing (CHN) – November 6-8
- Rostelecom Cup, Moscow (RUS) – November 20-22
- NHK Trophy, Osaka (JPN) – November 27-29
- ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final – Beijing (CHN)postponed
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final that was to be held as an Olympic Test Event on December 10-13 has been postponed. The ISU, in consultation with all stakeholders and considering the pandemic developments, is evaluating the continuation of the 2020/21 season, in particular the re-scheduling possibilities for the important Olympic Test Events.
About ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series
The ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series started in 1995 (previously known a s the ISU Champions Series) and consists of six invitational international senior events and the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. Due to the current situation, the usual selection criteria do not apply. Please see the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating page for further information.