2019 Skate America is the first event in the 2019 ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series. This year, the competition will mark the first Skate America event to be held in Las Vegas.
Two-time World Junior medalists (silver in 2018, bronze in 2017), the 2017 JGP Final silver medalists, and the 2018 U.S. national junior champions Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko will be among the competing ice dance couples.
The skaters talk about Skate America 2019, their new programs, their training schedule, and more.
You’ll be skating at Skate America in front of your home crowd. Is it easier for you, or more challenging? Do you feel any extra pressure?
I think it’s much easier because the whole crowd is supporting you. When they announce that we’re representing USA, everyone is yelling, it’s so great. I feel like skating in America has a lot of fun. There’s a lot of energy, a lot of good vibes.
Do you have any specific goals for this Grand Prix Series?
We want to show improvement in our skating, and want to show that we’re able to skate to different styles.
And the competition is tough in the USA, and we would love to get top three to make it to the world team.
It’s your second season in seniors. Do you feel more confident with that experience under your belt?
I feel so. I think last year was kind of like testing the waters for us. We were unsure where we were going to place or how we’ll skate…
We still don’t know (smiles)
We still don’t know, but I feel like we’re much more confident. We need to be confident as both of our programs are very ambitious.
So, the main idea of your rhythm dance is, basically, that it’s too hot (“Too Darn Hot”). Would you please give more details?
I think just like the short dance in general, this one has a lot of energy and a lot of passion between us. That’s what makes it hot (smiles).
Do you like musicals in general?
Yes. Actually, Christina’s obsessed with a lot of musicals.
Which one is your favorite?
There’s so many. We were thinking about skating to “Fosse”. We love that musical, but we ended up scratching that idea. But still, it’s one of our favorites.
Speaking of your free dance, usually it’s something lyrical, and this year it’s very different. How comfortable does it feel?
It was a hard transition for us. It really took a lot of time. We’ve had this free dance since February, so we’ve been working hard on it.
Who came up with the idea?
Our coach, Igor. We approved it, obviously.It shows our energetic side, which I feel not a lot of teams have any more. So we just want to show the energy and the youth that we have in our skating.
I feel like for us, going out there and skating to powerful music is much easier than skating to a pretty, lyrical piece. I don’t know why; it’s easier for us to go out there and attack (smiles)
You competed in Salt Lake City, in Oberstdorf. Skate America is coming up. It’s a pretty tight schedule. What do you do to make sure you have enough energy to go into the next competition?
Well, for example, after Salt Lake City, we had Sunday completely off. We came back home, we really decompressed. Monday and Tuesday, we only skated one session, one and a half hours, so it wasn’t that much skating. Those three days were really crucial for us because we had that time to rest.
When we have two hard weeks ahead of us, our coach starts tapering down our workouts earlier and making it easier so that we could last the two weeks. That also helps.
We strategically planned our whole season with him just to see what weeks we need to go hard, what weeks we need to take it easy.
When you’re not busy skating, what do you like to do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
Well, I’m doing school right now, so I don’t have that much free time. I watch Netflix. I don’t have time for another hobby (smiles).
I do a lot of dog training and dog sitting. That’s kind of like a part-time job for me. I take care of pets when people leave town, stuff like that.
At this point of our lives, we have school and training and maybe a job, but we don’t really have much time on our own. We have the weekends to go watch a movie or something, but for right now, Monday through Friday, we’re working hard.
Thank you so much for the interview. Good luck!