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Skate Today

From Russia to Raleigh

Jane Bugaeva

North Carolina’s Jane Bugaeva is hoping to make as much of an impact at the 2005 U. S. Nationals in Portland, Oregon as she did at the Eastern Sectionals, where she won easily with a seven-triple effort in the long program. The 18-year-old, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, was ninth in senior ladies in 2004, her first foray into the senior ranks. Internationally, Bugaeva has been competing as both a junior and a senior this season. She placed second at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Serbia and Montenegro and fourth in Romania, but just missed making the ISU Junior Grand Prix Final this season.

As a senior, she prospered, winning the Bofrost Cup in Germany in her first senior international. “I only got notified two weeks before Bofrost,” she said. “It was a different concept. I thought it was pretty cool because I don’t like the short program anyway. I have difficulty doing a clean short.” As for her goals, Bugaeva said, “I’m just hoping to place higher at Nationals this year. My goal is always to skate clean and then I should get a good placement.

Bugaeva began skating when she was seven, shortly after her mother, Tatjana Shapkina, a biochemistry researcher, moved from Russia to North Carolina to work at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “My mom used to skate in Russia when she was young and she wanted me to learn,” Bugaeva said. “I didn’t like it at first but when I got good at it, I started liking it. I also tried ballet and gymnastics for a short time, but never seriously.”

Two years later, the family had to return to Russia because her mother’s visa had expired. She tried skating in Russia, but was told by Russian coaches that she either had to quit school and concentrate on skating every day or quit. So after a few months, of trying, she quit. Fortunately, her father received a student visa that led to permanent residency in North Carolina for the family and she resumed practicing.

“I like how it feels like you’re flying when you skate,” she continued, “and I like jumping, obviously.” Bugaeva didn’t remember when she first landed a triple jump. “I probably did a triple salchow first but I don’t like that jump at all,” she said. “I like toe jumps because I can do them better. My favorite is the triple toe.” Although she doesn’t currently have a triple-triple combination, Bugaeva does a triple flip/falling leaf/triple toe and has done triple lutz/double toe, triple loop/double toe, and triple toe/double toe combinations in her programs. “I can do triple flip/triple toe in practice, but it’s not good enough for competition,” she added. “I actually did a quad toe in harness last summer and I’ll try again without the harness next summer. It’s just a fun thing to do.”

The lively blonde trains with Kathie Kader, who has been her only coach. She skates at three rinks in the Research Triangle area in North Carolina, usually dodging recreational skaters. That includes about two hours a day, five days a week on ice and another two hours a week in off ice training sandwiched between schoolwork and studying.

Natalia Efimova has choreographed her programs for the last three years, working with Kader and incorporating Bugaeva’s own ideas. “My coach and I choose the music,” Bugaeva said. “I like to change both programs every year. It gets boring to do the same ones over and over. But it depends on whether it’s a real good program. We kept last year’s junior long program to use on the Junior Grand Prix this season. It’s a classical piece, ‘Le Patineurs’ (The Skaters). I love fast classical music. I had a tango for the short last year but I can’t do Spanish as well as others can. I’m more hippity-hoppety. So we changed it.”

This season, Bugaeva is using the soundtrack from “The Three Musketeers” for the short and a James Bond medley for the long. “Kathy likes movie soundtracks,” Bugaeva said. “I’m using Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, and the James Bond theme. It takes me back to my roots.” Bugaeva choreographed her own exhibition program to “You Don’t Own Me.” Off ice, the teenager listens to everything except rap and country. “I like older rock and stuff,” she said, “Like the Rolling Stones and Simon and Garfunkel.”

Other than that, she doesn’t pursue a lot of off ice interests, although she likes to surf on a skimboard. “I read a lot,” she said, “mainly modern fiction and fiction in general. She likes to collect “soft and furry things and keeps all the toys she receives as gifts from skating. Bugaeva also has two soft and furry creatures of her own, a pair of rabbits named Fluff and Fuzz. But her main passion is travel.

“I like traveling to skate,” she said. “I want to go everywhere and see as much of Europe as possible. Paris is my favorite city. It’s gorgeous. It’s got a lot of history and personality and the food is really good. I like France because it’s beautiful and cultural. I’m kind of a Francophile. And I just like cities in general. I’m hoping to get a job where I can travel because I want to see Asia, South America and Africa.” Visiting Paris gives Bugaeva a chance to work on her French, one of three languages she speaks, including English and Russian.

French is her favorite subject in high school. She attends W. G. Enloe High School, a public high school in North Carolina, where she is an honors student as a senior. Last year, Bugaeva was included on the Chevrolet Scholastic Honors Team, which recognizes high school student-athletes who have excelled in both academics and the sport of figure skating. “I’m ready to go to college,” Bugaeva noted. “I want to study French and creative writing. I write stories now for fun and would love to have a job writing about skating.” She also has an artistic bent. “I did art in middle school,” she continued. “If I’d taken four years of art in high school, I’d probably major in something artsy, probably drawing. I wish I could draw but I don’t.”

Now her only draws come at skating competitions, where she hopes to be the first to draw in the final group for the free skate.

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