Danish ice dancers Anna Thomsen and Nikolaj Sorensen made a little bit of history at the 2006 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Ljubljana, Slovenia in March when they became the first ice dancers to compete for their country at an ISU international championship. The two dancers, both 17, finished in 24th place, but made it all the way to the free dance. The couple also won the Nordic Open in dance in 2006 and was first in junior dance in Denmark for the last two seasons. The couple finished 14th at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Sofia and 15th at the Baltic Cup during the 2005-06 season.
“The Junior Grand Prixs really helped us a lot,” Sorensen said, “but nothing like Junior Worlds. We learned a lot from being so close to the other couples. We got so inspired.”
Both of the skaters started in the sport the same way, skating for fun with their families on frozen lakes near their homes, but Sorensen started a year earlier at six rather than seven. “My dad used to skate for fun and he thought it would be quite good for me,” Sorensen said. “I went skating with him and my brothers. I tried hockey once but quit the team. My teacher was the goaltender on the local team and encouraged me to play but I thought it was more fun to be in figure skating than hockey. I had my jumps up to the double flip and was first in novice one year.”
“A coach from a local club saw me skating with my sister and asked her to come to skate so I went with her,” Thomsen recalled. “She still skates but doesn’t compete. I had all the jumps up to the double lutz and competed in singles for a few years. I reached sixth in novice before I went to dance. It all started when our coach from the Czech Republic decided to go home. The new coaches who came were dance coaches and they thought Nikolaj and I would make a good couple. We just did fun stuff in the beginning, a few shows at our club and at Nationals, but in 2001, we decided to try and compete.”
The couple trains in Copenhagen with David Blazek, working two hours a day, six days a week, not much for a dance couple. They also spend about an hour a day in off ice training. During the summer, they train in Sheffield, England and Ostrava, Czech Republic for a month each because their rink closes from April to August. Both of the skaters also like to swim. He also plays soccer and basketball and rollerblades while she plays tennis and badminton and likes to cycle.
Blatak chose the music for their dances for the 2005-06 season. Their Latin combination original dance music was choreographed by Frantisek Blatak and included a cha cha to “Sway” and a rhumba to “Perfidia” from the Shall We Dance soundtrack and a cha cha to “Mujer Latina”. Jimmy Young choreographed their free dance to “Harem” by Frederico de Brito. “It was really exciting music,” Thomsen said, “very dramatic and powerful and emotional with a good tempo and rhythm.”
“I like performing,” she continued, “especially to fun music.” “I like music like the blues and foxtrot,” Sorensen said, “nothing slow.” For an exhibition program, the duo used “Angel” by Robbie Williams. “We did a lot of the program ourselves, together with our coach,” Sorensen noted. He plays the trumpet and the flute.
To relax, Sorensen likes to be on his computer, surfing the web and playing computer games. They have a website at www.icedance.dk which his cousin designed and they update. Thomsen enjoys going out with friends and watching movies. She also likes to draw and design clothes, including some of their skating costumes. She also keeps all of the stuffed animals they receive. Her favorite is a yellow bear named Axel. She keeps all he skating pins in his tail.
Thomsen is in her first year of high school where her favorite subject is psychology, while he is in his second year. Thomsen hopes to do something creative for a career, but not in skating. “I love skating and ice dance, but I think for a job, I will go another way.” Sorensen has no idea yet of his future career. They both teach skating to young children for an hour a week at their club.