Wednesday, 17/1/2018 | : : UTC-8
Skate Today

Davis and White Dominate Dance

Meryl Davis and Charlie White edged their way to the top spot with an original dance worth 61.93 points. The youngsters have been in the shadows of Olympic silver medalists Tanith Belbin and Benajamin Agosto who were favored to win their sixth National Title but pulled from the event due to injury. Davis and White took advantage of their absence claiming the lead in the first two segments of the competition with a total score of 101.86 points. 2007 Junior World Champions Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates took second with an overall score of 93.25 points and Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre sit third with a combined score of 89.52 points after a sixth place score of 54.30 points in the original dance.

It was the coming out party for Grand Prix bronze medalists Meryl Davis, 22, and Charlie White, 21, who stepped into character the minute they set foot on the ice. The Skate Canada Champions delivered an energetic dance set to the music “Happy Feet” by Manhattan Rhythm Kings.

“It takes a lot of energy, you know with the happy feet and all the expressions,” Davis commented.

The overnight leaders highlighted their dance with perfectly matched diagonal and midline step sequences and a wonderful serpentine lift which earned high GOE’s. It was a mature presentation that was delivered with polish and attack.

“We tried to put a lot of emotion into it. It wasn’t our best,” Davis explained about their 61.93 point original dance. “I had a little bobble on the twizzle, but I still felt really good.”

Watching Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates was like watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers on Ice. They produced a rock solid skate to the music “Let Yourself Go” by Irving Berlin. Tap dancing across the ice the 2008 Junior World Champions skated with poise and distinction adding 56.97 points and will enter the free dance with a total of of 93.25 points.

“We wanted to present the program the best that we could, and we wanted to portray the characters of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, “Emily stated about the program.

Their level four synchronized twizzles were bang on earning +2 GOE’s from eight of the nine judges. The serpentine lift and dance spin were also level four, but the circular steps were level three and the midline step sequence a level two.

“I think it was pretty quick out there, she added. “The program went by really fast, and we were really focused. (We) wanted to keep everything normal. This is why we practice so we can do the same in competition.”

“The key was to have a lot of fun out there,” Bates added. “I think the audience enjoyed it a lot and we did too.”

2008 National bronze medalists Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre delivered a high energy and quick stepping dance to the music “Hey Pachuco” by Royal Crown Review and “Why don’t you Do Right” by Smead O’Connor. The duo managed only a sixth place ranking in the original dance with 54.30 points, but when combined with the compulsory scores the duo held onto to third place with 89.52 points.

“This was a more upbeat performance,” Navarro stated. “It is different for us…. I had fun but I was nervous out there.”

The opening rotational lift was strong as were the midline and diagonal steps. However, the duo received only level three on their dance spin and level two on the twizzle segment.

“We were really happy although apparently we lost a lot of points technically,” Bommentre told the press. “That wasn’t really our focus. The crowd is great here in Cleveland, and I thought our performance really translated to them.”

Brother and sister team Madison Hubbell and Keiffer Hubbell stepped up their performance level this season and captured the fourth best original dance with 54.51 points. They will enter the free dance in forth place with an overall score of 87.03 points.

The reigning Junior National Champions entertained the audience with a lively dance set to the music “Minnie the Moocher” by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. Competing for the first time in the senior division the teens performed well exhibiting a technically demanding program which was highlighted by an excellent serpentine lift and synchronized twizzles.

Jane Summersett and Todd Gilles currently sit fifth with 54.43 points for the original dance and 86.91 points overall. American/Canadian match-up of Morgan Matthews and Lief Gislason are currently sixth after placing third in the original dance with 55.03 points and an event total of 86.52 points.

The dance event concludes Saturday afternoon with the free dance followed by the naming of the Four Continents and World Team.

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