This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Aldridge, Eaton enter first senior season well-prepared, excited by MIMI WHETSTONE

When Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Ea-

ton entered their third season as a junior team, they already had two Junior Grand Prix medals, a trip to the Junior Grand Prix Final, the U.S. ju- nior title and a World Junior bronze medal under their belts. But the Michigan-based ice dancers wanted

even more in their final campaign in the junior ranks. “Alex and I met with our coaches at the end of our 2011‒12 season and discussed our plans for the following year,” Eaton said. “After such a successful season at the junior level, the idea to move senior was discussed, but we came to the conclusion that one more year at junior would be in our best interest.”

Tat decision paid off nicely. Aldridge and Eaton successfully defended their U.S. title and improved upon their international results, top- ping the podium at both of their Junior Grand Prix assignments in Slovenia and the United States, and taking home the bronze medal at the Junior Grand Prix Final in Sochi, Russia. “I feel that our decision to stay junior was a

smart move,” Eaton said. “Te jump from junior to senior is huge and now that Alex and I have more experience on the international circuit, we feel we are more prepared for what senior has in store.”

Coached by Angelika Krylova, Liz Swallow,

Natalia Deller, Massimo Scali and Pasquale Ca- merlengo in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., Aldridge and Eaton also successfully defended their World Junior bronze medal and became the first U.S. ice dancing team to win consecutive U.S. junior titles since Morgan Matthews and Maxim Zavoz- in in 2004. “We feel more confident than ever now

moving up to senior,” Aldridge said. “We set very high goals for ourselves last year and unfortunate- ly they didn’t turn out the way we had hoped, but I feel we worked hard and did all that we could at each competition and gained so much experi- ence. At the end of the day, that’s all we can ask for.”

After teaming up in May 2009, Aldridge and Eaton won the U.S. novice title in 2010, on their way to three U.S. titles in four seasons together. As they prepare to transition from ju- nior to senior, Aldridge and Eaton will take the ice in Boston at the 2014 Prudential U.S. Fig- ure Skating Championships with the pressure of continuing their national success in a year when three teams will earn berths to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. “Because it is the Olympic year, we feel as

though we really have nothing to lose because we are brand new,” Aldridge said. “With that being

36 JUNE/JULY 2013

Aldridge and Eaton capture the gold medal at the Junior Grand Prix event in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Aldridge and Eaton receive their winning scores at the 2013 U.S. Championships, with coaches Massimo Scali and Pasquale Camerlango alongside in the kiss and cry.

High energy and enthusiasm helped lift Alexandra Aldridge and Daniel Eaton to a repeat of their U.S. junior title.

said, we’re going put it all out there on the ice and see what happens.” “Te pressure of moving up to senior in the

midst of the Olympic season is certainly excit- ing,” Eaton added. “Alex and I are really excited about what our season has in store for us. Every high-level athlete dreams of the Olympics and few people have had the opportunity to represent their country at the Olympic Games. Knowing that there is a possibility that Alex and I could attend our first Games this season is thrilling for the both of us and it makes us push ourselves more and more on the ice.” For their senior debut, Aldridge and Ea- ton will skate their free dance to selections of Bollywood music and chose various songs from the 1994 film Te Mask for a jazzy short dance, which this season must include patterns of the Finnstep, a dance unique in its quickness, light-footed steps and intricate maneuvers. “We have no experience with the Finnstep, so it will definitely be a challenge for us,” Al- dridge said. “It’s so fast, but I think we are up to the challenge.” First performed as an original dance at the

1995 European Championships by Susanna Rahkamo and Petri Kokko of Finland, the Finn- step was later adapted to a compulsory dance and had been competed at ISU events in only two other seasons (2008–09, 2010–11). “Alex and I are both excited about our up-

coming performances to our selections of music,” Eaton said. “Our experience with the Finnstep has been great so far. Alex and I really enjoy per- forming that style of skating and dance.” As they prepare to showcase their talents on the highest stage, Aldridge and Eaton hope to follow in the footsteps of fellow U.S. junior ice dancing champions, including five-time U.S. champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who won the junior title in 2006, Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates, who won the following year and went on to compete at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, and Maia and Alex Shibutani, who took junior gold in 2010, and bronze at the World Championships the following year. “Every season there is pressure,” Aldridge

said. “Because we are new to the senior field, there’s pressure to prove that we aren’t junior skaters anymore and that we belong on the ice with other senior teams.” “Our goals for our first year senior are to

skate exciting, energetic performances,” Eaton added. “We want to show performances that re- ally capture our ability to skate with the skills and performance of some of the top-level skaters in the world.”




Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60