(March 23, 2004)
It was the debut of the Midnight Blues at an International Skating Union (ISU) Championship in the compulsory dance at the 2004 ISU World Figure Skating Championships.
And this dance suited the three Canadian ice dance teams competing at this event just fine.
Canadian Ice Dance Champions Marie-France Dubreuil, 29, and Patrice Lauzon, 28, of Montreal, placed third in their compulsory dance group, just behind Bulgarians Albena Denkova and Maxim Staviski, last year’s bronze medallists, who placed first, and Elena Grushina and Ruslan Goncharov, of Ukraine, who finished in second-place.
Dubreuil and Lauzon, who are looking to improve on their 10th-place finish at last year’s World Championships, skated the dance effortlessly with passion in every movement. The judges rewarded them with marks ranging from 5.1 to 5.4 for technical merit and from 5.2 to 5.6 for presentation.
“I was a little bit nervous about it (the dance), but it has a good feeling to it and I think the audience is enjoying a new dance,” said Dubreuil.
Vancouver natives Megan Wing, 28, and Aaron Lowe, 29, are also looking to move up from a 12th-place finish at the 2003 World Championships. They got off to a good start today, showing of their precise footwork and trademark edges to place fifth in compulsory group A, the same group as Dubreuil and Lauzon.
When combined with the results of the other compulsory group, Dubreuil and Lauzon currently stand tied for fifth, while Wing and Lowe are tied for ninth.
Josée Piché and Pascal Denis, who are competing in their first-ever World Championships, also skated a strong Midnight Blues. Piché, 29, of Le Gardeur, Que., and Denis, 28, of Repentigny, Que., who have been skating together for 17 years, displayed good edges and flow throughout the dance.
The duo placed 12th in compulsory group B, which puts them in a tie for 23rd heading into the original dance.
Placing first in compulsory group B was the Russian team of Tatiana Navka and Roman Kostomarov, while Kati Winkler and Rene Lohse of Germany placed second, and the French team of Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Schoenfelder were third.
The original dance will take place on Thursday. Piché and Denis have drawn to skate first, while Wing and Lowe will skate second last, just prior to Dubreuil and Lauzon, who have drawn to skate last.