Ice Dancing, Original Dance
The Original Dance of the 2007/2008 season is the “Country/Folk Dance”. The 25 couples in the event presented a wide range of styles and music, from Russian Folklore over French, South American, Greek and Austrian dances to Gypsy and Egyptian themes.
Isabelle Delobel/Olivier Schoenfelder of France defended their lead after the Compulsory Dance ahead of Russia’s Oksana Domnina/Maxim Shabalin and Jana Khokhlova/Sergei Novitski.
Delobel/Schoenfelder had opted for a French Gavotte from the Bretagne, named “Replique”. The defending European Champions delivered an entertaining dance that featured intricate steps, a straight line-lift and a dance combination spin that were graded a level four. The couple effectively used scarves in their program. They earned 62.72 points (31.63 element score/31.09 program component score) and now have 103.97 overall heading into the final Free Dance. “We can be very satisfied with what we did today. We really got into it. I was a bit tense in the beginning, and then it’s easy to make errors, but I think we dealt well with it”, Delobel commented. “We’ll go into it (the Free Dance) with positive emotions. We had great practices here all week and we have new costumes. We’ll really have to do well but I think that’s exactly what we will do with our “Piano Lesson” (program)”, she added. Schoenfelder agreed. “We won the Original Dance, and that was the second part of the competition that we did well. It gives us a good feeling for the free dance, and if we finish our competition like that we’ve a chance to win. It’s very close as it was to be expected and everything will be decided in the free dance”, he said.
Indeed, Domnina/Shabalin are trailing the leaders by just 1.82 points at 102.15. The reigning Grand Prix Final Champions produced a level-four dance spin, a level four circular step sequence and a one armed rotational lift in their dynamic Cossack dance, but Shabalin was off on the last twizzles in the side by side footwork and this part of the element was graded only a level two. The Russians scored 61.90 (30.86/31.04) points. “My knee is fine. It had nothing to do with the error on the twizzle. On the contrary, we did the twizzles so well in the warm up that maybe we lost a bit control (relaxed too much) in the actual performance”, Shabalin said. He had undergone meniscus surgery on December 24. “It was our mistake. It’s too bad”, Domnina commented on the error. ”You never know. If something doesn’t go well on the warm up, you start to worry and to get nervous. If the warm up goes well, you start to loose control.”