20th September, from Penny

Hey guys,

As the new season begins, i thought it was probably the right time to write another journal entry to give you an update as to how things have been going for us, and our plans for the next few weeks. When i last wrote, Nick and I were towards the end of our pre season training and both looking forward to going home for some rest. After taking just a couple of weeks off, Nick and I were back on the ice with my step dad, Philip Askew Choreographing our new Short Dance. We picked music from the film “Amelie” for the waltz section and a tango piece by Vanessa Mae. I think we are all really happy with our music choices for this season.

Whilst we were training at The National Ice Centre, the Sports development team provided us with a unique opportunity to work with some Acrobats on our lifts for our new programmes. Jackie Leon Sysums and Juan Carlos Leon Benitez, otherwise known as “Tuyo” are top class ariel and acrobatic trainers that have worked for Theatre, Broadway and Television. It was amazing to work with them as they really helped us achieve what we believe to be really exciting and inovating lifts. Check out their website : http://www.tuyocircusarts.co.uk/#/about-tuyo/4538413665.

In preparation for the new season, Nick and I travelled back to New Jersey, to train at the Igloo ice rink. Evgeny teaches us here along side John and Sinead Kerr, the Georgian ice dance team Allison Reed and Otar Japaridze and some younger dance teams. Nick and I really enjoy training here, all the teams get along well and are supportive of each other. Completing those first few runthroughs of the season is always tough, as your body is not quite used to the new programs and endurance needed to get to the end of them yet. But, all the guys here cheer you on and it really helps you get through the harder runthroughs. This something that has really helped me so far this season as our Free Dance this year is particularly challenging.

It was really nice for us to come back to England and perform our new programmes at the IJS Sheffield event. It was great to see all the other competitors and the improvements they have all made since we last saw them at the British Championships. It was a great chance for us to shows our new programmes to the judges and technical pannel, especially the new Short Dance and gain valuable feedback that we can hopefully take with us to our international events. After a breif trip home, including an afternoon Go-karting with Evgeny, we were back to America to train hard prior to our international events.

Which pretty much leads you up to where we are now, back in New Jersey getting ready for our first international the Ondrej Nepela Memorial in Bratislava. We have been working on our programs with Jhanna Palagina, a former professional ballet dancer, prior to this season Jhanna worked along side natalia Linichuk and her teams. We leave here on Friday and are planning to train back in Nottingham next week before we leave for Bratislava, and then again before the Coup de Nice competition. We will probably write again after the two events.

Best wishes,

Penny 🙂 xx