While skating fans await the Grand Prix Final, I’m taking inventory of some of my favorite ice moves of the season so far. I’ve been keeping a list of the elements I love, jotting them down as I’ve watched them either on TV or IceNetwork.
Here are my favorite lifts of the season, skewed a bit towards the ice dance scene with one pair lift. (To be fair, lots of the pairs do similar positions to meet the IJS requirements…or, not entirely aesthetically pleasing positions that meet the IJS requirements).
- Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje’s final lift in their free dance:
Strength, difficulty, a beautiful position, and it is timed perfectly with the emotional final moments of the music.
- Another Canadian dance team, Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, have a fabulous lift in their short dance:
It’s a very acrobatic lift, but they execute it with ease and smoothness, and also hit each position clearly. Sometimes the most intricate dance lifts end up looking like a whirling dervish, and each position isn’t clear as the couple moves so quickly through each variation. This lift is really well done and unique, while still having appealing positions.
- Continuing the Canadian theme I’ve got going here, I also love the lift at the end of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro’s short program:
The exit is my favorite part — it’s unique and her position, stretch, and toe point is exquisite. Her position throughout is great, while he could be a little more sure and fluid on his steps. But, I also think the gif version accentuates that a bit more than the video.
- Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte have a gorgeous straight-line lift in their free dance, with Anna in a spiral position. I’m always a sucker for a lovely spiral position!
The exit on this one isn’t the smoothest and definitely needs to be improved, but the lift itself is gorgeous.
- I’m obsessed with all of Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron’s “Moonlight Sonata” free dance, but this lift is a highlight:
The camera angle isn’t ideal, but this stunning photo from Gabriella’s Instagram shows a better view of that the last position.
- While the lifts I’ve mentioned so far go up, I love this lift from Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue that is a bit closer to the ice:
It fits the character of their blues-y free dance really nicely, and the entry and exit are seamless.
- /8. Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker’s “Liebestraum” free dance is my favorite of the year (and I guess last year, too, since they are repeating the program, but this is a program repeat I can get behind. The performance has definitely grown!). The music, costumes, and choreography are impeccable, and, as such, I couldn’t pick just ONE favorite lift in this program. I love the combination of ease and strength in this leaning lift:
I’m clearly drawn to the ones where the girl is standing on the guy’s leg, huh? This next one is a little different, and I love how not only is the lift timed perfectly with the music, but their movement mimics what we are hearing in the music.
I wish she would keep her arm out during the entire sweeping motion of the lift — it would be a prettier line and also accentuate the circular movement more.
Did you love these, too? Any fantastic lifts that I missed or need to give a second look?