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Gilles & Poirier Ice-Dance.com Interview: 2020 Canadians

The 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships kick off next week, and I got to sit in on the pre-competition media call with ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirer – the favorites to take this year’s Canadian title. Check out my article for Ice-Dance.com to hear how they’re using a 5th-place finish in the Grand Prix Final as both motivation and confidence booster, and the changes they’ve made to their programs for the second half of the season.

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Photo by Robin Ritoss, Courtesy of Ice-Dance.com

Gilles & Poirier Use Grand Prix Final as Motivation for Second Half of Season

Piper Gilles & Paul Poirier returned to the Grand Prix Final this year for the first time since the 2014-15 season, propelled by their most successful Grand Prix campaign to date: a first-time Grand Prix victory at Skate Canada and a silver at Rostelecom Cup.

While the duo saw it as a milestone, they ultimately weren’t happy with their fifth place finish in the six-team field.

“We were really pleased to be back at the Final. It’s something that has eluded us for several years and we’ve been very close many times, so it was really nice to be back there and really feel a part of the top echelon in the world,” Poirier said on a Skate Canada media call ahead of the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ontario. “As much as we didn’t quite get the result that we wanted there, we really feel like we were in the mix, especially with coming fourth in the free dance. I think that did build our confidence. We really feel that we are in the mix, that we’re competitive, that we can really challenge for the podium at the World Championships.”

Read the rest of the article on Ice-Dance.com, where we’ll be following all the action from the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships!


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Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier Interview: Duo Takes New Approach to Choreography for 2019-20 Season

Practice ice starts today at Skate Canada International in Kelowna, British Columbia, and the competition kicks off tomorrow. Last week, I joined the pre-competition media call with Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier to hear about their goals for this competition and the season ahead. Check out my article for Ice-Dance.com for all that, plus the different approach they took with choreography this year:

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Photo by Robin Ritoss; Courtesy ice-dance.com

Gilles and Poirier Kick Off Grand Prix Season at Skate Canada

Read the full article at Ice-Dance.com, and check out their awesome Reference section if you want to learn more about ice dance terminology and competition requirements!


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Flashback Friday: Skate Canada 2018 Edition

Week two of the 2018 Grand Prix season brings us to Skate Canada, held this year in Laval, Quebec. Back in 2012, Canadian ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier made their Grand Prix debut at Skate Canada with this delightful “Mary Poppins” short dance:

It is more traditional than these two usually go for, but I really enjoyed it—especially their energy throughout.

Gilles told CTV News that this year’s programs are emotional and vulnerable, especially in light of the death of her mother last May. Their interview with her ahead of the competition is a great read. This weekend, look for their tango rhythm dance to “Angelica’s Tango” by Piernicola Di Muro and free dance to “Vincent (Starry Starry Night)” by Don MacLean and Govardo. We’ll see if they can challenge the momentum that Skate America Champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue have going into this event!


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Best Costumes of the Season So Far: Ice Dance

I took a look at the best ladies’ costumes first, but now it’s on to ice dance. This discipline naturally lends itself to more theatrical outfits, with thematic short dances informed by the required rhythm of a given year, and free dances that usually tell a story, whether it’s borrowed from a movie or musical, or it’s one that the couple created to go with their music.

I find that there are lots of fashion extremes in ice dance: the skaters either look fabulous or crazy. So here are a few who I think have looked fabulous this season:

Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron – free dance

The French team, now two-time World Champions, haven’t beaten the Canadian Olympic Champions on the comeback trail, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, in two head-to-head meetings this season. But I say they are winning the fashion contest, especially with these beautiful blue creations:

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Image Source: icenetwork.com

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Image Source: dailyherald.com

I had to include this second shot, so you can appreciate the beautiful ombre fade in her skirt. I love that both her dress and his top have nontraditional cuts in the bodice—his especially so, with the sleeveless! He is one of a few men taking advantage of a rule change that allows for sleeveless shirts this year, and I think it works well here. The theme of their program is a bit abstract this year, I think something about working through challenges, so it’s fitting that the costumes have this artsy, ombre vibe. Coolest part of these costumes? Cizeron designs them, according to their interview on the Ice Talk podcast.

Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje – short dance

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Image Source: insideskating.net

I love how unexpected, original, and fashion-y (that’s a technical term, right?) this look is on Weaver: menswear-inspired shorts, complete with a faux-necklace made of sequins. This works because of the impeccable fit—nothing is ever out of place, at any point in the program. She looks like she is about to hit a red carpet for a music awards show, and the leather accents on Poje’s pants and vest are an excellent complement to her look.

Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier – free dance

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Image Source: Getty Images

Piper’s dress is my favorite here. I love that she went with blue for a tango (we usually see red or black), and this particular icy blue is gorgeous. As is the detail on the dress, with the sequined bodice and the gathered, lace skirt. The flower in her hair is a teeeeny bit big, but it keeps the tango character. Paul’s look is only ok here (though I appreciate the commitment with the mustache!)—if the accents in his tie matched the color of her dress, I think I’d be sold.

When watching dance or pairs, I tend to gravitate towards what the girl is wearing first, maybe because I wear/have worn skating dresses myself. I also think the guys usually have simpler looks overall, so your eye can be drawn to the ladies’ beautiful outfits. I tried not to only pay attention to the girls here, and give the guys their due as well. Who is wearing your favorite ice dance costumes this season?