October 4, 2023


Make Some Fun

Janse Van Rensburg & Steffan embrace new alternatives

5 min read

by Matteo Morelli | Images by Yoriko Suzuki

Germany’s Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan are having fun with a season that’s giving them a variety of new alternatives to point out their potential. We sat down with the 2 time German Nationwide Champions after they competed at their first European Championships in Espoo, Finland, the place they shared what this season means to them and what they’re specializing in in the direction of their future.

Jennifer and Benjamin, thanks for spending a while with us. You competed at your first European Championships, ending in ninth place. What do you’re taking away with you from this competitors?

Benjamin Steffan (BS): We really feel excellent about this, it has been fairly a journey to get right here for us. That is our first massive championship collectively and reaching that prime ten placement means rather a lot to us. We’re very thrilled.

What does this end result imply for you in relation to your targets? 

Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg (JJ): We’re fairly blissful that with the highest ten we acquired two spots for Germany at subsequent 12 months’s European Championships. This 12 months we nonetheless have the upcoming World Championships in Japan, a contest that I feel is most skaters’ dream and that’s additionally coming true for us. We’re fairly excited.

Taking a look at this season, you have got taken half in a number of challenger competitions, you went to the Skate America Grand Prix, and secured a second consecutive title on the German Nationwide Championships.

BS: This season has been an enormous step up for us. We have now been capable of safe a second nationwide title which meant rather a lot to us and we’ve got had two medals at challenger competitions (silver at each Denis Ten Memorial and Warsaw Cup), which is an enormous deal. It offers us the sensation that what we’re doing is the correct factor and we aren’t at our restrict but however we will push our skills to get higher and higher.

Your free programme is on “Prelude (Age of Heroes)” by Balázs Havasi, a music that features a choir initially, adopted by a piano and solo voice within the center, to finish with a crescendo. How did you give you it?

JJ: Our coach (Natalia Karamysheva) heard the music and instantly considered us. She performed it and we immediately liked it! 

BS: That’s how we selected the music, we might actually see us performing to that and as staff we determined to make use of it.

Though that is the post-Olympic 12 months, the subsequent Milano-Cortina Olympic Video games aren’t that far. Have you ever acquired any ambitions in relation to that?

BS: Sure, we’ve got sat collectively and talked in regards to the future, and we’ve got determined that we need to go for the Olympic Video games in 2026. That is our massive objective: we’re taking each step that’s vital and that we will take in the direction of it. 

We regarded at present and the longer term, let’s now return to the previous. You might have been skating collectively since 2016, however earlier than getting there you each had totally different experiences. Beginning with you, Jennifer: you had been a single skater for some years till 2014, whenever you determined to alter.

JJ: I modified very late to ice dance. Fairly lots of people mentioned it was too late, however I took that as a problem. Within the final couple of years we got here to a degree the place we lastly reached what we had been aiming for. It took us some time, I needed to commit rather a lot.

And Benjamin, what’s your background?

BS: I’ve been an ice dancer for fairly a very long time. I by no means did solo skating, nonetheless I did play ice hockey earlier than that! However that was a very long time in the past. I began ice dancing once I was ten years outdated, I’ve had a number of companions up till I partnered up with Jenny. I actually respect each facet of each partnership that I’ve had to this point. Every thing that I’ve completed has taken me nearer to the place I’m, and the place we’re, proper now.

How did you discover one another and determined to skate collectively?

JJ: Truly, we’ve got recognized one another for fairly a very long time! We have now been associates exterior the ice rink too. We have now discovered one another in our fundamental military course and sport schooling: our educator knew we had been each in search of companions and instructed we tried out. 

Whilst you focus in your aggressive profession, you’re additionally doing a training qualification course. 

BS: Our federation has given us the power to take slightly shortcut, so to say, to that whole schooling course of. Since we’re professional athletes, we’ve got to do the identical exams, however so far as the academic half goes we don’t must attend each seminar, which supplies us the power to do the course whereas we’re skating. It’s a actually good alternative to do one thing that we will use later and get a training licence whereas we’re skating.

Is that this a future aspiration of yours and one thing you undoubtedly need to do after your aggressive profession, or is it one thing you need to have in case you need to take that course?

BS: I feel I converse for the each of us by saying that it’s an possibility, however there was nothing determined but. It’s undoubtedly a superb factor to have as a result of we each share such an enormous ardour for this sport and ice dancing particularly. I might undoubtedly see myself teaching sooner or later, however it is going to rely on circumstances.

JJ: It might be good in fact, we’re having this expertise and we’d like to share this with the youthful generations.

What are your greatest recollections as a staff?

BS: There may be not one reminiscence particularly, however one factor I actually respect about our partnership is that it isn’t only a work relationship, but in addition a superb friendship. We have now managed to undergo so many ups and downs collectively and meaning rather a lot to me.

JJ: I agree with that! That is essentially the most precious factor to have, if you’re exterior of the rink it’s also possible to do stuff collectively and never avoiding or preventing one another. I actually respect our relationship!

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