September 28, 2023


Make Some Fun

New Crew Collection: Anna Waugh & Nikolai Balabardin

6 min read

Anna Waugh (12) and Nikolai Balabardin (15) are a brand new U.S. intermediate ice dance group this season. 

Inform us about every of your skating journeys, together with any particular reminiscences.
Anna Waugh (AW): My first steps on ice was at 17 months previous. At age 3.5 years previous I began Be taught to skate. My first competitors was in 2015 , I used to be 4 years previous. I completed in 2nd place, my mother offered me enormous lollipop after this competitors!! To at the present time, I like to compete!

I did freestyle for five years, I made a decision to begin ice dance with companion additionally … in our first competitors we received a gold medal. We have been so excited! It was good skating 12 months with loads of medals… and at finish of skating season 2021 we certified for ice dance last and have become Nationwide Growth group members in Juvenile! We certified for Nationwide Growth Crew in 2022 as properly, in intermediate.

Nikolai Balabardin (NB):I began skating after I was 3 years previous as a result of each of my dad and mom are skating coaches and it was simpler to have me on the ice, slightly than simply cling across the area. I landed my first axel at 5rys previous and at 6yrs previous, I used to be the pre-juvenile champion of Alberta, Canada. A few of my most particular reminiscences are assembly and skating with a few of America’s best skaters in Solar Valley, Idaho. I’ve shared the ice with Jason Brown, Nathan Chen and Polina Edmonds. I used to be additionally very fortunate to have been invited to dinner with Nathan’s Mother to observe him skate within the Solar Valley Ice Present.

What made you select ice dance?
(AW): My coach Mathew Gates, and in addition my favourite skater- Madison Hubbell.

(NB): I selected to modify from freeskate to ice dance as a result of I really like the sensation of gliding on the ice. I’ve landed jumps as much as triple salchow, however I at all times most popular when my skates have been on the ice, as an alternative of the air.

Inform us about you and your households. Do you’ve got siblings? Do in addition they determine skate? Do you’ve got hobbies?
(AW): I don’t have siblings. Mother likes to skate too and she or he sews all my costumes! My father is a baseball fan, however he’s grew to become ice dance fan now too!

(NB): My dad and mom are each determine skating coaches in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, British Columbia. My Mama is Canadian and my Papa is Russian. They met in Disney on Ice, the place they skated and toured for six years. I’ve an 11yr previous sister that additionally skates. She is at present skating within the Pre-novice degree.

How and when did your partnership start? (Associate Search, coaching mate, and so on.) Describe the tryout? 
(AW): After we broke up with my previous ice dance companion, my coach discovered me Nikolai, from Canada. At March this 12 months, after 10 days of making an attempt out, we determined to skate collectively as a group. Our journey with Nikolai began 5/17/2023 when he relocated to North Carolina.

(NB): Mathew Gates, our coach, contacted my dad and mom by e-mail after seeing my profile on Associate Search. My dad and mom met Anna’s dad and mom on Zoom, and there was an prompt connection. Anna’s household was so heat, pleasant, and her Mother may talk simply with my Papa as she is speaks Russian. We organized a time for me to go to North Carolina the place I attempted-out with Anna. I used to be there for about 2 weeks and I actually loved not solely skating with Anna, however the coaching atmosphere and coaches Mathew Gates and Sasha Zaretsky.

What do you already like most about dancing along with your new companion?
(AW): Nikolai is a tough working man, he has superb skating abilities. He likes to skate quite a bit, like me. We each love skating and we get alongside nice!

(NB): I actually loved how we picked up the dance spins and transition actions
rapidly. Anna can also be filled with vitality and is tremendous pleasant. She is straightforward to get together with and I feel that she’s going to assist deliver out my enjoyable aspect as I’m quieter and extra shy.

What are you every most enthusiastic about for the brand new partnership?
(AW): I’m very excited for the brand new season with Nikolai, excited to progress in new skating abilities and to hopefully impress everybody! We want to qualify for finals and in addition to qualify for Nationwide Growth Crew!

(NB): I’m most enthusiastic about competing to see how far and properly we will to collectively.

The place do you practice? (Location, amenities, dance mates, courses, and so on.)
(AW): We’re coaching at Excessive Ice Middle, Elite Coaching Crew, Indian Path, North Carolina. We have now a mixture of freestyle & ice dancers at our rink. There are at present 7 groups coaching in our group from pre-juvenile degree as much as Senior – World/Worldwide degree.

(NB): We might be coaching on the Elite Skating Academy within the Excessive Ice Middle in
Indian Path, NC. I don’t know many skaters but, however I sit up for assembly all of them quickly.

Describe your coaching schedule. How usually do you skate? Do you additionally go to highschool? 
(AW): Favourite topic? We’re skating 6 day per week, 4 hours a day. Additionally, we’re doing ballet, ballroom, power and conditioning. We additionally assist with Be taught to skate courses at our rink . I’m doing a homeschooling program. My favourite topic is Arithmetic.

(NB): We might be skating about 5 to six days per week, and round 4 hours per day, together with on and off-ice coaching. I might be doing home-school subsequent 12 months and my favorite topic is French and Bodily and Well being Schooling.

Do you every have a favourite sample dance? Why?
(AW): My favourite sample dance is Rocker Foxtrot, as a result of I just like the patterns and key factors in it.

(NB): My favourite sample dance is the Argentine Tango as a result of the steps really feel snug and circulation collectively.

Who’re your coaches? Did both of you or each should relocate? If that’s the case, inform us in regards to the transfer(s).
(AW): My fundamental coach is Mathew Gates, together with Alexandra Zaretsky and Alina Efimova. Nikolai relocated to North Carolina all the way in which from Vancouver, Canada.

(NB): My coaches are Mathew Gates and Sasha Zaretsky. I’ve to relocate to North
Carolina from British Columbia, Canada. I really feel nervous to be away from my household for thus lengthy, however I’m excited to begin my ice dance journey with Anna.

If you happen to may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who would it not be? Why?
(AW): Madison Hubbell!

(NB): If I may have a lesson with any ice dancer, it might be Shae-Lynn Bourne. She has choreographed a few of my favorite packages and she or he has the superb functionality to create all packages to each sort of music. She additionally appears so filled with vitality, and has fantastic fashion.

What’s your debut competitors this season?
Our debut competitors was in intermediate degree (sample dances) at Chesapeake open after we skated collectively for about one month. We competed on the Dallas NQS in Texas and completed third.

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