the first peek at tessa and scott's programs

the 2017 skate canada high performance camp came and went, and it's been an amazing week for us fans.

the first thing that happened for me is the first glimpse of the short dance. i found out about it while checking my phone as i walked out of sephora at yorkdale here in toronto. the first clips of this dance had been released and as i saw them hold that edge so perfectly in the pattern, such control, power and speed, i nearly walked into a marble pillar, but i looked up just in time. the second time i saw it i made sure to stand still. in fact, that clip was on repeat the entire way home. i was mesmerized by their flow and musicality, and the way hotel california's vibe was infused into this section, the deep, languid dance that the song itself sings about.

clips of their free dance came in pieces from alaine's instagram stories, and i couldn't snap them up fast enough. i could see, even though the video was so far away, moves from their hip hop choreographer, moves that tessa had revealed on instagram a few months ago. the free dance promised to be a dance that i had never seen before. no moulin rouge has ever looked like this. but what stands out the most is how proud they are of this free dance. they brought the music to their coaches. they insisted on skating to it. they played around with it. they brought in the team they wanted and they made it happen. this is their vision. and for that i'm so proud.

i received far more than i thought i'd get from the high performance camp. there's a buzz in the air from the people who saw it and from their teammates kirsten and eric. tessa and scott are so happy and are in a good place, with training going well. they also celebrated 20 years of skating together at camp. the next stop is the autumn classic.

as always, i pulled together links i found from the high performance camp:


skate canada interview
london free press interview
free dance excerpts
clip of tsn fluff video
clip of tsn fluff video second lift
short dance excerpts
patrice interview with goldenskate with short dance excerpt at 3:15


Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir put their ‘stamp’ on movie music (london free press, tessa's hometwon paper)

Once in a while, the world’s best ice dance team puts its foot down.
Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir wanted to skate this year’s free dance — the program that will determine the colour of medal they collect at the Olympics in February — to music from the movie Moulin Rouge.
“There was no other option for us,” Virtue, the 28-year-old Londoner, said Wednesday at Skate Canada’s preseason high-performance training camp at Hershey Centre in Mississauga.
“We just knew we felt this and loved it so much, there was nothing that would compare.”
“We always loved the movie,” said Moir, the 29-year-old Ilderton native.
“We know it’s a (theme) used a lot in figure skating, but as we always do, we try to give our own stamp on it and make it unique. Only a handful of times in our career, we’ve brought music to our coaches and almost insisted we skated to it.
They brought in choreographer David Wilson again and called on Sam Chouinard, who had previously helped them with hip-hop movements. They convinced their husband-and-wife coaching team of Patrice Lauzon and Marie-France Dubreuil the famous old cabaret in Paris was the way to go.
“Marie and Pat let us play with it a little bit,” Moir said. “Once they saw our passion, they started to come around a little bit more. We’re super-proud of our 2014 (Olympic silver in Sochi) programs, but one thing we could’ve improved upon was picking something we really connect with . . . we ended up settling below that.

"We like that challenge, it's been a big motivator for us," Moir said. "We know how hard it is to win after we've won, and it's been a good motivator this year. (But) we don't need motivation, this Olympic season we're just trying to control our emotions more so than find motivation. We're thinking about it every day and that's already started, it's so funny how quick you're going to bed every night dreaming of the Olympics, it's already begun."

Canada's best figure skaters offer sneak peek ahead of PyeongChang Games  (CBC)

One of those hopes has to be pinned on 2010 Olympic gold and 2014 Olympic silver ice dance medallists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir.
"David Pelletier told me in 2009 that the Olympics aren't won or lost at the camp," Moir says. "That happens in April, May and June with the prep work that gets you to this point."
Moir acknowledges that they're pushing the officials more at this camp than they have in the past.
"We'd rather have the feedback now than at our first competition, where we would be getting it anyway. At least if we get it here, we have a month to work on things."

Winter Olympics: Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir will miss backing from Mike Babcock (london free press)

Moir, who won gold with Virtue in 2010 and silver in '14, praised the two-time Olympic champion men's hockey coach for embracing the spirit of the Games and ensuring his band of Canadian NHL stars did the same.
"Mike would come into the gym and talk to us," the 29-year-old from Ilderton said. "I know he did the same with the curlers and (bobsleigh champs) Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse. We hear stories from '06 and whatever from the old hockey teams, but we felt Mike really made them a part of the team and they were always in the room with us. It'll be hard. There were guys we've been to every Games with (not going this time)."
He will be, however, one long-distance phone call away.
"We're hoping he'll be on speed-dial with us," Virtue, the 28-year-old Londoner, said. "We'll miss him there in the village, but we'll be in touch."

and so it begins

i was checking instagram, an app that i've quickly become addicted to, when i saw tessa's new story, one that announced a new website. for fans, who really haven't had any news all summer on these two, this is exciting. and pretty soon i was clicking on the link in the bio to see what they had created.

the first thing that stands out is the video, with the official montage (see below). on it, tessa's face is emerging through the shadows as she speaks about sochi and vancouver, and how much they worked their whole lives for those four minutes and how quickly those four minutes were gone. they then go on to explain that they have gotten over the fear of failure, and that pyeongchang will be for them.

what also stands out on the video is that they are dancers. on and off the ice, they move limbs and hands with grace and awareness of notes being held, strings being plucked and the space around them. hair falls away from tessa's face as she arches her back and rises to her knees. scott's strength and control are undeniable as he leads her hands to his chest. there is the classic intimacy that we all know from them, a duo that's been skating together coming on 20 years. yet there is a depth that comes from the shadows and the losses, a purity that comes from a love of the sport, a maturity that comes from the years they've invested into this sport and themselves, and a desire to just dance, without the glitz or the glamour, the spotlight or the applause -- just them in a frozen arena, blades cutting into the ice; just them dancing in the wings, again moving as one.

we'll get some news by the end of next week since it'll be time for the high performance camp, a training camp where the national team for canada goes to debut their programs in house for judges, specialists and experts. tessa and scott, like many of the top skaters, will also do press, providing quotes that'll be used to drum up interest in skate canada and the new season. millions will tune in for the olympics, but there is a whole season unfolding before it and the cbc wants you to watch that too. and in a month, the autumn classic will mark their season debut. we'll get some rough footage of their new short and free dances there. 

but today, it feels like the something has begun.

official montage 

gala interview

"Canadian darlings Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir have captured their third ice dance title at the world figure skating championships in Helsinki, Finland.”
cbc article

worlds - gala

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“It’s not the way we thought we would win. But if you had told us at the beginning of the season that this was the place we would be in and we would have achieved this kind of success really consistently throughout the whole year, we would have been thrilled. So we have to come back to that and remember what this was all about and remember why we wanted to be here. In that respect, it was a huge success.”
tessa in free dance press conference

post-free dance cbc interview

"We've never had a quote-unquote perfect season, never had that kind of run of golds, and at this point it's fun to have on our resume. But more than that, what we've been able to accomplish personally as athletes has been the most satisfying."
tessa in free dance press conference

cbc fluff for worlds

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