Competition season starts in the UK with Skate London


There was a packed auditorium at the first British synchronised skating competition in two years at Alexandra Palace in London. With COVID regulations in force, organisers had their work cut out to check each skater’s lateral flow tests and temperatures along with every spectator, coach, chaperone, etc.

Thirty-eight teams from across the country readied themselves for the competition at the designated make-up stations and made use of the great halls for the team warm-ups.

There was excitement in the air (and that was just the parents) from the very beginning at this well-run, and extremely well organised competition. Considering the lack of ice time and the difficulties teams have faced the past two years in this country during COVID, the competition was a massive success.

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ISU Junior
Icicles from Nottingham scored 32.00 points with a fierce programme, coming second, and excellent, fast twizzles. Their moves element was quick and their spirals were high, however, there was a fall in their whip intersection which was costly.

The long programme was fast and powerful. It scored 70.73 points which reflected the crowd’s appreciation for the performance and they came first. There were some great highlights such as a split jump in the middle and the synchronised spinning looked powerful and dramatic. The theme of the programme was carried throughout and the flair was evident in every element. They came first overall with a total score of 102.73 points.

Solway Stars Dumfries scored 36.61 in their short programme, coming first, wearing blue and shiny dresses. It was a sassy programme filled with really interesting steps and nuances in the choreography which reflected both the style and the characterisation of the music. The flow and speed across the ice was beautiful to watch and they worked together as a team to create a seamless performance.

The long programme earned 65.75. It was accurate with clean elements and every skater demonstrated their own individual skating skills. The team as a whole has a lovely lilty style which was a pleasure to watch. They came second overall with a total score of 102.36 points.

Unum from Sheffield scored 19.88 points and came third in a flamenco themed costumes with long red skirts. This was their first time skating a Junior short programme and they skated a little nervously. They also had a fall in the moves element.

The long programme was skated much more confidently to the Cha Cha Slide and all the choreography and steps reflected the words in the music which made it an enjoyable programme to watch. There were two falls in the intersection. They came third in the long with 51.51 points and third overall with a total score of 71.03 points.

"They were all very nervous of competing at Junior for the first time and anticipated to have very low marks. The team has been in constant flux since being back from Lockdown with some members deciding to leave and also with many members testing positive for COVID and having to self isolate. We’ve often had 4 or 5 team members at a time using zoom, at 6am on a Sunday morning, to watch and contribute to training when not able to physically attend. They were happy with the routines they put out at Alexandra Palace and although they are a long way off the scores of the other two teams, felt that they had given a good performance overall. We were all delighted with achieving the highest scoring intersection, with the whip in the FP and are just super excited that competitions are once again going ahead after what has been an awful 20 months."

Amanda Hembrow-Jones – Sheffield Coach

Senior B
In first place was Aura from Lee Valley who scored 60.70 points, a personal best for this programme. They wore star-like blue and gold costumes which really shone on the ice. It was a dramatic and moody performance conducted with a lot of speed and flair. All four lifts went up easily and the no hold element looked tight and together, however there was a fall in the Twizzle Element.

In second place was All Stars from Slough who skated to Dream Girls. They scored 45.44 points with a fun programme with cream and gold sparkly dresses, reflecting the theme. The creative circle had every skater being lifted upside down, which made the crowd whoop! They were pleased with their skate and came off the ice happy.

In third place was Whizz Kids from Altrincham who scored 42.69 points. They skated to Flash Dance and wore sparkly black mesh costumes reflecting the theme. The whip intersection was a highlight with plenty of appreciative noise from the crowd. There were two falls and they did not get their Creative Element called.

Junior B
There was only one team in this category which was Wight Crystals from the Isle of White.

They wore purple sparkly dresses with long purple gloves which looked good with their synchronised spins. They scored 38.36 points however there was a fall in the intersection. It was a well-constructed programme with the music, the costume and the choreography all fitting together well.

Advanced Novice
There was only one team in this category which was Ice Dreams from Nottingham who scored 47.71 points.

The programme was very dramatic and the choreography was well integrated into the programme emphasising nuances in the music. The changes of direction were in keeping with the theme and they really sped across the ice, generating an entertaining performance.

Basic Novice
Gaining the gold in this category was Ice Stars from Nottingham. They scored 28.72 in their programme in their pink to green ombre dresses which looked pretty on the ice. The skate fitted the music with an interesting start which weaved in and out of each other and the performance was lively although there was a fall in the Travelling Circle.
Getting the silver medal was Twizzles from Altrincham who scored 28.14 in a clean skate. Dressed as genies, they skated to Aladdin in a fun routine with some nice choreographic touches throughout. It was lively and cheeky in places.

Gaining bronze was Novus from Sheffield. Dressed as cowgirls, they reflected the style of the music and were performing with a spark and a smile. Unfortunately, there were two falls in the wheel and the circle and they scored 19.52.

Mixed Age
Solway Eclipse from Dumfries skated in flowing lilac dresses and scored 48.23 points. The music and the choreography fitted together well and there was good speed across the ice. The skaters worked well together and the lines were clean and sharp.

Ice Unite from Nottingham scored 41.56 points. The dresses were an ecliptic mix of colours and styles with gloves. The style and choreography fit the music well and it was dramatic. They did a death spiral in the middle of the wheel which the crowd enjoyed and they were consistently fast and together across the ice.

Deelites from Deeside scored 31.81 points in a jazzy themed programme. They performed well to the music and had expressive arm movements throughout. They put vaults in the routine which the crowd enjoyed and the entry to the twizzles was weaving and swirly, matching the music.

There were only two teams in this category.

In first place was Wight Sequins from the Isle of Wight who scored 24.91. They wore navel style white dresses with a tutu style skirt which fitted their theme perfectly. They set off in an anchor shape and had speed and flow. They displayed good characterisation throughout the programme with extensions with each step.

In second place was Ignis from Sheffield who scored 14.80 points. They wore a white and gold floaty costume and skated to Moana. They got a good response from the crowd and came off the ice with smiles on their faces.

In first place was Illusion from Slough who scored 26.84 points. With shimmery disco themed costumes, they shined in their enjoyable skate with good footwork, all in time. The whole team seemed to be enjoying themselves with a lively performance.

"I feel proud of every single one of them. They’ve worked so hard to progress from where they’ve been and to improve upon their previous scores. This is the first competition out and they’ve done super, super well! Hopefully, we’ll keep working well and trying to improve. Happy to be back on the ice."

Daniella Alessi – Slough Coach

In second place was Ice Diamonds from Nottingham, scoring 22.83. This team were skating a more difficult routine and they skated fast and down in their knees. Unfortunately, there was a fall with an interruption in excess, losing them points.

In third place was Orion from Lee Valley who scored 20.41. They had interesting costumes with a giant clock on one side interpreting their London themed programme well, including the clock movement in their choreography, which was effective. This team was the first to skate in the competition and entertained the crowd with their theme and their skating!

In first place, from Slough, Fantasia who scored 18.79 in their upbeat programme. They were wearing sparkly blue dresses and had good extensions in their block. The crowd enjoyed their catch-foot spirals and they looked confident with their disco theme with some interesting choreography included within their programme.

In a very close second place was Ice Pops from Nottingham who scored 18.71 with a water theme. They had good speed and flow across the ice and their lines were sharp throughout. There was one fall, however, they recovered quickly and this didn’t affect their elements.

In third place was Solway Comets from Dumfries skated to a jungle themed programme. They scored 16.31 points with an interesting programme with some quick transitions. The choreography reflected the music well but there was a fall in their travelling circle.

Phoenix Gold from Lee Valley won the gold medal with 29.83 points. Their light blue and gold shimmering costumes were beautiful and they skated a fierce programme with some more sensitive moments which reflected the music. The block was neat and fast and their lines were strong.

Magic from Slough got the silver medal with magenta dresses and scored 26.04. They were lively and looked like they were having a good time throughout however there was a fall in their moves element.

Shooting Stars from Gosport scored 22.57 and had a Charlton theme in their music and dresses. There were some nice touches to their choreography and although they looked a little nervous when they started their programme, they got into it and delivered their performance.

Team Spice from Slough were dressed as soldiers and kept up their theme throughout their military inspired programme. They scored 18.43 which is a personal best. The crowd loved the programme, including their spirals and jumps in their block and they received a standing ovation.