Behind the scenes of figure skating - Nov. 15

NavBom talks sushi, zebras and original dance

Brent Bommentre and Kimberly Navarro at Skate America.
Brent Bommentre and Kimberly Navarro at Skate America. (Michelle Harvath)


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By Jocelyn Jane Cox, special to
(11/15/2007) - If you've never seen ice dancers Kimberly Navarro and Brent Bommentre (also known as "NavBom") perform live, change that as soon as possible. If you can't hop over to Japan for NHK Trophy, then be sure to catch them in Saint Paul, Minn. in January. They grabbed a fourth place at the State Farm U.S. Figure Skating Championships last year, and earned sixth at Skate America, where they debuted two new programs.

What you will see from NavBom this year is great edging and fantastic lifts, but what you will feel is the sizzle. These two can really move, and their charisma factor is off the charts. caught up with the fan favorites earlier this week.

We enjoyed watching your African original dance at Skate America. So, what's the deal with the OD this year? It seems like everybody is doing something wildly different?

Kim: What is confusing this year is that there is no given rhythm. Instead, we have been assigned a genre. We can choose any indigenous music from any country.

Brent: We are encouraged to choose music from a country that we have a heritage. We feel that this rhythm pushes us to explore new styles of dance. That's why we took this opportunity to try something so different from what we have done in the past.

Have you done any African dance off the ice and what other off-ice training do you do?

Brent: Yes, when we started to put the idea together of doing an African dance, we knew that we needed help learning how to dance. We had been taking dance classes at a studio in Philadelphia, which is where we met Michael Velez. He is a dancer with a company, and he has been a helping us with everything from off-ice dance to on-ice choreography. We also started to work with a personal trainer, which has really helped our strength and endurance.

At Skate America, some teams incorporated "props" such as hats, scarves, and fans into their OD. Are you considering doing this? If so, what would it be -- a zebra perhaps?

Kim: We thought about the zebra idea, but felt threatened that it would steal the spotlight! For now, our props will stay as my hair, and Brent's skirt. Enough said!

How did you find and go about choosing Corinne Bailey Rae's song, "Since I've Been Loving You" for your free dance?

Kim: Brent had played me one of his favorite Led Zeppelin songs, "Since I've Been Loving You" when we were thinking about new music. But it didn't seem exactly right for this season. Then, when I was downloading some Corinne Bailey Rae songs for my own listening pleasure, this one song sounded so familiar. It was the same song Brent had just played me, but with a more soulful quality. We had to skate to it!

We know you're heading to the NHK Trophy. Have you ever been to Japan before and what are you looking forward to the most?

Brent: I haven't been, but Kim has. Kim says she really loved it. We both really enjoy Japanese food, and always are up for exploring new cultures and scenes. We also know that NHK Trophy is known for running a great and hospitable competition.

How many pieces of sushi can you eat in one sitting?

Brent: How much do you need me to eat?

Kim: Wouldn't know. Brent would finish it all before I could find out.

Fork or Chopsticks?

Brent: Both. And a bib.

Kim: Chopsticks all the way. I like the challenge.