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Hairclip makes the difference in junior dance

Sara Bailey and Kyle Herring.
Sara Bailey and Kyle Herring. (Lynn Rutherford)

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By Lynn Rutherford, special to icenetwork.com
(11/17/2007) - Five junior dance teams grabbed attention with an astonishing array of free dances Saturday morning at the Ice Factory.

"What a wonderful event," veteran coach Robbie Kaine, who trains Pilar Bosley and John Corona, said.

"All of the programs were very different. The choreographers and coaches have really gotten the hang of blending things under the judging system; the continuity and "in-betweens" are better and the lifts are much more creative."

Still, the results may have hinged on an errant hairclip.

Winners Sara Bailey and Kyle Herring edged out first place in the free dance with 71.83 points, but the result might have been different were it not for some quick thinking from Bailey.

"On our last lift, my hairclip came loose," Bailey said. "I just grabbed it mid lift and held it in my hand. I didn't want to get a costume deduction."

"It added some drama - she was pulling her hair out, and I couldn't grasp her hand," Herring added.

If the clip had hit the ice, the team would have had a one-point deduction -- not to mention any other distraction and danger a flying ornament can cause.

Bailey and Herring's program to the powerful "300" soundtrack, choreographed by Sasha Kirsanov and Irina Romanova, was full of drama, fluidity and difficulty. They opened with level four twizzles in difficult catch-foot positions (-.50 GOE), followed by a strong level four straight-line lift with Bailey mimicking the drawing of a bow (+.50 GOE).

They had an excellent entry into a level four spin, with Bailey hitting an attractive "donut"-type camel (+.50 GOE), and they closed strong with back-to-back level four lifts.

"'300' is one of my favorite movies," Herring said. "It's a very passionate story, and I think it fits our skating well."

Bailey and Herring are in their second competitive season together, and this was their fourth event of the fall. They placed seventh at the JGP Lake Placid in September.

"Sara had tonsillitis in Lake Placid, and we didn't really skate our best," Herring said. "This was a good turnaround for us."

With the free dance points added to their previous scores, Bailey and Herring took the title with 149.23 points.

Bosley and Corona's free to the Scorpians' "Still Loving You," choreographed by Natalia Linichuk, came third, but the team's overall score left them in second place.

The couple survived a scary crash into the boards during the original dance warm-up to compete here today. They skated with good ice coverage and unison, and closed the program with a fine level four rotational lift with several changes of position (+.50 GOE).

"It was a lot better than yesterday," Bosley said. "It felt like one of our strongest skates this season. The dance is really more of a story, and I think we did a good job presenting and expressing that."

Bosley and Corona earned 69.38 points for the segment and 144.02 overall.

Anastasia Cannuscio and Dean Copley had a few glitches in their free dance to music from the "Kill Bill" soundtrack, but hit an excellent opening level four twizzle sequence (+.63 GOE) as well as a difficult straight-line/rotational lift combination (+.50 GOE).

"We skated pretty well; we just a little trip right before the spin where we locked legs a bit," Cannuscio said.

'We've done better, but those twizzles were a definite highlight," added her partner.

The couple was fifth in the free dance with 67.81 points and third overall with 142.68.

Isabella Cannuscio and Ian Lorello were the hit of the event with their entertaining, upbeat program to music from 'Edward Scissorhands."

Skating with admirable energy and expression, the couple hit all of their elements well. Not one judge assigned a negative GOE for any of their seven elements.

"Their performance was really good today; they were fast, and all of the elements were clean," Sasha Kirsanov, one of their coaches, said.

"It was a lot of fun to dance to," Lorello added. "The jive-type music really energizes you. We put it all out there and got a little crazy."

Cannuscio and Lorello earned 69.78 points for second the free skate. They ended up with 142.68 for fourth place and the final spot at the 2008 U.S. Championships in St. Paul, Minn.

Lili Lamar and Zachary Donahue placed fourth in the free with their routine to "Harlem Nocturne." The couple, together for just 10 months, is notable for their unique lifts, where Lamar hits exceptionally flexible and elegant positions.

"I thought we skated really strong," Donahue said. "I think we have some inventive lifts this year; our coach, Matthew Gates, is also a great choreographer."

Lamar and Donahue train under Gates and Galit Chait in Montclair and Hackensack, New Jersey. They ended the competition with 140.60 points and will be alternates to the 2008 U.S. Championships.

Kristen Koetter and Aaron-Taylor Austin withdrew from the event after placing sixth in both the compulsory and original dances.