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Lorello, Dean in first after pattern dances

Biechler, Petrov lead juvenile dance field

Meara Lorello and William Dean are tops in intermediate ice dance going into the free dance.
Meara Lorello and William Dean are tops in intermediate ice dance going into the free dance. (Pam Crowley)

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By Renee Felton, special to icenetwork.com
(12/17/2010) - Ice dancing got underway today with the pattern dance competition. Competitors at both levels, juvenile and intermediate, performed two pattern dances. The scores from the two segments were combined to establish leaders going into the free dance tomorrow. Juvenile couples skated the Fiesta tango and Ten-Fox, while intermediate couples performed Fourteenstep and European Waltz.

Intermediate ice dancing
The University of Delaware Figure Skating Club will go into the free dance in positions one and two. Meara Lorello and William Dean are in first place with 48.10 points. They earned high scores in both patterns -- 24.02 points for the Fourteenstep and 24.08 for the Waltz. Lorello's brother Grant and his partner, Whitney Willer, earned 45.20 points, good for second place. Sierra Chadwick and Alexander Martin, of the Detroit Skating Club, are in third place with 43.99 points.

Christine Moxley-Huxton, who coaches both of the top teams, explained that in the pattern dance, skaters exhibit correct steps and pattern over the ice, perfect timing and expression that are compared among all competitors. The skaters are free to choreograph their eight-measure introduction and the end of the dance. They can also have some freedom in how they use their arms and heads, and how they relate to the judges, to express their personalities in this highly technical event.

"At the intermediate level, I would say our skaters spend about half of their time working on the pattern dances," she explained. "These dances are really important at the lower competitive levels because they teach important skating skills that come into play in the short and free dances."

Juvenile ice dancing
A pair of teams separated themselves from the rest of the field. By displaying unison, deep edges and strong interpretation of the music, they both finished the segment with over 38 points each.

Julia Biechler and Alexander Petrov of the Hershey Figure Skating Club led the group with 38.63 points. They placed second in the Eastern Sectional Championships to earn a trip to their first national competition.

Siblings Gigi Becker and Luca Becker sit in second place after totaling 38.01 points. They represent the Washington Figure Skating Club.

Sitting nearly three points behind the second-place team with a score of 35.15 are Kimberly Berkovich and Micah Jaffe, who hail from the Cleveland area.