As part of my “Meet the Skaters” series for the Lake Placid News, I was fortunate to interview ice dancers Madison Hubbell & Zachary Donohue this summer in between performances at the famous Lake Placid Saturday Night Ice Show. The article was online briefly in it’s entirety but is now only a “snippet”, so please read below to get the whole story!
Hubbell, Donohue a delight on ice
(originally published in Lake Placid News, week of July 21-27)
With the approaching Ice Dance Championships at the Olympic Center August 27-30, it was especially appropriate that the guest skaters at the July 16th show are Elite National and International Ice Dancers. US Bronze Medalists in Ice Dancing Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue graced the Saturday Night Ice Show audience with two performances at the July 16th Show. Skating to “Hallelujah” by KD Lang and “Slip” by Elliot Moss, they brought unique choreography and graceful movement to the Olympic Center.
They were joined by International competitors Ashley Klotz and Ilias Fournati, who will be representing Hungary this season in Junior Ice Dance. This was Klotz and Fournati’s third Saturday Night Ice Show this season, as they were training in Lake Placid for several weeks with Olympians and three-time US Silver Medalists Melissa Gregory and Denis Petukhov.
The two dance teams were joined by thirty-three figure skaters participating in the Lake Placid Summer Skating camp. These skaters encompass various ages and levels of skating, and represented the United States, Mexico, and England. Local skaters participating in the show included Abbey Gavin, Lisa Wilson, Carly Brox, and Carly Jones, all representing the Skating Club of Lake Placid. This show had the highest skater count so far this season.
For Hubbell and Donohue, Lake Placid is just a short distance away from where they now train in Montreal. They relocated to Montreal in 2015, training in Gadbois Centre with Olympians and two-time World silver medalists Marie France Dubreuil and Patrice Lauzon.
Last season, they had excellent performances, earning them spots to the Grand Prix Final and another bronze in the US Championships.
“Our season went absolutely great; we changed coaches and moved to Montreal, and I think it (the season) couldn’t have gone better. We’re getting more comfortable and confident, and learning new things about our skating, so it’s going to be exciting.”
Hubbell and Donohue also enjoy giving back to the sport by teaching; they taught a seminar on the day of the show, giving Lake Placid Summer Camp skaters the opportunity to learn from them.
“We worked on skating skills, that’s what we generally like to focus on in seminars, as there is a limited amount of time and a variety of levels…but you can always work more on your skating skills and edge quality.”
Their dedication extends to performing in pieces choreographed by up-and-coming choreographers. In 2012, they spent time in Lake Placid with the Grassroots to Champions (G2C) Super Camp, serving as performers in the Young Artists Showcase (YAS) alongside fellow Saturday Night Ice Show guest skater Ryan Bradley. They continue to be involved in G2C throughout the country on an annual basis.
“We go back to G2C every year,” said Donohue. “Just a couple of weeks ago we went to Salt Lake City (for the G2C),” added Hubbell. “We like to take part in that seminar in particular, we have done it for many years now and it’s a really great group of people; other than that, we have been training hard and focusing on our goals.”
They are now gearing up for a new adventure—in a little over a week, they will be traveling to Japan to perform in their first tour, “The Ice” show, which includes well known skaters like Olympic Silver Medalist Mao Asada.
“It will be our first tour in general and our first show in Japan, so we’re really excited and can’t wait to experience that.”
In Grand Prix events, Hubbell and Donohue are assigned to compete in the 2016 Skate America and the Trophee de France. This season, they aspire to continue the improvements they have started to make.
“We’re really trying to push towards 2018 (the Olympics),” said Hubbell. “One of our goals before the Olympics is to be National Champions, so that’s our goal for this season as well, trying to climb the podium to the top; other than that, we really want to go back to the Final (Grand Prix Final) as we did last year and be more competitive at our Championship events, just be better than last season.”
This was the last Saturday Night Ice Show for two weeks due to the Ironman Lake Placid triathlon and the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships; the Shows will resume on August 6th with 2014 U.S. national junior silver medalist Tyler Pierce.
For more information on Saturday Night Ice Show and the Lake Placid Skating Program, visit their website at www.lakeplacidskating.com.