Sunday, November 7, 2010

Favorite Figure Skating Memories #4: Bourne and Kraatz World Championship Free Dance

Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz of Canada have been one of my favorite Ice Dance teams for a long time. In fact, their innovative and theatrical routines are what got me interested in Ice Dancing when the sport was still dominated by Europeans. While they were a world class team, their performances were often underscored under the old 6.0 system due to the fact that they were North American and not European. Now when you look at the top Ice Dance teams in the world, a majority are from the United States and Canada so I guess you can say that Bourne and Kraatz were ahead of their time. Their athleticism and artistry paved the way for the new generation of Ice Dancers to succeed from Canadians Marie France-Dubreuil & Patrice Lauzon and Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir to Tanith Belbin & Benjamin Agosto and Meryl Davis & Charlie White of the United States.

In 2003, Bourne and Kraatz were finally awarded the scores they deserved as they claimed the World Championship gold medal. This is the Free Dance that allowed them to finally end the streak of European domination. Watch how perfect their technique is and how well they interpret the music. Also notice their inventive lifts and their use of the hydroblading technique which they helped to popularize.

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