Janse Van Rensburg & Steffan embrace new alternatives

by Matteo Morelli | Photographs by Yoriko Suzuki

Germany’s Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan are having fun with a season that’s giving them loads of new alternatives to indicate their potential. We sat down with the 2 time German Nationwide Champions after they competed at their first European Championships in Espoo, Finland, the place they shared what this season means to them and what they’re specializing in in direction of their future.

Jennifer and Benjamin, thanks for spending a while with us. You competed at your first European Championships, ending in ninth place. What do you are taking away with you from this competitors?

Benjamin Steffan (BS): We really feel superb about this, it has been fairly a journey to get right here for us. That is our first large championship collectively and reaching that high ten placement means lots to us. We’re very thrilled.

What does this outcome imply for you in relation to your goals? 

Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg (JJ): We’re fairly completely happy that with the highest ten we received two spots for Germany at subsequent yr’s European Championships. This yr we nonetheless have the upcoming World Championships in Japan, a contest that I feel is most skaters’ dream and that’s additionally coming true for us. We’re fairly excited.

Taking a look at this season, you’ve gotten taken half in a number of challenger competitions, you went to the Skate America Grand Prix, and secured a second consecutive title on the German Nationwide Championships.

BS: This season has been an enormous step up for us. Now we have been in a position to safe a second nationwide title which meant lots to us and we have now had two medals at challenger competitions (silver at each Denis Ten Memorial and Warsaw Cup), which is an enormous deal. It provides us the sensation that what we’re doing is the proper factor and we’re not at our restrict but however we are able to push our talents to get higher and higher.

Your free programme is on “Prelude (Age of Heroes)” by Balázs Havasi, a music that features a choir in the beginning, adopted by a piano and solo voice within the center, to finish with a crescendo. How did you give you it?

JJ: Our coach (Natalia Karamysheva) heard the music and instantly considered us. She performed it and we immediately cherished it! 

BS: That’s how we selected the music, we might actually see us performing to that and as crew we determined to make use of it.

Though that is the post-Olympic yr, the subsequent Milano-Cortina Olympic Video games will not be that far. Have you ever received any ambitions in relation to that?

BS: Sure, we have now sat collectively and talked concerning the future, and we have now determined that we need to go for the Olympic Video games in 2026. That is our large objective: we’re taking each step that’s obligatory and that we are able to take in direction of it. 

We appeared at the moment and the long run, let’s now return to the previous. You might have been skating collectively since 2016, however earlier than getting there you each had totally different experiences. Beginning with you, Jennifer: you have been a single skater for some years till 2014, while you determined to vary.

JJ: I modified very late to ice dance. Fairly lots of people mentioned it was too late, however I took that as a problem. Within the final couple of years we got here to a degree the place we lastly reached what we have been aiming for. It took us some time, I needed to commit lots.

And Benjamin, what’s your background?

BS: I’ve been an ice dancer for fairly a very long time. I by no means did solo skating, nonetheless I did play ice hockey earlier than that! However that was a very long time in the past. I began ice dancing after I was ten years outdated, I’ve had a number of companions up till I partnered up with Jenny. I actually admire each side of each partnership that I’ve had to this point. Every little thing that I’ve completed has taken me nearer to the place I’m, and the place we’re, proper now.

How did you discover one another and determined to skate collectively?

JJ: Really, we have now identified one another for fairly a very long time! Now we have been buddies exterior the ice rink too. Now we have discovered one another in our fundamental military course and sport schooling: our educator knew we have been each searching for companions and prompt we tried out. 

Whilst you focus in your aggressive profession, you might be additionally doing a training qualification course. 

BS: Our federation has given us the power to take somewhat shortcut, so to say, to that total schooling course of. Since we’re professional athletes, we have now to do the identical exams, however so far as the academic half goes we don’t should attend each seminar, which supplies us the power to do the course whereas we’re skating. It’s a actually good alternative to do one thing that we are able to use later and get a training licence whereas we’re skating.

Is that this a future aspiration of yours and one thing you undoubtedly need to do after your aggressive profession, or is it one thing you need to have in case you need to take that route?

BS: I feel I communicate for the each of us by saying that it’s an possibility, however there was nothing determined but. It’s undoubtedly factor to have as a result of we each share such an enormous ardour for this sport and ice dancing particularly. I might undoubtedly see myself teaching sooner or later, however it would rely on circumstances.

JJ: It could be good after all, we’re having this expertise and we might like to share this with the youthful generations.

What are your finest reminiscences as a crew?

BS: There may be not one reminiscence particularly, however one factor I actually admire about our partnership is that it isn’t only a work relationship, but in addition friendship. Now we have managed to undergo so many ups and downs collectively and which means lots to me.

JJ: I agree with that! That is essentially the most priceless factor to have, if you’re exterior of the rink you may also do stuff collectively and never avoiding or preventing one another. I actually admire our relationship!