New Group Sequence: Anna Waugh & Nikolai Balabardin

Anna Waugh (12) and Nikolai Balabardin (15) are a brand new U.S. intermediate ice dance staff this season. 

Inform us about every of your skating journeys, together with any particular recollections.
Anna Waugh (AW): My first steps on ice was at 17 months outdated. At age 3.5 years outdated I began Be taught to skate. My first competitors was in 2015 , I used to be 4 years outdated. I completed in 2nd place, my mother introduced me enormous lollipop after this competitors!! To today, I like to compete!

I did freestyle for five years, I made a decision to start out ice dance with accomplice additionally … in our first competitors we bought a gold medal. We have been so excited! It was good skating yr with numerous medals… and at finish of skating season 2021 we certified for ice dance ultimate and have become Nationwide Improvement staff members in Juvenile! We certified for Nationwide Improvement Group in 2022 as properly, in intermediate.

Nikolai Balabardin (NB):I began skating after I was 3 years outdated as a result of each of my dad and mom are skating coaches and it was simpler to have me on the ice, fairly than simply grasp across the area. I landed my first axel at 5rys outdated and at 6yrs outdated, I used to be the pre-juvenile champion of Alberta, Canada. A few of my most particular recollections are assembly and skating with a few of America’s biggest skaters in Solar Valley, Idaho. I’ve shared the ice with Jason Brown, Nathan Chen and Polina Edmonds. I used to be additionally very fortunate to have been invited to dinner with Nathan’s Mother to look at him skate within the Solar Valley Ice Present.

What made you select ice dance?
(AW): My coach Mathew Gates, and likewise my favourite skater- Madison Hubbell.

(NB): I selected to change from freeskate to ice dance as a result of I really like the sensation of gliding on the ice. I’ve landed jumps as much as triple salchow, however I all the time most popular when my skates have been on the ice, as an alternative of the air.

Inform us about you and your households. Do you’ve siblings? Do in addition they determine skate? Do you’ve hobbies?
(AW): I don’t have siblings. Mother likes to skate too and he or she sews all my costumes! My father is a baseball fan, however he’s grew to become ice dance fan now too!

(NB): My dad and mom are each determine skating coaches in Kerrisdale, Vancouver, British Columbia. My Mama is Canadian and my Papa is Russian. They met in Disney on Ice, the place they skated and toured for six years. I’ve an 11yr outdated sister that additionally skates. She is at present skating within the Pre-novice stage.

How and when did your partnership start? (Accomplice Search, coaching mate, and many others.) Describe the tryout? 
(AW): After we broke up with my outdated ice dance accomplice, my coach discovered me Nikolai, from Canada. At March this yr, after 10 days of making an attempt out, we determined to skate collectively as a staff. Our journey with Nikolai began 5/17/2023 when he relocated to North Carolina.

(NB): Mathew Gates, our coach, contacted my dad and mom by e-mail after seeing my profile on Accomplice Search. My dad and mom met Anna’s dad and mom on Zoom, and there was an on the spot connection. Anna’s household was so heat, pleasant, and her Mother may talk simply with my Papa as she is speaks Russian. We organized a time for me to go to North Carolina the place I attempted-out with Anna. I used to be there for about 2 weeks and I actually loved not solely skating with Anna, however the coaching atmosphere and coaches Mathew Gates and Sasha Zaretsky.

What do you already like most about dancing along with your new accomplice?
(AW): Nikolai is a tough working man, he has excellent skating expertise. He likes to skate lots, like me. We each love skating and we get alongside nice!

(NB): I actually loved how we picked up the dance spins and transition actions
shortly. Anna can be filled with vitality and is tremendous pleasant. She is simple to get together with and I feel that she is going to assist deliver out my enjoyable facet as I’m quieter and extra shy.

What are you every most enthusiastic about for the brand new partnership?
(AW): I’m very excited for the brand new season with Nikolai, excited to progress in new skating expertise and to hopefully impress everybody! We want to qualify for finals and likewise to qualify for Nationwide Improvement Group!

(NB): I’m most enthusiastic about competing to see how far and properly we are able to to collectively.

The place do you prepare? (Location, amenities, dance mates, courses, and many others.)
(AW): We’re coaching at Excessive Ice Middle, Elite Coaching Group, Indian Path, North Carolina. We’ve got a mixture of freestyle & ice dancers at our rink. There are at present 7 groups coaching in our staff from pre-juvenile stage as much as Senior – World/Worldwide stage.

(NB): We will probably be coaching on the Elite Skating Academy within the Excessive Ice Middle in
Indian Path, NC. I don’t know many skaters but, however I stay up for assembly all of them quickly.

Describe your coaching schedule. How typically do you skate? Do you additionally go to high school? 
(AW): Favourite topic? We’re skating 6 day every week, 4 hours a day. Additionally, we’re doing ballet, ballroom, energy and conditioning. We additionally assist with Be taught to skate courses at our rink . I’m doing a homeschooling program. My favourite topic is Arithmetic.

(NB): We will probably be skating about 5 to six days per week, and round 4 hours per day, together with on and off-ice coaching. I will probably be doing home-school subsequent yr and my favorite topic is French and Bodily and Well being Training.

Do you every have a favourite sample dance? Why?
(AW): My favourite sample dance is Rocker Foxtrot, as a result of I just like the patterns and key factors in it.

(NB): My favourite sample dance is the Argentine Tango as a result of the steps really feel comfy and movement collectively.

Who’re your coaches? Did both of you or each should relocate? If that’s the case, inform us concerning the transfer(s).
(AW): My most important coach is Mathew Gates, together with Alexandra Zaretsky and Alina Efimova. Nikolai relocated to North Carolina all the best way from Vancouver, Canada.

(NB): My coaches are Mathew Gates and Sasha Zaretsky. I’ve to relocate to North
Carolina from British Columbia, Canada. I really feel nervous to be away from my household for therefore lengthy, however I’m excited to start out my ice dance journey with Anna.

If you happen to may have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who would it not be? Why?
(AW): Madison Hubbell!

(NB): If I may have a lesson with any ice dancer, it will be Shae-Lynn Bourne. She has choreographed a few of my favorite applications and he or she has the wonderful functionality to create all applications to each sort of music. She additionally appears so filled with vitality, and has fantastic type.

What’s your debut competitors this season?
Our debut competitors was in intermediate stage (sample dances) at Chesapeake open after we skated collectively for about one month. We competed on the Dallas NQS in Texas and completed third.