New Workforce Collection: 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 reminiscences.
Anna Waugh (AW): My first steps on ice was at 17 months outdated. At age 3.5 years outdated I began Be taught to skate. My first competitors was in 2015 , I used to be 4 years outdated.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 begin ice dance with companion additionally … in our first competitors we bought a gold medal. We had been so excited! It was good skating yr with quite a lot of medals… and at finish of skating season 2021 we certified for ice dance remaining and have become Nationwide Growth staff members in Juvenile! We certified for Nationwide Growth Workforce in 2022 as effectively, in intermediate.

Nikolai Balabardin (NB):I began skating once I was 3 years outdated as a result of each of my mother and father are skating coaches and it was simpler to have me on the ice, somewhat than simply grasp across the area. I landed my first axel at 5rys outdated and at 6yrs outdated, I used to be the pre-juvenile champion of Alberta, Canada.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 reminiscences 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 observe him skate within the Solar Valley Ice Present.

What made you select ice dance?
(AW): My coach Mathew Gates, and in addition 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 at all times most popular when my skates had been on the ice, as a substitute of the air.

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

(NB): My mother and father 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 presently skating within the Pre-novice degree.

How and when did your partnership start? (Associate Search, coaching mate, and so forth.) Describe the tryout? 
(AW): After we broke up with my outdated ice dance companion, my coach discovered me Nikolai, from Canada. At March this yr, after 10 days of attempting 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 mother and father by e-mail after seeing my profile on Associate Search. My mother and father met Anna’s mother and father on Zoom, and there was an immediate connection. Anna’s household was so heat, pleasant, and her Mother might 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 setting and coaches Mathew Gates and Sasha Zaretsky.

What do you already like most about dancing together with your new companion?
(AW): Nikolai is a tough working man, he has excellent skating abilities. He likes to skate quite a bit, 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 stuffed with power and is tremendous pleasant. She is straightforward to get together with and I feel that she’s going to assist convey out my enjoyable aspect 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 abilities and to hopefully impress everybody! We wish to qualify for finals and in addition to qualify for Nationwide Growth Workforce!

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

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

(NB): We might 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 look ahead to assembly all of them quickly.

Describe your coaching schedule. How usually do you skate? Do you additionally go to highschool? 
(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 might be skating about 5 to six days per week, and round 4 hours per day, together with on and off-ice coaching. I might 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 snug and circulation collectively.

Who’re your coaches? Did both of you or each need to relocate? In that case, inform us in regards to the transfer(s).
(AW): My 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 thus lengthy, however I’m excited to begin my ice dance journey with Anna.

In case you might have a lesson with any ice dancer previous/current, who would it not be? Why?
(AW): Madison Hubbell!

(NB): If I might have a lesson with any ice dancer, it could be Shae-Lynn Bourne. She has choreographed a few of my favorite applications and she or he has the superb functionality to create all applications to each sort of music. She additionally appears so stuffed with power, and has fantastic fashion.

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