Let's start with some introductions. Could you please provide a brief overview of yourself and explain how your collaboration began?
Isabella: My name is Isabella, and I am a figure skater from Colorado. I have been skating since I was 5 years old. I met Ivan about a year ago, and together we decided to pursue skating at the senior level in the US. Currently, we spend a significant amount of time training, spending six hours together every day.
Ivan: I am Ivan, and I am from Moscow. I started skating when I was a kid, around 4 years old. In March 2020, I came to the US. For the first couple of months, I skated alone, and in May, I met Isabella, and we started skating together.
You specialize in ice dancing. Could you please elaborate on this sport and highlight the differences between ice dancing and other types of skating, such as figure skating?
The first main difference is that when we talk about ice dancing, it means skating with a partner. It is somewhat similar to ballroom performances and has a strong emphasis on dance. On the other hand, figure skating consists of solo performances, with a greater focus on jumps and tricks. Another significant difference is that ice dance requires more endurance.
Is there a particular coach or figure skater whom you admire as a role model? If so, what qualities or characteristics make them your role model?
Isabella: I have always admired Tessa Virtue. She is a Canadian ice dancer, so she practices the same discipline as us. What I truly love about her is the way she skillfully balances athleticism and dance. I always strive to achieve this same balance and quality in my own skating.
Ivan: When I was really young, there was a famous Russian skater named Evgeni Plushenko whom I admired a lot. He participated in the Olympics and I believe he won more than one medal. He is truly a renowned skater.
In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge that most ice skaters face today?
Isabella: I believe there is a significant push to incorporate more challenging elements into skating compared to the past, which can create pressure. Everyone strives to perform the latest and greatest tricks and jumps, and the rules are becoming more stringent. The technique has become more stringent, requiring skaters to be significantly stronger, faster, and more powerful than before. Consequently, it becomes challenging to avoid falling into the trap of focusing excessively on elements of the dance and not giving life to your performances.
Which specific WaveWear products do you prefer and why?
Isabella: I am really loving the Y20 compression leggings. I appreciate how well they fit and how they look. Finally having a pair of compression leggings that are comfortable to wear brings me great joy. I believe they are assisting with my performance, although it's challenging to determine the exact impact since my training varies daily. Nevertheless, I believe they are making a positive difference.
Also, I find the silicon tape inside helpful. I am not used to taping every day, and to be honest, I can be quite lazy about it. Even when I experience muscle soreness, I often don't tape myself properly. It can also be challenging to purchase the tape and apply it correctly. However, Wave wear makes it incredibly easy. I just put them on, and I know that the tape effect is present, simplifying the entire process for me.
Ivan: I really like the F1 sleeves because they have a cool appearance, and the silicone tape gives you a sense of "power" from within. Additionally, I appreciate the comfortable fit of the R10 top.
Do you have any memorable experiences or episodes related to your performances or skating in general that you would like to share?
Isabella: Probably, the most memorable moment I had with Ivan was during the national championship last year. Our program performance was Latin-themed, and it was incredibly enjoyable and filled with vibrant energy. That particular performance is something we both take great pride in. Additionally, it was the first time I competed in front of such a large audience (a few hundred people), and I could feel the energy emanating from the crowd. It's an experience I am looking forward to living again in the future.
Ivan: I think I felt the same energy as Isabella at the national championship. I am looking forward to participating in another event like that. Also, It was my first national competition, so I was incredibly excited.