Friday, September 11, 2009

Shpilband Follows Dad to the Ice

Katia Shpilband is following in the footsteps of her father, world-renowned ice dance coach Igor Shpilband, to find success on the ice. The 13-year-old finished fourth at U. S. Junior Nationals in juvenile girls last season and has already won two big events in intermediate ladies this season at the Broadmoor Open and Skate Detroit, where she won over more than 90 other girls.

"I skated pretty good and was happy I won," she said. "The most important thing was to skate clean and do my best."

"I started skating when I was three because my dad inspired me," Katia recalled. "I started taking lessons once a week when I was seven but I was more of a recreational skater. I didn't start getting serious until I was nine."

"I used to swim a little but skating was always my favorite sport," she said. "I love jumping and spinning."

"I landed a double Axel last year around May," Katia remembered. "Then early this year around February or March, I got my triple Salchow and then my triple loop. I work occasionally on my triple flip and I've tried the triple Lutz but not landed it. The triple toe is a really bad jump for me. It's supposed to be easy, but it's hard for me."

"My short program is a tango by Vanessa Mae," she said. "My Dad always picks the music for me. We kind of both decided on the short program. I wanted something fun to listen to every day at the rink. I never did a tango before."

"My Dad did the short program for me," Katia explained. "My main coach, Theresa McKendry, did a waltz for my long program, but my Dad does all my footwork. He's the expert. He doesn't do jumps though."

"I really like jumps," she continued. "They're really fun. Jumps and spins give me a good feeling."

"I have a double Axel, a double flip, and a double Lutz-double loop combination in my short program," Katia stated. "In my free skate, I do two double Axels, one in combination with a double toe loop and double loop. Then I have a triple Salchow, triple loop, double flip, and double Lutz-double toe."

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