Pratt and Gilles Happy To Be Finished With Original Dance

by Amy Partain
Trina Pratt and Todd Gilles,
photo by Paul Harvath

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(1/11/05) — For Trina Pratt & Todd Gilles (Broadmoor SC) the most stressful part of the 2005 State Farm U.S. Championships is behind them. Receiving all first-place ordinals, they finished first in the junior original dance Tuesday in what they feel is the hardest part of their competition.

“The original dance is the harder of the programs for us,” Gilles said. “It's more stressful so we're glad to be through with that so we can focus on the free dance.”

Their original dance included two excellent footwork sequences — a straightline sequence that was performed close together and a diagonal sequence that was performed almost completely on one foot.

Their scores, which were the highest of the original dance, reflected the superior quality of their skating. Scores for their composition ranged from 5.0 to 5.4 and their presentation scores ranged from 5.1 to 5.4.

The team said they increased the technical difficulty of their original dance after competing under the new ISU judging system at two ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating events in the fall of 2004. Pratt said the increased difficulty added to her stress level during this segment of competition.

“But it didn't show to the audience,” Pratt said of her stress. “I was so excited to see so many people watching that I just wanted to show them how much fun I was having.

The tie for second that existed after the compulsory dances was broken in the original dance. Caitlin Mallory (St. Moritz ISC) and Brent Holdburg (Stars FSC of Texas) seemed to float across the ice as the skated the foxtrot and quickstep rhythms. They had good speed, dance quality and good unison, especially during their twizzles in the straightline footwork. They received seven of nine second-place ordinals.

“That was our best performance of the season,” Holdburg said. “Now I'm happy that we have a day off to prepare for the free dance. I feel relaxed going in to it.”

Kimmerly Lauten & Augie Hill (Stars FSC of Texas) are in third with ordinals ranging from second to fourth. Their performance was solid, although they did struggle with their unison at the end of the straightline footwork sequence.

“We did a good job and we're happy with it,” Hill said of their original dance. “We couldn't have done it better.”