Today starts JGP in Tallinn, it’ll be second grand-prix for Alla Loboda and Pavel Drozd. Here’s a translation of an interview with their coach Ksenia Rumyantseva.
Alla and Pavel are already experienced juniors, have they changed this season?
– Watching them at trainings as a coach, I saw that they matured a lot. Grew up in their minds and appearance. In my opinion, their skating became more powerful, the approach to work became more thoughtful.
Are they less worried before start?
– You know, every start is a confines, especially, if we are talking about beginning of the season. I saw Alla and Pasha going on a short program in Saransk, they were very nervous. It would seem that it’s a home stage, we’ve been here many times, the walls are familiar, we know the city, but still guys were nervous. Before the Grand Prix in Saransk we change something in programs. But in general, guys have coped, and I’m happy with the way they skated a short dance at their first stage in the season. Yes, there is work to do, but this is an ongoing work process.
With the new free program we performed the week before JGP in Saransk. At this event the lift didn’t turn out. We had to change it quickly before the Grand Prix. This, of course, also affected. Previous lift was interesting, difficult … but didn’t go. In training seemed that it turns out, but there was a breakdown at the competition. We remade this element, and as the experts say, we did a right thing. New lift took the right place, and looks much better.
Please tell us more about work on programs.
– We could not decide on the music for the free dance for a long time. I wanted to take something completely different than guys have already shown. Before that we had mostly “classic”. First, “Scheherazade”, then “Romeo and Juliet”, “Giselle”, “Paganini” … This season there was an idea to try Spain. We thought a lot, consulted with the guys, but somehow could not come to a common decision. With these reflections we vent on vacation. Usually we do program immediately after vacations. But before this we already had a finished musical version, but not this time. In addition, under certain circumstances, we began to work only on June 15, two weeks later. Because of this two week late we didn’t skate in full force at the test skates.
In short, after discussions, we returned to the Spanish theme. We took the “Malaguena”, and did a right thing, because guys are completely different in this program.
Pavel is interested in Spain and so deeply immersed into the subject of Spanish music, that already can prelect.
– Pasha really interested in Spain, learns Spanish, loves this country. So all coincided. Guys like the music, it suits them, and the program turned out interesting. We invited the Frenchman Richaud Benoit. Everything happened quite spontaneously. He came to us for four days. Did a program, but without lifts. We left the place for them, and Benoit made transitions. However, in the course of further work, we had to change them. But almost everything Benoit did remained the same. Only when we were at competition in Moscow, Peter Durnev worked there as a technical specialist and told us to remove the assistant jump, because it can be seen as something close to a lift. It was a pity to change this interesting piece, but nothing can be done.
Step sequences in the free program are completely made by Benoit. We’ve suffered with them for a long time, at first nothing turns out with edges, there was a “push-pull”. Guys weren’t used to such steps, it was difficult for them. At some point, we even had an idea to abandon it. But I said to myself: ‘Don’t touch it, it’ll be interesting.’ And we did it. A little more and they will be at a good level.
So, you invited Benoit not for nothing?
– We are very satisfied. He’s a creative person with interesting ideas. He easily made friends with the guys. Now they are texting. Richaud congratulated us on winning the Grand Prix in Saransk. It was very nice.
Who else helps you in work with athletes?
– Ekaterina Volobueva works with us from the outset. And all the ups and downs of the guys we have experienced in fourth. Choreographer Igor Rasporsky works in our team, who works with Alla and Pasha and every day. They are working on facial expressions, gestures, “clean out” legs … Alexei Gorshkov helps a lot. He’s a wonderful coach when it comes to training, we can see how the guys start to skate differently. For some time Oleg Volkov worked with us, but he switched to Victoria Sinitsina – Nikita Katsalapov. But this’s his decision.
This is your last season in juniors, how do you think, what should be done to ensure that guys won’t get lost at the senior level?
– Each pair has its own way, and we are moving forward step by step. Pasha came to us from St. Petersburg, when he was about 12. At first skated with another girl Lera Podlazova and Alla skated with Samvel Samvelyan. After a while we decided to put Alla and Pasha together, and this change of partners was rather difficult, because the two duo competed with each other. But we have achieved by persuasion what we wanted, although it was very difficult. Surprisingly, Alla Pasha immediately get well together. They were united by the fact that they’re both hard workers, and as two hard-nosed they went together to their goal. I’ve never heard that at training they shouted at each other. Yes, all happened, quarreling and reconciliation, but they always sort things out quietly and it never go beyond the bounds of decency. I never had to persuade them to do something. Say three run-throughs, they will go and do three. Say four, then four. I don’t have to force them. They know what they want and work hard, so I’m very pleased to work with them – they are hard workers and workaholics.
This year, Alla and Pasha grown up a lot, they’re trying to improve skating, and I really want them to move smoothly to the senior level. I don’t want them to start all over again in seniors. I want them to cross this line smoothly. I’m confident that they will succeed, God blesses they’ll be healthy, because you have to search for such hard-working athletes.
Will it be easier for them compete at their second Grand-prix in Tallinn?
– I think it’ll be easier. They gasped at the first Grand Prix, felt the strength, they realized that they could. They have become more self-confident, so it’s necessary to go to the start with this confidence.