Translation of new interview with Victoria Sinitsina and Nikita Katsalapov. And some beautiful photos!
About life in USA
Nikita: In the first year it is always difficult to get used to, to adapt. I’ve been to the States every summer. But to come and to live there – different things. We had some everyday difficulties….The process of moving was simplified because coaches Marina Zueva, Oleg Epstein and choreographer Alena Morgan helped us in everything. Together with them we settled down and lookrd for a car, because there it is almost impossible without it. Over time, we took root, began to feel like at home. The atmosphere of warmth and calmness was created by our surroundings – coaches, guys at the rink.
Victoria: In my spare time I attended to dance clasess, learned the language. In addition, there is an incredibly beautiful nature in Michigan, we walked there for hours. I bought a bicycle and often roded through the woods. I also remembered a great amusement park, it was very fun!
Nikita: These three years remained bright in our memory. The way we spent our free time, trainings in Zueva’s school, where everything works like a clock, new friends. I became very friendly with Ilia Tkachenko and his wife.
About Zueva’s important lessons
Victoria: She was teaching us not only skating, but also life. Marina Olegovna did not neglect the details: from proper nutrition to cultural education. We attended thematic exhibitions: paintings, cars. The cars were especially impressive, because Detroit has one of the biggest exhibitions.
Nikita: In the first place she has a tough discipline. In Russia there’s a lack of it. You should be able to plan your day by minute, do not waste time, use any free moment to get better in your profession.
About return to Moscow
Nikita: It was very difficult. Moscow makes you live at a dynamic pace, no matter whether you like it or not. In Michigan, we grow out of this habit. There everything is calm and settled. Every day is skating rink-house, everything is quick and close. But Moscow also has its advantages.
Victoria: Yes, I wouldn’t be able to move to the US for good. I miss my homeland.
About past season
Nikita: After arriving to Moscow we immediately met with Nina Moser, Alexander Kogan, Alexander Gorshkov, Yuri Nagornykh and determined who can help us. Everything was decided clearly, there was no uncertainty. Under the guidance of Oleg Volkov we skated at two Grand Prix, then Elena Tchaikovskaya joined. We all asked her for this, and she responded with enthusiasm. We’re very grateful to her for that!
Voctoria: We had a full-fledged team which includes all specialists. We trained in Novogorsk, there we were preparing for the competitions.
About Tchaikovskaya’s help
Victoria: She has an incredible energy. I saw it in her eyes, which undoubtedly inspired me. In Novogorsk Elena Anatolyevna spent with us all the trainings. It was also very interesting to work with Semen Kaufman, choreographer, whom she engaged.
About European Championships
Nikita: The season has passed, so I’ll be honest. In the short dance we did not agree with the marks. Technical shortcomings are a delicate matter. It’s enough to change the edge for a second and the marks will be lowered. It is difficult to check here. But, even not talking about the technique, we got a great pleasure from skating in Ostrava – the best emotions, the best skate, mood, presentation of the short dancing and then the judge’s scores. The picture did not work out. Of course, we and our team were upset.
About chnage of coach
Nikita: We realized that we will not return to the United States. In Moscow arose the question with ice. Elena Anatolievna tried to get us all that was possible. Ice was scorely lacking. During the day we skated at three different ice rinks, constantly moving. In such conditions it is impossible to approach the Olympic season in the best shape.
It was already impossible to postpone preparation, so Elena Anatolyevna and Oleg Gennadievich (Volkov – ed.) supported our idea to move to Alexander Zhulin. I called him. We met. Discussed everything. We did not know his answer, we hoped for a successful outcome … And we are grateful to him for this decision, for the opportunity to become part of his group.
About work with Zhulin
Victoria: We are in a very strong team: choreographer Sergei Petukhov, acrobat Denis Ionov, masseurs, doctors. From the first day I felt comfortable there. Alexander explains perfectly, it’s very close to me. The competition with Dima Soloviev and Katya Bobrova motivates. I think it’s a big advantage when experienced dancers are skating near.
Recently, one of the guys told me: “You have been training with us for six months”. Actually a few months. Indeed, it seems that a lot of time has passed. So, the atmosphere is friendly.
Nikita: We started to train from the first day. We were focused on our results, did not look at anyone. The presence of strong sparring partners is only for the best for us.
I remember and learn a lot from what Alexander is showing now. It’s great. His phrases, movements … I’m comfortable.
About new programs
Victoria: The short dance consists of three parts: slow rumba, fast rumba in the middle and Brazilian samba at the end with a powerful fiery ending.
For the free dance we took classics – Rachmaninov Concerto No.2. An amazing story: we chose this music at the same time, without saying a word. Nikita and I brought it, Sergei Georgievich offered to listen it. We go to the ice and Alexander says: “I found music for you. Rachmaninoff”.
Nikita: Need to say that we worked on this version of the music with Elena Anatolyevna. She has her touch to what we are doing now. When we worked with her, we chose some pieces, thought how best to arrange them. So, we’re doing this program with a warm feeling that it was our common choice.
About “rough edges”
Nikita: Vika has forgotten how to smooth things over, which is good. Now the coach doing this. Although I also changed, having passed youthful maximalism, I try to help Vika and the coach to avoid unnecessary argues.
Victoria: We are perfectly aware that all the pairs are aimed at the highest result now and the competition in the national team is very high. We should not give any reason for lowering our marks.
About life after sport
Victoria: A lot is still ahead, but I am sure that I want to get a second higher education related to sports or art.
Nikita: Now our career plays a big role. I would like to go to all the best shows of the planet, to be in such a “gathering” with the champions who skated before us; to perform not only in a competitive atmosphere, but to show ourselмes to the audience from a different side, to get “buzz” from it.
What’s next? I do not exclude coaching. Although, if I’m offered to be a show host, or to take interviews on tv, I will not refuse.
photoproject by Alina Lomonosova, posted on sports.ru
photos by Artem Belozersky