“If someone creates Tinder for finding skating partners it will be a success!” Anastasia Skoptsova about partnership in ice dance

Posted on 2023-09-27 • No comments yet


Former ice dancer Anastasia Skoptsova shared about partnership, expenses and the difficulty of finding a right partner in ice dance.

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A post shared by Anastasia Skoptsova (@nastyaskoptsova)

source: sports.ru

After the news about the breakup of Vasilisa Kaganovskaia / Valeriy Angelopol and a contract that Angelopol offered to sign, former ice dancer Anastasia Skoptsova (skated together with Kirill Aleshin) discussed how relationships in a partnership affect the result.

“In childhood, the role of the family is significant. My parents, for instance, still communicate with Kirill’s parents, even though we’ve already ended our sports careers. There were stories where great partnerships fell apart simply because the moms couldn’t find common ground.

In general, the key in ice dance is having a good relationship with your partner. You can be divine on the ice, but if you don’t get along with your partner, achieving results will be extremely challenging.

You might not be the most talented, but if you work tirelessly, the results will be higher. That was our story with Kirill. We were very close and hardworking.

I know examples of partnerships with intense conflicts that still achieved outstanding results. However, this requires immense coaching work. Keeping together a partnership that doesn’t get along is a unique coaching experience, a gift if you will. It’s something only a few can accomplish,” Skoptsova explained.

Anastasia Skoptsova talked about how expenses were divided in their pair.

“As soon as you make it to the national team, almost all expenses are covered by the federation. Before reaching that level, of course, we all paid for everything ourselves: boots, blades, costumes, competition trips, invited specialists. Kirill (Aleshin) and I used to split all the costs in half. If we went to competitions, each of us paid for ourselves.

There were no contracts between us. When you go to a restaurant with a friend, do you sign a contract with them to split the bill? It’s the same here: everyone understands that we are a team, we have a joint result, and if expenses are required to achieve that result, we’ll share them.

I know that there can be difficulties when partners come from families with different financial situations. Someone may afford these expenses, and someone may not. But in such cases, common expenses of the pair are usually reduced. There’s no situation where one partner pays for the other. At least, I haven’t come across such examples.

If a pair receives prize money, it’s also divided equally between the partners, with a certain percentage deducted for the coach. However, this is an individual agreement with the coach, and each group has its own arrangement,” noted Skoptsova.

Anastasia Skoptsova also discussed the shortage of boys in ice dancing.

“I can’t even imagine going to my dad and suggesting that my younger brother should take up figure skating. Dad would say, ‘Nastya, are you kidding? There’s hockey, boxing, wrestling, football, and so much more…’ Eight or nine out of ten parents believe it’s more natural for boys to play hockey or football than engage in figure skating.

Now, let’s add the organizational difficulties to this. In many Russian regions, there isn’t even an ice rink, and if there is one, there’s not enough time for all training groups. Plus, there are the very expensive skates, blades, the need to constantly accompany the child…

Look at the results from the recent Moscow Open Championship. In the program of the first sports category for girls, there were 17 participants, while for boys, there were only 8. Out of these kids, only about 5-10% might hypothetically end up in ice dance someday. What does that amount to?

But it’s essential for a future partner to match not only in height but also in stride length, arm length, age… The shortage of boys is really felt before the age of 15. And at a high level, the problem of finding a female partner also arises. There are cases when a great guy skates alone for a long time while searching for a suitable partner.

I was lucky: throughout my career, I hardly skated without a partner. I switched from single skating to partnering with a specific boy, and then, when we parted ways, my mom found an ad from Kirill Aleshin’s parents two days later. We teamed up and skated together for over ten years.

Where do you even look for partners? The most obvious way is through forums on various websites. There’s a separate forum for finding partners abroad. Is there a special ‘Tinder’ for finding skating partners? Ha-ha, if someone creates one, I think it will be a success!” said Skoptsova.


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