“The field will be less competitive after the Olympics, and the new generation will get a chance. We want to take advantage of that and express ourselves as much as we can.” Interview with Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler
Interview with Czech ice dancers Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler.
source: idnes.cz dd 5th December 2022
In January, they almost got into the top 10 ice dance pairs in Europe. In February, they took 16th place at the Olympics. And at the World Championships in March, they finished the season in 13th place.
Already during the winter, they were aware that the upcoming Olympic cycle was their chance to rise among the world’s elite. “The field will be less competitive, and the new generation will get a chance. We want to take advantage of that and express ourselves as much as we can,” Taschler said of his plans.
That’s why they changed their training strategies over the summer so they could progress faster. And together with their coaches, Matteo Zanni and Barbora Reznickova, they created dances that attract attention.
“We were thinking about what we could bring to the choreography. Our coaches give us a lot of freedom; we can add our own elements to the dances,” explains 23-year-old Filip Taschler about the creative process.
The rhythmic dance has a prescribed Latin American style for this season, which suits the pair.
“Latin dances are very close to us; we enjoy them. We are glad that the chosen theme has energy. The rhythm itself puts us in a good mood or wakes us up when we come to training at seven in the morning,” says Taschlerova, who will celebrate her twenty-first birthday in December.
In contrast, they took free dance seriously. With thoughts about nature and climate change.
“We had the theme and the music in our heads for a long time. We just had to look out the window at the trees, and we immediately got inspired. We also present different elements. In that respect, it was very inspiring,” he recounts.
Thus, a program was born that has many original, challenging elements. With this program, they charmed the audience and their colleagues.
“We have received an overwhelming amount of messages; everyone loves our programs. They cause emotions, and that’s the most important thing for us,” rejoices Taschler.
“Kevin Aymoz also came to watch our performance and said he really liked our free dance,” adds Natalie.
Meeting this French figure skater is one of the many experiences that the siblings take from elite competitions. “We met a lot of people from other disciplines as well, for example Ilia Malinin, who jumps quadruple axels. Behind all the results and fame are still normal people, humble and honest.”
However, the atmosphere of the Grand Prix, where only ten selected pairs compete, did not deter them in any way. “Nothing really surprised us. The competitions take place on a similar basis to the junior Grand Prix,” says Taschlerova.
“For me, on the contrary, it seemed very different,” her brother counters. “It’s grander; more people watch the competitions, and there are a lot more fans in the stands.”
Both then agreed on the most important experience: “It was amazing to see other skaters who have been at the top for several years and to gain experience from them. We are grateful to be among such people.”
With their performance in Espoo, they improved their personal best from the 172.39 points they got at the European Championships in January to 186.39 points. They also boosted their confidence when they nailed both dances.
They now have a Christmas break with no major international competitions before the European Championships in January. Their scores from Finland would have been good enough for a seventh-place finish at the Europeans and a tenth-place finish at the World Championship last season.
“We have higher places in our heads,” they said, and they did not hide their ambitions. “We know about the reserves in the levels. For example, they didn’t take our lift, which was called a violation of choreo restrictions. So we have to change it so we don’t lose points.”
Their purposefulness can be seen in every sentence: “We fulfill what we set out to do. We understand each other, we have chemistry, and we move forward. And the best thing is that we still have a lot of shortcomings that we can improve on,” they say enthusiastically.
“There are a lot of pairs around us who are waiting for their moment just like us. We’ll see what comes next.”
Related topics: Natalie Taschlerova Filip Taschler