The summer is a great time for figure skaters to debut their programs, work out the kinks and start getting themselves out there in smaller events in preparation for the upcoming season. Some U.S. elite skaters have already taken to the ice and shown off their new programs which has given fans a first look into what to expect as a new season takes flight.
Earlier this month at the Glacier Falls Summer Classic, figure skaters Gracie Gold, Polina Edmunds, Courtney Hicks, Nathan Chen, Jason Brown, Grant Hochstein, Richard Dornbush and many others took to the ice and unveiled their new programs. Some of these programs were an immediate hit, others will take some time to fully mature and a few others left fans disappointed and concerned for their favorite skaters this season.
Only a week later Mirai Nagasu, Max Aaron and a few others took to the ice for the 2015 U.S. Collegiate Figure Skating Championships. There are still several figure skaters who will be saving their debuts until the launch of the new season, but in the meantime some of them have at least revealed what music they will be skating to. Below is a collection of videos from the summer events that have already taken place that gives a bit of a glimpse of these new programs that have been developed.
Glacier Falls Summer Classic 2015: Gracie Gold’s free skate
Gracie Gold moved away from her soft classical feel from previous seasons, to a more passionate “Tango Melody” in the short and a stirring “Firebird” in her free skate. Both pieces of music suit her well and seemed to spice things up for her, which was refreshing. There is room for improvement, but it seems to be a step in the right direction.
2015 U.S. Collegiate Championships: Richard Dornbushs’ free skate
Richard Dornbush started out early this season, competing at the Glacier Falls Classic and taking first place at the 2015 U.S. Collegiate Championships. Dornbush’s new free skate has a lot of potential. There’s room for improvement, but overall it is easy to see this program doing well at larger events. Richard has shown a lot of promise in seasons past and hopefully it will be his year to shine.
Glacier Falls Summer Classic 2015: Polina Edmunds short program
In her new short, Polina Edmunds skated to Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” choreographed by Rudy Galindo. This program revealed a more artistically mature Polina. She carried the music well and used her long limbs to her advantage. This new mature look for her could help establish her as more of a senior lady this season. She was in first going into the free skate, but opted to single most of her jumps in the free skate so she could focus on her choreography. It will be exciting to watch how she does with this new look.
Glacier Falls Summer Classic 2015: Nathan Chen’s short program
When it comes to the men, everyone seems to be talking about Nathan Chen who has a strong and fairly consistent quad toe. His programs are youthful, as he is only 16-years-old, but appropriate for his age. This two-time US junior champion will not be flying under the radar much longer. Nathan will be competing at the Junior Grand Prix again this season, but should be competing at the senior level at the US Championships in January where he is sure to make some waves.
2015 U.S. Collegiate Championships: Mirai Nagasu’s free skate
A lot of fans have been anxious to see what Mirai will bring to the table this season and she chose to show off her new programs at the 2015 U.S. Collegiate Championships. Though there are some rough musical transitions in her free skate, overall she interprets it well and seems comfortable with this genre of music. It is reported that Nagasu attempted a triple axel during the short, and though it was under-rotated and she fell, this reveals her competitive drive and that she is determined to put last season behind her and get back on top. Mirai won the event and is well on her way this season.
Glacier Falls Summer Classic 2015: Jason Brown’s free skate
It was surprising to find that the U.S. champion, Jason Brown, finished the Glacier Falls Classic in sixth place. He attempted a quad in both his short program and free skate, but under-rotated them both times. Every season Brown’s coaches and choreographer give him a new style to stretch him artistically. Though this can be a good thing, it does seem to hinder Jason as it seems to take him quite some time to adjust to the new style each season. This is no different then previous seasons, so chances are he will bounce back and find his sweet spot with these programs, but at this point they still need some work.
Glacier Falls Summer Classic 2015: Grant Hochstein’s free skate
One of the highlights of the Glacier Falls Classic was Grant Hochstein’s free skate. Though Les Miserable has been overly used in recent years, Grant’s program stood out amongst the rest. The cut of the music was well done and enabled the program to build. This program has a ton of potential for Grant and could very well help him come out of the shadows and into the limelight. Grant came in second place and was given the highest component scores of the event.
Quebec Summer Championships: Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue’s short dance
Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue showcased their new programs at the Quebec Summer Championships. Skating to “Hallelujah” their short dance was absolutely exquisite. With their long lines and deep edges, these two came in second place.
2015 U.S. Collegiate Championships: Max Aaron’s short program
It looks like Max Aaron is still searching to find his style. The artistic side of this short program feels forced and somewhat unnatural for Aaron. It is still early in the season and “Nessum Dorma” with the vocals, is a big piece of music. Hopefully his quads will become more consistent this season so that he can focus his attention on the choreography and relating to the music.
Glacier Falls Summer Classic 2015: Courtney Hicks short program
It is clear, even in this performance, that Courtney Hicks is focusing her attention on technical difficulty which is where she does tend to thrive. She attempted a triple axel, but it was downgraded and she fell. Hopefully Courtney will not sacrifice the artistry in her programs in her pursuit of pushing the envelope technically.