World Championships 2024: Ice Dance Recap

© International Skating Union (ISU)

The Ice Dance event was the penultimate discipline to finish at the 2024 World Championships. Aside from the top three teams, who all put out quality performances, there was an array of impressive, moving and engaging skates from the skaters competing in Montreal in front of the enthused audience. Here is a closer look at some of the notable moments from the event!

Results

🥇 Madison Chock/Evan Bates (USA)
🥈 Piper Gilles/Paul Poirier (Canada)
🥉 Charlène Guignard/Marco Fabbri (Italy)

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Winning back-to-back world titles were Madison Chock and Evan Bates of the USA with 222.20 points. The 80s rhythm dance theme and Queen music choice highlights the strength of their abilities as performers. It was a clean skate from the two, and they secured level fours on the twizzles and rotational lift, projecting well towards and engaging with the audience. They were second in the free dance to a Pink Floyd medley, and while they skate with less speed than other teams, they put out another clean performance; the choreo assist jump was done with creativity, and the program plays to the strengths of their good extension and lines. 

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Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier of Canada won the silver medal with 219.68 points. Their rhythm dance is creative, and the sliding movement within it is memorable; in Montreal, they executed it perfectly in time with each other and with impressive control. They were narrowly in third place after the rhythm dance behind Guignard and Fabbri. Their ability to establish a distinct feel in their program was evident also in their Wuthering Heights free dance, which is a highlight this season. It is an emotionally intense program, but they both commit to it for the entirety of their performance, mapping out a narrative arc over the course of the skate. They had quality throughout, and the curve lift, given a level four and +2.19 GOE, was a moment where they accentuated the music and emotions. With a total segment score of 133.17, they placed first in the free dance. 

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European champions Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri of Italy were third overall with 216.52 points. They delivered an energetic and electric rhythm dance to ‘Holding Out for a Hero’ and ‘Against All Odds’. The speed and ice coverage across the twizzles was impressive as always, and they received +3.20 in grades of execution for the element. In their ‘Theory of Everything’ free skate, they began with a choreo assist jump which showcased well-defined positions, and pulled off the twizzles with seeming ease. The flow and seamless quality of their movements did not betray the technical difficulty of the content which they performed, and they built up well towards the ending of their skate. Guignard’s skirt got caught in her skate in the final couple of elements, but they were able to remain focused and finish the program successfully. 

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In fourth place were Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson of Great Britain. They were strong in the twizzles in their ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)’ section. They maintained the high energy that their program demands, but also changed up their expression in the middle section to ‘Here Comes the Rain Again’. The team had a great rotational lift to close out the skate. Their vibrant ‘Rocky’ program enabled them to feed off the energy of the full audience. It was a strong performance from the two, and they shone in the last few elements where they could really play with the crowd in Montreal. They closed out with a stationary lift and an emphatic finish for what has been a memorable program this season. 

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Marjorie Lajoie and Zachary Lagha put out two top quality performances to loud cheers from the home audience, rounding off a difficult season with great success and a fifth-place finish. In their Michael Jackson rhythm dance, they opened with level four twizzles, and maintained the momentum through the rest of the program. Their dedication to the style and theme was evident, with both skaters paying attention to detail in the use of their hands and expressions. Their free dance takes a different approach, and the ‘Roses’ piece plays to their innate sense of musicality; they both demonstrated sensitivity to the intricacies of the relatively quiet piece, highlighting the nuances through their movements. Their twizzles accompanied the cascading music, and they received level fours on all lifts, as well as the dance spin. The program has a natural, almost imperceptible shift in tonality, with crescendo to the climax of the program: they portrayed this in their skating. They showcased an incredible rotational lift as the penultimate element, with impressive speed of rotation, and earned a standing ovation from the home audience at the end of the skate. 

European bronze medalists Allison Reed and Saulius Ambrulevicius of Lithuania were sixth in Montreal. They were solid in both skates; the Guns N’ Roses rhythm dance enables them to foreground the dynamism and power of their skating style. The highlight is the hydroblade where Reed is the supporting skater; it is a notable moment of choreography. In their conceptual free dance about society’s over-reliance on technology, they opened with a stationary and rotational lift, both given level fours and earning +3.29 in grades of execution. The final section of their skate was rousing and uplifting, and they used the choreo step and choreo lift to achieve this. 

Four Continents bronze medalists Christina Carreira and Anthony Ponomarenko of the USA were seventh with two strong skates. They set the mood of their Stevie Nicks rhythm dance from the opening choreography, and nailed the twizzles, with synchrony in the details of their arm movements. Their curve lift, given a level four, has a great pose, and they used it well with the music. Their free dance to the soundtrack of ‘Perfume’ is intense, and they achieve quality worldbuilding, committing to the roles of the characters they portray. They were well-connected to the music once more, and built drama leading into the second half of their skate. The rotational lift displayed amazing control, and the choreography of the assisted jump was used to reflect the dynamics between their two characters. 

Evgeniia Lopareva and Geoffrey Brissaud of France were eighth, and delivered a quirky and fun rhythm dance, with controlled knee slides from Lopareva as part of the choreography. The team is good at character-driven programs, and they brought the performance to life in Montreal. The free dance to music by Rachmaninoff establishes a very different tone, but they nonetheless instill the classical music with more contemporary movements at well-timed, specific moments in the program. They were fluid from element to element, and developed the skate to the more intense ending section. 

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Compatriots Loicia Demougeot and Theo le Mercier also put out noteworthy performances. They brought amazing energy to their rhythm dance, and hit each musical accent in their midline step. Their free dance set to ‘Clair de Lune’ was portrayed with sensitivity. The twizzzles were perfectly synchronised, and matched the piano notes with skill. Demougeot and Le Mercier used the stationary and rotational lifts to transition into second piece of music, ‘Waves’, which is where they really dig in and sell the program: a highlight is inarguably the incredible straight line lift accentuating sweeping sound of music. 

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Natalie Taschlerova and Filip Taschler of Czechia were fifteenth; they had a difficult rhythm dance, unable to deliver the lift, making for a void element and placing them eighteenth after the first day. They were stronger in the free dance, which was an emotive skate from the team. They cover the ice with ease, fluidity and speed, and the straight-line lift had beautifully defined and sustained positions. The final part of the program saw a shift in emotion, and top-quality expressivity from both skaters. 

© International Skating Union (ISU)

Fan favourites Yuka Orihara and Juho Pirinen of Finland had two exciting skates in Montreal. They are both charismatic performers, and their showmanship is brought out to the fullest in their ‘Chicago’ free dance. They deliver it with a mixture of suave and vibrant energy. They used the curve and rotational lifts well at the climatic ending of ‘When You’re Good to Mama’, and as always, sold the performance in the choreo character step sequence near the end of the skate. 

Click here to watch our recap livestream with Corey Circelli!

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