dance practice

My first official day of photography at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships (henceforth referred to as "Canadians") was Tuesday, a day for official practices. Since my actual assignment was for dance and I was using a rented lens, I made sure that Jules and I hit some dance practices. We were going to take a bus to Chinatown from the PNE in the middle of the afternoon, but I had to dress nicely for my assignment, so I was wearing some snazzy new brown dress shoes. Unfortunately, said snazzy new brown dress shoes could barely make it a block to Starbucks, much less to a bus stop and then around Chinatown. We ended up going back to the arena (Jules walked, I hobbled), and watched more practices until L-A got out of class and came by to get us.

The practice rink was dark, dark, dark. I never did figure out settings that would work for skating that meant photos that didn't have to be Photoshopped, but the good news is that they turned out decently after some 'shopping. Here are several of my favourite moments:

Gosselin & Lapointe

Clara Gosselin & Sébastien Lapointe weren't among the top junior teams, but they really lit up the practice rink when their free dance music started - the disco version of "Knock on Wood." I love that song. Really love that song. 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600.

Harvey & Gagnon

Tarrah Harvey & Keith Gagnon are one of the most improved junior teams in Canada this year. More on them some other time - I'm actually working on an article about them for ice-dance.com. I love this photo, because they're both much taller than the average junior dancers, so they have beautiful, long lines. 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600.

Crone & Poirier

The rest of the photos are from senior-level practices. This is Vanessa Crone & Paul Poirier. After winning the junior title last year, it was their first year on the senior level, and they showed up ready to impress. More on them some other time, too - I'm doing a phone interview with them this weekend in preparation for an IDC article on them, too. This photo just makes me laugh - a very intense moment in their tango free dance. 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600.

Karam & McGrath

Siobhan Karam & Kevin O'Keefe are just so expressive. This is from their free dance, music from Notre Dame de Paris. I love how she beams, all the way up to the rafters. We were in a practice rink, so there were only about 15 rows, but you just get the impression that if they'd been in a massive arena, they'd still be able to reach someone in the top row. 1/250, f/2.8, ISO 1600.

Here's where the ill-fated trip to Starbucks and aborted attempt at seeing Chinatown occurred. When we got back to the arenas, we headed over to the main arena, where the lights were on. They were the brightest I'd ever experienced, so this set is a tad overexposed. I'm glad I ran into this on a practice day, instead of at 9am the next morning for the first event!

Girard & Dougherty

Mylène Girard & Liam Dougherty are a new team that had a late start this year, but they picked up momentum heading into these championships. I don't think I sent this photo into IDC because of the blur on her skirt and hand, but I've decided that I kind of like it - it adds to their flamenco flavour. 1/320, f/2.8, ISO 400.

Virtue & Moir

In a class of their own at Canadians, Tessa Virtue & Scott Moir are one of the best teams in the world this year. I saw them for the first time four years ago. Then, they weren't even able to crack the top ten at the Junior World Championships. Their rise has been meteoric, and well-deserved. 1/400, f/2.8, ISO 400.

Next up: first day of competition at Canadians!

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