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DANCING ON THE CEILING


BY LYNN RUTHERFORD Te Professional Skaters Association (PSA)


Coach of the Year Award winners are a who’s who list of greats, from venerable names like John Nicks and Frank Carroll to ice dance maestros Marina Zoueva and Igor Shpilband up through today’s technical gurus Rafael Arutunian and Tom Zakrajsek. All have one thing in common: Tey train their skaters in the United States. Tat mold was broken at the 50th annual EDI


Awards in Orlando, Florida, in May when Canadi- an ice dance great Patrice Lauzon, primary coach of U.S. ice dance champions Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue, accepted the honor. Lauzon and his wife, Marie-France Dubreuil, train their skaters at Gadbois Centre in their hometown of Montreal, Quebec. In just five years, Dubreuil and Lauzon have


built Gadbois Centre into the world’s most for- midable ice dance hub, coaching Canadians Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to a second Olympic gold in PyeongChang and (with Romain Haguenau- er) guiding Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron to three World titles.


Hubbell and Donohue, who moved to


Montreal in April 2015, credit their coaches with lifting them to their first U.S. title last season, as well as a fourth-place finish at the Olympics and silver medal at the 2018 World Championships in Milan, Italy. “I think the work we’ve done in Montreal


has helped us realize we’re champions before we get the medal, and that’s how we get the medal,” Hubbell said. “Now we have to continue to behave like champions if we want to repeat that. We want to be one of those teams whose names are on the (U.S. Championship) Trophy over and over again, and we have no doubt that will be a lot of work.” Lauzon, who runs many of Hubbell and Donohue’s practices, and drills their steps and


10 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2018


elements, will be the one who cracks the whip. “We work all season long on skating skills,” he told icenetwork. “We never stop stroking exercises from the start to the end of the season, although we reduce them during the compet- itive periods. Marie, Romain and I have made it one of our teams’ main values — gliding, ice touch, speed. We try to find the right balance between technique and expression, while em- phasizing choreography. Tat’s our main goal.” Dubreuil, who supplies much of the artistic


and choreographic vision at Gadbois Centre, is in awe of her husband’s eye for technical preci- sion and detail. “Sometimes I think [an element] is good,


and Patch will say, ‘Yes, Marie, it was very pretty, but it was Level 1,’” she said. “Sometimes


LAUZON NAMED PSA COACH OF THE YEAR


Patrice Lauzon received the PSA Coach of the Year honor at its annual awards banquet.


he makes me mad, he is so precise with what he needs to see. He has the patience to cut every little thing in half. He is also able to look at only the blades and not the whole image. I cannot do that; I always end up looking at the whole image.”


Lauzon also instills a strong competitive mindset in his students, urging them to stay in the moment and perform every second of their programs to the fullest. Never was that more important to Hubbell and Donohue than after PyeongChang, where costly mistakes in their free dance may have cost them a medal. “We’ve learned to stay present in the day


and move on, not live in the past, whether we have success or disappointment,” Donohue said. “After the Olympics, we had a job to do and


MARK WALENTINY/PSA


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