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Back for Moore: U.S. ice dancer blogs from Estonia

JGP Slovakia bronze medalist returns with more tales from overseas
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Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber, here with coach Massimo Scali, are ecstatic after the short dance, in which they finished second with 53.79 points. -Karen Terry

Holly Moore competed with ice dance partner Daniel Klaber at Junior Grand Prix Estonia, finishing fourth. She kept a blog for icenetwork.

Saturday, Oct. 12

Hello from the Frankfurt airport!

I figured I would have plenty of time to write a final blog entry recapping all that has happened in the past couple of days (which were quite eventful, I must say) since we have a good six hours to kill here before we head home to Detroit.

On Friday, we dancers finally got to begin our competition! Aside from a few small stumbles here and there, we skated our short dance really well. We had a TON of fun, and maybe even got a few of the judges to crack a smile! Going into our very last section of the program, after all of the most difficult elements were finished, I heard Daniel say to me: "Razzle dazzle them!" (which was quite fitting for our Chicago-themed short dance), and that's just what we did. We ended up getting a season's best score and placed second! We were on top of the world with excitement.

With the JGP Final being in sights, we were more motivated than ever to skate our free dance with the most sass and spice we could muster up!

The pairs competed their free skate right after the dance event. Excited to cheer on our two teams, we headed up to the Team USA cheering section. Both teams skated their hearts out and really made Team USA proud. Kaitlin [Budd] and Nikita [Cheban] pulled up a placement to fifth, and Madeline [Aaron] and Max [Settlage] remained in fourth while becoming first alternates to the JGP Final!

After such an exciting day for Team USA, we headed with a few of our teammates into Old Town for a yummy dinner in a cute little Estonian restaurant.

Saturday was finally free dance day! I think a little anecdote would be a good way to begin explaining the day: Being the somewhat clumsy girl that I am, I woke up with a bang (literally)! As I was getting ready that morning, I slipped on one of my bags and did a complete face-plant onto our hotel room floor! Luckily, my roommate, Kaitlin, was already awake, and we laughed until we cried (and we are still laughing about it now in the airport). 

Fortunately, it didn't hurt, but it was definitely an interesting way to begin the day. (I'd like to add that I am currently giggling to myself while writing this and reminiscing on my clumsiness. Oops!)

Another funny story from that same morning (however, not funny at the time) is when we got to the rink for our morning practice; I realized I forgot my skates in my hotel room (another oops)! Luckily, Hannah [Miller] had a practice that morning as well and was coming over on the very next bus. She brought my skates in time for the practice, and I definitely owe her one. (Thanks again, Hannah!)

After all of that morning excitement, we ended up having a great practice and felt really good going into the free. During our free dance, we really went for it. We went all-out and had the best time performing our playful and feisty Latin program (I mean, there are very few feelings in life that are better than skating a great program, getting to showcase our personalities AND skating in a sparkly bright pink dress; you just can't beat it!).

We ended up in fourth place overall and only 0.04 points away from a podium spot! Sometimes it's hard being THAT close, but everything happens for a reason, and now we are more motivated than ever to go home and train hard.

The ladies finished out the day, and with all of Team USA cheering them on, they really pulled out all the stops. Both girls skated breathtaking programs that pulled them both up in the rankings. Tyler [Pierce] finished sixth, and Hannah finished in 12th (both girls pulled up four placements!)

We then had a team dinner in Old Town and reminisced on all the great times we had together on the trip. Also, I would like to add a special thanks to our team leader, Karen, and team doctor, Dee, for being supportive and encouraging throughout the entirety of the trip. We also celebrated Tyler's birthday that night (complete with signs and balloons)! We had a blast.

JGP Estonia was a competition I will never forget. Even though we didn't necessarily get the outcome we were hoping for, we were extremely pleased with our skate and proud of ourselves for all that we accomplished. We are now filled with a fire and drive to go home and train, train, train for nationals! The road to success is not a straight line, and sometimes you need a small setback or disappointment in order to light the fire within. I am more pleased than I could possibly imagine with our JGP season, and we accomplished our goal of building our names on the international circuit. 

We are determined to continue improving and come to nationals with a bang! (Well hopefully not the kind of bang where I do a nosedive to the floor...)

Friday, Oct. 11

Yet another beautiful day here in Tallinn!

Yesterday, we had time to finally check out Old Town before our practice. It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The medieval-style architecture and cobblestone streets are so well-preserved, it's like we took a step back in time. (Well, besides all of the cute and trendy restaurants and shops, which I'm certainly not complaining about! Oh, and the McDonalds that is located right next to a castle -- quite an interesting sight, I must say.) Tallinn is such a beautiful city, and it has such a contrast between modern buildings and huge shopping malls practically everywhere you turn with the beautiful charm of Old Town and cute little Estonian boutiques.

After some exploring, we had another practice, and it went really well! Our practice just so happened to be strategically placed so that we could watch both of Team USA's pairs teams compete. Before our practice, we cheered on teammates Madeline Aaron and Max Settlage. They skated absolutely amazingly and are currently in fourth place! After our practice, we raced up to Team USA's cheering section in the main rink to cheer on our training mates, Kaitlin Budd and Nikita Cheban. They also skated great and are currently in sixth after the short!

The ladies event was up next, and they competed pretty late into the night, being that there were 30 of them! Team USA's Tyler Pierce made a spectacular international debut and is sitting in 10th place. Hannah Miller looked wonderful as well, and she is heading into the free in 16th place.

We just got back from our last practice before the short dance. It went really well, and we're feeling ready to go! The rink doesn't seem quite so cold today, so I'm taking that as a good omen. Either that or they knew that the dancers were competing today and figured we were high maintenance (being that a cloud of hairspray and glitter sweeps the rink whenever we walk in).

Well, here we go: Time to get our quickstep on!

Thursday, Oct. 10

The sun finally decided to come out here in beautiful Tallinn!

After two practices yesterday, we have a little bit of a break today to finally explore the town. Our practices yesterday went really well, and we're feeling good (well, aside from almost freezing to death on the practice rink -- brrrr!) The arena is very nice, and we're really looking forward to competing. Also, right across the parking lot from the rink is the biggest mall I've ever seen! (It's like they knew I was coming!) 

We also had the draw yesterday, and we drew No. 10 (which means sleeping in tomorrow. Yay!).

Since we have only one practice today, we are going to go exploring through Old Town (even though I should probably start doing some of my homework … but, well, I guess it can wait, right?). I'm super excited to check it out because a few of the other skaters told me how cool it is.

The pairs and the ladies begin with their short programs today, and, as always, we are planning on being there decked out in all things patriotic to support them. I brought my American flag sweater and pom-poms, and I'm ready to cheer!

GO TEAM USA!

Wednesday, Oct. 9

Good morning from Tallinn!

We began our day yesterday in Detroit and traveled with fellow Team USA members Katie Budd, Nikita Cheban and Hannah Miller. The plane was pretty empty, so we could all sprawl out over a few seats. After a seemingly endless eight hours (I haven't yet mastered the whole sleeping on planes thing; then again, it's hard to sleep with so many good movies to choose from right in front of you!), we finally landed in Frankfurt and faced an almost five-hour layover. (For those of you who followed my last blog from Kosice, I was much smarter when traveling this time, deciding not to wear my sparkly pants that caused me to get patted down at every security checkpoint; that being said, it's safe to say the travel day yesterday was already much easier, considering we didn't have three connections like we did to Slovakia.)

The flight into Tallinn was nice and short, and when we first stepped outside, it was shockingly chilly. We only got to see a bit of the city, but Old Town is within walking distance of our hotel. Our hotel is also connected to a shopping mall, which, as you can probably imagine, makes a teenage girl quite happy.

Last night we had a Team USA meeting, where we met our fabulous team leader and team doctor, Karen Terry and Dee Hodge, as well as the rest of the athletes on our team. After eating a yummy dinner, we crashed for the night. Thankfully, I'm working on 12 hours of sleep today. (After not sleeping for almost two days, that was just what I needed!)

I'm about to leave for the short dance draw and our first practice of the competition. I can't wait to get started! 

Now, time to go start doing my hair…

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