Beckers take slim lead after pattern dance

Reigning juvenile champions Biechler and Petrov sit in second place entering free dance

Gigi Becker and Luca Becker combined for 48.32 points in the intermediate pattern dance.
Gigi Becker and Luca Becker combined for 48.32 points in the intermediate pattern dance. (TSS Photography)


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By Renee Felton, special to
(12/13/2011) - Intermediate dance teams were asked to perform a pair of pattern dances, the Tango and the American Waltz, on Tuesday, before showing off their free dances on Wednesday at the 2012 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships. Sitting on top of the leaderboard are several recognizable faces from the 2011 juvenile scene.

Gigi Becker and Luca Becker (Washington FSC), who are the reigning U.S. juvenile silver medalists, lead with a total of 48.32 points.

"I think those were our best pattern dances ever," Luca said as his sister nodded in emphatic agreement.

Though they enjoyed exhibiting their pattern dances Tuesday, the real fun comes when they perform their free dance to a Michael Jackson medley.

"The dance part is so fun," Gigi said. "I think the crowd will like seeing that more than any of our elements."

The 2011 juvenile champions Julia Biechler and Alexander Petrov (Hershey FSC) are in second place with 47.62 points. Biechler has a busy day ahead of her Wednesday, as she is competing in both the intermediate free dance and the juvenile ladies free skate.

As for their pattern dances, the duo was excited to have done well in the "very difficult" American Waltz.

While Biechler and Petrov couldn't quite put into words what makes that particular dance so tough, fellow competitors Sammi Wren and Alexei Shchepetov, who are in fourth place, gave their insight.

"The Waltz is hard because you have to hold extensions and hold the beats," Shchepetov noted. "If you don't get on beat with the music, the music and the movement aren't in sync and it looks sloppy."

In third place are Kimberly Berkovich and Micah Jaffe (Pavilion SC of Cleveland Heights). The team, together for two years, looks to improve on a fifth-place finish at the juvenile level in 2011.

"We came into this season with the goal of being bigger, better, faster and stronger," Jaffe said excitedly.

Season Pass subscribers can catch the intermediate free dance at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday night on