Moore, Klaber jazz it up for novice ice dance win

Cleveland Heights' teams take gold and bronze; Wheaton Academy wins silver

Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber came from 2.55 points back after the pattern dances to win gold.
Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber came from 2.55 points back after the pattern dances to win gold. (Tom Briglia)


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By Lynn Rutherford, special to
(01/23/2012) - Holly Moore and Daniel Klaber love their jazz hot, and it won them the novice ice dance title at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The Cleveland Heights duo, who have skated together for seven years, climbed from second after the pattern dances with a mature and snazzy free dance to Victor/Victoria's "Le Jazz Hot" that showed off well-synchronized twizzles and a fast-moving closing rotational lift.

"We really had a lot of fun," Moore, 16, said. "We love our free dance so much, and we hope it showed and everyone could share in it. We worked hard this season and it paid off."

The rotational lift, a newly developed element, helped put the cherry on top of an entertaining performance that earned 62.02 points. Added to their second-place scores from the two pattern dances, they ended with 109.53, taking the win by 1.40.

"That lift is all him," Moore said.

"I don't like to take credit," Klaber, 17, said. "We had the lift, but right before sectionals I started turning like that, really fast. I was kind of afraid I would trip over my own feet and fall, but it turned out to be a strong point, and I've never fallen on it. It was probably our biggest highlight, that and the twizzles."

Jackie Miles, who with Chip Rossbach coaches Moore and Klaber at Cleveland Heights' Pavillion Skating Club, gave credit to the ice dance coaching team at Detroit Skating Club, including Pasquale Camerlengo, Angelika Krylova, Massimo Scali, Elizabeth Punsalan-Swallow and Natalia Deller.

"They also go to Detroit, and the coaches there have been wonderful," said Miles, who has coached the youngsters for five years. "They choreographed the program.

"Every day Holly and Daniel work on twizzles, spins, footwork and lifts, and they have really been progressing."

Whitney Miller and Kyle MacMillan, who had a slim lead after the pattern dances, were thrilled with their free dance to gypsy music and their silver medal. Three Level 4 lifts contributed to their 58.07 free dance score, and they ended with 108.13.

"It felt like it was one of our best skates and we were really happy with the score," Miller, 13, said.

"Unlike the last times we have done it, the second half had a lot of energy," MacMillan, 14, said. "For next season we want to work on adding power so we have more flow in our programs."

The teens train at Maryland's Wheaton Ice Skating Academy (WISA) under a coaching team headed by academy director Alexei Kiliakov. They are one of five WISA teams competing in San Jose this week; in addition, WISA had three juvenile and three intermediate teams at the 2012 U.S. Junior Figure Skating Championships, and took gold in both events.

Kiliakov attributes WISA's success to "friendship and partnership, and they all work as a team. Sport is individual, but they all have very strong feelings, and they help each other. If somebody knows how to do something better, they try to correct each other. Each practice is a mini-competition where they can improve."

Another Cleveland Heights team, Hannah Rosinski and Jacob Jaffe, took bronze with a fun and funky free dance to a James Brown medley, including "This a Man's World" and "I Feel Good." Their highlights were a smoothly executed Level 4 straight-line lift as well as speedy step sequences. The program earned 54.71 points, and they finished with 99.13 overall.

"We're really excited," Rosinski, 16, said. "We think it was our best free dance performance today."

"We just really go into it, after the twizzles," Jaffe, 17, said. "It's a fun program. You get pumped up throughout it. It's a change from what I've had before in free dances, where it's more dramatic. James Brown, how can you not have fun?"

Jaffe's younger brother, Micah, and his partner, Kimmie Berkovich, were fourth in intermediate ice dance at the 2012 U.S. Junior Championships.

Chloe Lewis and Logan Bye placed third in the free and fourth overall with a seamless and sophisticated program to music from Kismet, including "Stranger in Paradise." After a sixth place in the first pattern dance, the Argentine Tango, they improved in each phase of the event.