'Dr. Zhivago' free propels Esprit to masters title

Allegro!, DC Edge, Denver Synchronicity also land on podium

Esprit de Corps' <i>Dr. Zhivago</i> free skate earned them the gold in Worcester, Mass.
Esprit de Corps' Dr. Zhivago free skate earned them the gold in Worcester, Mass. (Ed Collier Photography)


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By Renee Felton, special to
(03/03/2012) - Esprit de Corps (Hayden Recreation Centre FSC) won their second consecutive U.S. masters title after skating a clean Dr. Zhivago free skate. They were joined on the podium by silver medalists Allegro!, bronze medalists DC Edge and pewter medalists Denver Synchronicity.

"We had a few early bobbles," Esprit de Corps representative Debra Martin said. "The key to overcoming those is that we pay attention to what is happening around us and feed off other team members so we don't let those mistakes affect us."

The program has undergone several changes since it won gold at the 2012 Eastern Sectional Championships.

"We have worked over the last several weeks to make this program strong and faster," Martin explained. "We wanted to keep developing throughout the entire season, and it culminated with a good performance here."

Many team members from the 2011 gold-medal winning squad returned this year with the goal of repeating as champions.

"In 2010, we completely missed the podium, and that made us motivated to get a medal last year," team representative Marcia Mitchell said. "We weren't expecting to win gold, but we brought all the positives from last season into this one."

Allegro! brought Broadway to life for fans at the DCU Center. The team, owners of back-to-back silver medals, has traditionally been known for strong technical skating. Led by coach Carrie Brown, the group chose to explore their artistic side and up the program components this season.

"We worked with acting coaches this season to get the right feeling," Brown said. "After that skate, I'd hire them."

The conceptual piece opens with the skaters auditioning for a Broadway role, then moves into them envisioning what it would be like to perform on Broadway. The skate closes with the skaters winning that role.

"I love this program because it shows off our strong technique," skater Marjorie Bryen said. "We've worked so hard to add a level of performance, and I'm proud of that."

DC Edge has now medaled at four consecutive U.S. Synchronized Championships and has won back-to-back bronze medals. The Washington FSC representatives opened the masters event with an energetic performance to music from "Viva Elvis."

"I saw the Elvis Cirque du Soleil show last spring and instantly knew this team would skate to this music," coach Jenny DeSimone said. "I think of my team as 'classic and fun with an edge,' and that is exactly what this music said to me."