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Shpilband moving to Novi, bringing Chock and Bates

Ousted dance coach finds new home after removal from Arctic Edge Ice Arena

U.S. ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates have decided to leave with Igor Shpilband.
U.S. ice dancers Madison Chock and Evan Bates have decided to leave with Igor Shpilband. (Tom Briglia)

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By icenetwork.com
(06/12/2012) - Igor Shpilband has decided to settle at Novi Ice Arena in Novi, Mich., and he's bringing Madison Chock and Evan Bates with him.

The decision comes after Shpilband and his longtime coaching partner, Marina Zoueva, ended their professional relationship last week. Shpilband's new base in Novi is less than 20 miles away from his old grounds at Arctic Edge Ice Arena in Canton, Mich., where Zoueva remains.

Chock and Bates, who trained under Shpilband and Zoueva, are the first duo to publicly make the move with Shpilband. Reigning world champions and 2010 Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, 2011 world champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White, and 2011 world bronze medalists Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani all announced they are staying with Zoueva at Arctic Edge.

"Working with Igor has always been invigorating, and I look forward to continuing our skating career under his guidance," Bates said. "He is a brilliant coach, and I am confident that he will do everything to help us achieve our goals on the ice.

"I am sincerely grateful to have worked with Marina. She is talented, and I have wonderful memories of my time with her. My experience in Canton has been nothing but positive, thanks to the team of coaches and my training mates."

After teaming up in July 2011, Chock and Bates enjoyed four top-five finishes during their first season. They won the bronze medal at 2011 Finlandia Trophy before placing fourth and fifth, respectively, at Skate Canada and Trophée Eric Bompard. They closed the season with a fifth-place showing at the 2012 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in January.

Chock and Bates are scheduled to take the ice at the 2012 Cup of China, Nov. 2-4 in Shanghai.

Information from U.S. Figure Skating was used in this report.