Bobrova, Soloviev dot Finlandia lead with polka
Cappellini, Lanotte take second in short dance; Hubbell, Donohue settle into third
|Russians Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev find the Yankee Polka suits them well. (Getty Images)|
All the ice dancers had apparently put a lot of thought into how to combine the compulsory Yankee Polka with the optional waltz or march rhythms, so that the whole thing makes sense somehow. This is how Soloviev explained the theme of their short dance.
"The story is that we are at a ball," Soloviev said. "In the beginning, we meet and have a dance together. The first part, the polka, is very playful, but when the music changes into the waltz, that's when we fall in love with each other and it's getting more serious. In the end, we realize that we can't be together because I'm too old and she is a young girl."
"Each year, with the new compulsory rhythm, we think about what to make out of it," Bobrova added. "I think the polka is a good rhythm for us. It's cheerful and fun to do. For me personally, I think the polka suits me better than the waltz."
Italy's Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte are only 1.40 points behind the Russians.
"This is a very good start for the new season, but there is definitely room for improvement for Skate Canada. We wanted to come here and show that the Italians are still alive," Cappellini and Lanotte stated.
Hubbell and Donahue danced to third place, despite receiving only a Level 2 for their side-by-side step sequence.
"I put my foot down during the footwork, so that cost us a level or two," Hubbell said. "Given the fact that it was our first competition, we are satisfied with our performance. It's hard to get mentally prepared. Physically, we are ready, but it's a bit nerve-wracking when you don't know what the judges want.
"Honestly, getting feedback before Skate Canada is our goal for this competition."
Italy's Charlene Guignard and Marco Fabbri are 2.8 points behind the Americans, but after them there is a notable gap before the rest.