Madison Chock and Greg Zuerlein are the 2009 World Junior Champions as well as the 2009 U.S. Junior Champions in ice dance. This is an exciting season for them as they make their debut on the senior Grand Prix of Figure Skating circuit. I caught up with Madison and Greg at the 2009 Stars, Stripes and Skates ice benefit in Danbury, Connecticut where they skated their new original dance (OD) to Afro-Cuban music with a little bit of salsa mixed in. They told me that their main focus is to make sure that they have a smooth transition to the senior level and not look like they just came from the junior ranks. I loved the costumes, especially Madison's wrap skirt! (see right) Their first international competition as a senior team is Grand Prix - Cup of China, which begins tomorrow.
The benefit also featured ice dancers from Japan Cathy and Chris Reed, who also debuted their original dance to Japanese folk melodies. The OD for this season is folk/country and it's always interesting to me how diverse the musical selections are. I loved both teams' music and it was a treat to be one of the first to see both numbers performed publicly for the first time! Now that I think about it, there were lots of debuts that evening, including Johnny Weir's new short program to I Love You, I Hate You, Nobunari Oda's free skate to Charlie Chaplin, and Miki Ando's free skate to Cleopatra. Click the link above to view their performances.