hawayek baker free dance

24 hours. That’s approximately how much time passed, after a troubled free dance performance at the 2017 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, before Kaitlin Hawayek and Jean-Luc Baker seriously mulled the possibility of bringing back — or, rather, keeping with — their well-received Liebestraum free dance for the Olympic season…

“We had a meeting the next morning and we thought about it and we thought it just seemed like the right thing — the right play for us, the right plan,” said Baker. “While we were there, we actually talked to a couple judges and just asked what their thoughts were behind it, and they were quite intrigued by the idea as well. And it just seemed like the right move.”

Though retaining a piece of choreography for two or so seasons is relatively common in singles and pairs — often the better to ease a skater into upgraded technical content from one year to the next — it’s significantly more unusual in ice dance, where creativity, or the suggestion thereof, is especially prized. Original and short dances have by necessity changed year to year as rhythms and patterns switch up annually, but free dances, too, tend to change with the season; it’s been cause for note when a team, like France’s Nathalie Pechalat and Fabian Bourzat at the 2010 World Championships, has revived an older program late in the year after less-than-desirable results with a new piece.

So it might be surprising, then, to learn that these dancers were not alone in their musings…. read more here