Cathy Reed & Chris Reed: “We compete for Japan and it is our passion!”
Interview by Vladislav Luchianov
Special thanks to the Cathy and Chris Reed official website for additional information.
Cathy and Chris Reed formed their partnership in the spring of 2001 with coaches Andrew Stroukoff and Susan Kelley, a former US ice dance team who competed at the 1976 Insbruck Olympic Winter Games. Their first competition together was the 2001 Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships, in Pre-Juvenile and Juvenile. Their partnership at the beginning was pretty much just for fun since Cathy was way taller than Chris at the time! However, they continued on to compete at the 2001 North Atlantic Regional Championships and at their first US Junior National Championships finishing tenth.
By their second year in Novice, Cathy and Chris again missed the cut to the US National Championships. However, a wonderful opportunity opened up for the team. They had a chance to train with elite senior level teams coached by Nikolai Morozov and Shae-Lynn Bourne. So Cathy and Chris switched coaches and eagerly took this opportunity. This decision paid off in the end because Cathy and Chris not only made it to their first US National Championships in 2005/2006, but they won the Novice Ice Dance title.
After becoming the US Novice Ice Dance Champions, Cathy and Chris got an opportunity to compete for Japan at the senior level, so they went for it! This opportunity proved also to be successful as they are now the Japanese Ice Dance Gold Medalists and World Competitors.
VLAD: Hello Cathy and Chris! First, thank you very much for taking out the time for the interview!
Well, Japan is always strong with its athletes in a single skating. Why did you decide to become ice dancers?
CATHY/CHRIS: Well at first, Chris and I were both single skaters and we didn’t even think about teaming up and becoming an ice dance team. In addition to freestyle lessons, we also took ice dance lessons from Andrew Stroukoff, our first ice dance coach and it was his idea to team us up. Thanks to our parents and our families’ genes, we both have slender bodies, long legs and arms, and a great look for an ice dance couple. We actually didn’t start out that way though! When we both started ice dance in Juvenile, I was still much taller than Chris! But over the years, Chris grew taller and bigger, so now we are the perfect ratio for ice dance!
- And how is developing ice dancing presently in Japan?
- Ice dancing is still not as popular as single skating, but Chris and I believe we are going to change that! After the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and our season of our famous Japanese Original dance, we started to gain more recognition in our country. Our Japanese Original dance is our favorite program so far and one of our proudest achievements because it represents Japan and who we are. We hope to make ice dancing more popular and encourage more interest and development in this discipline in Japan.
- Your ice dancing couple is full of harmony on the ice. How did you achieve it? And is it helpful that you are brother and sister?
- The harmony and unison of any team, always takes time and a lot of practice to achieve. Practice makes perfect! But being brother and sister, and having the same body type is always helpful!
- Could you tell us about your new programs and about preparation for a new season?
- Chris and I would still like to keep our programs a secret until we make our debut at Japan Open on October 2nd. We will perform both our Short Dance and Free Dance. We love our new programs very much and we are very excited to perform them in front of an audience soon!
- Do you train in a new skating base of Nikolai Morozov in Latvia?
- Yes, we are currently training at the new skating base of Nikolai Morozov in Daugavpils, Latvia. It is the second largest city in Latvia (the largest being its capital, Riga) and is the perfect environment for training.
- He is a great coach and all skaters I interviewed and who work with him said that it’s a big pleasure to train with him. What is your opinion?
- We have been with Nikolai Morozov for almost 5-6 years now, and we both admire him greatly, as our coach, choreographer, mentor and friend. It is of course a great pleasure to train with him, skate with him and learn from him. He is an extremely talented and distinguished choreographer. He is also a wonderful coach who understands each and every one of his students, their personalities, strengths and weaknesses, and knows how to bring out the best in each and every one of them.
- Japanese culture is famous for its own philosophy. Is it supportive to you on competitions?
- Japanese culture is famous for its own philosophy, and I would have to say that it is “Obligation.” Everyone has a job, has a role in life, which he or she is required to do to survive and to advance the country. We don’t have a Japanese name, nor do we live in Japan, but we are half-Japanese and we are the Japanese National Ice Dance Champions. We compete for Japan, and it is not only our job, it is our passion. And the Japanese people have accepted us and are very supportive of us, and we are extremely grateful.
- This year there are some changes in ice dancing rules. What do you think about short dance?
- At first, Chris and I were quite unsure about the Short dance and had mixed feelings for it. We do love compulsories and were sad to see them go. However, once we saw other couples skate their short dance programs and see everyone do golden waltz to all the different waltz musics, it was very interesting to see! Plus we found a great waltz music for our short dance that has a lot of character.
- What are your main goals for this season?
- For this season, after the Vancouver Olympic Winter Games and with the new rules and new Short Dance, anything is possible! We want to improve, move up in the ranks and develop ice dancing more in Japan.
“When we close our eyes, we can see…
The spotlights are bright on you and me…
We’ve got the floor…
And we’re in each other’s arms…
How could we ask for more?”
- What a wonderful answer! And my traditional question. What is your general advice to young skaters?
- Whenever things aren’t working well or are not going the way you want them to, you have three choices: give up, give in or give it your all. Go with the third one!!!!
- Cathy and Chris, once again thank you for the interview! Good luck to your wonderful couple!
- Thank you so much for interviewing us!