how it began...Our Story
How our story began
When we first teamed-up in 1997, I’m not sure either of us could have told you what ice-dance was exactly. We’d both fallen in love with skating, enjoyed school, and were lucky enough to have moms who were happy to drive us from one activity to the other as we changed and did schoolwork in the back of their cars. We neither began with an idea of where we wanted to go as a team, nor were we aware of the impact our decision to give ice-dance a try would have on our lives.
We skated after school most weekdays, bouncing back and forth between school, soccer, hockey, music practice and skating and from the ages of about 8-18, we continued to move forward in the same way: school always came first. Over the course of those first ten years, we had some success and worked hard but weren’t the most natural talents. Several times, judges, coaches and officials advised us to choose another discipline. We were short, perhaps overly athletic and seemingly ill suited for the world of ice-dance. Little did we know, we were only just beginning our very special journey.
When we graduated high school in 2005, Charlie had just gotten back on the ice after breaking his ankle in a hockey game. Having been forced to take some time away from the ice, our hearts told us that it was time to take our training and dedication to the next level. We moved training facilities and began working with some of the world’s best coaches in pursuit of excellence. With no shortage of elite coaching and facilities in the Detroit area, we were able to focus on our growth on the ice while remaining close to home, friends, family and the next chapter of our educations at the University of Michigan.
Over the course of the next nine years, we faced challenges, worked hard and learned a great deal about ourselves. Whether in competition or in practice, finding the beauty in our growth has always been our motivation. Now, with six U.S. Championship titles, two World titles and three Olympic medals, we find that we’ve only fallen more in love with our beautiful sport. The combination of artistry and athleticism in ice-dance is truly special and each facet has come to enhance our lives greatly.
These days, we’re happy to return home to Michigan between our many adventures on and off the ice. While taking a hiatus from competition, we continue to pursue our educations, explore the incredible opportunities we’re given, and remain thankful that we truly love what we do.
Whether we’re on a skating tour, speaking at an event, or practicing at home, we find that our friendship, respect for one another and balanced lives are what keep us grateful and grounded. As a team and as individuals, we’ve learned so much from our time together on the ice. We continue to dedicate the majority of our days to skating but find that our experiences, successes and challenges, enhance our lives off the ice as well.