Janse Van Rensburg & Steffan embrace new alternatives

by Matteo Morelli | Images by Yoriko Suzuki

Germany’s Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg and Benjamin Steffan are having fun with a season that’s giving them a whole lot of new alternatives to point out their potential. We sat down with the 2 time German Nationwide Champions after they competed at their first European Championships in Espoo, Finland, the place they shared what this season means to them and what they’re specializing in in direction of their future.

Jennifer and Benjamin, thanks for spending a while with us. You competed at your first European Championships, ending in ninth place. What do you’re taking away with you from this competitors?

Benjamin Steffan (BS): We really feel superb about this, it has been fairly a journey to get right here for us. That is our first large championship collectively and reaching that prime ten placement means loads to us. We’re very thrilled.

What does this consequence imply for you in relation to your targets? 

Jennifer Janse Van Rensburg (JJ): We’re fairly comfortable that with the highest ten we bought two spots for Germany at subsequent yr’s European Championships. This yr we nonetheless have the upcoming World Championships in Japan, a contest that I believe is most skaters’ dream and that’s additionally coming true for us. We’re fairly excited.

this season, you’ve taken half in a number of challenger competitions, you went to the Skate America Grand Prix, and secured a second consecutive title on the German Nationwide Championships.

BS: This season has been a giant step up for us. We’ve got been capable of safe a second nationwide title which meant loads to us and we’ve had two medals at challenger competitions (silver at each Denis Ten Memorial and Warsaw Cup), which is a giant deal. It offers us the sensation that what we’re doing is the correct factor and we aren’t at our restrict but however we will push our skills to get higher and higher.

Your free programme is on “Prelude (Age of Heroes)” by Balázs Havasi, a music that features a choir at first, adopted by a piano and solo voice within the center, to finish with a crescendo. How did you provide you with it?

JJ: Our coach (Natalia Karamysheva) heard the music and instantly considered us. She performed it and we immediately liked it! 

BS: That’s how we selected the music, we might actually see us performing to that and as workforce we determined to make use of it.

Though that is the post-Olympic yr, the following Milano-Cortina Olympic Video games will not be that far. Have you ever bought any ambitions in relation to that?

BS: Sure, we’ve sat collectively and talked concerning the future, and we’ve determined that we need to go for the Olympic Video games in 2026. That is our large purpose: we’re taking each step that’s needed and that we will take in direction of it. 

We seemed at the moment and the long run, let’s now return to the previous. You will have been skating collectively since 2016, however earlier than getting there you each had completely different experiences. Beginning with you, Jennifer: you have been a single skater for some years till 2014, if you determined to alter.

JJ: I modified very late to ice dance. Fairly lots of people stated it was too late, however I took that as a problem. Within the final couple of years we got here to some extent the place we lastly reached what we have been aiming for. It took us some time, I needed to commit loads.

And Benjamin, what’s your background?

BS: I’ve been an ice dancer for fairly a very long time. I by no means did solo skating, nonetheless I did play ice hockey earlier than that! However that was a very long time in the past. I began ice dancing once I was ten years previous, I’ve had a number of companions up till I partnered up with Jenny. I actually admire each side of each partnership that I’ve had up to now. Every thing that I’ve achieved has taken me nearer to the place I’m, and the place we’re, proper now.

How did you discover one another and determined to skate collectively?

JJ: Really, we’ve recognized one another for fairly a very long time! We’ve got been buddies outdoors the ice rink too. We’ve got discovered one another in our primary military course and sport training: our educator knew we have been each on the lookout for companions and recommended we tried out. 

Whilst you focus in your aggressive profession, you might be additionally doing a training qualification course. 

BS: Our federation has given us the power to take slightly shortcut, so to say, to that whole training course of. Since we’re professional athletes, we’ve to do the identical exams, however so far as the tutorial half goes we don’t should attend each seminar, which provides us the power to do the course whereas we’re skating. It’s a actually good alternative to do one thing that we will use later and get a training licence whereas we’re skating.

Is that this a future aspiration of yours and one thing you undoubtedly need to do after your aggressive profession, or is it one thing you need to have in case you need to take that path?

BS: I believe I communicate for the each of us by saying that it’s an possibility, however there was nothing determined but. It’s undoubtedly an excellent factor to have as a result of we each share such a giant ardour for this sport and ice dancing particularly. I might undoubtedly see myself teaching sooner or later, however it’ll depend upon circumstances.

JJ: It could be good after all, we’re having this expertise and we’d like to share this with the youthful generations.

What are your finest reminiscences as a workforce?

BS: There’s not one reminiscence particularly, however one factor I actually admire about our partnership is that it isn’t only a work relationship, but additionally an excellent friendship. We’ve got managed to undergo so many ups and downs collectively and which means loads to me.

JJ: I agree with that! That is essentially the most worthwhile factor to have, in case you are outdoors of the rink it’s also possible to do stuff collectively and never avoiding or preventing one another. I actually admire our relationship!